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Life as a MFL teacher today.

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Janna5, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Hello Teachers!
    I am about to embark on the PGCE MFL Secondary,
    I would like to have a feel of what is the life of an experienced MFL Teacher in a Secondary school.
    What time do you usually go to work and what time do you leave?
    How many extra hours to get the job done once you're home?
    Do you feel that all the marking, assessing, planning and report writing gets easier with time in
    the job or do you feel there is more whenever you raise your head?
    How does the workload impact on your family life?
    Do you still spend hours and hours planning or can you deliver a brilliant lesson without
    spending hours on it?
    Are you still a bit anxious whenever you step into a classroom or does it go away with time and
    experience?
    And..... Would you do it all over again?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Hello Teachers!
    I am about to embark on the PGCE MFL Secondary,
    I would like to have a feel of what is the life of an experienced MFL Teacher in a Secondary school.
    What time do you usually go to work and what time do you leave?
    How many extra hours to get the job done once you're home?
    Do you feel that all the marking, assessing, planning and report writing gets easier with time in
    the job or do you feel there is more whenever you raise your head?
    How does the workload impact on your family life?
    Do you still spend hours and hours planning or can you deliver a brilliant lesson without
    spending hours on it?
    Are you still a bit anxious whenever you step into a classroom or does it go away with time and
    experience?
    And..... Would you do it all over again?

    Thank you!
     
  3. mpc

    mpc

    Hello Janna5
    Good luck in your PGCE MFL.
    I normally get to work one hour before lessons start. We have quite a hefty meetings schedule so I normally leave about 1 1/2 hrs after school. On a non-meeting day, I stay about an hour.
    Typically I work about 2 hrs a night at home.
    Marking, assessing, planning etc definitely does get easier with time BUT you've never 'finished' work in that there's always something you could be doing. You need to prioritize really.
    I don't have kids - just a lovely long-suffering OH who works too hard too.
    I wouldn't say I spend hours planning BUT it still takes time to get your resources together. You can recycle stuff as you become more experienced.
    Every September, I become slightly nervous but once I'm in front of my classes, that feeling disappears.
    Would I do it again? Every time - teaching is one of the best jobs in the world, no question.
    In case you're wondering, I've just completed my 17th year of teaching in the UK after four years of EFL in Spain.
    Best wishes,
    mpc

     
  4. Hi
    I've just finished my16th year and I love it my job!!
    The PGCE year was hard work, but enjoy the fact that you have more time to make resources / use different ideas. Be a magpie - get as many resources as possible from your TP schools and share with others on your course.
    Don't be scared to ask for help - we are all here and we have all been in your situation.
    Work does get easier in time. The first year is nervewracking, checking you are doing everything right. Second year you try to put right what went wrong, and third year is a bit more relaxing.
    I get to work 8am ish and leave by 4. I now have 2 kids so I tend to work on the evenings if I have to - I want time with them.
    In the holidays I sort out my teaching plan for the next half term. Not exact tasks but the progression of a topic. It helps me to organise resources and make others if I want to.
    If you want a copy, to see what I mean, email me: gcse_french@hotmail.co.uk
    Good luck, and enjoy it
     
  5. Thank you both very much!
    SmellyEl, I'm very grateful thank you I will send and email.
     
  6. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    Hi Janna5
    I get to work at 7-730, Monday's and Fridays I try to leave reasonably prompt, Tues, Weds and Thurs I'll stay till up to 6, (they kick us out then!), to mark etc. I rarely take work home, (I've learnt that way ends in damnation). I will do small amounts in the holidays if I absolutely have to, (eg I'll go in at the end of August and sort out my display boards, tidy cupboards etc for a day)
    Re prep, after 3-4 years you get "standard" lessons, you know what games to play where.
    In my view it's a brilliant job and would do it all again without question, couldn't imagine or want to imagine doing anything else
    Good luck in the PGCE, sorry, forgot to say the first 3-4 years (inc PGCE are where you REALLY earn your money), but it is worth the investment.

    Ian
     
  7. Hello Ian,
    thank you .
    You all sound so passionate, it's really great for a shaking future PGCE student lol
    and thank you all for your kind words, I will need luck lol
    I just wanted to know, if you have children in Primary how do you manage when it comes to the hours you spend in your school? Most schools open at 8.30 and children are expected to be out at 3.15. If you go in at 7ish and sometimes til 6ish how do you collect your children if you have any? Or how do teacher parents you work with do it?
    I know that most people have husbands, wifes, partners, family ect but somehow being a teacher is not that family friendly because you can't possibly come in at 8.50 and leave at 3.00 to collect your children.
    How do single parents manage?
     
