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Honest Advice - Is Teaching A Difficult Profession?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Teacher_Jen, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. I am struggling to decide whether this is the right path for me but I feel it is in my heart but I don't want to be over-worked and have problems in relationships etc.
    I want to do something to make a difference to society.
  2. [​IMG]
    And I also wouldn't go into to teaching to try and make a difference to society or any of that sort of guff.
    Do it because it's a job you want to do, not because of any philosophical ideas of doing good. It's the hardest job I have ever done, and I have had several different careers in what feels like several different lifetimes. Go into teaching with your eyes wide open. I must admit I am very rapidly coming round to slippeddisc's view.
  3. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

  4. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    oops, it went and posted before I'd said my bit:
    In my school, we all want out. Nobody would choose to be there, if it weren't for the money. Trouble is there are NO other jobs we could do instead to get a similar income. We can't even move to another school any more, because the only jobs that come up are maternity covers.
    We feel the axe of redundancy hanging over us if numbers drop below a certain level. Many people have changed from full-time to job-shares in order to alleviate the Hell that is now Primary Teaching. There is an atmosphere about the place, and always the message of "Not Good Enough - You must do MORE!"
  5. So basically, most people's advice is, don't do it unless you want to live a life of misery? That isn't the only reason I want to go into it. I genuinely did want to teach but getting another loan for the PGCE and studying for another year with no money and no job at 23/24 is something I really need to consider and if the job ends up being too much then its a waste.
    In a way I thought if I eventually have a family, the holidays and times of working would be ideal.
    I don't know what to do now really.
  6. In my view teaching as a job has little to do with the contact and actual teaching of children any more. In reality I spend just over 5 hours per week day with my class (Take out of those 5 hours assembly times and PPA times, so probably in the region of 20 hours per week) however I spend approximately at least an hour and half before the children arrive preping the classroom, work, TA's...; at least an hour marking each set of Lit and Num books which must be starred and wished (with appropriate models for improvement where necassary), about an hour each evening marking the other books e.g. afternoon books, reading comrehension... And being in a school where planning proformas change termly if not more frequently at least 4 hours planning per week. Big Write of course takes a rediculous amount of time to mark! All of this is before the APP assessing has been updated, target tracking sheets updated, IEP's updated, Internvention tracking forms complete, staff meetings...
    If you want to teach become a TA - they are paid peanuts yet worth their weight in gold and somehow expected to do everything a qualified teacher does apart from plan the activity.
    If you want a career become a teacher.
    Hope that helps x
  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    This is my take on it. If it gives you a buzz being in the classroom and teaching a class of kids, and if you would feel sad to say goodbye to them all at the end of the year then it's the job for you, despite all the other stuff that people don't like, and the fact that's it's a jolly hard job.
    If you get a type of strong satisfaction from teaching, no other job will give you that. But if you don't, then don't.
    Every job has stuff in it that people don't like. Teaching provides you with less adult company than many other jobs, and if the other teachers are not enjoying their jobs, you won't want to be with them anyway. Many teachers have gone school, uni, school and that can be jading, and also stops you seeing that some of the things that you don't like about it will be things that you would not like about any job, not just teaching.
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    You need to bear in mind that you need to be in school way before your children will, and a long time after them. I'm usually in by 7.30 am and leave between 5 and 6 pm. Later if I have governors meetings or evening engagements at school. So your childcare needs to be very flexible. Sometimes I will try to leave early but an incident at school will arise that has to be dealt with and I end up leaving much later.
    There will be some evening and weekend work in every school although of course it varies,but parents' evenings a few times a year are an expectation in all schools.
    Other schools might expect you to attend drama performances, musical recitals, fayres 3 times a year, pta meetings, sporting events, awards ceremonies etc.
    A lot depends on the school in which you work.
    It really is more than a 9- 5 job.
    Also bear in mind that once you have children you can't sit down to work as soon as you get home.
    I don't usually start again until 8.30 - 9pm and that means my husband and I (also a teacher) often work until mindnight - sometimes later for him as his boss is exceptionally demanding.

    Having said that, the holidays are fantastic and I get to spend oodles of time with my kids- great!
    I would say that if you get stressed easily it might not be the job for you. There are times of tremendous pressure.
    Spend some time in schools, see what it's like. Only you can really make the decision.
    But please don't go into it thinking it will fit around your children perfectly, because as a working parent who has to juggle childcare at weekends,mornings and evenings, I can tell you that it won't.

