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Would love to hear from MFL teachers with young kids of their own

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by CravingSunshine, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. I am an experienced teacher and returned to work recently after a 4-year break. I have 2 pre-schoolers at home and am finding manaing work and home tough as husband is away a lot with his work. The mental energy required to manage it all is challenging to the point where I am wondering if it's at the very least worth it, or even doable?

    The behaviour-management at school can be tiring (low-level stuff which I find wearing) and I have lots of GCSE and A Level so the planning and marking load is heavy. The school is also quite pushy - aren't they all - and constantly demanding more.

    Would love to hear from anyone in the same boat or if you know of anyone who left teaching and what they did next? I have lots of non teaching experience too but not sure where to go with it all...
  2. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    Dear CravingSunshine,

    My 3 children are teens now. When they were little (I worked in another country, less paper work), it was challenging but possible. My husband has always worked and been away a lot. Since I moved to the UK, two years ago, I had been working in a school. Saturdays and sundays, evenings, holiday breaks, always working...and always that feeling of not having done all my homework. Last June I saw it, I could not and did not want to do it anymore. I thought my own children's GCSEs and A levels were more important. It is just a couple of years and they will be gone. Time goes fast. They need a relaxed mother and some control at home.

    Of course I am looking for the perfect post. I would like a MFL position, near my home, in a school that is not to pushy. I have mixed feelings, I am not absolutely sure that I have done the right thing. I am going to try to do some supply work now. I think that if I find a part time position, I will apply for it.

    I do not know if that helps but I wish you all the best. [​IMG]
  3. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    I remember running around like a blue ***** fly, trying to hold down a part-time teaching job and ferrying two children back and forth to childminder, playgroup and school. I was always last in school in the morning, flying straight into the first lesson and rushing past kids at 3.15 to pick up my little ones from the playground. My stress levels were constantly high and I suffered from frequent migraines. It must be tough if your husband is away a lot. Still, I got through it as thousands of teachers do.

    Just think what it's like for women who work much longer days in other jobs - at least I got home early, although I spent hours on schoolwork some nights. I also knew it was only for blocks of 6 weeks and then I could have a break!

    No job is easy when you have small children and that's why I only ever worked in schools a few minutes' drive away and even continued working part-time when the kids had grown up.

    Teaching used to be less of a stressful occupation when my two were little; I'm so glad I'm out of this data-driven, performance-managed environment!
  4. jomaimai

    jomaimai Established commenter

    [​IMG]Still, I got through it as thousands of teachers do.
  5. kazbrum

    kazbrum New commenter

    In the same boat and struggling too, so interested in the responses... x
  6. I am in a similar position (though my husband doesn't work away and is able to share the home life load with me) but I have two small children and work 0.7 which, in practice, is almost four full days a week. I work on average 55 hours a week with planning and marking and all the other demands made on teaching staff. I have just moved school, nearer home and I really like my new school but still feel resentful of the three to four hours at home at least four nights a week plus on average ten hours work at the weekend. I feel like I am consumed with the demands of work and even when I try to switch off from it and enjoy time with my family, it is there at the back of my mind waiting for the second the kids are in bed when I have to get back to it.

    It is the culture and climate of teaching these days - it wasn't like this even five years ago. The demands for ever-higher standards and for ensuring the individually tailored, differentiated progression of each student we teach mean that the workload is huge. I don't think this will change. I also think, as a parent, it is right that we expect the best from each student and support them to achieve it. However, again as a parent, that means that time with my own children is compromised, not to mention my husband. As another poster said though, the holidays are fantastic and very family-friendly and there are no other jobs where the holidays are as generous. Equally, I don't think there are any jobs, anywhere, anymore where you get an easy ride. Every employer wants more and more for less and while teaching is demanding and stressful, so are all the other jobs and professions around.

    So I guess what it comes down to is deciding if you can put up with the bad stuff and make the most of the good stuff (and there is plenty that is enjoyable about teaching as long as you are in the right school, with a decent head who remembers what being a teacher is like as well as trying to achieve everything else that is demanded of them) or deciding if you are able to make ends meet by not working or by finding something low-paid, with less stress and intrusion (though then there will be childcare implications...!)

    I don't know if any of this is helpful and I'm sure you have turned all this over in your mind but I wanted to reply to say you are not alone in how you feel and keep going....it's only five weeks till half-term! ;)
  7. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    You seem to be doing an awful lot of work at home! Can you share resources with colleagues or are you doing everything from scratch? You don't say if you are primary or secondary.

    Do you really need to do all the differentiated work?

    I'm having flashbacks to all that planning I did in the evenings when the kids were little; so many wasted hours of my life that I'll never get back....Maybe it's because you are in a new school. Anyway, have a think about where you can cut corners. For the sake of your family and your sanity!
  8. Thanks, for all your lovely replies. Sometimes it's great to just hear from people in the same boat and keep going. What I do find intimidating is the performance-related pay and the thought that the lesson planning has to be so water tight in order to truly meet kids' needs. You're right SN909, every profession has its pressures. The trouble is, when you have been teachying and enjoyed the autonomy and creativity it's hard to find a comparable post. It's a shame it has to be so stressful though. Only the other day did we have INSET telling us that children's progress is all about the quality of the teacher. Another stomach lurcher!

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