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Advice please! Want to withdraw from my degree program

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by vonnieflossy1, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I am a 31 yr old, married, mum of 2. I have almost completed my first year of a Primary Undergrad BA hons degree with QTS.
    I am trying to make a decison on whether to go back after the summer. I have enjoyed my time at uni. The course is part time with the equivalent home study of the full time course but i have got my assignments in on time and passed them all. It has been difficult to manage as i am juggling work, study, homelife and helping to look after my dad who had a stroke last year.
    I have almost finished my first block placement. I have hated it. The kids are amazing but i have had a shock with the amount of work the teacher has to do. I am a Teaching Assistant already but totally underestimated what the teacher does. I love delivering the lessons, but the amount of planning and preparation and then assessment is tough. I have been dropping my kids off with a minder at 7.30 then not seeing them again until 5.30. I feed them, get them in bed and then start planning. It has really got to me. My family are my life and I do not want to teach at the expense of time with them. The teachers on placement are all there much later than me too.
    I have asked various people including experienced teachers. Some say stick at it, it gets easier and others say it doesn't get easier, it gets worse! More paperwork, more assessments, reports, observations....
    I have never been as happy as i am in my TA role (after numerous jobs) and looking back i had the best of both worlds really. I am now miserable, constantly weepy, stressed and totally unsure this is for me.
    Do i go back to being happy but for not much pay or stick this out? If i knew the workload and work/life was better once i qualified i perhaps could keep going, but i dont think it is. My time with my kids is precious and i can't get it back.
    I have a big black cloud over me at the moment so any advice appreciated. Some days i think i will carry on, the next day i want to give up and get my life back. I hate the though of being a "quitter" too, i feel like a failure. Although i know i could do it, i'm not sure i want too anymore :(
    Help??!! x
  2. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    Sorry to hear you're finding it tough. I think, ultimately, you are the only person who can decide. I can add to those people who have told you things get easier, though. I'm in my second year as a full-time teacher and it is sooooo much easier than my PGCE. I really think it depends on the school you are in. My school is great, they don't expect their teachers to do anything above and beyond what a teacher needs to do. The SLT just expect us to be planning and assessing as appropriate. They trust us. I have heard, however, of some schools who expect planning in advance, will drop in to observe all the time and pressure teachers to run after-school clubs.
    You could always work part-time/job share when you're qualified, as well as doing PPA cover or working in a different area of education. There are other options that mean you won't be in school from 7:30-5:30pm (as I seem to be).
    Good luck. It sounds like a difficult one.
  3. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    What makes you think you'll see more of your kids if you went into a 9 til 5 sort of a job in an office or similar? Consider the benefits of having 13 weeks each year off work with your kids. In any other job, you'd be working when they are off on school holidays. Could you consider this one of the perks?
    That said, if you can afford to and you were happy as a TA, then go back to it. Far less work involved, but obviously less pay because of this. But you do get the holidays.
  4. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Most people do their degree full-time, have no kids or dependents and fewer expectations of needing time to spend with family, run the house, etc.
    Will it get easier for you? None of us can possibly say. I've seen people say they found their first year in teaching easier than PGCE and others come on here and say they cannot stand how hard it is. There's a lot more responsibility when you have a full timetable, your own class(es), have to attend regular after-school meetings, write reports, etc - I can't see how it can possibly be 'easier' than your first year of the degree, frankly.
  5. There's no disguising it, teaching is tough. Most people don't realsise the hard work that teachers have to do until they do it themselves.
    It may well be that this is just not trhe right time for you to complete the degree and gain QTS. There are routes in work as a teaching assistant that can get you to HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) - http://www.tda.gov.uk/support-staff/developing-progressing/hlta/becoming-an-hlta.aspx
    Maybe doing this and then, when the children are older it will be a better time.
    You do need to be very committed to do this - especially on part time - but this should also not jeopardise your family life and your two children who I assume from your age are also very young.
    Talk things through with your university tutor as well, tell him/her hopw you feel and ask for their advice on what you should do.
  6. Thank you James. My children are 6 and almost 2 so still babies really :). I have had a better week in school this week and feel more positive.
    I will speak to my tutor next week and go from there. The hlta is something I will definitely look into should I decide not to continue at this time.
  7. Please don't feel a failure - because you are not. Nothing gained - nothing lost. You have gained valuable experience - follow your gut instincts. If you really want to do it - you will. If not, it's just not the right time for you now. Don't be hard on yourself. Good luck.

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