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Is teaching really as awful as it sounds?(19 Posts)
So I've been working as a youth/ community education worker for the past 10 years alongside doing an open university degree in psychology. I was initally thinking about educational psychology but cant stop thinking about teaching as an option. Probably primary teaching as there seems to be a lot of vacancies in my area (central scotland) plus I like the idea of having my own primary school class to develop throughout the year and also the variety of subjects and activities I would be delivering. I know theres a lot of planning involved but I am used to session planning in my current role (deliver alternative curriculum programmes as well as group work)
Is it really as awful as everyone says? Any input would be gratefully received.
It isn't boring. But it is thankless and exhausting. It's not a career for life anymore. I'm glad I have given it a go, but I am unlikely to last 5 years. Planning, marking, endless observations (usually by people who no longer teach anymore). Stupid rules about pen colours. I could go on.
It’s isnt as awful where you are as some of the tales you’ll see on here. No academies and less obsession with testing, for one thing. And a pay rise is about to come... But still, workload is heavy and there are issues with lack of funding for children with ASN (which adds further to stress and workload).
Yes.Everything that CatandFiddle has just said
Well, I am secondary, not primary. But I want to say that my experience of teaching is nothing like the horror stories I hear on here.
Not to say that people are making it up, or there are no pressures in the profession. But it doesn't have to be like that.
I'm secondary and qualified in the 1990s. Thinking about the micro management in some schools now, it would have been seen as a joke back in the day. When it's awful, it's truly awful.
But I still love teaching in the classroom - if I could just do that and be left alone, I'd grumble about marking and tiredness, but it'd be fine. It's the other stuff that sucks the joy out of the job.
Being in a good school makes the difference. And I'm not talking about an Ofsted judgement. By good, I mean light touch management, support when you need it and trust. Left to their own devices, most teachers will do whatever it takes to get the best results for kids - because it's what they want to do, not because of league tables.
There are lots of vacancies for a reason. One of the biggest ever cohorts of teachers in Scotland were the group of teachers who graduated in 1975 and retired in 2015. The PGDE is a difficult course with a big drop out rate.
I personally don't find workload as intense as it was 5/6 years ago, although admittedly I have the experience to fall back upon and don't need to plan from scratch anymore. I think most Scottish teachers would tell you that behaviour and inclusion are their biggest issues.
You've missed 2019 entry, but with work experience over the next few months you could see if you really do want to apply for 2020 entry.
The problem is less and less is actual teaching(the fun bit) and more and more is about jumping through ridiculous administrative and assessment based hoops, whilst you’re having to accommodate and resource more children with additional needs with next to no additional funding. So the teaching is great the rest is a PITA. You could try supply teaching after your NQT year that’s much less stressful 🙂
Thanks for the feedback so far. I do understand the micro managing as my current job is also very target driven with a lot of report writing and constant justification for what I'm doing. I've delivered a few sessions in primary schools and really love the atmosphere. Also find it very refreshing compared to my usual disengaged 14-18 year olds. I think I need to speak to some local teachers in a primary and see if I can get more information before I decide.
Rather than speak to local teachers, you could volunteer to help out at a local school. The experience would also help with your Teaching training application.
I work full time so wouldn't be able to volunteer.
You may have to take some annual leave to get some recent experience in primary, worth checking with course providers.
I'm secondary but I would say yes, it is as bad as everyone says. I'm out after this mat leave.
I'm secondary, originally thought about primary but I volunteered in both a primary and secondary school for about a year before applying for the pgce and much preferred secondary in the end. I recommend getting some work experience before you decide. It's bloody hard work! The pace was the hardest 9 months of my life, they push you for a reason....to see if you will break. I've been doing it for 10 years, I have lots of resources and experience to fall back on but I still have to do a lot or prep as ofsted, exam boards and the government are constantly changing the goal posts. The kids stay the same, but the introduction of academies and ever decreasing budgets means we teachers seem to have more and more responsibilities. You have to have passion, thick skin and the ability to say no and manage your work load. Otherwise you will be worked into the ground until you break and leave teaching all together. I read a report recently saying 50% of teachers give up in the first 5 years. But even with all of that, I love my job and couldn't imagine doing anything else. Every day is different and when you reach the end of the academic year you feel exhausted but a real sense of achievement. Hope that helps xx
It is in primary in England.
Do some searches on here-you will get some interesting information.
If you don’t have experience in schools you probably won’t get in (unless struggling for applicants) doing some shadowing in schools at minimum seems to be required.
Unfortunately I'm with @Holidayshopping
I love the actual teaching part but even that has become stretched to the limits with budgets cuts. My school has had to make all the TAS redundant because there is so little money. It's just wrong
I have been a secondary teacher for many, many years and I still really love it.
You sound like your current employment gives you a reasonable sense of the role but I would caution against thinking that it is the same beyond standing in front of children really.
I am an absolute awe of my own child’s primary teacher. The about of personalised planning, preparation and assessment is enormous. The continual initiatives and education as political football.
I get an enormous sense of well-being from my job but I do sometimes wonder at what cost. I am pastoral so the amount of marking and prep time is minimal but emotional impact is huge. The baggage I carry around will likely be similar to a counsellor or psychologist but we get no support for this at all. Meeting about a child’s wellbeing and abuse and then literally back into a lesson on blah blah.
Like I say. I love it but it is HARD. Lots of jobs are hard. Make sure you get proper experience in a classroom before you decide if this is a hard which is worth it
I'm not in the UK but in lreland so l know there are differences but l love teaching. Have been doing it for over 40 years and enjoy my job every day. It is tiring. A different tiredness to anything other sort l think. But it's never boring, very fulfilling and actually can be quite funny and entertaining at times.
Honestly it depends so much on the workplace you end up in. Right now I love my job, the school is supportive and the marking policy is realistic enough to give me a good work life balance. In previous jobs I've seen exceptional teachers (far better than me) micro-managed, belittled and bullied to the point where they've left the profession entirely for the sake of their mental health.
In my experience too many schools at present are feeling the pressure to play the data game and that leaves very little room for a lot of the things that I consider to be good practice.
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