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Why can't I force myself to step back into teaching? What other career could I do?

(21 Posts)
user555999000 Wed 25-Apr-18 19:42:37

Hi all,

After many months of soul searching and confusion I've come here to try and reach some clarity about my situation. Was a primary school teacher for over 10 years. Was fairly senior and good at my job, well respected. Was KS2 Leader, Literacy Coordinator, Assessment Manager, Curriculum Leader, Eco Committee Manager, Year 5/6 teacher...I wore all the hats in a small school. You all get the picture.

I left after the birth of my first child 3.5 years ago - mainly due to burn out and I'd become disillusioned....the same story you hear all of the time. I maintained a good relationship with my last school and over the last 3.5 years cover their occasional supply days.

Recently I've seen a job advertised which is close, a nice area, and to teach Literacy to Years 5 and 6 mornings only (0.55). I've been to visit the school. I liked the headteacher. I liked the feel of the place. I liked the children (and miss working with them). I liked the idea of just teaching Literacy (this is to better provide for a large class of 40 - I'd take 20 and the classteacher would take the other 20). I wouldn't have any of the workload associated with having my own class as a whole.

Here's the sticking point. My DH and I really could do with me working again. We do ok but money is very tight every month. BUT we don't crave nicer cars, holidays or dining out so we are quite happy as we are. It's more due to the risk of only one of us working that I feel I need to get back into something soon. I'd have to put the baby into childcare every morning and our eldest child would have to go to breakfast club every morning. Obviously this will take a lot of any extra wages in childcare fees.

I feel like I should be jumping at the chance of this new job vacancy. I know I could do the role standing on my head. I felt the headteacher was willing me to apply. I keep looking at the personal spec. There are no guarantees I would get the job obviously but even so it is like the spec was written for me.I keep worrying about pension pots, working until I'm 70. I keep hearing people tell me I'll not get another chance if I stay out of the job market fro much longer.

And yet despite all of this - I just can't seem to find it in me to start writing an application. There's every reason I should apply but It's like my soul is screaming at me not to.

I feel as though if I get sucked back into teaching now I'll never get out again. I'm in my early 40s so I feel it's retrain in something else now - or enter the lion's den of teaching once more.

I keep looking at other industries and careers and I bounce from one to the next confused. When I first entered the classroom it felt like home. I felt like I truly belonged. However as we all know the relentless workload and never ending high stress levels are just not sustainable. Especially not with a young family. And a husband who works away half of the year.

Can I ask what other careers people have gone into after teaching and really enjoyed? I'm totally lost and can't decide what to do.

Dozer Wed 25-Apr-18 19:45:45

That job sounds good. It is easier to get a job when you have a job. No reason why you couldn’t look at other options while working.

I’m not a teacher but am in the “wrong” career, to pay the bills. I really value financial security and my personal earning ability.

Dozer Wed 25-Apr-18 19:46:26

Does your H have to work away? That makes any kind of WoH harder.

user555999000 Wed 25-Apr-18 20:00:32

Dozer - yes he has to work away. There's no give in his job in that way. And his rota is completely unpredictable from one day/hour to the next.
It's pretty much me on my own spinning all the plates at home - 3 year old, baby, dog, elderly parents. We have zero help with childcare. There's no backup in any form when my husband is away. Recently me, the baby and the toddler were ill at the same time. 2 days of vomit. 3 days and 3 nights of zero sleep (and I mean zero). At times like that I wonder how on earth I'd manage to fit in anything else. As my husband is away so much I also feel the children really need me there. Not just physically present but emotionally present. And teaching leaves you so utterly drained that I remember sitting like a zombie most evenings unable to interact with anyone or anything.

I need other options.I've also watched and seen first hand older experiences teachers being managed out. It's not pretty. It's becoming commonplace. I think I'd rather forge my own new path that risk ever becoming one of those teachers.

Argh I'm so conflicted!

NameChangedForThisQ Wed 25-Apr-18 20:06:30

What about freelance writing? I make around £30 an hour doing so online and was not difficult to get into.

NameChangedForThisQ Wed 25-Apr-18 20:07:19

Of course you work from home, set your own hours. No pension or sick pay though obviously.

Dozer Wed 25-Apr-18 20:08:32

The situation sounds hard, making it difficult for you to WoH. If DH can’t change jobs it might be worth looking at other local job options.

The trouble with most job will be holiday childcare / costs.

The exhaustion/workload fears about teaching sound well founded.
The “managed out” fears might be catastrophising, and should that happen you could resign.

0hCrepe Wed 25-Apr-18 20:11:52

I would stick to supply for now, getting up every morning and panicking about sickness and childcare makes it very difficult. Or online writing sounds interesting- how do you get into that? Could do it as an extra!

user555999000 Wed 25-Apr-18 20:14:02

NameChangedForThisQ - I've no experience in freelance writing but I'm open to ideas. What fields do you cover?

