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Should I train to be a teacher or move for a £60K paid job?

(268 Posts)
Arthurlager Wed 27-Mar-13 13:48:37

I have a dilemma and would welcome opinions.

I am 39, have 3 DC, 11, 9, 6. I have a place on a teacher training course in September. It will mean no income for a year then a starting salary of £21K. And fab holidays of course. Things are already very tight financially. Just to keep my options open I have applied for, and got through to the last stage for, a job paying a starting salary of £60K, final salary pension, bonus scheme etc.

If I am offered the job, it would mean moving house to a part of the country I have always liked, moving schools etc, something I have never done before. But of course it is F/T so I would need a childminder or nanny as we have no family there.

So...what would you choose?

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 28-Mar-13 11:31:34

With the 60k job, you'll still be doing long days and working in the evenings, but you will be able to get to the odd nativity play etc, which you can't with teaching.

But, trying to sort out childcare every six weeks plus inset days is a nightmare.

noblegiraffe Thu 28-Mar-13 11:47:42

Another teacher interested in the 60k job. Would it be a job you enjoy?

Teaching isn't family friendly, it's stressful and emotionally demanding and during term time you may not see your family at all as you are buried under paperwork. Training is even worse and the fab holidays will be spent writing assignments and doing paperwork.
Teaching has a high burn-out rate - 50% of teachers don't last 5 years.
Look at the TES student forum for an idea of what you'd be letting yourself in for. If you do choose teaching, go in with your eyes open.

I'm a teacher, I love teaching. I'm part time at a good school. I couldn't do it full time with a family, it's too much.

GraceSpeaker Thu 28-Mar-13 16:38:52

It's taken me a while to get to this point, but, 8.5 years in, I love teaching and can't wait to return from maternity leave (give me OFSTED over 24/7 newborn care any day!).

The workload is as described upthread, i.e. there is a hell of a lot of paperwork, the holidays aren't exactly holidays and days are long and relentless. It's physically demanding, which a lot of people don't realise. You do have to love your subject, constantly thinking on your feet and performing for a crowd. You do have to deal with the goalposts constantly changing, marking all day on Sundays and feeling guilty ALL the time when you're not doing work. The money certainly isn't enough for what you're actually called upon to do (not least by your own expectations of yourself). Teaching isn't for weaklings.

However, not all schools are as hideous as some of those described above. I work in a comprehensive, where expectations of staff and pupils are very, very high. Senior management are supportive and I do feel valued most of the time. The kids, on the whole, are lovely (but then, I don't teach English/Maths/Science - they opt to do my subject!) and it's them I'm really missing at the moment. No day is the same and the only time I'm ever bored is when the kids are doing a test in silence. Teaching as a craft has come to really interest me - experimenting with different resources and techniques means I don't actually teach the same material in the same way every single year. Teaching certainly hasn't killed my love of my subject - it means I get to revisit it every single day and I love that. Given it's also an optional subject, I spend a lot of time marketing it to parents and children, so I constantly remind myself why I think it's important.

I've never been offered the job you nearly have, though. You're not going to miss a job you've never done and being a trainee teacher and NQT is bloody hard, particularly with three kids. I'm dreading dealing with working 4 days with just the one! Your workload will feel overwhelming to begin with - you'll be observed every single lesson and your mentor may want plans in 24 hours in advance or more (I do), which will take you MUCH longer than an experienced teacher to write. You won't have the same rapport with the kids that your mentor does and you'll spend ages building up any kind of relationship with your classes. On top of that, you'll have university essays to write. If I were you right now, I'd go with the 60k job and come back to the idea of teaching once the Idiot Gove's out of the picture, at least.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

Lara2 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:16:26

Teacher here, go for the 60k job! I'm 50 and shattered. I love being with the children but it's an incredibly tough job. My pension will put me just under the breadline when I retire - not what I what I was promised or had planned.

pudding25 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:28:46

Another teacher here. Definitely go for the £60k job. Good luck.

aroomofherown Thu 28-Mar-13 19:31:31

Another teacher and I say go for the 60K job.

I'm in an OK school but everyone is on their knees due to micro management. I have friends in two other schools, and we all suffer from The Fear. One of my friends is on prescribed valium at the moment and just keeps crying. I've worked with her and she's great at her job, but there's a constant feeling that you are about to get into trouble for something.

Not to mention the constantly changing goalposts, and the complete ignoring of students as a whole person. I LOVE teaching, but I hate the job.

aroomofherown Thu 28-Mar-13 19:39:24

Food for thought

TheNebulousBoojum Thu 28-Mar-13 19:59:59

If more parents read the TES forums, they'd have a much more realistic idea of what's behind the mask. As I said, it's a job for a decade then you burn out.
I love supply teaching, back to the basics I joined for.

