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Honest Advice - Is Teaching A Difficult Profession?

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

  1. Have you thought about doing any other postgrads in the caring professions such as occupational therapy or speech and language therapy? Certainly with OT you can still work with children and it's a real 9-5 job, without the crazy extra hours required by teaching. Admittedly you don't have the holidays but I still think it's a nice number.
     
  2. If you do consider the NHS route try to make a contact with someone who works in your local trust. I have three OT relatives, all working in different trusts at varying Bands (3,4 and 7) and all are constantly watching the hospital restructures at the moment. There is not the job security in trusts at the moment that there once was. Not that any job is secure with the current government...
     
  3. Hi Jen

    I found that my PGCE took its toll on my relationship. I remember one night when we had the "I don't make you happy and you don't make me happy" conversation at around 1am on a school night!! I didn't have much time for myself, but remember you should get most of the school half-terms/breaks off when you are on placement. At least, I did. You don't really have a life for a year if you choose PGCE - can't really speak for other training routes. After qualifying, if you struggle to get a position (this experience seems to be becoming evermore common) this can influence your mental/financial health and your relationships. That is, if you are living with a partner/family/friends and find it hard to pay your share, some people aren't as understanding as others. It's not all doom and gloom - my partner and I are still together despite me still not having an induction role after qual-ing in '10.

    All the best
     
  4. This post would have put me off primary teaching too had I read it three years ago - glad I didn't listen to the likes of this!
    What you have read is NOT the reality for every teacher. At least, not in the two schools I have taught in. Yes it is hard work - I worked from 8-6pm today but that's fairly unusual. I'm usually done by 5.30. Like someone else said earlier, it takes as much time as you put into it - much of the work done is more a labour of love than compulsory work e.g. clubs, governor meetings, much lesson prep. Hats off to those who do the extra work - you're probably great teachers - but it is possible to teach and have a life.
    I spent all six weeks of my summer in Australia having a great time - what other job could you do that? I rarely work in the holidays (except for report time - three days work max). I rarely work at weekends or take work home in the evenings. There are exceptions like this weekend because I had an assembly on Monday but in general I can leave work behind on Friday at 5 and not think about it till 8am Monday morning.
    Maybe I'm lucky that my head doesn't have unrealistic expectations and I have a good TA to help me during the week, but I wanted to put the other side of the coin over. Much depends on the school. Here's a thought - Is it possible that the people who are on these forums are a touch more workaholic than the general teaching population - after all we are checking TES in our spare time right?
    Teaching CAN be an 8-5 job with occasional weekend work but we get great holidays to make up for that. Don't be put off. It's a great job. Spend some time in school, talk to teachers, don't make up your mind on the basis of what's written here - I promise, this is not the reality for everyone!!

     
  5. I would agree with daisy24

    my PGCE also took a massive toil on my realtionship...and I eventually lost it after gaining a teaching position which I am not happy in...


    I am however in a new relationship with a lovely girl who is starting her PGCE. I am not in a great position atm, although it is far from bad....and I will say the same to you as I have to her...


    on a good day....it's an amazing job - best in the world

    on a bad day....it's horrible....but I still wouldn't do anything else

    Yes it is a difficult proffession, and yes you may get an easier life selling cars or computers, but this is a real life choice. Put the hours in at the start of each term and year and it is one of the best jobs around

    (I come from a family of lawyers!)
     
  6. Teaching is a great job. My personal opinion is that too many people go straight into teaching without experiencing 'the real world'. Does anyone have a job that they truly love and adore? I doubt it very much and if anyone does then there is a good chance they are a teacher.
    Yes, the paper work is mad and unnecessary, the marking (particularly in upper Juniors) is demanding, planning can be time consuming if you let it, OFSTED is a joke a and the government interfere far too much. BUT, we work with the best people in the world and have a very busy and fulfilling job. The funny moments I can recall from spending time with kids will last me a lifetime.
    The training does consume your life for a couple of years plus your NQT year but the rewards will last a lifetime. Go for it!!! You'll love it!!!

     
  7. I dont think I have qualifications to be an OT in the nhs. I always knew teaching was difficult but all the negative comments have scared me quite alot. I really want to follow my dreams but dont want absolutley no social life.
     
  8. shalligo

    shalligo New commenter

  9. Thanks to atlas, jimny and Phil for a few positive comments. I would feel lucky to start at 8am and finish at 5.30. At the moment I start at 7am (tomorrow) and sometimes don't finish until 8.30pm. Retail is hard work too. Especially during Xmas build up. I have my first day in the voluntary placement tomorrow and I'm very nervous!
     
  10. Good luck and enjoy the experience.
     
  11. Teacher Jen. Go for it! You will never know until YOU try it.

    I started a PGCE last year, and left part way through but it wasn't right for me at that moment. I still consider going bacjk in a different capacity but like you get nervous by the negative comments which I know to be in part true. I used to look on TES before I started my PGCE and was quite scared by all the negative comments that sometimes pop up SO I understand why you feel trepidation. Yes the hours are long and its not always great, but in all honesty you get that wherever you work generally. I don't know many people that are happy in there work and wouldn't like more of something.

    The truth is only you will find out if you really want to do it and the only way you will do that is by trying. So go for it, if its not for you you can always leave, safe in the knowledge that you tried it and and you will not spend your whole life knowing. On the other hand you may find your perfect career despite all the tougher bits it entails.

    Good luck!
     