Dozer - you are right about 'managed out' fears. I'm definitely over worrying that one. Thank you for the direct common sense. This is what I need!

NameChangedForThisQ Wed 25-Apr-18 20:14:58

I can't explain too much about online writing here but can use sites like peopleperhour and Upwork. Teach yourself how to write articles, online courses etc and bid for jobs. You would start with lower rates but can raise them over time. If you write fast you can make a very good living.

NameChangedForThisQ Wed 25-Apr-18 20:16:26

I had no experience and started in 2015. You dont need to be a literary genius by any means!

0hCrepe Wed 25-Apr-18 20:18:50

I’ll look into that. I’ve done a lot of writing on courses and in my work. Thanks!

user555999000 Wed 25-Apr-18 20:19:02

One idea I keep playing with is becoming a School Business Manager. I'm good with numbers. I'm highly organised. I could do on online accountancy/finance course with AAT. I still like the buzz of being in a school .I'm just not sure I want to be up there being the 'teacher on the stage.' I'm also a perfectionist and I'm not sure how I'd cope with only doing mornings. I feel I'd ever so gradually become involved in more things - because it's just the way I am/work ethic. I'm also highly aware of how on earth we are going to cover school holidays. My husband's busiest time of the year is July and August so he's virtually absent the whole of summer.

tofudeepfried Wed 25-Apr-18 20:19:36

how about working as a level 3 TA? if you want to earn some money and enjoy working with children. it does not sound as if you really want to return to teaching so don't. Once you are back then it will be harder to leave so think very carefully. Have you ever done any other jobs? or retrain. I left teaching, worked as a TA for two years which i loved and am now an Exec PA but I had done PA type jobs before. Shortages in councils for Food Safety inspectors , pollution officers , bus admin so you could look around

user555999000 Wed 25-Apr-18 20:23:32

NameChangedForThisQ - Thank you for this idea. I did browse PeoplePerHour a while ago. Amongst my many days of scrolling endlessly through things I might be able to turn my hand to.

I actually think I'm interested in too many things if that makes any sense. I just want to invest time now into something that will work for us as a family for quite a while. I know life always throws curve balls and all plans can go out of the window in a flash but I'm trying to make some kind of decision which means when I'm in my 50s I'm not stuck in some hellish situation workwise. I don't want/need to earn a fortune. I'm happy to start at the bottom again. I just can't decide how and in what industry/job/field.

user555999000 Wed 25-Apr-18 20:38:24

I thought about teaching english online. I used to teach TEFL years ago. Having stayed at home for the past few years I'm scared I'll lose my social skills if I work from home. I'm a social introvert. I like to reboot alone but how much alone time is good... see I'm really confused.

When I went to visit the school recently I still felt excitement at the idea of teaching Literacy. It's like putting on a pair of comfortable shoes isn't it. I picked up one child's book and I was immersed immediately. However the reality of teaching sits on my shoulder whispering relentlessly 'don't do it.'

Scooby23 Wed 25-Apr-18 20:41:14

Hi, have you looked at careershifter website? Might give some ideas. Or didteach? I’m 20 years in and want to get out too! So sad and scared of what to do next xxx

hollytom Wed 25-Apr-18 21:03:28

I would say listen to your gut instincts on this if you really don’t feel it’s right but are forcing yourself into it then it’s probably not right at this time. The thing is even when you work a part day you invariably end up staying for a bit to mark, discuss things etc etc and before you know it a significant part of the day has gone.
I have found when I have gone against my instincts on things like this it’s not really worked out. I am currently in a dilemma myself what to do over my career too. I am in my 40s and finding teaching hard going but as this is my second career do I really have the energy to start again? Good luck on what you decide.

user555999000 Thu 26-Apr-18 14:30:39

I'm not going to apply. I've slept on it. My children need me more at the moment than we need extra money if that makes any sense.

Hollytom - You are right, I'm old enough to know that when your gut deep down recoils at something you need to listen to it. Whenever I've ignored it in life I've regretted it.

There's another path for me - I know it. My father died recently, Life is too short. I always believed in the saying 'jump and the net will appear.' That's always been true for me. Always. I'm going to try something totally new and completely different when y youngest is in preschool.

Thanks everyone for the great input. And if anyone has any more great alternative career ideas please let me hear them!

user555999000 Thu 26-Apr-18 14:32:40

Scooby23 - - Thank you I'll take a look at those websites.

rainbowfudgee Thu 26-Apr-18 19:06:11

It's tough if you have to be there 5 mornings a week, especially with young children who will catch very bug going. I like teaching 2 days a week as if we are ill, we only have 2 days to get through until I'm off for another 5. My DH works from home some of the time so he has covered 2 sick days this year. I've taken one day parental leave as I only get paid for one day a year.

I know how hard it is looking for part time jobs though. They are nearly non existent.

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