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Switching from teaching to TA

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by howden89, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. howden89

    howden89 New commenter

    @TheoGriff

    I have just returned to the UK after teaching at an International School, and am considering becoming a Teaching Assistant instead. I know this comes with a big pay cut but to tell the truth teaching has just made me miserable. I loved being in class but found (as many others have) that the workload dominated my life and that I was constantly stressed out, losing sleep and damaging relationships with family and friends. I realise now it's just not for me and I have huge admiration for teachers that keep on going. I've recently joined a supply agency but am plagued with worries about instability and money. After doing my research I feel like being a TA would help me to enjoy working in a school and give me a better work/life balance, and I would happily take the paycut for my health and sanity. My main issue is how I explain why I have chosen to take step back from teaching to potential employers. I'd really appreciate advice on this, as I don't think it would look good to say truthfully that I struggled to cope with teaching.

    Thanks
     
  2. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    Dear howden89,

    You just have to say that you have some family commitments.

    We all know it means that you would like to have some work/life balance but nobody will blame you for that.

    I have known several teachers working as TAs.

    Good luck!
     
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Hullo there!

    I'm not sure I've understood 100%. It's teaching back in the UK that you are finding so difficult, .isn't it? Not when you were in an international school?

    Because although A. I have not taught in an international school, only visited as a consultant, and B. I realise that every school is different, in general I would say that UK teaching is more demanding on time and daft paperwork, hoops to jump through, than international teaching.

    As for why,.yes do mention family, but also do make sure that you are saying why you DO want to be a TA,.rather than just why you DON'T want to be a teacher. So do talk about what you see as the positives of supporting the children etc etc.

    Do read this article that I've written. Especially the point about the salary calculation.

    :(

    Best wishes

    .
     
    jomaimai likes this.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    jomaimai likes this.
  5. howden89

    howden89 New commenter

    Thanks for the advice - both of your comments have helped me get a handle on how to respond to any queries about changing track.
    Apologies for not being clear - I've taught both at home and internationally and found both experiences to be very difficult. The school I taught in most recently was abroad - it was a British school with very high standards and felt comparable to teaching in the UK in terms of workload ( I am aware that generally international schools don't tend to be as demanding.)

    Thanks again! It feels good to be taking steps towards something new :D
     
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Good luck there! Thanks advice I can give on Jobseekers I'd relevant to TA applications too, so pop over and ask if you need some tips

    Best wishes

    .
     
  7. veneris

    veneris New commenter

    Howden, I really wouldn't worry about it. We're used to teachers turning TA, especially if they have young families. I wish it weren't the case that many very good teachers have to take that step, but it isn't uncommon any longer. I have several ex-teachers working as TAs because they'd had enough in other schools. I'm very grateful to get someone with that skill level! Sell your skills and why you want to work in the school you are applying for and why you'd love to be a TA in your application. If asked the question at interview (and it should only be asked in a fair way!) then talking about how you loved being in class and working with children but are at a point where you need to prioritise family out of work time should be perfectly understood by any sane headteacher. If they have a problem with that, you probably don't want to work in that school...
     
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    Exactly!

    Best wishes

    .

    .
     

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