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Am I doing the right thing?Myn

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Posiekins, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Posiekins

    Posiekins New commenter

    I have been a Primary TA for 5 years, after a career change in my mid-30s.
    I’m leaving at the end of term to do a full time Primary PGCE. Which I THOUGHT I wanted to do because although I love my job I want more responsibility and, let’s face it, more money.
    Loads of teachers encouraged me to apply, I asked about ten for advice, especially those who came to it later.
    But since I announced I was leaving, so many people have asked if I’m mad, and asking if I realise how much harder it is to be a teacher than a TA.

    I thought I did, now getting worried. I love my school and my job but I also don’t want to do it forever. And we don’t have HLTAs so there’s no compromise available.

    I have actually had abuse online because I commented how education was much more rewarding than my last career and three people essentially said I was clueless and likely to fail. None of them had ever done anything other than teach but assumed that there was literally no harder job in the world, and one said “Another TA who thinks they know better”.

    I have already handed my notice in so it’s a done deal, but please, someone, anyone, reassure me that the jump from TA to teacher can work out?
    Ilovejumblesales likes this.
  2. Grefintec

    Grefintec New commenter

    I had a career change from an intense job which I loved but did not fit with the family life I wanted. Later I worked as a TA then a couple of years ago I did my pgce. Best decision I made. Fits around my family in a way that was not possible in my former career. More responsibility and better pay. Yes I work long hours but I always have, just now I get to spend my holidays with my family.
    Ilovejumblesales and Posiekins like this.
  3. Posiekins

    Posiekins New commenter

    That’s reassuring, thanks. My previous career was all I ever wanted to do, and I loved it but when I had kids I realised I loved them more and couldn’t commit to both.
    But when I said that on a teaching forum I was told that basically I should give up all hope of family time. Some people were downright nasty, literally none were encouraging.
    Ilovejumblesales likes this.
  4. 1FineDay

    1FineDay New commenter

    If you are easily moved by negative comments, start not to be! The thing about teaching is, it can be brutal - both from the kids and staff. You must take everything with a pinch of salt, know what's right for you and your teaching, and move forward without dismissing those around you. It's a sort of nod and smile type jobby. There are many power-hungry, egotistical people in education. Just don't become one of them and you will be fine!

    Find a school that's committed to cutting teacher workloads, e.g. 'marking is useful up to a point but there are better things you can do with your time, such as planning more engaging lessons'. As long as you find a realistic and fair school you will also be fine.
    Gsr25, Ilovejumblesales and pepper5 like this.
  5. sciencepanda

    sciencepanda New commenter

    Hi, I don't normally comment on posts here, but I feel that I should share my experience with you. I was a TA for 5 years and then made the cross over to teaching. I've just completed my NQT year and before that I did a secondary science school direct course. Although it's been hard work, I would say it has been TOTALLY worth it! I have two kids, and although they do moan from time to time about me always being on my laptop, I remind them that I am here at home every half term and summer holiday while their friends are at summer clubs every day.

    Don't let the online comments bother you, if this is something that you really want to do, then go ahead and give it a go. You'll never know unless you try!

    Good luck :)
  6. thin_ice

    thin_ice Occasional commenter

    Read this post from sciencepanda @Posiekins, and then avoid this forum.

    @sciencepanda ’s advice is excellent. It comes from someone who has direct experience and isn’t playing to the pathetic gallery of uninformed trolls that this place has now become.

    You’ve done your research, made a decision based on it, and are set to go. Don’t let anyone try to put you off now.

    Good luck.
  7. StewieJazz

    StewieJazz New commenter

    Not a TA here but about to embark on an SD PGCE and I'm looking forward to it immensely.

    I've been a freelancer for several years. Sometimes, I've been chained to my desk for 14 hours a day or more; I've had famine and feast periods; I've never really been able to switch off, because of the constant worry about whether things will be OK when the bills come out.

    Prior to that, I worked in the charity sector. I worked very long hours and gave it 100 per cent of my energy. The organisational culture, if I am being extremely kind, left a lot to be desired. My wife described my job at that time thus: "investment banker hours and dedication without the investment banker salary".

    I'm looking forward to studying and practising, and then continuing to develop my practice for many years after I gain my PGCE and QTS. I'll be paid to do something for which I have a real passion. From what I have experienced so far, it appears that my conscientiousness, my eagerness to learn, and my belief that the "how" is as important as the "what", are all qualities that will be valued. I know very well, from firsthand (close family) experience, that teaching is hard work. I know it can be a really thankless job sometimes. But I also know that I've done a lot of work on myself and I'm ready for the challenge.

    Best of luck!
    Ilovejumblesales and Lucy2711 like this.
  8. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    I was a Secondary School Teacher for many years. I think the best answer is for you to give it your best shot, try to keep some quality time available for family life and see how you get on.
    Teaching can be very rewarding if you are in the right place and your face fits.
    Keep in mind it is a job, and if it gets really tough move to a better school. You may find that some colleagues are helpful where others stab you in the back.
    Maybe that's the same everywhere.
    Good luck.

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