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Get into German teaching, need feedback please

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by tivana, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. tivana

    tivana New commenter

    Good morning. I am a newbie who just jointed here and need some feedback and honest advice please.
    I am considering changing career and getting into teaching German language. Currently I am an admin assistant in property management and it is extremely time consuming and stressful. I have two children aged 8 and 11 and feel like they have been neglected as their mum is away from home 11 hours a day and then too tired over the weekend. My son just failed his 11+ and I believe this is my fault as I did not have enough time to closely monitor his progress and tackle the issues.
    I have QT status in England with no teaching experience. I was advised by the DE that I need to gain class room experience and then apply for jobs. I cannot afford to lose my income even for couple of months and do not know what my success will be at applying for jobs in this case.

    Can you share some experience and thoughts please? I know teaching is quite stressful as well, however I feel attracted by the 13 weeks holiday and more normal working hours.

    Much appreciated.
     
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Oh dear!

    I'm sorry that your life is so stressful at present, but . . .

    But teaching is also stressful, and your suggestion

    Teachers generally do NOT have normal working hours. They work evenings and weekends most often.

    Do you work at weekends?

    But more important are other factors.

    This will make it very difficult for you to get any post.

    Almost impossible to gain . . .

    I am guessing that you perhaps qualified abroad, so suggest that you read this:

    Teachers from abroad looking for jobs in England

    And my final negative point is this:

    German is taught very little in schools in the UK nowadays. year after year, the numbers of pupils studying German has dropped. Most schools do not have a German teacher, but someone who teaches French or Spanish, and a few periods of German as well.

    So to sum up:

    1) I believe that your expectations of teaching as a career may be misplaced, and this si not the career for someone looking to spend more time with their children on evenings and weekends.

    2) German teaching is not in high demand, so you would find it extremely difficult to find a vacancy, especially if you are limited geographically.

    I am sorry to be giving you exactly the answer that you didn't want to hear, but this is my opinion is response to your question.

    Best wishes

    .
     
    asnac likes this.
  3. tivana

    tivana New commenter

    Thank you. As previously mentioned I would like to hear honest opinions from real teachers before I make any decision. There is not point for me to book holidays to gain class room experience and be unsuccessful and lose another year or so in something unfamiliar to me.
    Unfortunately part time options are not available in the field I work at present. I feel wasted here either by filing and doing accountancy. I will read the link you provided. Thank you very much once again.
     
  4. Gummibaren

    Gummibaren New commenter

    I agree with everything Theo says above.
    I left teaching 2 years ago and I was a MFL teacher and German was one of the languages I taught. I would also like to add that MFL is difficult to teach as a lot of the students see little point in the subject and you have to work really hard to try and make it relevant. Teaching is absolutely not the career to go into if you want more time with your family. The hours you put in are much much more than it seems from the outside. The workload seems to increase year on year. The pressure to achieve unrealistic targets is highly stressful and you have to be VERY lucky with the school you end up at. Well, that's my experience of it from 2 years ago and why I left after 22 years in the profession.
    By the way, I am just about to start an office admin job.
     
    tivana and DYNAMO67 like this.
  5. Gummibaren

    Gummibaren New commenter

    I agree with everything Theo says above.
    I left teaching 2 years ago and I was a MFL teacher and German was one of the languages I taught. I would also like to add that MFL is difficult to teach as a lot of the students see little point in the subject and you have to work really hard to try and make it relevant. Teaching is absolutely not the career to go into if you want more time with your family. The hours you put in are much much more than it seems from the outside. The workload seems to increase year on year. The pressure to achieve unrealistic targets is highly stressful and you have to be VERY lucky with the school you end up at. Well, that's my experience of it from 2 years ago and why I left after 22 years in the profession.
    By the way, I am just about to start an office admin job.
     
    tivana likes this.
  6. tivana

    tivana New commenter

    Gummibaren, I understand your point. I came in the UK 8 years ago and had good job back home using my language skills. I also speak little Russian. It is not the most awarding moment to have studied 5 years in university, be the only person in the office with Masters and still be told to do simple tasks as filing and refreshments as an office clerk beginner.

    There is nothing wrong in a 'normal' office admin job. Especially if you can do job share or part time. Not in commercial properties though. 'Admin' is the last thing I am doing. I deal with finance, marketing (the only pleasant part of my job), front of house, road works, heldesk ... I can keep going another page or so. I am level 1 in the hierarchy (levels 6 in total) and whatever training and work I do is never good to progress to the next one.

    Good luck in your new role!
     
  7. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I'm a retired French, German and Spanish teacher. I think it's still the case that you may need a Languages degree to become an MFL teacher. As others have said, German is very much on the decline so you would struggle to find a teaching job, unless you can offer other languages.

    As for 'normal hours' you would end up working most evenings and part of the weekend. Teaching has become an incredibly stressful occupation - just have a look at all the threads on Workplace Dilemmas!
     
    tivana likes this.
  8. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    You'll probably be away from home for eleven hours a day as a teacher, plus work in the evenings and at the weekend. Your thirteen weeks 'holiday' isn't that at all and you will spend a large part of it either in school or working from home. You are unlikely to have any better work/life balance then you have now.

    Sorry- but that's just he reality these days.
     
    tivana likes this.
  9. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Normal working hours?

    If your idea of normal is 11 hour days, then yes!
     
    tivana likes this.
  10. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    OP - the words 'frying pan' and 'fire' spring to mind!

