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18 Years out of teaching - can I return?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by craftycaryn, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. craftycaryn

    craftycaryn New commenter

    Hi, I have had a LONG career break from teaching to bring up my family and run a business. My youngest is now in secondary and I have been feeling more and more that I'd like to get back into teaching.
    I was a secondary biology teacher and taught up to and including A-level. However, I am thinking I would like to go into Primary but from searching through the options I can't really see how to go about it.

    Have I been out of it for too long? Is it realistic to think I'd be employable? I just feel drawn back to it - honest opinions please - I can take it!
  2. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Initially, you could try doing a bit of volunteering in primary or signing yourself up for supply. That'll give you some recent teaching experience to put on your applications.
    BetterNow, SBW2009 and agathamorse like this.
  3. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter


    You won't recognise the job. Don't do it. You would get employed, but you'd start on M1 and very quickly be bullied because slt would see you as old fashioned.
  4. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Get some school visits in and see what modern teaching involves. It will be considerably different to what you were doing 18 years ago. Approach local schools, observe lessons and talk to the other teachers so you know exactly what you will be letting yourself in for.

    To be frank, I wouldn't recommend teaching in the current climate of excessive scrutiny, direction and the tyranny of Ofsted but there are many teachers out there who love the job. Only you can decide but make sure you are fully informed before you make your decision.
    phlogiston, BetterNow and agathamorse like this.
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    yes you can, but you probably don't want to. Just get a bit of experience, voluntary or paid as a support teacher, then just start applying for jobs
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. 123Vanilla

    123Vanilla New commenter

    Don’t do it. I’ve been out of the profession for 12 years. Currently work as a one to one in a special needs school. Seeing how hard the teachers work, along with scrutiny, accountability and inability to properly discipline, is enough for me NEVER to return. Obviously it’s your call. Be 150% sure it’s what you want to do.
    BetterNow and agathamorse like this.
  7. artbinki

    artbinki New commenter

    The job is very different now. Exceptionally stressful . I would question whether you should as opposed to whether you could...
    BetterNow and Shedman like this.
  8. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    You could always do Supply. Schools need Science teachers. It would give you the opportunity to see if you still want to go back long term
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The job is different now, but it is still fab in many schools, probably most.
    You could apply for TA positions in a primary get a good feeling for what the job involves and what life there is like. Then use that as a springboard to applying for teaching roles in a year or so.

    Depending on what your business is/was how much you can spin that relevance.
  10. lentils22

    lentils22 New commenter

    Hi Craftycaryn, I'm a secondary MFL teacher. While my 3 kids were younger I had a 14-year career break - during which time I did some tutoring and some primary school MFL teaching - then approached local secondary schools to ask if I could volunteer to get back up to speed, and ended up applying for and being offered a job at the school where I was volunteering. I'm now in my fourth year at that school and am generally enjoying it (especially working with teenagers again, and also being part of a team), although, as others have said, it's very full-on in term time - don't forget about all the after-school meetings, planning, marking, emails, report-writing, parents' evenings etc etc - and I'm only on a 0.5 contract! So, to answer the question in the thread title, there's every possibility that you could return, but I fully agree with others who have suggested that you get some experience first to make sure it's definitely still for you! All the best!

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