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Third pregnancy - should I quit teaching?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by Humanities99, Aug 30, 2018.

  1. Humanities99

    Humanities99 New commenter

    Hi, looking for some advice please. I’m currently pregnant with our 3rd baby. I work part time in a very high pressure school and I’m not sure if I can face carrying on with this job. My husband works away a lot and so often isn’t around to help with the kids in the morning and night times. I’m just about getting by at work with the 2 kids but will 3 tip the balance?? I’ve been off previously with stress (didn’t tell work as I’ve seen other staff indirectly pressured to leave due to mental illness). I did used to love my job but in recent years behaviour has gotten a lot worse, more pressure for results, and the recent exam changes have taken their toll, and as a part time teacher I will now be teaching pretty much each lesson in a different room. Also had some of my best classes taken off me in favour of full time staff so I’m feeling pretty undervalued.

    What do I do? Stick it out? Or quit while I’m ahead? I can’t see how this is going to work with 3 kids! But equally I’m not sure I could be a stay at home Mum either. Any advice from people who have been there please? Thanks
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    No harm in a career break for a bit - it sounds like you're not enjoying the job as much as you did, and being at home would take a lot of the pressure off there.

    Being a stay-at-home mum is what you make of it, really. You need to get out of the house - get along to toddler groups, maybe even get involved in running one. I know some teachers who have gone on to run their own businesses doing activities for pre-schoolers.

    You don't have to commit yet - you can take the maternity leave, approaching it as if you're not going back (and not spending the OMP), and review at the point you would need to resign if you are not returning. If by that point you're longing to be back at work, then you needn't put in the resignation; if you've found ways to enjoy being a stay-at-home mum, then do.

    It's probably worth keeping your hand in somehow - trying to pick up a bit of tuition maybe - or at least make sure you are tapped into teaching forums so you can keep abreast of curriculum changes and so on.

    I loved being a stay-at-home mum, although I was actually lucky enough that I was working from home in a non-school role for a few hours a week, so I always had that little bit of non-mum stuff. I'm also in a village where there are several groups for pre-schoolers and lots of ways to get involved in things.
  3. Humanities99

    Humanities99 New commenter

    Thanks that is good advice. I'm definitely not as keen to go back this September I normally would be.

    Frustum - can I ask what did you do after being a stay at home mum? Have you returned to work? And doing what? I'm interested to know how viable it would be to return to work after a couple of years off - schools would surely pick someone who has recent classroom experience? and alternatively how viable would it be to get a job doing something else for a reasonable wage? I teach Humanities so I guess its not as transferable as say Business, or Product Design or something.

    Really not sure how teacher parents make it work. Typically I get the kids ready, and they are at nursery/childminder by 7:30am, full day at work with about a 10minute lunch break, pick up kids from nursery/childminder about 6ish, give them some food and cook adult dinners etc, OH comes home and helps out but usually late on. Kids take forver to get to sleep so its normally anywhere between 8:30-9-30pm before I can start doing the household chores and THEN start marking and lesson planning for the next day. OH also has a demanding job and work to do at home on an night. We struggle because we have no other family support nearby etc. Will I really be able to do this 8 months pregnant?? How will this work with a third child - who is possibly also up a couple of times during the night?

    Dont get me wrong I do love some aspects of my job but its increasingly taking over my life!!

    Sorry for the rant, it's just my friends don't have to take any work home with them, and don't really understand the physical and emotional demand of being a teacher. Any advice or suggestions greatfully recieved.
  4. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I was lucky in that I was mixing part-time teaching with other work in education; I had four different jobs when she was born, one of which had two separate components. So I kept the work I could do from home. Since daughter's been in school I have stepped up on one of those jobs to about 2/3 days fte. I did go back into the classroom for a bit (being maths means getting back in is not too difficult) but I'm enjoying the other work.

    There are threads elsewhere on these forums (careers?) about what other careers people have branched into. Remember you have transferable skills from "teaching" as well as from "humanities"; I run a toddler group (as a volunteer), and believe me, 2 year olds are not that different to 12 year olds! All those organisational skills have to be useful anywhere, and the skills involved in managing teenagers!

    Your life sounds exhausting - the thing I am very aware of is that I was probably at my happiest and most relaxed when my daughter was pre-school.
    Humanities99 likes this.
  5. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    As a former headteacher I wouldn’t be concerned at all about a couple of years off when considering an application provided the person had the right attitude. I gave an opportunity to someone who had had eight years off. We agreed a short, voluntary teaching practice type of experience to give her some confidence and up to date experience before starting job applications. She was quickly successful in gaining employment. One thing to be aware of though is that these days you might not be offered the same salary on return as you have now.

    Your routine sounds exhausting, although I remember one nearly as long when my children were young. Lots might depend on the cost of childcare. Is it for all three? Will it be worthwhile? If your household circumstances mean that you can manage without your salary for a while then go for it, relax and enjoy it. If you are full time at the moment, dropping right down to about two days a week might work for you to keep your professional life going.

    I really wouldn’t worry about the break in your career if you want to do it. I had five years off with children, then a few years part time and supply. I ended up a headteacher for fifteen years. Your professional career lasts a long time especially with the retirement age moving to your late sixties.
    Humanities99 likes this.
  6. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    If you can afford it - stop work
    Your children only have one childhood
    sbrown1604 and Humanities99 like this.
  7. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    In the days before supply agencies the L A advisor used to keep phone numbers of stay at home teacher mums and offer them to schools needing staff for short term or part time work. I don't know how it works now. I suspect that it will be difficult to return if you are older and more experienced but you have to consider how things will be at home. Having three is hard work even when they start school. Can you use the time at home to explore other things you might want to do? Take a course or two in counseling or teaching adults or bookkeeping? Enjoy your kids. That is the main thing.
    deborah25 and Humanities99 like this.
  8. kstickley77

    kstickley77 New commenter

    Visit Did Teach; they have a range of jobs with companies who value teaching skills some of which are part time and highly flexible.
    Humanities99 likes this.
  9. Humanities99

    Humanities99 New commenter

    Thanks for all the suggestions, really encouraging to hear both sides. Childcare for 3 will be extortionate and I’ll be coming out with virtually nothing at the end of the month. But I do love my job (mostly - and when it’s not quite so stressful) so I’m torn. Thanks to those who have replied with useful advice! Definitely good to hear it’s possible to return if I did decide to leave, thank you!
    MarthaaaS likes this.
  10. MarthaaaS

    MarthaaaS New commenter

    Some relatives worked until the last week without any problem.

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