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  1. #1
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    Default primary teaching vs. speech pathology

    Hi, I'm a mum of a 21-m-old boy and looking to change careers. I'm thinking about primary teaching or speech path. Really interested in any input anyone might have, esp if you trained recently. What aspects of the job do you enjoy or find challenging?

    My background is medical, so the speech path might be better aligned with that, and it does really interest me. Id be interested in working with kids or adults. But Im hearing it's v hard to get a graduate position, esp in metropolitan areas. All the job ads seem to want 2 yrs experience....Plus the one graduate course Id be eligible for has a $60K price tag! That's a lot of HELP debt!!

    Teaching also sounds very rewarding, but I'm also a bit concerned about the employment prospects (Id always thought they were crying out for teachers but then I read about teachers only being able to get supply work - so it seems again there is an oversupply in metropolitan areas). I'd be open to doing supply work, infact it sounds great while my son is young. But I think Id want a permanent position eventually). Im also worried about my confidence (or lack thereof) in group/public speaking settings, and how I'd cope with a boisterous class. Although I guess that is a learned skill to some extent?

    Any advice very gratefully received.

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    Default primary teaching vs. speech pathology

    All ill say is don't worry about the group speaking issues. I'm a prep teacher and have also taught higher levels and done casual relief. I HATE public speaking or any group setting where I'm the focus but I've never had a problem in front of a class of kids :-)

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    anemone  (14-02-2013)

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    I am about to do a Graduate Diploma in Education and thus have received comments from people about the employment prospects for teachers.

    Someone said that the education department wants you to do rural service within your first five years. So if you are not willing to work rurally for a period, then you would be unlikely to get a permanent position in a public school. (I think private schools would likely be different.)

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    anemone  (14-02-2013)

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    Default primary teaching vs. speech pathology

    I'm a third year Speech Path undergrad... I don't know what my employment prospects are just now but I'd take this over teaching any day. I'd happily work regionally and earn a decent wage than slog it out with 30 primary school students every day. It comes down to: do you want adults or kids? 1 kid at a time or 30? Do you want to be able to say hmm had enough of the littlies, time for some adult work, or have to stick with kids until you retrain? I think you can see what I would pick for you

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    anemone  (14-02-2013)

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    I'd be willing to work rurally myself, but it would depend on DH's work - could be a prospect down the track. Marepoppin, those are really good points - Id much prefer small group work or one on one, plus the ability to work with adults as well as kids. Where are you studying and what do you think of the course? How are you finding combining study with being a mum to a 3 yo - how many days do you have to be on campus? If you dont mind me asking...

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    Default primary teaching vs. speech pathology

    Hi anemone
    I'm a speech pathologist but not currently working (sahm). I graduated about 5 years ago from the undergrad course. I'd be happy to pm you some info if you'd like. I'm a bit busy now and will be away for a week but can get back to you soon.

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    anemone  (14-02-2013)

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    Default primary teaching vs. speech pathology

    I'm the same as ladidah- I absolutely hate public speaking- terrified to tell you the truth. But I have taught from year 1 all the way to year 12 and have had no problem speaking in front of a class. It's totally different :-) also you learn behaviour management strategies to deal with boisterous behaviour. Pm me if you have any other questions if you like

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    anemone  (14-02-2013)

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    Default primary teaching vs. speech pathology

    I study on campus at UQ St Lucia, full time. I will be at uni 3 or 4 days this upcoming semester (haven't heard about prac clinic allocation yet, prob will hear tomoro). I get there via public transport as I'm the far west side of brisbane (brisbane/Ipswich line basically). My 3 yo goes to kindy 4 days a week; on Fridays we go to kindergym and have lunch together and hang out and catch up before the weekend. I study during the time I am on campus (between lectures) and of an evening after 730pm. I am not able to study during the day on the weekend because I don't live with my partner and I have to be with my son, but I'm finding it easier to sneak away and get some therapy planning and assignment writing done as he gets older. I treat my degree like a job; if I finish at uni say at 2, I stay there and work until 4 and pick my son up before 5. I take my son to kindy even on days I might not have to go to uni so that I can study, just like if I was working.
    It's entirely doable; the course work is really interesting and you learn heaps. You have a medical background so depending when you graduated you might get credit for anatomy and physiology courses and have a lighter load in the first 2 years. It's very rewarding already, because we are already working with real clients with real difficulties. For the first 2.5 yrs clinic (prac) is once a week for 12 weeks, with 3 6-week blocks spread over the second half of third year and in 4th year. This is good because in teaching, it's like 2-3 weeks blocks from almost the start, as I understand it, and I would find that harder to manage.
    Obviously I only have a student perspective; there's some qualified speechies on here too that I'm sure would be happy to tell you about life after uni

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    anemone  (15-02-2013)

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    Teacher weighing in here

    I think your background will clearly set you up well for speech. But I just thought I'd put a few things forward regarding teaching, not sure if you're thinking primary or secondary;

    - if you think it's what you're interested in , then volunteer for some time at a school. Lots of students quit after their first school round because it's not what they thought it was going to be.

    - teaching has great benefits for family life but when term is on, you are on full pelt! Most teachers get sick on the holidays and it's pretty much because they are exhausted.

    - teaching is not about being stuck in a room with 30 kids. There is a huge amount of scope beyond the classroom and specialised teaching areas such as reading recovery which is 1:1 as well as small group, team teaching etc..

    - teaching is a hugely social job, you are talking all day - to kids, teachers, parents and the work is collaborative and very team based - if this does not sound like you then you would probably not like the work so much.

    I would try to find people you can shadow for a day in each profession and get an idea of what a day might feel like for you.

    Good luck!

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    anemone  (15-02-2013)

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    Thanks so much for all the replies. You have given me lots of food for thought. Shadowing a teacher and a speechie is a very good idea, so will try to get that arranged. Something else Id thought about is volunteering as a Primary Ethics teacher - if I can get my "day job" situation working a bit better than I will look into that further.

    Marepoppin - great to hear yr studies are going well, that the course is interesting, and that it's even possible to do it FT. You sound very organised! Glad to hear it gets a bit easier as bubs get older as well.

    Babyla - that's interesting about how social teaching is, I hadnt actually thought about that. I dont know if Im that extraverted...I do really like the idea of special needs teaching and small-group stuff though. At this stage Primary is more appealing to me than secondary, plus looking at the NSW criteria for Science teaching, my degree wouldnt be suitable.

    Will continue to mull it over, thanks again guys!


 

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