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single parents? anyone out there...

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by melcicero, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. Hello everyone,
    After a great deal of deep thought I abandoned (well, suspended) my secondary science PGCE at the start of March.I realise this subject and level is probably one of the most demanding PGCEs but I cannot believe the amount of work and time one has to devote to teaching in order to do it well.
    I now have a combination of deep sympathy and great respect for teachers! As a single parent of 3 kids I found that between the day job, the domestic/childcare tasks and the lesson prep/paperwork/assignments I had precisely zero hours to myself for 6 days a week, and the 7th wasn't much better. Every other aspect of my life fell away as I struggled to find enough hours in the day.
    My school placement illustrated to me that it was not going to get any better in my NQT or early teaching years, as my mentor who had been teaching for 5 years was still putting in a whole lot of work at home every day. I did love the job, and the kids, and the science, but I did not want to live a lifestyle where every spare hour was consumed by my job. I'm certainly not scared of hard work as I obtained a first class honours degree in physics last year, whilst looking after my family - but there is a limit to how much hard work I can do and the PGCE went way past this.
    We are expected to be all singing all dancing educators and enterainers and taught how to teach at the highest standard - but this is expected to come at the expense of other areas of our life and our own time. The job is relatively well paid but not when you consider how much "unpaid" work we do. Yes the holidays are long but by the time they came around I found I was too exhausted to get up to much.
    I guess what I'm wondering is how you all put up with it, and if it's just the fact that I have the extra role and responsiblity of being a single parent that has made this job impossible for me to do? Are there any other people in my situation who have managed to make it work? I can return to my course in a year if I want, but I'm not thinking of doing so because I know I do not want a job that totally takes over my life.
    It was not just a "I can't do this moment", - it had built up over months. Anyway, much respect goes out to all of you that are going to finish your science PGCEs because I now know what a difficult career it is.
  2. davi_theuk

    davi_theuk New commenter

    Mel, I am a single mum of a boy, I can only imagine how difficult it was for you with three children. I would like to quit the course, but from what I've read here, they would want me to pay out the tuition fees. I asked my provider, and they said if I wanted to suspend the course, it would be fine, the student finance would still pay for me, but I would need a good reason for suspending (eg. medical conditions). \My question is: how did you manage to suspend the course? Which reason did you give? And how the payments for your tuition fees were made? X

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