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School Direct as a parent.

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by hines2302, May 3, 2017.

  1. hines2302

    hines2302 New commenter

    Just looking for some positive experiences.... I am due to start a SD primary programme this coming September and would like some outlook on how those with young children of their own manage their week.
    In a idealistic world I'd love to work and manage my workload by working as hard as possible from early morning until getting home, having a couple hours dinner, kids reading and getting them to bed and sitting down for the evening to get on with workload. Then try and work my weekend so that the children don't suffer too much.
    So basically id like those who have somehow made the impossible work for some hope. Also, how does the workload look at the beginning of the year, does it start of easier then build up?? Additionally, is there any trainees looking at doing their NQT year part time??
    Thank you in advance from a very excited but apprehensive mummy and student to be.
  2. gizmodo

    gizmodo New commenter


    I'm on a secondary scitt. I have 2 children, aged 3 and 6. My husband works shifts making things trickier. But our parents help out a bit with school runs.

    I found the course manageable until i reached 14 lessons over 4 days (just before Christmas). I'm now on 16 lessons to plan over 4 days.

    It's tough. I am working most evenings. If it's not planning, it's sorting the paperwork or working on assignments. I generally have Saturdays off (have no choice as husband works). And work Sunday. Everyone is different, but I'd say this is true of the other parents I know on my course. Although some choose to work Saturday and have Sunday free.

    I've got my job for September. I will be full time.

    The workload does gradually build up. Again everyone is different. Personally I observed for 2 weeks. Then took on one class building up quite slowly if I recall to take on another two classes. I think by October half term I was teaching 8 lessons over 4 days. Ah that sounds bliss right now :) then built up to 14 by Christmas. Carried on the 14 in January. Then went for my second placement where I had 16 lessons over 5 days which was easier. Then back to main placement now on 16.

    No idea how primary works though.
  3. spursfan50

    spursfan50 New commenter

    Just seen this post, thought I would offer my thoughts.
    I won't sugar coat anything, it would not be fair. It is tough.
    The first few weeks is bedding in, observing other teachers getting to know your class. By the end of the first half term you will be teaching a few lessons a week. However, there is a lot of paperwork (Reflections, assignments, evaluations) to be working through although this is mostly dictated by the uni and if you have a good mentor they will keep you on track.
    After christmas is where the fun begins, you build up to 40-50% teaching, mostly as sequences (Say all the maths for one week, then all of the english another) while also teaching stand alone lessons such as RE or PE. during this ti
  4. ShiresTSA

    ShiresTSA New commenter

    And if your course includes a Masters element, you'll need even more time to do your research/submit essays to complete your modules! After Christmas is definitely the intense time!
  5. auto_loop

    auto_loop New commenter

    Completed SD last year with a 2 year old, finishing my NQT year with a 3 year old and a baby! We had invaluable support from family and my partner was amazing. It was difficult - very time consuming / stressful - but it's doable.
  6. wendyh4961

    wendyh4961 New commenter

    Doable but tough. You need lots of support from your family. I'm in my final few weeks of the course and my son has just turned 3. it also depends on your school, I was lucky to be in very supportive school and had a great mentor.
  7. hines2302

    hines2302 New commenter

    Hi Wendy
    Thank you for your feedback. Would you be able to give me an average of times you have managed to do and how many hours evening/weekend you do?? Sorry to be so nosey but it's a good indicator having a current trainee info.

  8. akmalein

    akmalein New commenter

    I am just about to finish my school direct year as a single parent. It has been tough but, for me, the worst part has been the assignments for the pgce. School was not aware of the deadlines and I did not tell them because I thought they knew (and I was talking about it often enough!). In hindsight, I should have asked for study days and you have the right to study days. Remember, also, that you are going to be coming out of the year with the same qualification as someone going the taught pgce, who have a lot less time in school.

    Pace yourself; if you struggle, shout out about it. Don't let anyone tell you that you aren't working hard enough. I think it is much better to try to do the minimum to get through satisfactorily (and retain your sanity) than go overboard and burn out half way through the year (easily done). better to be told to work harder than to do masses of work that is unnecessary and goes unnoticed and unappreciated. This is the year to make the mistakes, to find out what works for you and to make changes/learn how to reflect upon your practice. Just look after yourself along the way too. The universe is not forcing you to be a teacher, and if you lose sight of the reasons why you are doing it, you will be unhappy and not as good at the job! I have been so stressed in the last few months that, after my final grading, on a school trip, I was so relieved that the children remarked at how happy I was - I then realised that my normal, happy self had been utterly non-existent for the last term, and it was only then that the children could see the real, relaxed person - a person who is a much, much better teacher when happy and relaxed.

