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Is the grass really greener? Come on, be honest!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by TheGentleman, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    A very balanced comment, although I just can't agree with your conclusion.
    Ashleystar likes this.
  2. impossibility

    impossibility New commenter

    Interesting thread and good question. As a teacher who is 99% sure I will be leaving the profession at Christmas, this is something that plays on my mind. I ask myself questions like

    Will I miss the holidays?
    Will I miss the level of independence? (imo it is quite high, particularly seeing as I'm the sole subject teacher)
    Will I miss helping the students? (the only good thing about the job)

    Now I mention it, I thought there were more worries I had than that. Hmm. It's kind of made me feel better :p

    I guess it's all down to pros and cons for whatever career you do. I am well aware that whatever career I switch to, I will probably just have the same **** in a different structure. It's difficult without actually experiencing that career first hand.
    agathamorse and Sinnamon like this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I left teaching about three years ago after my folks got ill - they recovered and guess what ?

    I went back to teaching again.
    TheGentleman likes this.
  4. Sinnamon

    Sinnamon Established commenter

    I left a permenant teaching post nearly 2 years ago, did supply for a few months, and then left teaching altogether to work for myself.

    Do I love my new job? Definitely yes. I can choose my own working hours, am respected in my new profession, am earning close to the wage received as a teacher, am there to collect my kids from school, find my work interesting and have opportunities I'd never have imagined possible.

    However, I miss teaching. Some days massively. I wouldn't have the courage to go back just yet (I was bullied out of the profession). I miss that special relationship you develop with students and I miss caring about their welfare as well as their academic progress. I miss the staffroom banter. I miss the students' parents and families.

    I'd say my current grass is greener, but i do miss my old grass sometimes...
  5. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    Great post. Very honest. I always wonder if teaching is in the blood and even with bad experiences (that make some leave the job), will there always be a little bit if us that hankers after it.

    I left law over 10 years ago and when I think about the job, it brings me out in a cold sweat. (a) because I was turd at it, but (b) because it was so dull (shivers as the thought runs through body).
  6. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I have just posted this response on another thread and it seems very apt to post it here.

    In 1993 I was doing a job that used to make me ill every Sunday evening with the thought of dreading Monday morning.With the support of a previous Mrs J I gave up work, went to university to do a degree, then my PGCE and I have never looked back.

    In 1998 I started teaching and It changed my life for ever. Whilst there have been one or two lows there have been numerous highs and even though I only have a couple of years to go the last 18 years have been the best years of my life.

    So for me the grass was definitely greener.
  7. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    I left teaching after 23 years with the last year being on long term supply which was actually something I wanted to experience. I originally trained as a Furniture Designer and have always dabbled in CAD and illustration for a hobby. I have always wanted to return to being a designer but, at 46, had decided that ship had sailed but in June I was employed as a Furniture designer specialising in CAD modelling. It seems like a dream job some days and Friday night always means the end of work; no marking or planning. I earn more but, with so much of my career in teaching, I feel like a new kid and almost like an apprentice so its hard to justify pay rises etc. at the moment. The life of a designer is certainly not as glamorous as I imagined but no worse than teaching and I get to design and prototype my ideas and concepts rather than supervising student projects over a year.
    So far, grass is definitely greener than the charred lawns of the schools I experienced this last year but would I go back to teaching.....who knows?
  8. And100

    And100 New commenter

    I taught for 9 years (5 in Spain) and then left to be a consultant for several LAs for 6 years. I loved working as a consultant. The work life balance was great and the pay comparable. I didn't miss the holidays and in fact I had more flexibility in choosing when I took them. I only returned to the classroom because the government withdrew funding. I returned to the classroom reluctantly and it wasn't a decision I am happy with. I have been in the classroom again for the last 5 years and now I am leaving for good. It's not about having rose-tinted glasses but having the right to do a job that isn't all consuming, relentless and frankly could break you if you allow it to.
    BioEm, Shedman, agathamorse and 4 others like this.
  9. stranger.

    stranger. New commenter

    It's interesting to hear all these points of view. I've been a teacher for 7 years, the last 6 of those the in the same school. I think I'm very lucky to have a school which on the whole, suits me. Yes there's things to legitimately grumble about - but then I go and talk to other friends, both teachers and non-teachers, and they don't make it sound any better elsewhere! Colleagues who have worked in other schools say the same - same sh*t, different colour.

    I am quite sure that I won't be a teacher forever - I am getting the itch to do something different (it's a big wide world out there), and anyway I really don't know how people teach and have kids. But when I look for jobs in other sectors they would either screw me financially (in most of the sectors where I want to work) or sound really uninteresting. Say what you like about it, but when they say "every day is different" they really mean it in Reception!

    I have said to myself that this year I'm going to try and stay away from the negative people in my workplace. Not to say that we don't all need to let off steam now and again, but there really are some out there who I think don't know how a day goes by without moaning. I'm going to save some money and if by Easter I'm still bored, I might well make the leap. But right now, that's a very big "if".
  10. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Left teaching last October after 30 years and yes the grass is greener.

    I work in transport planning and at home. I can go out when I like, start/finish when I like, get respected by my boss but only get 33 days off a year BUT I've never felt more freedom. If I want a day off in the week and work a day at the weekend that's fine.

