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DD wants to be a teacher...

(46 Posts)
greyjeanie Mon 21-Oct-19 16:37:12

I’m assuming it’s a shit idea.

DSIS is a teacher and she told DD that it’s really bloody hard and explained the cuts etc but DD is determined; she’s only in her second year at university but she really wants to do a conversion course (pgce?) after finishing her Spanish degree and teach MFL. She’s done Latin and French to GCSE and Spanish from KS3 to University and I’m sure she would be amazing but DSIS stresses that it really is challenging, with pressure from the government, SLT, parents etc and she tells us that to thrive in teaching now you have to be someone who won’t challenge injustice when it comes from management if you want to keep your job and well, DD is very strong minded and passionate about what she does.

Could some teachers here either ease my mind with giving us some positives of teaching or help me convince DD to not do it.

Also- I’m not whatsoever suggesting teaching is a shit job or whatever, I wholeheartedly think 99% of teachers are wonderful and I know I couldn’t do what my sister or any of you do, dealing with everything whilst being underfunded and not supported enough. I think you are awesome.

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Wellmet Mon 21-Oct-19 16:42:17

I absolutely love teaching. No two days are the same and I feel like I really make a difference. However, there are many jobs with more money/less stress. If your daughter is capable of teaching mfl then many doors are open to her.

greyjeanie Mon 21-Oct-19 16:45:21


DD is a really likeable person (I promise I’m not just saying that grin ) so I’m sure she would get on with staff and students alike but I’ve read on here that many teachers struggle and wouldn’t recommend teaching to anyone. My sister also agrees.

I just don’t want DD to suffer

OP’s posts: |
VashtaNerada Mon 21-Oct-19 16:47:07

I love being a teacher! That’s partly because I did office work for about fifteen years before transferring so teaching feels really fresh and new. I’m not sure if it’s the same for younger people joining the profession.

greyjeanie Mon 21-Oct-19 16:53:07


That’s interesting. Have you not noticed the current issues with the profession which are regularly mentioned on here

OP’s posts: |
Wellmet Mon 21-Oct-19 16:54:10

I'm sure she'll get on with everyone, but that doesn't make it less stressful. I'm not saying it's the worst job in the world, I'm just saying it can be very hard.
I'd say go for it. Do the pgce, she doesn't have to stick to it forever. I believe there's a lot of money to be had in teaching languages to adults, perhaps that's something she can move into later?

It's easy to underestimate the amount of work it takes, though, so make sure she's mindful of that.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 21-Oct-19 16:57:16

I think it's awful that you feel you have the right to try and convince your adult daughter not to go for the career she's passionate about. This is 100% not your place or decision.

greyjeanie Mon 21-Oct-19 17:03:34


Actually, DD and I are very close and she asks for my advice.

OP’s posts: |
greyjeanie Mon 21-Oct-19 17:04:29

DD wanted me to help her make a positives and negatives list and perhaps I’m just slightly cynical as DSIS has told us many horror stories.

OP’s posts: |
BelindasGleeTeam Mon 21-Oct-19 17:06:59

Teaching is fab. It's hard work. It's emotionally and mentally draining. Some days can reduce you to a wreck.

But it's also the best job in the world. There are days when you wonder how you get away with being paid for doing it. Had field trips with my GCSE and A level groups which have been just brilliant.

So let her go for it. Even if you convince her now, she may well end up teaching anyway. My parents put me off. Still ended up doing it, just a few years after graduation.

PoppiesarelethaltoSpellmans Mon 21-Oct-19 17:07:40

I am a teacher and I love it. It's not suited to some people and those are the ones that complain. Like anything else, you just don't get people willingly sharing positive experiences - only bad ones.

I worked in office jobs for years so I've got a frame of reference with non-teaching roles. Avoid reviews from the miserable and institutionalised.

Helbelle17 Mon 21-Oct-19 17:07:46

I'm an MFL teacher and love it. I'm in my 20th year and it's had its ups and downs and a couple of career breaks, but I'm at an amazing school now, and am part time due to having a young family. I really enjoy my job and get on well with colleagues and students. I think working in the right school definitely makes a difference to how stressful the job is.

noblegiraffe Mon 21-Oct-19 17:15:43

There’s a massive tax-free bursary attached to MFL training so if she does the year and hates it, she won’t have lost anything. And not everyone leaves, she might like it.

PlasticPatty Mon 21-Oct-19 17:16:38

Best way is to try it. She'll love it or leave.

CalamityJune Mon 21-Oct-19 17:18:51

I'm one term into my NQT having worked in schools for several years in a pastoral role. I am thoroughly enjoying it. SLT have been really supportive and encouraging. My department colleages are helpful and knowledgeable.

I put off going back over to teaching for many years because I listened to the negativity of many teachers and I wished I hadn't. I'd be on a lot more money now for one thing!

absopugginglutely Mon 21-Oct-19 17:49:33

I love teaching.

LolaSmiles Mon 21-Oct-19 17:55:41

As another poster said, you tend to hear the negative more than positive.

I love teaching. No two days are the same and I love the students. It's great to use my subject knowledge and share it with students.

