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Your thoughts when you started/completed your degree

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#1 Poppie1

Posted 16 April 2020 - 07:44 AM

I have always had a burning ambition to be a teacher. Last year I spent some time working in a role at a school which made me more motivated. I quit a very successful  job I had for 8 years to study fulltime, received a position at university and froze!I put the position on hold.
I guess I am worried now that maybe this isn't what I want? I have 2 school aged children and have always been waiting for the 'right time' to complete my studies. I have a 2 year degree to do but it feels like I will never achieve it and when I ask teaching friends about their jobs I don't receive much positivity back about how they feel about teaching.
Is anyone else studying primary teaching? Have you been on placement? Any tips on how to study without feeling guilty for taking away from my childrens time?

#2 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 16 April 2020 - 08:48 AM

I didn't study teaching, I studied nursing so maybe not relevant from the career aspect, but I can comment on studying with kids. My kids were 4 (kind) when I started and 7 (year 2) when I finished. It was a three year degree, and I had no exemptions/credits/recognition of prior learning, so I was committing to three years of full time study. It was incredibly daunting, but I also was so excited. Money was my main concern, but also, academically, can I really do this?

Anyway, I got stuck into it, worked really hard, did my pracs which put a little pressure on my family (but supportive husband made it work - family support is a must). Here I am, three years out, and working in a really great clinical role. I don't know how it works with teaching and to be honest, this present time in the world will probably be a bad time to get feedback from teachers and nurses alike because of the pressure we are all under, but it is doable.

Uni with a family is a hard slog, but if you are passionate about the field and you have the means to do it without too much stress, it's worth it. There will never be that elusive "right time" - life always has something to throw up at us, so if you want to do it, just grit your teeth and go for it. Jump in.

#3 ddasil

Posted 16 April 2020 - 11:00 AM

I studied early childhood teaching.  It took me 7 years and I finished in December.  Unfortunately by the time i got all my paperwork registered this year all of the schools started closing.  I am looking forward to all of this covid-19 stuff getting better so I can start teaching.

I studied mostly when my kids were at school or late nights/ early mornings.  I felt that even though I was always busy it was good to show my kids it is never to late to follow your passions.

Placements were tricky.  As I was early childhood I had to do childcare which meant the hours weren't school hours but I was lucky that my mum came and helped out.  My last 2 placements in a school setting were much better as my oldest DD had gotten her licence so could help out with her siblings.  It was a crazy time though.  I was planning and preparing lessons until I went to bed each night and getting up extra early some mornings to finish.

I am really looking forward to start teaching though.  I know there will be lots of unpaid hours, pressure etc and have been told and read about all the bad parts and feel I am prepared for that.  My kids are now almost grown 15, 17 and 18 and I am reading to devote my time to establishing my career.


#4 *Spikey*

Posted 16 April 2020 - 11:21 AM

Take a very close read of the parent threads on education in this forum.

Teaching is a fantastic vocation - I love it. There is nothing so rewarding as opening the mind of a young person, and help them develop into great young people.

However, the current societal attitude towards teaching as a profession isn't so crash hot. The non-teaching workload has increased, in addition to political views around funding and what should be in the curriculum.

The prospect of burn out within 5 years is very high, and if you pursue teaching, you should be mindful of this - and have a Plan B, just in case you decide the overall package isn't for you.

If you already have one degree, you know the drill for study. I didn't find it any more difficult to study once DD hit senior primary, and I did use OOSH to clear up some parts of the day. I loved my pracs - still in contact with my mentors - but not all of my study buddies were so lucky.

#5 Dadto2

Posted 16 April 2020 - 11:46 AM

I always nurtured the idea of  becoming a teacher, I love working with kids. Perhaps I was looking at the career through rose-tinted spectacles and I still think it would be a career that would impassion me, but I had no idea how hard they worked till my kids started school. I'm not afraid of hard work, but being a full-time teacher with young kids would have been too much. Most of the staff are there by 7/7.30 and not leaving till 4, 5pm. If there are after school activities then 6, 7pm.

Then there's all the presentations, school events, social stuff. It's full on. Like Spikey says, I would imagine burn out is pretty high amongst teachers. I think it's a career for someone that doesn't have kids and/or has a lot of spare time and a lot of energy. I don't think I could do a full days work as a school teacher, come home and help the kids with their homework, read to them etc

View Post*Spikey*, on 16 April 2020 - 11:21 AM, said:

However, the current societal attitude towards teaching as a profession isn't so crash hot. The non-teaching workload has increased, in addition to political views around funding and what should be in the curriculum.

The prospect of burn out within 5 years is very high, and if you pursue teaching, you should be mindful of this - and have a Plan B, just in case you decide the overall package isn't for you.

Edited by Dadto2, 16 April 2020 - 11:49 AM.

#6 ineedmorecoffee

Posted 16 April 2020 - 11:55 AM

I didn't study teaching but I completed a Masters while DD was very little and I was staying at home with her.

It was hard, time consuming and expensive but I am so glad I did it. It meant that I walked into a role after I finished and am now earning almost double what I was before I did the study.

I mainly studied at night after she had gone to sleep and also utilised a few days of daycare each week.

The one thing that kept me pushing through was knowing that this time would pass anyway and that I could use it to invest in our future.

Don't feel guilty about taking time away from your kids, they will benefit in the long term when you have more career options available to you.

#7 Poppie1

Posted 17 April 2020 - 02:28 PM

Thank you for all of the replies, I feel like I have an idea of the workload and have spent many years in child protection/family work so used to a heavy work load and time frames - it's more studying again that makes me hesitant. Some good suggestions above. Thanks again.

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