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Primary teaching - should I?


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#1 taby

Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:21 PM

OK I am at crossroads in my life where I have been in accounts for years and have just sold my newsagency (second one I have owned for 3 years this time).  I have done a couple of career quizzes and they all say teaching of some sort.

I have asked a couple of the teachers at the local primary school (where my children go) to write down the fors and againsts for the job.  I guess the only common ground against was the hours sometimes required.

I am looking at part time from here on for my remaining career (I am only 38) as I am fortunate enough to be able to.

I guess my question is:  Is there anything that you teachers could share with me that would help me make my decision before committing to uni (of which I am totally freaked out by).  I have been accepted into uni for teaching through distance.

I enjoy craft activities, helping children (although lately feel very lost and haven't spent much time with my 2 who are 7 and 9 years), organised and I love learning.

Any feedback or comments greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance ..... biggrin.gif

#2 Frazzled Cat

Posted 21 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

I'm going to list the againsts, mostly, because they're the bits that really have an impact.


*  no brain space for anything OTHER than school.  Seriously.  I can't go into a shop these days without wondering whether every single item I look at can be
- used at school
- worn at school
- help me recover from school

*  exhaustion.  Teaching is EXHAUSTING.  Either because you have to cram an entire curriculum into the 25+ little humans in front of you, or (if you're me) you're seeing nearly 300 personalities a day (specialist).   Add on top of that
- behavioural issues
- age group issues (young = enthusiastically in love with you, older = pre-teen attitude).  If you don't fancy coming home emotionally shattered every day, I wouldn't recommend it.  You do get the lovely moments, but not nearly enough!

* time.  Teaching takes up SO MUCH time, out of school.  Until you've experienced it, you don't really understand.  Even if you're working PT, you might still end up spending FT hours at the school to assist with all the assessment that needs to get done in terms of reading levels etc.

* support.  Sometimes, if you're very lucky, you'll get an administrative team who support you. More often, you won't.  Add to that the usual workplace dramas of staff you don't get along with, and it can be really hard, and isolating if you're in a school that doesn't suit.  Also, if you're looking at PT, you're going to be job sharing.  If you get stuck with a rubbish communicator, it's going to be hell on toast.  It can sometimes (but not always) compound behavioural issues if you've got radically different teaching styles.


The positives to teaching are usually emotive. The negatives are usually matters of practicality and everyday realities.

In the end, if you want to find out if you'll find teaching emotionally fulfilling, then go for it.  I assume you're doing a Graduate diploma?  You'll get thrown into a prac pretty early, you won't have spent too much before finding out.

ETA:  Job prospects.  Relying on HR is sucky,   May be even harder given your wish to work PT.  If you're not okay with relying on relief work for a fair while, you might want to reconsider.

Edited by NapCat, 21 November 2012 - 12:47 PM.


#3 Chchgirl

Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:20 PM

I can only advise from personal experience that maybe you just need to try it. Like any career, it is for some and not others.

I did early childhood and got into uni for primary, but after one prac absolutely hated it..

But others I know still doing the course nearing the end love it!

Good luck in whichever path you decide!




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