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Career (or anti-career) ideas/advice needed please.(6 Posts)
Not sure I'm posting in the right place, but any help or advice would be much appreciated. (It's a long one- feel free to skip to the last paragraph as that's essentially what I'd like help with! Thanks!)
I qualified as a teacher (secondary) 15 years ago. In that time I've always felt like an imposter and honestly- especially in the early days- felt like I was going against every fibre of my being just getting through the days. It just wasn't me- the organisation and endless prep needed, on top of struggling to control classes. I was drowning.
The longest I stayed in one post was 3 years- in the time around that, I did a lot of supply. It just suited me better. But doesn't look great on my CV.
Within the last 7 years I've had a child and split from his father. I stopped work completely after a year together (he encouraged it; I didn't put up a fight, quite happy to do that at the time). We split when my son was 1 - ex now has nothing to do with him, but that's another thread altogether.
So I'm a full time single parent with very little family help.
Until my son was 3 I didn't work at all. Then I got back into supply- for obvious reasons, it suited me.
Not so long ago, I fell into a permanent role. I enjoy the actual classroom teaching part of my job more than I've enjoyed any other job before. I think just being older and wiser helps, and priorities have changed.
My problem is that ultimately, I'm still the same person I always was, except now I'm a single parent on top. I still struggle badly with keeping up with it all and find it overwhelming. I don't feel I do a good enough job at all.
Evenings and weekends are often consumed with terrible emotional stresses at home with my child. I know I'm not being the parent I should be and more often than not, I feel I should be locked in a padded cell and I'm snapping over anything. He's extremely strong willed and bright, but stubborn beyond anything I've ever known. Argumentative. Self destructive, crying out for help which I feel I'm failing to give. Trying but failing.
I want to go back to supply because I think it might give me some sanity back. I can't live with the ongoing weight of having work I should be doing but not really doing it, and scraping through the days. It adds to my stresses with my son because I'm never fully present- always worried and stressed that I've got stuff to do and I'm not doing it. I snap an awful lot more than I should. Feel guilty all the time. Knackered. Depressed.
But the money's not bad- quite a bit better than supply. Also, there are things about this job I like and it's become familiar. But I know I'm not doing it justice, nor my child.
Please don't be harsh with me as I'm already on the edge. I'd just so appreciate some constructive advice or ideas.
Forgive the lengthy post, but ultimately my question is- could I do day-to-day supply, and top up with something that fits in with my child during school holidays (in part at least), and have a decent work life balance without the heavy weight of a 'proper' teaching job (with all the extras that come with it)? Any realistic ideas on what the 'other' source of income could be?
I think this won’t be the answer you want - I would strongly advise against supply as a single parent.
The bit that stands out for me is ‘the terrible emotional stresses at home with my child’. That really can’t go on, can it? If the job is a huge contributing factor to the unhappiness at home, then you’re not unreasonable to think that the job has to go.
My ideas for topping up supply income are 1) private tutoring 2) exam marking 3) revision school/intense school holiday courses for students from overseas. Obviously this all depends on whether you’ve got childcare available outside of school hours?
What subject do you teach, OP? If something like maths, English or science, you could definitely top up earnings pretty lucratively in tutoring as fish says. Exam marking is not as easy with demanding child and no other person around.
What about teaching as outreach from a PRU or for children out of school? That's what I do. The tiniest fraction of the stress and really good hourly pay. I also to up with private tutoring.
Wow I'm so sorry, I never came back to thank you for your replies.
All input was much appreciated, thank you all. Food for thought.
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