    All in all though, it is down to the school you are placed in, your mentor/class teacher's ability to prioritise you, and the ethos and culture of the school as to what the workload will be like. I had one placement at a very efficient school where no-one arrived before 8 and no-one left after about 4:30, and one school where staff were in at 7am until 6pm - at least. Longer hours do not necessarily make for a more positive experience or better pupil progress.... You have to fit in with how the school works, however.

    Good luck! You can do it. The key is working efficiently. Make every minute count for something. And remember, you cannot be the perfect wife, mother and teacher etc. on every day. Pick one to nail each day and make sure you cover each one at least once a week!

    PS I have never really done all-nighters and have survived the year - it is not a requirement! I have only needed a couple of 1ams to get me through. I also don't work for more than about an hour each evening, due to dinner and family time (bedtime being increasingly late as the years go by) etc. I always get enough sleep because I feel much more stressed when tired as well.
    112Theo and freckle9 like this.
  9. noona1317

    noona1317 New commenter

    These posts fill me with hope, I'm just about to start a SD course with an 8,6 and 1 year old in tow. My husband is extremely supportive but is in a very high pressured job himself so i'm unsure how much help he will realistically be able to provide. I've no idea how i'm going to juggle everything and what the time requirements will be at school on a daily basis (start time / finish times), however it is very nice to hear that it is doable. Well done to those that survived and good luck to those who are about to embark :)
  10. freckle9

    freckle9 New commenter

    Thank you so much for this. I'm starting SCITT in August with 2 kids and a husband who works funny shifts. You offer great advice and hope. Thanks x
  11. blushell

    blushell New commenter

    I'm just about to start school direct in primary. I've been a TA for 10 years and enjoyed the great family/work balance it provided. I've put off teacher training because of one thing or another but now feel due to changes in my TA role where I'm now just an LSA I dont get the same job satisfaction and so thought now is the perfect time. However, I have a young family of 3, 11 and 12 year olds. It pains me to think i will miss out on my 3 year olds first year of nursery and may miss out on my teens as they go through the hardship of secondary life. My husband is being amazingly supportive but I'm filled with guilt. I love working with children and have always worked with children. I've only read the difficulties faced by parents doing school direct and very little on positives and managability. I dont have family nearby but have good parent friends who wouldn't mind with school run for the little one.
    I'm now getting anxious and worried about whether I can cope and the hours just seem crazy although on paper it may seem like 8.30-4pm, I know teachers come in from 7 and dont leave till 6pm! That is something I cannot envisage doing but surely they cant hold it against me if I'm working within my contracted hours??
    I'm just so nervous but I cant imagine doing anything else!
    It would be great to hear more experiences...if only to ease my nerves!
  12. lozt83

    lozt83 New commenter

    I'm also about to start a school's direct placement in primary. I have 3 children - a 10yr old and 3yr old twins (who are due to start full-time nursery next week). I'm really looking forward to starting my training as its something I've wanted to do for a while now. I've worked as a TA in a SEN school for the last 6 years and worked in a school for the deaf for 6 years prior to that. However, I am feeling immense guilt about missing out on my twins first year in nursery, and also worrying about how I'm going to fit everything in time-wise! I know it's going to be tough, I have friends who have completed the course (child-free!) and they said it was a hard year, so I feel mentally prepared (I think!) I'm lucky to have a supportive husband and family close by. I'm not sure if I've done enough prep over the summer - I've read a few books recommended to me by my training school, and have done a few mind-maps for the core subjects and bought some lovely new stationery! But beyond that I suppose I'm just going to see how it goes next week! Good luck to all the parents starting training next week! Off for a glass of wine now!
  13. kerryturner

    kerryturner New commenter

    hey all, im starting the school direct (tuition fee) course this week with a 2 year old. Teaching is something I've wanted to do for many years and finally taking the jump. I applied late so only got a place in July just before summer hols started. Ive done a little bit of prep but still petrified I haven't done enough and unsure of how much I need to do. Im ready for the long days and lots of study and guilt of missing out on time with my daughter and husband. I have a lot of support around me and very excited to start but whenever ive studied before its just been me to look after so going to be a whole new world to me in many ways. Wine sounds good now haha! good luck to everyone else starting.

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