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This isn't working - what else could I do?

(8 Posts)
eastwest Wed 11-Oct-17 19:03:03

So I'm a career changer in my 40s, about one month into ITT -secondary, English - and I can already see that it's not for me. My results, both academic and in terms of the actual teaching, are so far good (very good), but this is because I am half-killing myself to achieve them - not because I am trying to be super woman, but because the workload is so huge and as soon as one thing is achieved, another hurdle is placed in front of you. Looking at the qualified, experienced, excellent and exhausted teachers around me, I cannot see this changing as I get further on in my career. I didn't by any means go into the PGCE with my eyes closed, but it is worse even than I imagined it would be, on every level, and for me just not worth it.
I want to finish the PGCE but at the moment, the thought of doing the NQT year makes me feel sick. I am trying to plan what I could do instead at the end of this year, and would appreciate any suggestions. My background is as a freelance (published) creative writer. I have mentored writers and developed projects to support writers, and taught in HE. I have a CELTA and MAs in English. I like working one-to-one and with small groups. I don't like 'behaviour management' and I want to have time to spend with my family. Some things that have been suggested so far: tutoring, online teaching of English(apparently this is a growing area?), teaching EAL to adults... Any thoughts?

tulippa Wed 11-Oct-17 20:20:47

I'm not going to be much help but just wanted to say I'm in similarish position - currently limping towards the end of my NQT year and hating every minute of it especially since September. I also have a background in English although I'm not as well qualified as you. I was originally planning on completing my RQT year and the consider my options but not sure if I can make it that far!

I have been thinking about work for assessment boards but I'm not sure if I have enough experience and they're not local to me. I have tutored in the past and it's lovely but it's impossible to do full time and all the work is in the evenings. Might look into online teaching of English though.

IHeartKingThistle Wed 11-Oct-17 20:26:38

I moved from secondary English into adult education. In many ways it's less stressful and just as rewarding. However, be aware that the pay is abysmal!

eastwest Wed 11-Oct-17 20:54:28

Thanks for the replies. tulippa I'm sorry you are hating it, but honestly, I think I would feel the same. Being older, as well, I feel as if just don't have time to waste on something I am not enjoying. I would rather be paid less and look forward to getting up in the moring, and have time to do my own child's homework with him instead of being constantly cross and snappy with him because I'm thinking of the work I have to do after he's in bed. Life is too short.
I could manage with tutoring part time because I have a project i can pick up and develop. Did you find it safe and easy - how does it work, do you go to people's houses, and how can you be sure that they pay(!) - sorry, having been freelance makes me wary about stuff like this!
IHeartKingThistle, that's interesting - what do you teach in adult ed? I did a bit of teaching writing in adult ed a couple of years ago but found the group so difficult (but that was before I had more experience in lesson planning and delivery). I also found the pay awful, £17 per hour I think, but at least you don't have to take responsibility for their behaviour!

IHeartKingThistle Wed 11-Oct-17 22:22:43

I teach adult English GCSE and various literacy groups, mainly for parents. I came to it after 12 years in secondary English so lesson planning etc. not an issue but there are still challenges!

tulippa Thu 12-Oct-17 21:34:06

Yes tutoring was very easy - having one well behaved and motivated child to teach is an absolute breeze compared to class teaching. I signed up with an agency and although I had to give a proportion of what I earned to them I got loads of contacts and was having to turn people away every week as I was fully booked. I never had a problem getting paid - was paid cash after each lesson. The only issue I had sometimes was cancellation at short notice. I'd give these clients three chances and drop them after the third cancellation safe in the knowledge I'd be able to pick up a new client more or less straight away. If it weren't for the hours I'd be back to it like a shot!

Cynderella Sat 14-Oct-17 11:38:04

Experienced secondary English teacher. You are right about the workload. Even though the planning gets quicker, the marking is horrendous. If you have mainly KS3, it's easier, but there is still a lot to read and process.

I have loved the job since Day 1 although there have been times when I have thought the classes too difficult and the workload unmanageable. I've hung in there, and it's got better. If you are not enjoying being in the classroom now, that rings alarm bells, especially if you have nice groups.

Do consider the school and department. I've taught in schools where management seem intent on grinding you into the ground. Some are worse than others. If you have a fab HoD and you spend you lunchtimes laughing with colleagues, it all seems more worth it. You may be happier in another school.

If you want out, go. Life's too short. If you think there's a chance of making it work, give it more time, and think about the changes you could make.

SuperFurrySasquatch Sat 14-Oct-17 22:28:36

If you are going into tutoring and will be free during the school day then get in touch with home ed groups. Usually tutor groups of ten or less but you will need to be aware that a lot of home ed kids suffer from anxiety as a result of whatever it was caused them to be taken out of school in the first place.

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