Arthurlager Thu 28-Mar-13 21:00:25

Wow, I am so glad that I posted here. Teaching was definitely my first choice, it was only the salary that was putting me off. But all the teachers that have posted here can't be wrong! It is very sobering. There would doubtless be long hours in the other job and probably out of hours too. I think I would like it as it is similar to what I do now. Childcare would be a big issue in the holidays.....gah.... I started off half hoping they don't offer it to me....I now really hope they do!

WhatKindofFool Thu 28-Mar-13 21:03:14

You need to think about how you would cope being at the bottom of the ladder again and being like a junior again.

I tried teacher training but gave it up shortly after I started my 1st placement. I could not deal with being told what to do all the time as if I was still wet behind the ears. It was awful.

WhatKindofFool Thu 28-Mar-13 21:05:26

I should also add that the PGCE was incredibly hard work. There are plenty of threads about it on the TES forum. You basically work from the moment you get up to when you go to bed. I would have had a nervous breakdown if I had carried on! My children missed me interacting with them. (I have 3 kids)

nkf Thu 28-Mar-13 21:07:13

The £60k job.

VenusRising Thu 28-Mar-13 21:08:38

Take the 60k job, and move your mother up there too!

Arthurlager Thu 28-Mar-13 21:13:04 you mind me asking how old you were when you did pgce? What did you do instead?
We would only be 1 and a half hours away from "home" so maybe my mum would have them for a week in the holidays!

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Thu 28-Mar-13 21:24:47

I'm not a teacher but I do work with them. What sort of terrible situation have we come to when all these wonderful teachers are so disheartened - and it's not the teaching of children that causes this!!

I think you are all fantastic. Wouldn't encourage my children to become teachers though!

Gooseysgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 21:35:40

I'm a teacher. Take the 60k job. I will be spending most of the next two weeks sleeping off the term, I would give up the hols in a heartbeat to be in a less stressful job.

nkf Thu 28-Mar-13 21:40:23

It's pretty resoundingly in favour of the £60k job isn't it?

Gooseysgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 21:47:56

I should say we have a brilliant senior leadership time so that's not an issue where I work.. but we are all feeling demoralised (including leaders)... All the attacks on our pay, conditions, pensions, endless paperwork etc. And Gove... Don't get me started angry

WhatKindofFool Thu 28-Mar-13 21:53:54

I was 43. It was recently. I had a career before for 20 years that has been severely affected by the recession. Latterly i had been running my own business. The idea of a secure job attracted me and I had always had a bit of a yearning to be a teacher.
I thought the kids were great and I loved the teaching bit but I was never going to cope with a school hierarchy. Also, you have no autonomy in a school - you work to the bell. There were incessant meetings and briefings and stuff to attend in addition to the teaching bit. I'm used to choosing how I use my time and the bells and routines drove me crazy.
The experience quickly made appreciate how decent my previous career had been so I have gone back to it and things are actually looking up for me in spite of the awful economic climate.
The bottom line was that I already had a career and that I had no need to put up with the hell that is teaching. (Just my opinion of course)

flumperoo Thu 28-Mar-13 22:01:44

Yet another teacher here saying take the £60k job. I think most teachers I know would leave teaching now if they could walk into a job with an equal salary let alone double!

Beveridge Thu 28-Mar-13 22:38:17

Be careful-the first few years of teaching are the hardest and I have no idea how you would get through those with DC. I have 2DC under 5, work 3 days a week and that's all I can cope with after almost 10 years in the job which means I can wing it --just about every lesson--when I need to.

I also teach in Scotland which although sounds less of an administrative hell than down south given these posts, is bringing in a new curriculum and new exams with zero development time.

I love my job but I am in a school where I can try and stick as closely to my 21 hours as possible-part of that is due to a realistic line manager and part of it's because I prioritise.Unfortunately that means that I haven't marked a single assessment for one junior class since October because they are way down that list-but next year I'm going to do lots of peer assessment to avoid this because there's absolutely no way I can find any extra time at work or at home to do it myself. (reflective practitioner, me!)

Presumably a £60k job is not going to be money for old rope though-but you would then have money for domestic help/childcare.

weegiemum Thu 28-Mar-13 22:41:13

I'd teach. But I love teaching.

Though as a disclaimer I'm now an adult educator for young mums with no qualifications and the idea of going back into a secondary classroom in Glasgow in 2013 makes my skin crawl!

TheNebulousBoojum Fri 29-Mar-13 06:57:18

'I tried teacher training but gave it up shortly after I started my 1st placement. I could not deal with being told what to do all the time as if I was still wet behind the ears. It was awful.'

That never stops really, due to the continuous changes and reversals. Every month there is some new initiative to take on board, some new, compulsory method of hoop and hurdle jumping that must be undertaken.

nkf Fri 29-Mar-13 07:11:24

Winging it and not being able to mark since Ocober isn't good though.

StealthPolarBear Fri 29-Mar-13 07:13:43

I'm horrified by this thread

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