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Dear Theo (and others)- Advice Please!

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by Rainbowe, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. Dear Theo,
    I have posted a few times before and have always appreciated your advice, and that of some other forum users, so I hope you can help me again.

    I finished my NQT year, teaching Reception, on a temporary contract at the end of last January. Since then, I have applied for 7 jobs and had interviews for 4 of them. I am in the North East, where there are very few jobs indeed.

    I have childcare in place for 2 days a week (Thursday and Friday), so I am available for supply work. However, since September, I have only had 5 days work. Until December, I used my husband's accumulated childcare vouchers to pay for the childminder, but this has now run out and I am having to fund it myself. Now it doesn't sound like much, £20 a week, but when you are on a low income, every penny counts. I could have really done with that £60 for food and travel costs last month, instead of paying the childminder with it.

    I don't know if I should carry on, in the hope that I will get some more supply, and at least I can say I am doing supply when it comes to filling in job applications, or just take a complete break for now and be a full-time mother, which I mostly enjoy.(I am not one of those people who go mad at home, as I always find something to do.) I only have 1 child who is 9, and over the years I have often thought about having another child, but training to be a teacher (part-time for 2 years), looking for teaching work (it took a year and a half for me to get my first post and I have been looking for work for 10 months this time around) and then teaching full-time have always taken priority. I am almost 34 though, so I am running out of time, if I want another child.

    To be totally honest, I only wanted another chance at a teaching job to see if this is the work I want to do for the rest of my life. In my year of teaching full-time, the lows outweighed the highs, but I wanted to have another go, in a different environment, before making up my mind. I apologise in advance if that comes across as greedy to anybody.

    So basically, should I keep struggling on, feeling cross about spending money on childcare when I don't get any work and my child doesn't really like his childminder, just for the sake of being able to put supply on the application forms, or shall I call it quits for now, and see what the job situation is like in time, if that's what I want? At the moment, I just feel trapped and, as you can probably tell, increasingly bitter about the whole situation, and maybe a complete break would help.

    I know the decision is ultimately mine, but any thoughts/ideas would be appreciated.

    Many thanks and apologies for the lack of paragraphs, as I'm using a Mac.
     
  2. Dear Theo,
    I have posted a few times before and have always appreciated your advice, and that of some other forum users, so I hope you can help me again.

    I finished my NQT year, teaching Reception, on a temporary contract at the end of last January. Since then, I have applied for 7 jobs and had interviews for 4 of them. I am in the North East, where there are very few jobs indeed.

    I have childcare in place for 2 days a week (Thursday and Friday), so I am available for supply work. However, since September, I have only had 5 days work. Until December, I used my husband's accumulated childcare vouchers to pay for the childminder, but this has now run out and I am having to fund it myself. Now it doesn't sound like much, £20 a week, but when you are on a low income, every penny counts. I could have really done with that £60 for food and travel costs last month, instead of paying the childminder with it.

    I don't know if I should carry on, in the hope that I will get some more supply, and at least I can say I am doing supply when it comes to filling in job applications, or just take a complete break for now and be a full-time mother, which I mostly enjoy.(I am not one of those people who go mad at home, as I always find something to do.) I only have 1 child who is 9, and over the years I have often thought about having another child, but training to be a teacher (part-time for 2 years), looking for teaching work (it took a year and a half for me to get my first post and I have been looking for work for 10 months this time around) and then teaching full-time have always taken priority. I am almost 34 though, so I am running out of time, if I want another child.

    To be totally honest, I only wanted another chance at a teaching job to see if this is the work I want to do for the rest of my life. In my year of teaching full-time, the lows outweighed the highs, but I wanted to have another go, in a different environment, before making up my mind. I apologise in advance if that comes across as greedy to anybody.

    So basically, should I keep struggling on, feeling cross about spending money on childcare when I don't get any work and my child doesn't really like his childminder, just for the sake of being able to put supply on the application forms, or shall I call it quits for now, and see what the job situation is like in time, if that's what I want? At the moment, I just feel trapped and, as you can probably tell, increasingly bitter about the whole situation, and maybe a complete break would help.

    I know the decision is ultimately mine, but any thoughts/ideas would be appreciated.

    Many thanks and apologies for the lack of paragraphs, as I'm using a Mac.
     
  3. Personally, I think I would give up the childminder.
     
  4. I know childminders like to be 'full', but would yours have the space to be flexible about days, so that if you got a week's assignment she could do the week for you, and less (on variable days) when there's less work for you?

    That way you might get more work, as a lot of schools want someone in to cover a week's absence...

    I wonder whereabouts in the North-East you are, and if you're near us (PM-ed you)?
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Dunno if it works with a Mac, but on an Android you get a paragraph if you just put in
    Try it!
    Excellent! many people haven't.
    That is MORE than excellent, it's absolutely outstanding.
    Ah. The big problem. But this isn't the sort of thing that I can give advice on, really.
    Ah. The BIGGER problem. But this isn't the sort of thing that I can give advice on, really. All I can say is what someone once said: "No-one ever has a deathbed regret I wish I had spent more time at work."
    So what do you think would be your deathbed regret?
    This isn't the sort of thing that I can give advice on, really. All I can say is that demographic trends show that FSEY, no that's wrong, EYFS, and then KS1, is going to be increasing over the next 10 years as the birth rate has risen.
    Best wishes.
    __________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
    www.tes.co.uk/careerseminars
     
  6. I think it is the paid maternity leave that is the issue, it is far easier to get by financially with a new baby if you have maternity pay. This might be one reason that the OP is struggling to get a permanent job, I certainly KNOW it is the reason why I have only had temporary contracts (childbearing age with one child already). Why not look into child minding yourself if you have the space (may not earn as much as full time teaching but certainly a regular income)? You jump through all the Ofsted hoops at school, you may as well do it while working at home! Also look into whether you can get some kind of maternity allowance / tax credits - every little helps and if you have been in work over the last year or two you may well be entitled to something. Good luck, it is bl00dy hard being a woman aged 25-35 and looking for permanent work. Like Theo says you don't want to look back on your life and see work work work. (Some people do but I assume they are pretty sad).
     
  7. Thank you for all of your kind replies. There is lots of good advice for me to ponder, and Theo, as it happens, I am an early years-trained teacher, so you never know, if the birth rate is going up, maybe there is some hope for that particular job market in a few years!
     
  8. Poor Tom, my childminder only has space Wednesday-Friday, so I can't commit to full weeks,unfortunately. I haven't seen a PM from you, but it's probably something I'm doing wrong. I am based in Durham,
     
  9. Just a few thoughts/ideas about your situation: as a mother of three children, I think if you feel you would like another child, you should go for it. Especially as you would not exactly ruin a wonderful successful career right now! Also, I am sure things will improve and in years to come there will be more jobs available, things always seem to move in circles. And you're young enough to take advantage of that then. Here's another thought: Instead of doing five days supply in half a year or whatever, and with the childcare costs you have to pay and cannot really afford, I would stop supply for a while. Instead, why not try and volunteer, if possible in a school, or else in another organisation which is educational/works with children, anything really, how about Brownies? That way you will still be able to say you have worked with children on your CV. And lastly, instead of paying for a childminder, try and find another mother who would like a break once a week, ideally a mother of a friend of your child, and swap days! I often feel that mothers don't do this sort of thing often enough. You could volunteer once a week without it costing you a penny if you could find such an arrangement, and chances are your son or daughter would like it more than the childminder. Good luck with whatever you decide. And oh yes, I'm another one who cannot do paragraphs on this forum.... sorry!
     
  10. Tried again.

     

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