    Away from home 11 hours? 8 hour days, 1/2 hour lunch and then 60 min commute each way, plus the time around the commute either side because few people actually leave bang on time or can afford to chance getting in 1 min before contracted hours every day - you have an 11 hour 'away from home' day very common to most of the population I am afraid! If you are tired at weekends, again, this describes much of the normal working population! However, if you think there may be a medical condition for your tiiredness, see your GP, although you may get diagnosed with TATT (Tired All The Time) which is a very common unofficial diagnosis!
    If you are doing unpaid overtime, try suggesting that you are not paid enough to do this (although I know why people have reservations about speaking up in the current economic climate.)

    Teaching will add to that '11 hour day', believe me! If you lived 1 hour from the school, - I know many teachers who get in at 7am and don't leave until 5pm -12 hours with the commute - that's before all the marking/planning at home! Yes you get the 13 weeks but is this worth sacrificing evenings and much of your weekend for?

    Your biggest 'mistake' is your comment about the 11+. Hothousing kids to pass things like this early on can cause damage in the long run. I know that you are trying to do your best for your son but he will get a perfectly good education outside a grammar school and can still get good grades with a supportive parent(s) like yourself(ves) whilst experiencing the University of Life that a comprehensive can offer. Some kids just aren't intellectually ready for the 11+ at 11. Kids develop at different rates and I know of kids who were pretty medicore even in year 9 who have become doctors!

    Unless you have some sort of German heritage/experience and really want to pass this on to children, just learning the BBC language tapes in your own spare time does not make you a particularly competent German teacher (not saying the latter is true but maybe speculating?) The market is not positive for German teachers as others have alluded to and unless you are good/fluent etc?

    Ultimately I think there are better options to give you what you want than teaching, although if you really want to try it, go for it, life is too short to have regrets. If you want it badly enough, you will get it!
     
    notsonorthernlass and DYNAMO67 like this.
  11. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Also at no point do you say that you have any desire to teach. It is all about how you perceive it to be an easier role for you to fit around your children (which has as been pointed out is very misguided)

    Recipe for disaster
     
    monicabilongame, CWadd and marlin like this.
  12. tivana

    tivana New commenter

    Read all comments and it does not look positive for me. That is why I have posted here actually. Yes, I am not passionate about teaching at all, I wanted to graduate as a translator-interpreter but they changed it in last year in university.
    With regards to my education, I have successfully completed German Language College for 5 years (second major English) and then German Philology for another five, so yes I am fully fluent in the language and been translating manuals for different appliances in the past. It does not matter in this occasion, I understand that.

    I assume it is my biggest mistake to have studied for German teacher where my passion is in art. But my guess is that I am not the first one.

    Thank you all for your valuable input.
     
  13. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    If you have no passion for teaching...then don't even go into it. You have to really want to do it - to benefit the students whose futures are in your hands - to survive.

    I encountered a mature trainee a few years ago who breezily told me that she wanted to be a teacher so she would "have the holidays with her children." She lasted a term. And it doesn't matter when its art or German - if you don't want to teach, it will show.
     
  14. TonyGT

    TonyGT Established commenter

    It would be a Shakespearean level tragedy for anyone to go in to UK teaching for a better work-life balance. It almost sounds like some sort of subtle joke.

    Honestly, you're idea of teaching is so far removed from what it actually is that I don't think you'd last a week (not in the way that you would not be skilled, but in the way that you would be so shocked at how different your expectations are from reality.

    You sound like you're a little confused at what you actually want to do and so teaching just came in to your head. This isn't a negative thing but you just need to do a little soul searching, a lot of research and make some big decisions with your future.

    Good luck with whatever it is you decide to do and I hope it gives you more time with your family.
     
  15. annie2010

    annie2010 Occasional commenter

    You are so well qualified, perhaps you could consider adult education/language schools?
    Incidentally, I think it's a shame that schools are dropping so many language learning choices.
     
  16. tivana

    tivana New commenter

    Annie2010, thanks. After what I have read, I doubt it. I do not have any idea what is like to be a teacher so this is why I have asked the question. In my home country teachers are not respected, underpaid and harassed by the pupils, that is the main reason why I started a career in a totally different field. I could use my translating skills there and was very satisfied before I had my children.The job did not pay enough for the bills. For me as a foreigner every step is sooo difficult and time consuming. Our education is not good enough, our accents are accents ...our work experience is not recognised in England either. Not for teaching, for everything.
     
  17. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Hmn.

    Best wishes

    .
     
  18. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Ex-colleague of mine taught German in a UK school - she went to Germany to become an English language teacher there. From what she said the kids were far better behaved and the schools far less micro-managing than here.

    Have you considered a side-line teaching German in Adult Education?
     
  19. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    Sounds like your German is top notch! I think you'd be very, very frustrated by the poor attitude of most UK students towards language learning and that, inevitably, impacts on their behaviour. Having a foreign accent may cause you problems; I've seen that several times, sadly.
    The suggestion to teach Adult Education classes is a good one but these are generally in the evenings. I've taught those and found it very rewarding. Alles Gute!
     
    tivana likes this.
  20. tivana

    tivana New commenter

    I think i will stay away of teaching. I know that foreign languages are not popular in England. Not only in the schools. In my corporate environment the people speaking foreign languages are foreigners. None of my English born colleagues speaks any other language.
    Outside of the typical everyday English politeness people here are not tolerant when honest and anonymous.
    I will not push it further.
     

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