    I do miss the buzz in the classroom, the jokes from the kids but I don't miss aggressive, bullying management and unrealistic targets.

    Would I go back? Not a chance.
  11. mrajlong

    mrajlong Senior commenter

    Oh, dear. I hope this positivity lasts. Personally, I can no longer stomach what's been done to the career I used to enjoy. The bad far outweighs the good. Some teachers are very fortunate with their schools. Stay there and pray very hard that nothing ever changes - you might get lucky.
  12. thekillers1

    thekillers1 Lead commenter

    What's your job?!
  13. milkchocwrapper

    milkchocwrapper New commenter

    Great question, a few points, though.

    Firstly, everyone here, even those that have left teaching, are still on a teaching forum and so may not have fully given up on their idealism or training. Secondly, I would imagine the majority of people who have left teaching and are happy would not be here.

    I am here by pure chance. I have a friend wondering about teaching as a career, and I'd wondered if the general feeling had changed since I left in 2008/9.

    I actually wrote myself a letter when I left teaching, with instructions to read it if I ever thought of going back. I wrote about my health, my social life, my anxiety levels and the number of hours a week I was working (outside of the classroom).

    My health improved beyond anyhting I had hoped for when I left teaching. My resting heart rate came down from 89 to 72, and my doctor stopped trying to prescribe me betablockers, which I'd always refused. I work half the hours (in real terms... as a teacher I worked twelve hour days under both my Heads), for the same pay. I have a better working environment and closer, supportive relationships with colleagues as you tend to work together for more of the day.

    I have had experiences that have been really enjoyable and challenging, and used several skills I built in teaching. There are a few things I miss about teaching (the kids, and those few moments of light in your day), but the hours, my health, the enthusiasm and optimism of employees outside of teaching, the career opportunities, the lack of red tape...

    all of these things mean I have never opened that letter to myself. To be frank, I would not want someone I care about going into teaching as a long term career. It has damaged and knocked the confidence from many people I know.

    And that still makes me sad, but it's true regardless.
  14. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    When I came (back) to the UK it was when the police checks were taking ages, so I took a job at a department store, checking and loading shelves.

    It was quite wonderful to be able to leave work - and leave work. Staffroom chats were invariably side splitting and very, very refreshing for me as it was all about life here and now.

    I stayed much longer than intended before accepting the teaching job.

    In my opinion teaching is still fine but modern teaching with its control and attacks on good teaching (outside the box thinking) makes full time work in the UK impossible.

    Having experienced both work inside and outside of education, I'd say a part time teaching position is best.

    Seriously part time, that is. I've had enough of totally irrelevant paperwork.
    BioEm and agathamorse like this.
  15. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    The grass may or may not be greener. You may be lucky and find a job that suits you with a good employer, or you may end up somewhere awful. I have several friends who find work far more stressful than I ever did teaching. I think that working conditions have, on average, deteriorated in maany fields besides education. But most other jobs must seem good to those who are stuck in the sort of school we often hear about on these forums. For what is is worth, I enjoyed being a teacher to most of my previous career, but I was lucky to get my first teaching job in a school that suited me.
    DYNAMO67 and TheGentleman like this.
  16. karenweiss

    karenweiss New commenter

    Fabulous to hear, but how did you do it? I'm desperate to exit, especially as my results have not been on target due to factors I can reel off but will never be accepted. I'm facing tough times and it's not deserved. I'm falling out of love with the profession, but I don't know what to do or how to make the move other than leave a cv at recruitment agencies! Any advice?
    TheGentleman likes this.
  17. gpmartin

    gpmartin New commenter

    I was already missing teaching before I left the profession...the job had changed that much. I just don't think I was prepared/able to keep up with the changes.

    Grass is certainly greener for me now. Although I'm very happy to know that there are teachers who can make the profession work for them. Some of the younger teachers I worked with in my old school were incredibly committed and have been very successful...and very well deserved their success is to.

    It's just not for me...
    BioEm, TheGentleman and DYNAMO67 like this.
  18. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I left teaching to work in an educational charity in 2006. The grass was indeed greener as I could holiday when I wanted, didn't take work home, wasn't constantly exhausted and earned the same in 3 days a week as F/T in teaching.
    But.................I was made redundant after 6 months and slowly, very slowly, clawed my way back into the classroom.
    I am now a HoD in a lovely school and the grass is very green and shall remain so until I retire in some years' time.
    DYNAMO67 and TheGentleman like this.
  19. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Reflecting on this thread there is no escaping the fact that I identify as a teacher. However, I don't teach in a school and instead went sideways in education through gaining alternative qualifications. Working with ASD, VI, HI, HEIs, looked after, dyslexia assessment, peripatetics and so forth are all alternative careers which require qualified teachers. Thus, there are roles for teachers where you need to be a teacher but not actually be a mainstream teacher. However, they require additional qualifications. After a lot of work, I have a masters, another PG and a doctorate and this meant I could forge another career in education without being a teacher. So it isn't an overnight thing, but if you are prepared to work on the studying you can get another career.
  20. essexboy

    essexboy New commenter

    I started a job this academic year and the expectations are insanely high. But as a general rule, after week 2 I won't stay later than 5:30 or get in before 7:30. If you're militants on your work/life balance it remains the most rewarding job I can think of.
    DYNAMO67 and (deleted member) like this.

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