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Can we women really have it all.. teaching career & family?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by indoubt74, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I´m just after some advice, I have been thinking of going into teaching for a few years now, I am a native Spanish speaker & I have been teaching Spanish to adults & children for about 6 years now. I am looking into doing a GTP/PGCE in MFL (Spanish) for Secondary. I have 7 year old twin boys and a 9 year old daughter, my husband is a teacher.
    I suppose what is holding me back is that I worry I will not be able to ´be there´ for my children.. particularly during the GTP/PGCE year and the NQT year, I still remember my husband´s PGCE & NQT years and it was 15 years ago! And that was without any children! I know I would enjoy the teaching, and I would hope to make a decent teacher, however, at what cost..? Financially we would be muuuch better off than we are now, so we would be able to have a family holiday from time to time etc etc but what is more important..? That ´mummy´ is around and available (mentally!), in terms of homework, school assemblies etc etc.. but the whole family is worse off money wise... or that mummy is not around so much & is often working or studying, but we would not struggle anymore... Ummhh.. I know how much hard work teaching is... evenings.. weekends.. and even during holidays teachers often work.. [​IMG]
    I guess I am after some reassurance that if I decide to launch myself into teacher training & a career in teaching that one can reach the right balance & family life does not have to suffer... I know this is a very personal issue but just wondered if I might hear from mums with young children & how they have managed the life-work balance in teaching..
    Thank you [​IMG]
     
  2. Hi all,
    I´m just after some advice, I have been thinking of going into teaching for a few years now, I am a native Spanish speaker & I have been teaching Spanish to adults & children for about 6 years now. I am looking into doing a GTP/PGCE in MFL (Spanish) for Secondary. I have 7 year old twin boys and a 9 year old daughter, my husband is a teacher.
    I suppose what is holding me back is that I worry I will not be able to ´be there´ for my children.. particularly during the GTP/PGCE year and the NQT year, I still remember my husband´s PGCE & NQT years and it was 15 years ago! And that was without any children! I know I would enjoy the teaching, and I would hope to make a decent teacher, however, at what cost..? Financially we would be muuuch better off than we are now, so we would be able to have a family holiday from time to time etc etc but what is more important..? That ´mummy´ is around and available (mentally!), in terms of homework, school assemblies etc etc.. but the whole family is worse off money wise... or that mummy is not around so much & is often working or studying, but we would not struggle anymore... Ummhh.. I know how much hard work teaching is... evenings.. weekends.. and even during holidays teachers often work.. [​IMG]
    I guess I am after some reassurance that if I decide to launch myself into teacher training & a career in teaching that one can reach the right balance & family life does not have to suffer... I know this is a very personal issue but just wondered if I might hear from mums with young children & how they have managed the life-work balance in teaching..
    Thank you [​IMG]
     
  3. Dear indoubt
    I don't know how much help I'll be, but I'm in a similar situation. I taught EFL for over ten years, and then had my daughter. I did my PGCE when she was in Year 1 at school, and have been qualified (in secondary MFL) for 3 years.
    Anyway, so far I've survived. I'm on my own with my daughter, and the PGCE year was very tough, but I had a lot of help from freinds and a great childminder with dropping off and picking up from school, as well as odd days during the holidays when an assignment was due. Basically, I managed it by being with my daughter all the time from picking her up till bedtime, and then working after she had gone to bed (although she was younger than yours are, which perhaps helped). I would work till gone midnight most nights, and so was pretty sleep-deprived, but seemed to get through the PGCE year on adrenalin. That year, as terms generally ended a little before school terms, I was occasionally able to get into my daughter's school, though I did miss a few things. I spent a lot of time with my daughter, but basically didn't have much of a life apart from the PGCE and her!
    Since finishing the PGCE things have been different. I did my NQT year at a private school, which was a huge mistake, as they wanted so much more from me - evenings and weekends, as well as working till 5.30 every day. I really felt I wasn't able to give my daughter enough time, despite the longer holidays. I've been doing supply and one-to-one since then - much less preparation, so holidays, evenings and weekends are better.
    Of course I do still miss assemblies and the school gate, though luckily my childminder's daughter is also at the school, so I pick up a lot from her. Also, my daughter doesn't seem to have suffered, and accepts that I may need to spend a few hours at the weekend working, which is OK by her if she gets some TV or Club Penguin time (what a terrible parent!), as long as we've done some things together that weekend.
    The other thing is that my tutors on the PGCE were really understanding, and did all they could to make sure those of us on the course (three on my MFL course) with kids had placements as near as possible to home. Having been teaching Spanish already, you'll also have an idea of lesson planning and materials, as well as your own resources, so won't be doing all that from scratch. You also won't be freaked by the idea of standing up in front of a class. Also, having limited time meant that I HAD to be more organised, and I was never late with an assignment.
    Sorry - very long and rambling, but I wanted to reassure you that it IS possible, and that it won't necessarily mean your children are totally abandoned! Good luck, and do write to me if you want more info / reassurance / a shoulder to cry on. Go for it! [​IMG]
     
  4. Hi again
    Just had a thought - there aren't that many jobs around for just Spanish, and most ads ask for French or German (boo - my main language is Spanish too[​IMG]), so it would be worth getting a second language up to scratch too, even if you can only teach it to Key Stage 3. Sorry - you probably already know that, but thought it's worth pointing out! x
     
  5. I'd just like to say thank you for posting positive comments. I am also starting a PGCE in September and have two children .... One will be going into year 10 so am not too concerned about the affect it will have on him as parents only ever go into the school for parents evening. However my daughter will be going into year 6 and I have never missed a celebration assembly etc and always took her to and from school and so am feeling a bit sad that I won't be able to go to any more. However, my daughter is fine with this and therefore I think (and hope!) that I am going to be more affected than she is, plus I need to look at it in the long-term and remember just how proud of me my children and husband were when I passed my degree and gained a place on a PGCE course. Although at times I feel slightly selfish as I have always wanted to teach and gave up a well paid job working from home to do this, I know that in the long term we should all benefit if I succeed and achieve my dream as I will be much happier than I was,doing a job I really didnt enjoy and I felt didn't make a difference.
     
  6. Thak you both for your replies, they are very encouraging. I will need to spend some time deciding... I´m still not certain! I guess if I do go for it, some things will have to ´give´ but I would hope it is all worth it in the end! Especially financially speaking...
    It´s so hard for us women isn´t it? [​IMG] balancing it all!
    Take care & thanks again xx
     

  7. Hi





    It is good to see that you are thinking of teaching Spanish
    at secondary level. You may be aware that course providers often look for a
    second language and, should you have an A level or equivalent in another
    language, there are enhancement courses which providers may suggest for you.





    As you feel enthusiastic about becoming a teacher, you would
    need to decide the best time to begin your course. To inform your decision, it
    would be a good idea to observe some secondary Spanish classes and chat to some
    experienced teachers who are in your position. As you have been teaching
    children and as your husband is a teacher, you will have local contacts.





    You could also speak to a teaching advocate. They are
    serving teachers who can talk to you honestly and objectively about their
    experiences of teaching. For more information, please call the Teaching
    Information Line on 0800 085 0962.





    Both course providers and schools are aware of the need for
    teachers to balance work and home life and will try, as far as possible, to be
    as flexible as they can.





    There are also part-time and flexible PGCEs which may fit in
    with your lifestyle as well as part-time or temporary teaching work when you
    are qualified.





    A difficult decision to make, certainly, but I am pleased
    that it is a matter of when rather than if. Good luck whenever you decide to
    apply and I wish you a successful teaching career.
     

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