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Just finished degree but unsure whether I want to be a teacher anymore...

Discussion in 'Australia - Staffroom' started by mean_mr_mustard_1993, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. mean_mr_mustard_1993

    mean_mr_mustard_1993 New commenter

    So I just finished my degree but I'm questioning whether I still want to be a teacher.

    I really, REALLY enjoy teaching in the classroom but I hate all the work OUTSIDE of the class and school, all the hours spending resource gathering and lesson planning is just too much for me.

    I don't want to spend 12-14 hours a day working... where half of that is just lesson planning and finding resources... (this is what I did on my last prac/atp).

    Any advice?

    To be fair, I only have taught with the workload of a pre-service teacher.

    How many hours a day do you put in as a full-time teacher?
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    Try supply first maybe if the workload is concerning you. Then take it from there.
  3. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter

    mean mr mustard,

    I’ve been out of teaching for 10 years, though I do speak with current teachers fairly often.

    The situation you are in is worse than mine was because teaching conditions are worse now than they were 40 years ago in my first school, due to AEU weakness, itself due to the collapse of professional solidarity among teachers themselves, and far more pointless busywork is demanded of your generation than was of mine.

    I held leadership positions for 28 of my 33 years as a teacher. These took more time than the official time allowance and thus added to my working week. However, I do remember my first few years as a classroom teacher. I never worked 12-14 hours a day, but I would have worked 10 on weekdays with a few more at the weekends. I found that once you got into the swing of things you were able to do things more efficiently. You do not have to prepare every lesson every year from scratch. You can adopt and adapt as you go. You can also work with colleagues in preparation. You can use technology to make report-writing quicker: it took me about an hour to do one class’s reports using computerised comments banks. In my last two years, I was demoted to classroom teacher – it’s long story of being bullied and made a scapegoat that I do not need to go into for the purposes of this response. I worked about 8 hours a day then. I did what I had to do for my classes until I could afford to resign and withdrew from just about every other aspect of school life as I regarded my treatment as a disgrace.

    You don’t say what state you are in or whether you are a primary or a secondary teacher. I was a secondary teacher in Victoria, and Victoria had the best conditions in the country before 1992; i.e., the maximum high school teaching load was 18 hours, the maximum class size was 25 students, and there was a required pool of time allowances (deductions for leadership positions) of 90 minutes per teacher. Primary teachers had and still have higher teaching loads, but they have smaller classes in prep to year 2. Then again, correcting year 12 essays takes longer than year one sentences.

    You can’t really judge the job till you do it. Being a student teacher is not the same.
    install likes this.
  4. iGCSE101

    iGCSE101 New commenter

    i recall those 12-24 hour days

    I do remember those 12-24 hour days - super stressful as a NQT.
  5. Christopher  Curtis

    Christopher Curtis Occasional commenter


    Neither the now disappeared mean mr mustard 1993 nor I mentioned 24 hours of work. There were very rare occasions when I worked through the night (only ever because I had to get a new timetable done to a tight deadline), but I never did 24 hours in the one day. No one should ever do that.
  6. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I understand how you feel but don't let the raining year put you off.

    I hated my training year and had real doubts about whether teaching was for me but pretty much every job I've had has been much better than that year.

    Give it a go. You might find a school/dept with more realistic expectations, or where many of the resources you need are already in place etc.

    Good luck

    Edited to add - just realised that this is the Australia forum. I have no experience there but I imagine the same still holds.
  7. kaylawilson4

    kaylawilson4 New commenter Tes Australia careers peer advisor

    @mean_mr_mustard_1993 - I can relate to your feelings about this, I do remember working long hours just trying to get lessons, resources, and units of work prepared as a new grad teacher. Not to mention the marking and reporting! The first year of teaching is tough but don't let it deter you. As you get more experience, you will find that tasks will become easier and more manageable as you have skills, experience and resources/banks of prior years work that you can utilise.

    I suppose one thing to consider as a new graduate, is trying to find your way into a school that has a good reputation for supporting and mentoring early career teachers. To be quite honest, this is one area that regional schools are very good at because they see so many graduates, they're pros at assisting young teachers in building the skills needed to cope with the demands of the job! Have you thought about going regional at all?

    Like the posters prior to me have said, don't let the demands of your first year of teaching put you off, it definitely gets easier!
  8. aussie_teacher_nt

    aussie_teacher_nt New commenter

    I have to agree with the above. My pre-service was crazy, busy. My first contract was also crazy busy but luckily I had excellent support. It's definitely gotten easier the longer I work. I'm currently a 3rd year teacher so I'm still pretty new. But to be honest your first year is gonna be tough but it'll ease off after that.

    On the job market, there is a critical shortage of teachers in Remote Area NT (where I work) + WA and it's an excellent way to save money and work where your needed (free rent any one?). I think if your going to be in NSW or VIC I'd seriously consider applying for other jobs. Seems to be a massive oversupply of teachers in those states.
    kaylawilson4 likes this.

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