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Honest Advice - Is Teaching A Difficult Profession?

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

  1. Couldn't agree more.
    Just mentioned on the planning thread that last week I was in school for 55 hours (with added stuff at home). I taught the children for less than 25 hours.
    The balance has swung completely in the wrong direction.
  2. TreesK

    TreesK New commenter

    On the plus side:
    You will find yourself doing bizarre and/or hilarious things and thinking 'I'm being paid for this' Mind has gone blank for an example but happens all the time
    Christmas - can't imagine how grim Christmas must be for anyone not working in a primary school.
    A job where you're politely asked on a Monday morning, 'Please Ms TreesK, may I read you a poem?' is surely a privilege (admittedly doesn't happen like that every day)
    The kids will laugh at your jokes, however rubbish
    At some point you will well up at the sound of kids singing. Then you'll realise you're premenstrual, overtired from marking all night, and they shouldn't be singing in numeracy anyway
    You get to read your favourite children's books aloud. You choose.
    You can be creative. Want to teach 'Gases around us' through the medium of comtemporary dance? Burning desire to create the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in your book corner? Shut your classroom door and knock yourself out, love.
    Every September, you get to start again from scratch. You will believe year after year that this time you will stay on top of things - it's the triumph of hope over experience. For about a week it's true.
    And the holidays! don't forget the holidays.
  3. Same here! Role reversal in this house. Most of the time at least. Couldn't do it otherwise
  4. I think so much depends on the school you're in. I've worked in a school where the workload and pressure was too much, and I got out thinking I would never teach again. But I did supply and gradually got back into teaching, and am now back teaching full-time again - but this time it's manageable. That's mainly because of the head's expectations and the general ethos of the school. We're a great team and no-one expects the impossible. People's advice will be dependent on their own experiences - and there really is a huge difference. In my current school I only work about 45 hours a week. I do very little work at weekends because my head doesn't expect detailed plans for every lesson: some do!
    I wouldn't want to put you off teaching, and if it's what you've always wanted, then you probably need to give it a go or you will always wonder! However, there is more to the job than "teaching"!
  5. I dont know what to do :(
  6. If you are genuinely in a position where you aren't sure what to do and need others opinions then perhaps it isn't the right path for you at the moment.
    I genuinely believe that you have to have a real drive and passion to teach to be able to cope with all the **** that comes with it.
  7. I genuinely did want to do this but opinions always change views. No matter how strong you are.
  8. I think you should make the most of your voluntary experience in school and then decide. Although I agree with many of the posters regarding the workload and stress, this is also true for many other professional jobs (although teachers have a tendancy to think theirs is the worst!). My sister is a social worker and she works far longer hours than I do - she's never home before 9pm, and always works at least one day over the weekend.It sounds like you've been used to long hours in retail too. Your PGCE year will be hard, but after that it really does depend on the school.
  9. It is true that teachers have a hard job but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Long hours (8-5 on average, BUT every weekend off, 13 weeks holiday on at least £22k for full time) are not that bad compared to some people I know, many of whom still have to work at home in the evening.

    If you plan it well your 'evening work' can just be laminating and cutting in front of the TV with a glass of wine, if you don't plan well and use your time wisely then it will be all your weekly planning at 9pm on a Sunday night.

    I know Police Officers, care workers, nurses who do a job for similar money but without all the positives that you get from being in a school.

    I agree with a pp about christmas in school - it is the best time of year!!

    Why not try and apply for a TA job - far more of those than teaching jobs - some SEN schools will take you on with no NVQ. See how you feel in a few years about teaching when there *might* be a better situation economically with more jobs available - at the moment they are few and far between and it really is luck of the draw.

    I wouldn't do anything else for all the money in the world :)
  10. Sorry about lack of paragraphs - blimmin google chrome!
  11. Just thinking how many of us drink too much because we need to relax due to the job?
    The glass of wine turns into half bottle etc.
  12. Good point - although when I worked in retail I used to have a drink during an actual night out - they kind of stopped when I started teaching and the nights in started :$
  13. Been speaking to my friend this evening. She is a nurse and the kind of things she has to deal with are horrendous. She works nights but makes the most of the time she does have. I am looking at TA jobs atm but all ask for experience and nvq/qualifications. I'm hoping the school I'm volunteering in may keep me on as a TA if they like me and I don't get onto pgce this year. I'm still going to apply this year though.
  14. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    I would agree with lots of the opinions on here. You have to have a real burning desire to teach these days - no way is it a job for half measures. I worked in retail for many years - and was a concession manager and despite how hard that could be at times, it wasn't a patch on how hard teaching can be, even at its most difficult. But, there's nothing like finding out for yourself - get in to school and do some voluntary work. See hoe hard the teachers work. That will give you a much better idea.
  15. I'm an NQT after passing my PGCE last year, also have a 6-month old baby at home. I don't think I've been in the house earlier than 6pm since the beginning of term and that's mostly because of the amount of planning, assessment and gathering resources I've had to do. I'm told it gets easier after Xmas although I can't quite see how at the moment. Another thing that is killing me is the 'creative curriculum' approach, which I've found to be ridiculously open to interpretation. It may not be much help to anyone, but I guess only time will tell for those who are just starting out as to whether teaching is difficult or not.
  16. Spot on, Slippeddisc. You have summed it up beautifully. I wish I could have my time again. I wouldn't have gone into teaching for any money. It isn't a job, it's a way of life.
  17. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    Well, even though I've survived on temp contracts since qualifying 4 years ago (such is the job situation where I live) I would still go into teaching if I had my time again. I've had quite a few jobs in my time and none has ever given me the job satisfaction teaching does. I love it, as hard as it is at times.
  18. I completed my PGCE at 50 and my life is no longer my own but I love the stress (most of the time). I often work 15 hour days but with a supportive, understanding Head teacher this doesn't seem too bad. I know I could reduce this if I didn't care so much but the holidays make up for it.
    Go for it!
  19. I'm an NQT so my experience is limited so far.
    During ITT, I didn't always have a good work life balance. It was very hard juggling it all (I'm married with 4 children). Since I started my job, I've found it far easier to juggle things as I know exactly what needs to be done and when, and I know how to delegate to my TA.
    I imagine things will be a lot more stressful when I have observations, reports to write, parents evening to prepare, ofsted etc, but I think day to day it's a manageable job. My colleagues are all happy and most have families but seem able to juggle everything.
  20. I would say the main worry is will you get a job at the end? Start to look whats available in the area you want to work, I know primary jobs are hard to find in some areas. Secondary is slightly better.

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