  8. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    In my early days I was working every hour god sent, work was every thing, after about 18 months of that, my partner packed up and left and took my daughter with her and moved to the other side of the country, I now get to see her once a month.
    The job will give you as many hours as you want to work. To the best of my knowledge, no Head has ever given a medal for a brilliantly written set of reports and I don't believe anyone sits up at night marvelling at how I've written a scheme of work.
    You will regularly come across people who have made themselves physically seriously ill by trying to do the impossible. You will learn that some jobs have to be done now and have to be done well, some can be left for next week and an awful lot can be ignored.
    You need priorities, and that must be you, (you can't give your best to the kids if you're only at 50%) and your family, (your kids have a right to good parenting as well). Colleagues I work with often leave promptly, but take work home that they will crack into at 8 at night when the kids are in bed. My personnal favourite is when they bring their children in on training days/ holidays etc, it's a school it's meant to be full of children, and it's nice to meet the people we talk about every day, I've never seen anyone have a problem with this, but, in fairness, no-one has ever abused the system, and the kids are always very well behaved.
    So long as you don't take the wee wee and are prepared to do a bit of give and take, (eg help out on trips, do the odd extra duty/cover when the Head is up against it), every head I've ever worked for has been very flexible with allowing family time, (eg I was allowed a paid Friday pm off a month for years so I could go and collect my daughter) I've often been allowed days to go down to see her sports day, shows etc.
    Not sure about tax credits, child care vouchers etc, and I know some LEAs offer out deals for this sort of thing, but as far as I know that vries LEA to LEA
    Hope the above helps
    Ian

     
  9. Good question
    I am married, have my own kids and foster kids. I am a head of department in a secondary school
    The job never finishes so you must set your own limits (this may depend on your boss and culture where you work)

    I get in at 8 and am rarely there beyond 5. I very rarely work outside these hours.
    Its not the hours which count, its what you achieve that is important - don't be a perfectionist and ignore the "I worked all day Saturday crew".

    Enjoy...its the best job i have ever had
    Shedders
     
  10. Hi Ian,
    I'm really sorry to hear about your family.
    Thank you for your input.
    I guess that unless you are a primary school teacher and your kids go to your school it is going to be tough as you wil have to take your kids to breakfast clubs and after school ones to be able to do the 8.00-5.00.
    Hello Shed,
    well done for fostering that's amazing.
    Did you send your children to breakfast clubs and afterschool clubs?
     
  11. yes, we have used breakfast clubs and after school clubs.
    My kids' school and place of work are all local which helps.
    We have very little travel time.
    You will find a way to manage even if there are some tough periods.

     
  12. marmot.morveux

    marmot.morveux New commenter

    Yeah, the hours didn't go down well with my other half (at the time, when I was in my NQT year).

    What everyone says is exactly right. The PGCE and the next 3 years are difficult and time-pressured. Beg, steal and borrow your resources, combined with making as many as you can during your PGCE year, especially during your first placement, when you have loads more time! Set limits and stick to them. The work will always be there, which is the most difficult part. I love the job though, there is never a boring day. :)
    MM
     
  13. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    If you have a family work life balance is really important. I started with youngest in juniors and others in secondary. I gave myself five years to be the teacher I really wanted to be as I couldn't work all hours and do it in one. two or three years. The worst part was seeing younger teachers with no commitments being considered the golden ones (quite rightly) whilst I had to take the slow train. My partner also works very long hours so I take work home but I do alot of work during the hols in preparation aswell. Nothing is more important than your own children, your marriage and your own health.
     
  14. Hi There,
    I too adore my job, I have just gone back after maternity leave from my 2nd child and could not wait!
    I get to school at about 7.30 - an hour before lessons start! I normally leave about 4pm (school finished at 3pm) unless I have a meeting... I am curriculum Leader so I have more meetings than the other teachers in my department.
    I then work when my 2 boys are in bed... planning, marking, organising or making resources. It never ends really and theres always something to do but I probably do more than I HAVE to simply because I enjoy it and get a lot out of it.
    Never anxious.nervous in front of a class and it still gives me a buzz... hoever put me in front of teachers and I fall to pieces!
    Its a great job and I would do it a million times over!! Good luck x
     

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