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A Career In Teaching ...

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by potatoes5, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. I was having an interesting discussion today with someone who is thinking of entering the world of teaching. I found I couldn't give a definitive answer as to whether I'd recommend it or not ... would you?

    I just couldn't get out of my head the number of teacher's out of work and the fact that so much is changing, which really shouldn't be.

    Thoughts ...?
  2. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    Well, I was asked for advice by a prospective student this week. My advice- do another degree, then do a PGDE if things have changed in 4 years, rather than do a BEd now.
  3. Teaching is a great job but there aren't any jobs available. It's a bad time to begin.
  4. It's interesting to see how things have gone and to hear the different perspectives.

    Teaching can be a great, rewarding career, but, then again, I spent 17 years out of the classroom and I think that may have a lot to do with it!

    I see a lot of prospective teachers, some that will be fantastic in the class, some fantastic as a Head Teacher - but these people aren't being given the chance.

    I was in a school today where, out of 16 teaching staff, 11 were over 50 and 7 of those over 55.

    It's very true teaching is an ageing population but when it's as acute as that in a number of schools, what happens whenretirement eventually looms and there aren't enough qualified teachers, teachers have left teaching to pursue a career that pays the mortgage, what is going to happen then?

    It's a disaster. Nothing less.
  5. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Yep. Next time, I coming back as a Heidie. Long hours and lots of **** to put up with but not the same as 30 odd years at the chalk face. I well remember being in the school office and watching one of the "regulars" giving lip to the Heidie. This kid had referrals coming out of every orifice from teachers all over the school. In breenges the Heidie ... " He's walking. Do the paper work please X".

    A career in teaching?

    2 year pay freeze plus all the other COSLA nonsense plus increases in pension contributions plus re-accreditation plus McRone Re-visited etc etc.

    No graduate with a decent degree will come near the job if that lot goes ahead. Factor in the baby boomers finally falling off the conveyor belt within 5 years and we're heading for shortages, professional dilution etc etc.
  6. I got out at the right time there's no question about it. Although even if I wasn't quite of retirement age, I'd probably have pushed for a nice wee secondment. Sounds all too familiar.

    Unfortunately Dom, you're not anything like my age yet, and can't retire, so just put up a fight!

    And get the paperwork done - you never know when the Headie will enter the room and there is that need to look busy - even though you're probably not and more concerned about your next fag break. Not that I am referring to you, just 50% of the teaching population at least.
  7. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    To any (younger) person asking should I be a teacher, I'd say follow your dream. If you want to be a passionate teacher/good at your job/a happy individual you have to want to do it in the first place. I don't know anyone who can honestly say that they job they started in their 20s has turned out to be just as they expected
    that is really harsh and unfair.
  8. Dominie

    Dominie New commenter

    Well, I thought I was being pretty realisitic about Heidies. If I'd really wanted to have a go, I'd talk about the bullies, the incompetents and others who got promoted by being very good at brown nosing or getting a helping hand from a pal.

    A decade ago, my school got a new HT. Competent, generally effective admin wise with good people skills. Unfortunately within a year two senior members of staff joined the school from the HTs school. Both hopeless. That kind of nepotism would be rooted out in most other jobs.

    They were the exceptions I'd say. 80 - 90% of Heidies do the business and the very best acknowledge just how tough it is at the chalk face and they do their utmost to support and encourage their classroom colleagues. If all HTs had that approach, teaching would be no easier but a lot less draining.

    The really hopeless Heidies usually get themselves into serious bother and end up getting a secondment or early retirement. Damn. Wasn't gpoing to say that. Still true though.
  9. Jon - that may be a harsh comment but unfortunately a reality. The mass of activity that seems to go on when a Head or a Depute enters a department is unbelievable - the fact of the matter is they try too hard to look busy.

    And I can think of plenty of staff who detest their job and only care about the next fag, the next coffee, the next gossip - than the actual job itself.

    One teacher I worked with once told her class that she hated her job but she had to work. I'd place her in my 50%.

  10. gnulinux

    gnulinux Occasional commenter

    Very few teachers smoke in my experience. As for HT's I've seen incompetence, crassness, nepotism, favouritism, gutlessness, etc etc. In the real world these are qualities that would merit demotion or even the sack.
    And for some Directors of Education - bullies, teacher-haters, ignorant self-promoting 455h*le5.
  11. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    What do you mean by that? Did they suddenly jump into action when you turned up? How do you know the mass of activity didn't always go on?
  12. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    My point exactly!
    Pots, I presume that pre-HT you were a teacher - how did you react when your boss came into your class? The truth now, please.
  13. I had an excellent Head in one school - the one I tried to eclipse - a very laid back guy whom if was any more flexible he'd have been lying on his back.

    I worked as PT Guidance under a different Head in a different school and that particular Head was an absolute tyrant. Although observing that style of management I very quickly realised that wasn't the way to run things.

    I'm conscious of the fact I haven't answered the question yet. If the Head ever came into the class it would normally be during teaching to observe or to pass a note on and I never changed as a teacher I continued to teach the way I normally would.

    I was always confident in my ability to do the job and do it well and never really had the boss breathing down my neck. Although when I ended up the boss I had to breathe down some people's necks, normally emitting fire, and I (tried) to always be aware not to make people feel like they'd done something terribly wrong.

    As for teaching assistants ...

    If I wasn't teaching I didn't sit in the classroom I sat in the base (in the days where every department had one and every school had a staff room) and worked there. But a lot of the time I was doing a lot of reading the paper and drinking tea.

    As a Head that never changed much. Sure I'd be in at 8am and deal with anything of great importance if I had to but between 8 and 9 nothing got in the way of talking to folk as they came in the door, having my coffee and toast and reading the Daily Record.

  14. A career in teaching...pfft...laughing my head off.
    Have been at this for a few years now, and am chucking it, well moving countries, come the summer. Dumbos in charge of education have now ruined whatever chance I had of a career in this country. And to be really honest, I hate the job now. There seems to be a mass competition in my school as to who can stay in the longest after school, and to who can arrive the earliest. Meetings that go onto 6 at night for absolutely no reason. Pointless CfE. Old duffers refusing to go. New exam methods each year.
    I would say to folk, by all means go into taeching - just not in this country.
  15. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Where is it better and how? I've heard similar things about teaching abroad but would be good to hear specific examples. I've also heard bad things - for example I was offered a job in a British school in mainland Europe but I ended up turning it down - the pay seemed good until I realised there was no holiday pay and the HT expected people to stay from 8am until 5pm. The contract would also be renewed year to year on a 'if we like you' (quote from HT) basis.
  16. I've ended up in a private school, and seriously, I'm out of here. There is a big world out there away from all this bllx...i shall post a new thread.

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