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Return-to-work blues? Become a teacher, says charity

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Shedman, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    https://www.tes.com/news/return-work-blues-become-teacher-says-charity

    More than half of British adults are dreading the return to work tomorrow – but many could find greater fulfilment by becoming teachers, according to Teach First.

    On a day when many people will be gloomily munching the last of the mince pies and checking their work calendars, the charity is encouraging people to consider their career options.

    Research commissioned by Teach First shows that 52 per cent of British working adults say they are dreading their return to work tomorrow, and a third (34 per cent) are considering changing job in 2020.

    Among the top reasons for dreading work were "being bored" (57 per cent) and the prospect of "sitting behind a desk all day" (51 per cent).

    Meanwhile, just over a third of respondents (35 per cent) said that they dreaded returning to work because they found their colleagues annoying.

    In a statement accompanying the findings, Teach First chief executive Russell Hobby said: "If your post-festive blues are getting heavier with the realisation that you’ll soon be back at work, you’re probably in the wrong job.

    “But if you speak to any teacher, you’ll find that the highs always outweigh the lows. That’s because each day is different. And best of all, you’ll spend them with young people.

    "These new colleagues will tell you what they really think, keep you on your toes, and value the skills you bring to work each day. "

    The survey findings come as the teaching profession faces a recruitment crisis, with two in five teachers quitting after five years, and 80 per cent of teachers reporting that high workloads are creating "high stress".

    Younger people may be more receptive to Teach First's message than their older peers, the survey results suggest.

    Among younger professionals providing reasons for dreading returning to work, 46 per cent cited a lack of meaning, compared with 56 per cent of those aged 55 or over.

    And 62 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds said that they dreaded feeling bored compared with 52 per cent of older respondents, the survey carried out by Savanta ComRes revealed.

    It also found that 18- to 34-year-olds were less likely to find their colleagues annoying – 30 per cent, compared with 44 per cent of those over 55.

    Three in five (59 per cent) of the younger age category were considering looking for a new job in 2020, but just 9 per cent of those over 55 were in the same boat.

    Among all adults who were considering looking for a new job in 2020, the most popular motivations included better pay (64 per cent), to do something more fulfilling (54 per cent) and looking for a new challenge (49 per cent).

    Zoe Wallace, Year 4 teacher at Greenhill Academy in Oldham, said she had "never looked back" when she switched to teaching after studying to become a lawyer.

    She added: “For anyone thinking about becoming a teacher, my advice would be: do it! Yes, it can be tough – but as soon as you see the kids suddenly understand something and smile at you with thanks – you’ll never be able to shake the feeling of pure joy again.”

    This is a rather strange piece of research. It seems that in order to promote teaching as a career they are basically saying look how people are dreading going back to work but implicitly conclude that teachers are looking forward to it:

    But if you speak to any teacher, you’ll find that the highs always outweigh the lows. That’s because each day is different. And best of all, you’ll spend them with young people.

    Is the above statement true? Is this rhetoric? Stranger still that teachers specifically were not asked about their feelings about returning to work although there must have some teachers included in the sample. Why is Teach First doing general workforce surveys rather than focussing on research devoted to education or teacher recruitment?

    This piece of research is trivial, unrelated to education and no reliable conclusions can be drawn from it with regard to how great a job teaching is. Pure propaganda!
     
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If you are dreading going back to work tomorrow, then become a teacher and you won't need to go back until Monday!

    It's definitely a sales pitch for teaching, so will only have the positives.
    In decent schools the highs do always outweigh the lows, but that is probably true in most workplaces.
     
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    This is completely true, I have seen it in action among several of my son's recently graduated friends who joined Teach First in September just gone.

    By Christmas each and every one of them was finding great joy and fulfillment in jobs they had dismissed out of hand earlier, before they had tried teaching.

    Teach First has truly taught them how much worse life could be as a teacher, and massively increased their happiness and fulfilment in non teaching jobs

    Amazing!
     
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Most normal people lack enthusiasm for a return to routine after a break. At Christmas, you have the cold and dark as well as the loss of the lie in.

    Staff meetings anyone?
    I certainly found that I was underactive when teaching. I still can be, but where I work now, a good bike ride beckons when it's dry.

    Read the posts here, especially in workplace dilemmas and you might find anecdotal evidence that some teachers find one or two colleagues annoying.

    Post festive blues are no recogniser of occupation.

    For many years, they did. But in my last few years of fulltime mainstream, the lows sometimes won.

    Most of the young people I taught who went into teaching are either out of it again, or actively looking to get out.

    I'm back in my non-mainstream teaching job on Friday. It's well run so I won't mind, although I'm a little wary of the yoga /mindfulness session half way through the meetings.
     
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    clearly posted by someone who has never ever spoken to teachers.

    Surely such blatant false representation is illegal?
     
