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Recent Maths graduate considering career changing to teaching...
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AnonUser212 · 17/05/2022 21:29

Hey everyone,

I [22M, not the average Mumsnet user I'm aware but just wanted a bit of outside perspective!] graduated from a top 10 UK Uni with a Maths degree with some statistics thrown in there too. After struggling to find work, I managed to find a job for a bookmaker where I have to determine prices for sporting events etc. As someone who loves sports, ideal right? It's also well paid [£35k ish + bonuses]... yet something just feels wrong.

I'm working from home right not so I'm aware that that probably plays a part in the work being boring but I just don't feel like it's... me. The people are lovely but I just don't think it's my crowd [I'm maybe more shy and introverted?], the work feels unrewarding and like I'm just going through the motions day after day and the hours, although very flexible, require frequent evenings/weekends [probably ironic to teachers I know].

A teaching career always somewhat interested me, maybe because I had really strong relationships with my teachers throughout school, especially in sixth form. I miss interactions like that etc.

However I have a few reservations about teaching... I'm a bit worried that I would just be doing it because it's an environment I know and that I might be missing out on "real life" but I don't know... I'm also quite awkward when put into new situations. I stay inside my comfort zone [too much probably] and my current job doesn't force me to interact with pretty much anyone. I just sit at home all day and can go weeks without actually speaking with anyone. So on one hand teaching would put me out of my comfort zone which would be good, but maybe it would be too far out all at once.

I'm not particularly motivated by money but given that I am just outside London, I assume I'd be making less money than I am right now for a few years too. I also never really saw many young male teachers straight out of uni when I was in school, so are there additional challenges/stereotypes there? Whenever I've looked at things online about teaching, the response [mainly from Reddit that I've seen] has been very negative and how noone should ever get into it but I'm aware that people are more likely to share negative experiences etc. Is it actually that bad?

So yeah, I've said my piece and it's long and doesn't have much direction, but thanks if you read it! Any thoughts/responses would be much appreciated.

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OutDamnedSpot · 17/05/2022 22:16

If you can manage it around your current flexible job, try to spend some time in school. It used to be relatively normal for potential PGCE candidates to ask to spend a week shadowing in a local school (though tbh, I’ve not seen this for years) so it might be worth sending an email to the head at a local secondary and asking if you could spend some time shadowing in the maths department. That’ll give you a more realistic idea of the role, workload, communication with young people etc. alternatively, see if you can volunteer at a local youth group or similar. Again, that’ll give you an idea of how you feel interacting with teenagers, without needing to quit your current post.

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Bluevelvetsofa · 18/05/2022 14:55

I think teaching is a difficult job for someone who describes themselves as introverted.
If you can spend some time in a classroom, you might get an idea of whether it suits, but bear in mind, the workload whilst training, is massive.

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Mrstumbletap · 18/05/2022 21:59

Good advice above, spend a week or two in 1 or 2 secondary schools observing/helping in the maths department.

Good Maths teachers are like hens teeth so you will find a job after you are qualified quite easily and then could become Head of Department etc so your pay could go up quite rapidly.

Schools are fast paced, different every day, hilarious, rewarding and bloody exhausting. You won't be a 'good' teacher for the first couple of years you need time to find your groove, but you will get there.

I left a promising career in an industry more related to my degree, but after being in education for nearly 2 decades I still bloody love it.

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ZoyaTheDestroyer · 18/05/2022 22:44

Excellent advice above. You need to spend some time in schools.

You may find the pay cut is not as dramatic as you think (depending on your bonuses). The maths training bursary for 22-23 is £24k tax free, then an ECT on the London fringe in September 23 is projected to start on £31k.

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hippolyta · 22/05/2022 12:53

My DS was a high achiever at school and got a 1st in Maths from Warwick. To my surprise he wanted to teach. He's quite an introvert and I really didn't expect it to suit him. He did a fair bit of work experience at uni and then went into a SCITT training scheme.
Five years on he absolutely loves it, lives and breathes his work.
The workload is immense although he does do lots of additional after school classes. He prefers teaching the older age group and teaches mostly A level but some GCSE.
The pay is the rub. It's fine if you live in a cheap area of the UK which DS does but I can't imagine it's great in expensive cities. However there are a number of tax free burseries and teacher retension payments ranging from £2000 to £7500 a year for up to five years. Mainly targeted at Maths and Physics and in certain areas of the UK.

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AnonUser212 · 24/05/2022 01:58

Mrstumbletap · 18/05/2022 21:59

Good advice above, spend a week or two in 1 or 2 secondary schools observing/helping in the maths department.

Good Maths teachers are like hens teeth so you will find a job after you are qualified quite easily and then could become Head of Department etc so your pay could go up quite rapidly.

Schools are fast paced, different every day, hilarious, rewarding and bloody exhausting. You won't be a 'good' teacher for the first couple of years you need time to find your groove, but you will get there.

I left a promising career in an industry more related to my degree, but after being in education for nearly 2 decades I still bloody love it.

Thanks for this [any everyone else who's commented]!! I appreciate I probably need to go to my local school and just volunteer for a week. I had good relationships with the maths teachers there so should be easy enough.

I have heard the workload is massive [which is the complete opposite to what I have right now] and although I'm sure I'd hate it eventually, doing a lot sounds better than doing very little which I'm doing right now. I have seen a LOT of negativity online which scares me but I assume that likely doesn't represent the whole teaching profession.

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AnonUser212 · 24/05/2022 02:01

hippolyta · 22/05/2022 12:53

My DS was a high achiever at school and got a 1st in Maths from Warwick. To my surprise he wanted to teach. He's quite an introvert and I really didn't expect it to suit him. He did a fair bit of work experience at uni and then went into a SCITT training scheme.
Five years on he absolutely loves it, lives and breathes his work.
The workload is immense although he does do lots of additional after school classes. He prefers teaching the older age group and teaches mostly A level but some GCSE.
The pay is the rub. It's fine if you live in a cheap area of the UK which DS does but I can't imagine it's great in expensive cities. However there are a number of tax free burseries and teacher retension payments ranging from £2000 to £7500 a year for up to five years. Mainly targeted at Maths and Physics and in certain areas of the UK.

Sounds similar to me. If I told most people that I was considering becoming a teacher, they'd be shocked. I'm in Essex and just inside the fringe I believe. As I've said in another reply, being able to be commited to something and caring about it seems great to me right now, although I'm sure there'd be times I hate it. I haven't had any work experience in a learning environment though so probably need to work on that! Would likely help me get a better idea of if teachers actually hate their job as much as the internet says they do!

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