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Don't teach! Do something else first ...

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by harpplayer, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. harpplayer

    harpplayer New commenter

    Having worked my socks off for a few years now in a Conputing department, I've concluded it is time for an international job this year and will be going all out to leave the UK. Teaching in the UK is really soul-destroying. You are essentially expected to sacrifice every waking moment for the job, have to put up with constant change, scrutiny and data collection, and students' behaviour is so bad and getting worse. And I am sick of always being poor! The salary is miserly. My social life is non-existent and I feel like I have become a really boring person, tired and uninteresting all the time. I wish I'd done something else before getting into teaching so I could feel a bit more worldly wise.

    Don't go into teaching now. Do something else first and be happy. Don't make the same mistake I did. Teaching is not a good career option anymore.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I'm glad I did other things before starting teaching. I was talking to a 22 year old PGCE student before Christmas, telling him I can't see myself teaching forever because of the workload. He said he could see himself teaching forever; he was teaching about 4 hours a week on that placement, so he has no idea yet what it's like to work 60/70 hours a week! No one can do that for 43 years.
  3. drvs

    drvs Lead commenter

    Perhaps "violinplayer" would have been a better choice of username :)
  4. HarpMarch

    HarpMarch New commenter

    Yep, this is why I am quitting. It's not a job anymore, it's a lifestyle, and not a very healthy one at that!
  5. drvs

    drvs Lead commenter

    It's never been a job, though sadly the persistent undermining and mismanagement of the profession has bred in an ever growing jobsworth mentality. Understandable, but a real shame for the children.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    All the best for making a change.
  7. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Can't agree. I love teaching. Sorry to spoil the whole negativity thing...!
  8. eljefeb90

    eljefeb90 Occasional commenter

    It does have its wonderful moments but massively outweighed by the negatives. The frustrating thing is that the negatives have little to do with the core business of teaching.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. nataliee27

    nataliee27 New commenter

    The majority of the threads I have read recently are very off-putting for someone about to embark on a teaching career! :( I was a TA for 3 years and I know I cant comment because I am not yet a teacher, but I have many friends who genuinely love it and although they admit the workload is a lot, they organise their time and still seem to have a social life!

    I never considered being a teacher because it is meant to be top in the most stressful jobs, however having jumped from job to job before (and for a while after) being a TA, I can honestly say i cant think of anywhere else I would want to pursue a career. I have never been as happy as I have in a school - now this may all change when i become a teacher and cant see my feet for paper work and data collection, but it sure is worth the try!
  10. Starsarah

    Starsarah New commenter

    I love my job - took me 7 years to find the right place mind! I came to teaching straight out of university and now teach and have a family! You can have it all if you manage to find a good place to work!
  11. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Many, many teachers are completely drained, exhausted by 'teaching', and this feeling stays with them 24/7. Many teachers suffer from stress, very poor eating and drinking habits, have no time for exercise, hobbies, having fun, relaxing or socialising with friends. Time with their own families suffer. Sleep patterns are poor and add to the constant feeling of exhaustion.

    For short bursts, this is fine. For lots of teachers, however, this state of affairs has become their daily (and nightly) existance. The sad thing is that it isn't teaching that's doing this. If teachers were exhausted because they were teaching students and helping them move on to their next goal, they would accept their vocation with joy. But most of working in schools today isn't at all about students and learning. It's dealing with the endless poor behaviour in class, the scrutiny and mistrust, the pointless meetings, the demands for working longer, including extra lessons after school and during holidays, the constant interventions you are expected to provide, the unrealistic targets given to kids under the guise of being aspirational and the expectation that you not students are held to account if these unrealistic targets aren't met.

    Many teachers suffer from stress. Many develop mental health issues and burn out after a few years in the job. Many teachers develop physical ailments as a direct result of their developing mental health issues. As you get older, you become institutionalised and a feeling of gelplessness sets in.

    Teaching can be rewarding in the right school for bursts of time such as in an independent school or abroad but to build up resilience and perspective, don't go straight from uni to teaching in a UK bog standard school. Widen your horizons so when you burn out and are spat out by your school as a washed up shell of your former wonderful self (as many teachers are) you will have the confidence and tools to be able to step into something else.

    Make a wise choice and avoiding teaching.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2017
  12. Libramoon175

    Libramoon175 New commenter

    Yeah, I know several people who teach secondary school, and they never seem to be on the verge of having a mental breakdown like this forum has led me to believe. They also have active social lives, in fact one has a second career teaching dance! I'm not taking away from the bad experiences felt by people here (and I'm not a teacher, so can't really comment) but it does seem like there are at least a few people out there with a teaching/life balance!
  13. pgcetrainee1

    pgcetrainee1 New commenter

    I agree. I worked in a career for 8 years before starting. I'm half way through my PGCE and made the decision to go back to the private sector. At least I've got other experience that I can use in finding jobs.
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I also think it's a good idea to have done something else before becoming a teacher.

    ....and yes, teaching is not as bad as some of the stuff in these forums would have you believe.
  15. drvs

    drvs Lead commenter

    There are. They are P.E. teachers, Music teachers and members of SLT ;)
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Or those in independent schools! :D

    Sorry I do try not to rub it in too much...and I will be at school for about 14 hours tomorrow and 11 on Tues -Fri, but that's my entire working week.
    No weekends or late evenings and I've just had a week where I've not even thought about work at any point. Oh and we do get 20 mins each morning for break and an hour for lunch if we don't run a club. And...no ok I won't sell it too much more.

    PE teacher in a day independent without Saturday matches...perfect!
    pepper5 and drvs like this.
  17. international_muso

    international_muso New commenter

    This is not true, at least not for music teachers. We now have as much written work and homework to set and mark as other subjects. I had a science teacher walk in when I was doing practical with a class of 32 and she was shocked at the level of organisation and equipment involved in setting up and running the lesson without having an assistant/technician in the department. When I told her we have to train the students to do it all, or spend break setting it all up she was even more shocked. Add to that the extra curricular demands and you have a department of teachers that work just as many hours - if not more - than others.
    pepper5 and leonardmog like this.
  18. drvs

    drvs Lead commenter

    Lighten up, it was a cheeky joke, hence the ;)
  19. drvs

    drvs Lead commenter

    Does make one wonder about the profession when a 58 hour working week is celebrated as an example of work-life balance!

    It reminds me of a former colleague who went down to 0.7 so that she could "get all of her work done in the 5 day week". Bonkers.
    Billie73 likes this.
  20. Leebeez

    Leebeez New commenter

    I worked in industry before embarking on a teaching career. Of course I now have a great work-life balance and spend bags of time with my young children.Might be because I've been teaching in an international school 1000s of km away from the UK for the past few years.....

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