  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Sound advice. If you want work and childcare to fit together easily you need a high salary and a live-in nanny.
  10. Its actually such a hard decision to make.
    Currently, I have absolutley no prospects except the degree that I hold. I have a job in retail as mentioned before (which I hate) and its only part time so the wage is awful. I can't move out and I can't move on with my life. Therefore, frustration sets in.
    I have had experience working with pupils who find their work difficult. I enjoyed mentoring them and although it was stressful at times, I also found it very rewarding.
    I am quite an organised person and very good at time-keeping, nearly everyday I write out a to-do list, sometimes obsessing over times to make sure I fit everything in that I should do.
    However that being said, I do find certain stresses too much to handle but at the moment my prospects are few and being in the current climate we are, it is harder than ever to find a decent job in public or private sector.
    I don't want a 9-5 job whereby I end up staring at a computer screen all day and end up on a long commute home. I take my friends as an example, both graduates, both working in the city (We live in Essex) they get up at 5.30/6.00am make their way to work in the city, arrive at 9, work through until 5.30 without a lunch break at times and they are also snowed under with work. Although they don't always take their work home with them, they do tend to stay over their designated hours when a very busy time is coming up.
    My dad also works in the city and is a manager for part of the railway and finance sector. He doesn't get home until past 8pm most nights and spends evenings and weekends on the phone, conference calls and so on.
    Those things being said, I think every job is hard and every job has its baggage but obviously from what alot of people have said on here, teaching is very very difficult.
  11. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Really not so! Most teachers I know with families only cope if they're lucky enough to do part-time.
  12. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'd say the only difference for my husband and I is that we only have a 15 minute commute to work so we're in by 7.30 not 9, and it's a rare evening when one of us doesn't have some work to do in the evening.
    I have lunch on the days when I have time, sometimes I grab an apple or a biscuit around 2-3.
    There are days when I get home and I realise that the last time I went to the toilet was at 6am when I got up.
    That said, there are much quieter days too.
    That's the thing about working in schools - no 2 days are ever the same.
    Most weekends one of us will take the children out so the other can get some work done in peace.
  13. I really am starting to re-consider now!
  14. One of my uni friends has just started as an NQT in a year 4 class and although she says its hard work she is also loving it and says its her dream job.
    Mixed Reviews!
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I love my job, wouldn't want to do anything else, but it is demanding and consumes a lot of my time.
    I've been doing it 17 years now so don't have to spend as much time thinking about stuff as I used to in the early days - a lot of it is like breathing for me now.
    I was just pointing out that if you think your work will fit around your children you will be in for a nasty shock.
    I don't work half as hard now as I was doing about 7 years ago. I used to get up at 4 am to get a couple of hours in before I went to work. After a few months of that I realised I needed to move schools!
    A lot depends on your school.
    Remember also that NQTs have a reduced teaching commitment, no performance management and no expectation to be a subject leader. In some primaries teachers take on 3 or 4 subject leader roles in addition to their teaching role, so your friend will be performing all the tasks expected of an NQT (I remember that year being exhausting) but not all the tasks of a fully QTS teacher.

  16. invincible

    invincible New commenter

    And that's if, after all that cost and hours put into training, they can even get a job after it.
  17. Oh dear, worrying.
  18. I can't really comment on primary school teaching but I know that teaching is a very demanding but rewarding profession for some. There are lots of things to consider in any sector in education: the work load, bad pay, poor public image, politics, endless target setting, and crippling political correctness etc. Discipline is an issue too. The slow, but accelerating, collapse of society does mean that the teaching:discipline ratio in the classroom has sifted. I have just left the teaching profession because I no longer find it rewarding because of all rubbish I had to deal with day in day out. Don't go into it with rose tinted spectacles just the determination that, despite everything, you want to make a difference. Personally, after nearly 20 years of teaching, I can't but many can and do.
  19. Putting this up front I am a secondary school teacher, however I do know and lived with Primary school teachers whilst they completed their PGCE's.

    Teaching like any other profession effort = reward, although reward not overly financial. but the personal rewards are good.

    A lot of people myself included had problems with their relationship. If the relationship is solid then it will last if there are any underlining problems they will rise to the fore.

    The course and the NQT year are a commitment and will take up a lot of your personal time but all comes down to effort = reward. If you want to be a good teacher then a lot of effort in the first two years of your new career will be rewarding in the long term. It is not a job you can coast through like in a call centre, shop or office
  20. <font size="2">I started a PGCE last September and can honestly say it is the most difficult year I have ever had, the workload, assignments, QTS examinations and constant observations. Not to mention the long hours of planning which was frustrating and arduous at times! </font>

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