There's a lot of pressure mounting from schools increasingly being expected to pick up from CAMHS, social work, etc. Equally there's a culture shift to "pass at all costs" and putting undue pressure on staff to get students to specific grades regardless of their efforts. Parents are generally great, very supportive and keen to build good relationships, but the minority can be a huge drain on time and mental energy.

The biggest difference in experience tends to be school selection. In a great school, SLT are supportive and workload is reasonable for the profession. In a bad school, your mental health and wellbeing can be damaged.

Encourage her to get into schools as much as possible and see a range of different schools.

Sewingbea Mon 21-Oct-19 19:08:47

I love the actual teaching, kids are fantastic and I get a huge sense of satisfaction when they make progress because I have put the effort in and done my best to move them forwards. I've been teaching for many years and it has certainly got much, much more pressured and stressful. I have a first class Hons degree from a Russell group university, an M.A. and a post grad psychology qualification (stealth boast grin ) and I'm very sure that my salary in a different profession would have been significantly higher than I currently earn. But the pupils are very interesting and that's what keeps me there.
However, neither of my daughters have the slightest intention of teaching. DD1 is mid teens and summed it up by saying "when Dad is home he relaxes, when you're home you're working on the laptop." And sadly, despite the sense of satisfaction my job brings me, I'm damn glad that neither DD wants to teach...

gwilt Mon 21-Oct-19 19:27:30

1. I have found that teaching is a very different job depending on which school you're in: not state or private, but the individual school (I have worked in both)
2. Your DSIS's experience sounds realistic and valid in some workplaces
3. Having worked in 5 schools, I liked 3, hated 1 and love 1 (current job grin). It all came down to the students, the head, and my department
4. I would strongly, strongly recommend that your daughter gets into as many different schools as she can for work experience. There's no substitute. She should talk to a range of teachers if she can
5. There's no denying it's become harder in recent years (I am in year 15 and it's been marked), but it's the right job for some
6. I was a TA for a while beforehand. Really helped me to understand the job. Possibility for her?


TheBitchOfTheVicar Mon 21-Oct-19 19:29:31

I love it too.

SansaSnark Mon 21-Oct-19 20:13:50

I'm an NQT at the moment, and there are definitely positives to teaching. It might not be her career for life, but that's ok, and she will always have QTS once she gets it.

There is a big tax free bursary for languages now (£28k I think). I got £26k for training in biology and easily saved £10k for that. If she's able to save a decent chunk of the bursary, it could be her house deposit.

The pay isn't bad, even early on, if you live in a cheaper area of the country, and for the first 6 years it is very likely to go up every year. When she qualifies, there would also be retention payments for language, which will boost her pay. I live in a lovely area of the country, and even early in my career, my pay is good for the region. Teachers are needed everywhere, so she can pretty much choose where she lives. If she's willing to live in certain areas, I believe MFL teachers can qualify for a SF forgiveness scheme as well.

Even early on, I can really see that different schools have different cultures, so it's all about finding one that suits you, as well. As a language teacher, it's likely she'll find it relatively easy to get a job!

However, there are a few things I would mention:
-Most unis expect MFL teachers to be able to offer two languages, usually a combination of French, Spanish and German. If she's only done French to GCSE, she might be asked to do an SKE before she can start her course- there is a bursary for this, but it would be hard to do alongside the third year of her degree.

-I would say the people who came through the school-uni-PGCE route on my PGCE struggled the most, and a quite few dropped out. If teaching is the long term goal, it might be a good idea to take a year out between her degree and the PGCE- get a "real" job, get used to how work works, maybe spend some time living in Spain or another country to really immerse herself in the language.

The PGCE is really hard work, and I think it's even harder doing it if you have no real experience of a professional job, as you're also trying to learn professional norms on top of everything else!

CatAndFiddle Tue 22-Oct-19 06:17:17

If teaching is for you, when you come out of a good lesson, you feel on cloud nine. I have never laughed so much as I do now, in teaching. In fact, just before I left my previous career, I was told that I laughed too much in the office and that I was too senior for that confused. Yeah, there are well-documented difficulties with teaching. I moan about them, but they won't stop me teaching.
She should find out if it's for her.

rillette Tue 22-Oct-19 08:49:11

I would encourage her to go and seek out some work experience while she's still at uni - you normally need to have done a week or two's experience to get onto a PGCE course anyway.

Blueshadow Tue 22-Oct-19 08:56:19

Get as much work experience in as many different schools as possible- state, independent etc. It is really down to how well a school is managed as to how happy the staff are. It’s a terrible job to be miserable in, but equally an amazing job if you find the right one in the right school.

DonkeyHotty Tue 22-Oct-19 09:07:59

I was going to apply for a PGCE in MFL for next year, but have been thoroughly put off mainly by all the posts in the Staffroom on here, which I have been following for about a year. Interesting how are now so many teachers out there who actually do love the job! confused

Your dd will probably need to do an SKE in French before starting, unless she’s prepared to do it alongside the PGCE, which would be a lot of work. It is funded however if done at a different time to her receiving bursary funding. I think she should go for it as not only is she so young and therefore resilient and I assume ‘unencumbered’ by a young family, because the financial risks are so low with MFL bursaries. She will of course have to take out a further student loan to cover course fees though.

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