  12. If there was enough money in it I would go back to retail in a heartbeat.
    Things aren't going to improve any time soon. The rate of change is too fast. I work more hours now than I did when I started 5 years ago. There is barely any job security any more on top of that and everyone is under constant criticism from all sides. Children in Primary come in to school with less and less of the basic skills and we are expected to pick up all the pieces as well as push them on with massive progress.
    Consider whether you will be able to cope with the possibility of few job prospects. Our most recent post had over 100 applicants. As others have said it can also be very bad for your relationship unless it is really strong. Kids? I would love them, but wouldn't be able to manage fitting them in right now! The only staff in our school who have children all work part time as it is the only way they can just about keep their head above water.
     
  13. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I'm glad to see lots of differing opinions given here.
    The point is, that if it's for you,with all it's attendant difficulties/ paperwork etc. it <u>is</u> THE BEST JOB in the world and even on the 'awful, difficult days' you really don't want to do anything else. But it does take it's toll onweekends/ evenings etc, but usually it's a labour of love because you want to do your best by the children.
    That's why people need to be aware and then if they're still passionate about it, going into it with their eyes open and couldn't ever face doing anything else then of course they should go ahead- the profession needs people with that passion and commitment.
     
  14. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Is it difficult? At times it can be. It can be stressful, frustrating and occasionally depressing.
    I love my job though. I am the type that gets really upset when I have to say goodbye at the end of each year. I had some crappy jobs before I did this, so maybe that's why I enjoy it.

    I think it fits in great with kids. If I didn't have the same holidays as my children I don't know what we'd do.
     
  15. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I'd also add that size does matter. I've worked in 6 schools, from a tiny 2 class primary ( me+ head who also taught full time) to the largest in the LA.
    The smaller the school, the smaller the staff, the more you have to take on.
    I performed the DH role I'm a 5 class school and again In a 15 class school and there was no comparison in the workload. Big is beautiful IMHO.
     
  16. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Just to add to others' reactions to this- I have recently returned from maternity leave part time, 2 days a week. I don't have a class but teach my subject throughout the school. The teaching is very demanding but the paperwork is considerably less than a job-share would entail, so it suits me well. I couldn't manage any more, though.
    Everyone who I know who teaches full time with a family struggles, frankly. My daughter (9 months old) currently gets up at 5am every day. Getting us both dressed, washed, fed and to nursery/ work by 7.45 am means we leave at 7.15 am. When we get home at 5.30pm there is still bathtime, stories, making up bottle feeds and bedtime to do, as well as putting a load of washing on, tidying up, my husband cooks a meal, then I settle down to do some school work. Otherwise it spills over onto my non-work days, which are also busy. I am very lucky to be able to work part time as it gives me some time away from being mummy and I really enjoy being with the children, as others have said.
    Please do not consider teaching if one of your main reasons is having holidays for when you have a family! Unless you can work part time, which, minus childcare means I take home less than &pound;500 a month, it is a treadmill of work, housework and looking after your children, when you do see them. I'm not slamming anyone who does work full time with kids- massive respect to you, I don't know how you do it!
     
  17. Jen, I studied for 3 years at uni to get a degree in education. I wanted to be a teacher but got to my final placement and realised I had no time for the things that were really important to me. I was and still am very disappointed that things worked out the way they did but I know that I made the right decision to bail out when I did. I am now a TA in a fabulous primary school and considered very experienced and highly qualified for the job. I work with focus groups and use my knowledge to plan and assess their progress. I LOVE what I do now. It comes with all the best bits of the teaching job without all the c***. Today, I have heard 2 team leaders tell a student not to teach! Last year, 4 members of staff went off long-term sick with stress. Some days I feel I'd like to go and do a GTP, and others I am grateful for a stress-free life with lots of time to myself and enough money to get by. Hope this helps.
     
  18. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Just to add, the workload depends massively on the school's leadership, their motivations and attidues to new initiatives, and whether they actually understand what it is like to have a class and what that entails anymore. In some schools you are snowed under with more and more paperwork to complete, which is complicated and often meaningless, with no relation to the children's learning. There's a thread on Primary right now about planning- what should take 1-2 hours max per week is taking many teachers over 12 hours because of constantly reinventing the wheel. Sadly this doesn't get easier with experience, as last year's planning can;t be tweaked but has to be completely redone. You then have to put everything onto a silly planning format and come up with endless resources for your lessons, realted to your creative curriculum, make up lots of interactive displays (most teachers still have to do these tasks despite workload agreement), then there's writing reports up to 3 times a year, assessment weeks marking 100s of papers, APP which is a form of assessment misused by many schools resulting in piles of photocopying, digital photo taking and form filling, parents evenings, school productions, staff meetings, subject leader responsibilities, duties, leading assemblies, delivering inset for other members of staff, grappling with assessment statsitics, phoning and meeting with parents, endless marking, more meetings, dealing with technology and lack of resources, behaviour management...
    I found it hard going full time, especially while pregnant. However the day goes by quickly, the children can be lovely, it's challenging and interesting, and you don't have time to be bored!
     
  19. Sorry to depress you but teaching has become an exercise in pointless form filling and passing on reams of junk to someone in SMT who will tick a box and leave it at that. It is now possible in my school to be regarded as good if all the paperwork is in but the teaching is only satisfactory. I am a male primary school teacher of 13 years experience and I have to say it gets worse every year. I am retrainig to be a plasterer and cannot wait to escape.Think long and hard about it.
     
  20. I should add to my reply earlier, that although I work full time (and have children around whom I fit most of my school work) my husband is a full-time dad. I couldn't work as a full timer teacher if he worked full time too, and think we would struggle even if he was part-time, unless he only worked in school hours and could pick up/drop off.
     

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