  6. kash645

    kash645 New commenter

    Ah, Russell Hobby. Ex software industry employee and management consultant who has clearly never taught in a classroom ( but managed to be head of the NAHT)? Personally, I can’t wait to return to the relentless workload, more government dictat and no notice OFSTED inspections
     
  7. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Actually I'm rather looking forward to starting teaching again after the holidays, but then I do private tutoring one-to-one. I'm my own boss and no Ofsted.
     
    agathamorse, install and Shedman like this.
  8. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I really enjoyed my teaching career. (primary). When it goes well, it's the best job in the world. I loved the feeling that you'd helped a child to understand something they struggled with. I loved getting to know the children in my class, with all their individual quirks and needs and adapting accordingly. I feel very sad when I read about how unhappy teachers are at the moment. I was lucky. I worked with lovely children (mostly), lovely colleagues(mostly) and lovely heads, apart from one. Like all Jobs, it has its ups and downs and you can't get on with everyone. I think secondary is different-all those hormanal teenagers to deal with-no thank you!
     
    bevdex, Pomza, Shedman and 1 other person like this.
  9. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Not in all cases, Corvus. I know you don't like your school and are having a bad time (and I sympathise) , but not every school is bad.
     
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    All teachers are not unhappy...those that are tend to post about it and those who chug along happily tend not to. That is exactly how it should be and is part of the purpose of forums, but it can give a very skewed impression of teaching in general.

    I have always worked with lovely children, mostly lovely colleagues and all but one head have been lovely. In over twenty years only one year was spent with the highs definitely not outweighing the lows. In about ten schools (secondary, middle, primary, special and now independent prep) I've never met anyone who hated teaching as much as some on TES appear to. Yes some were disillusioned and left to pursue other careers, but they saw that as them not wanting a change rather than the system being broken.

    Some people like teaching and thrive in the profession. Some do not.
    Same as any other career.
     
  11. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    It say "If you speak to ANY teacher, you will find the highs ALWAYS outweigh the lows"

    this is a blatant lie, if you speak to most teachers, they would say the opposite. If this is being used to advertise a career in teaching, how can it be legal?

    i have spoken to enough new teachers furious and devastated about how they were lied to during recruitment.

    Why isn't this an offence under the trade descriptions act or similar?

    I am genuinely confused about why no body has been prosecuted for this sort of lie. It isn't legal to lie about a product you are selling, is it?
     
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    It sounds a little like an ageist advert imo. Its also code for if you are young- give it a go until you are burnt out imho:

    'Younger people may be more receptive to Teach First's message than their older peers, the survey results suggest.'
     
  13. MrLW1

    MrLW1 New commenter

    Indeed, I certainly don't remember them asking me for my opinion.
     
    agathamorse and EmanuelShadrack like this.
  14. MrLW1

    MrLW1 New commenter

    The DfE's own figures last year showed that teachers in their first year in the profession were quitting at the highest rate in nearly a quarter of a century.

    Whilst there have always been people in teaching who move on to other things, stark figures like that and the increasing 'churn' in the profession does suggest that there must be some significant, systemic issues that are playing at least some part in causing the recruitment and retention issues.
     
  15. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    One of the many things I do not miss about teaching was INSET on the first day of term! Any enthusiasm I might have had crashed and burned, like the 'Hindenburg'. For me, it was going into the staff room (when we still had one) to find all the chairs facing in the direction of a screen and projector, as this presaged another, pointless PPP session telling us all about yet another 'new initiative' entitled something like 'Bullsh*t for Learning', which was going to involve us in another round of testing, collecting, recording, collating and analysing data. Another perennial horror was the self-styled 'statistical expert' who, with the aid of incomprehensible slides (to themselves, as well as us), 'analysed' meaningless data. Other horrors were the conspicuous presence of flip charts, chunky coloured pens, and Post-It notes. Truly, 'heart sink' moments.
     
  16. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    One of the many things I do not miss about teaching was INSET on the first day of term! Any enthusiasm I might have had crashed and burned, like the 'Hindenburg'. For me, it was going into the staff room (when we still had one) to find all the chairs facing in the direction of a screen and projector, as this presaged another, pointless PPP session telling us all about yet another 'new initiative' entitled something like 'Bullsh*t for Learning', which was going to involve us in another round of testing, collecting, recording, collating and analysing data. Another perennial horror was the self-styled 'statistical expert' who, with the aid of incomprehensible slides (to themselves, as well as us), 'analysed' meaningless data. Other horrors were the conspicuous presence of flip charts, chunky coloured pens, and Post-It notes. Truly, 'heart sink' moments.
     
    phlogiston and Shedman like this.
  17. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Even worse is when you turn up for a staff meeting and the chairs are arranged in a circle.
     
  18. ttwhitmore

    ttwhitmore New commenter

    Thank you for this! I'm applying for teacher training for September, and honestly I came here to learn more about the process of getting into teaching but feel like I've been met with a whole lot of unhappy teachers. It's certainly enough to make you question whether it's the right thing to do, but your comment has reminded me that it's usually the negativity that gets posted and rarely the positive!
     
    Pomza likes this.
  19. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    It reminds me of the awful 'team building' exercise in which you have to throw and catch a ball with other people in the circle. :(
     
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    LOL Imagine people in the pub watching England play football...it's rarely a positive discussion!
    Like all comments on news, the ones here tend to be critical. No different to any newspaper website.
    And workplace dilemmas is really a help page for those with problems, so will read negatively if you take it in isolation.

    Remember also that a fair number of posters left teaching after a bad experience, or retired with rose tinted memories of the 'good old days' which sometimes colours their judgement.
     
    agathamorse, Pomza and ttwhitmore like this.
  21. ttwhitmore

    ttwhitmore New commenter

    I've avoided the dilemmas page for that reason.. definitely seems like a beneficial thing to have though!
     
    Pomza and caterpillartobutterfly like this.

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