I'm seriously considering returning to uni to study education with the aim of taking a full time teaching role in primary education.
I'm hesitant on a few points.. How do you get a placement near home? I'm not in a position to be relocating my family and my ds who already goes to school.
And how do you mange the study load/work load with family. Uni website says FT study is 10-15hrs a week.. This doesn't seem much. But I am unsure of what's in involved in the course load and assignments etc.
As far as I can tell the only road for getting a job as a primary teacher is to do the Bach education (primary) for 4yrs FT and then hope you get a job afterwards. Is this correct?
I have 2 LOs. Both of which will be in school by the time I finish studying. Do your kids meet you after class? What are the work hrs typically?
I want FT work. But two kids in after school and holiday care is just silly IMO. I'm hoping this meets our needs as a family as well as gives me a career I will enjoy.
What qualities do you find make a good teacher?
Any and all experience and advice would be wonderful!
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06-08-2014 11:53 #1
Are you a teacher and a mum?
06-08-2014 12:21 #2
I'm a teacher with 12 years experience. I studied for my degree after a 12 month break from school so can't really help with the studying aspect. When I went it uni the hours were all over the place when I was required to be there. Things may have changed as it's been a while since I studied!
When you do your degree you have to complete practicums to pass. You can put in your preferences and work with the uni as to where you can be placed that is suitable to your needs.
After you graduate it's very difficult to gain a permanent full time job. Most people graduate and complete temporary blocks or casual work. If you are limited in where you can teach it's even harder. A girl I know specified that she would go anywhere in the state (NSW) and was never offered a permanent job. She ended up being made permanent after she applied for a role as an assistant principal. It's notoriously difficult to get permanent employment as a teacher if you're not a targeted graduate (exceptional marks, brilliant on pracs etc). Many people are still temporary who have been teaching for 20 plus years.
I have one son at school and only work 2 days per week (I'm permanent part time 0.6 which is 3 days a week - I take the other day as unpaid maternity leave). He comes to me when class finishes but he's often stuck hanging around waiting for me to finish. I usually work 8am-5.30 for those two days then do more work at home. Report time is hard. Programming expectations are ridiculous sometimes and very time consuming all of which have to be done on your own time. Lesson prep all takes time and must be done either after school or at home.
I wouldn't go into teaching if it's to avoid after school and holiday care as there is so much more that is involved. Teaching has become more demanding over the last few years I've found and I often find myself longing for a job where you do your work and go home and forget it. Even now I've started maternity leave and I'm still helping my job share partner to write letters to paeds for a couple of our kids and I did parent teacher interviews. It takes up a lot of your life. The pressure to produce results is crazy and actually puts me off a bit.
I think the best teachers are those who are patient, organised and passionate about what they do. My passion is teaching reading and I'd love to move into teaching illiterate adults in the future.
I hope this gives you a bit of an idea of what's involved. It might be worthwhile offering to help out in a classroom and get an idea of the huge amounts of work involved.
Me + DH = DS1 (6), DS2 (2) and #3 due September 8th
06-08-2014 12:34 #3
I'll be back later with my answer...
06-08-2014 12:45 #4
I can't give your experiences of being a teacher but I'm just over half way through a primary teaching degree and doing my 2nd placement in the next few months.
10-15 hours a week is no where close to the mark. triple that when assignments are due, and the assignments for my course are huge so you are always in assessment mode. I'm doing the graduate primary ed course though so maybe that may make a difference.
In regard to placement, you can try to get close to where you live. My advice is to go with a uni closest to you, as most schools have an unwritten agreement they will take the closest uni's students. If you don't attend that uni, even distance, you'll struggle to get a placement.
It's a demanding course, but it's very pertinent to actually teaching in the real world, no airy fairy stuff. Lots of units of work, learning how to plan lessons across the curriculum. Behaviour management stuff, placements.
06-08-2014 12:57 #5
I think there are pros and cons to teaching whilst being a mum. I think teaching is a hugely demanding job, far more demanding than ever before and more demanding than the general public realise. I'm an assistant principal and our teachers have worked harder in the last 3 years than I've ever seen in my career of 15 years. The school day for kids ends at 3.15 usually but teachers are required for up to 3 hours of meeting/professional learning after school per week - this may be after or before school briefings. You need to be at school between 8-8.30 at the latest I would say and on the nights you don't have meetings you will be planning, meeting with parents or other related work. Then there are special events which seem to becoming more and more prevalent - school concerts, bbq's, literacy and numeracy evenings, school council meetings, end of year celebrations - not that you would be involved in all of these things but its a lot. The first week of school holidays is spent recovering from 10 weeks of flat out full on slog and the second week is preparing for the next term. Im on long service leave and if I go back full time when DS is at school, without family support, he would be in after school and before school care every day unless DH could get to work later to drop him off.
I won't lie it's hard work and I have seen lots of teacher burn out due to the demands - thank goodness we have good sick leave and long service. In saying all of that there are lots of wonderful things about the profession, such as the entitlements, flexibility with family - schools understand sick children etc and needing days off. It is hugely rewarding and you feel part of a community.
There are pros and cons with anything, I'd recommend going and spending a few days in a classroom to see how you find it. Often the teaching courses have huge drop outs after the first practicum - I've lectured at a couple of unis and this seems to be the case generally due to students not really understanding the demands or the reality of teaching.
06-08-2014 15:20 #6
I'm still not even sure if studying full time is even an option. It's all a bit daunting as to when is find the time atm.
Sometimes I wish I had chosen better when I left school and got a trade like hairdressing that I could always fall back on.
DF works long hours and is studying part time (which means I am helping him study part time since computers aren't his forte) plus ds and dd who I look after full time.
I don't know what to do. I need to go to back to work in the next few years in order to upgrade our tiny house. Just don't know what I should do.
06-08-2014 16:40 #7
Lots of great advice given. I'm a teacher and just started part time work again and casual relief teaching.
Not wanting to sound a bit rude.. seriously. .. But the reasons you listed for going in to teaching aren't really great ones. Hours and holidays etc. Teaching is full on. Even working part time it's full on. My daughter Is not school age yet. But I can see the attraction of the actual contact hours at school and daycare/school... meeting you after school.
But most teachers I know are at school before 8... Leave at 430 or 5 and still have marking and prep to do at home. This was certainly my work load when teaching full time. In fact I was usually at school by 730 as were most of my colleagues.
Getting a permanent position is very hard. I had one for 8 years. . Left for maternity and and had to resign as I couldn't get part time work (it was private). And even now. .. I've gone into the public sector... And as a teacher with 15+ years experience and senior teacher level. .. And great references. .. I can't get a permanent position.
What makes a great teacher. . One who is there for the kids. If you love working with kids it's a very enjoyable and rewarding career.
Good luck with your decision.
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