Any Primary teachers?

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  • Any Primary teachers?
  • So by inference you have less than 2 years teaching experience but already know more than those with much more.

    no, I’m not a teacher

    Anagalis – no idea how you would leap to such an inference

    Er????

    Spin
    Member

    But be careful how you define “good” and “bad”.

    Better to think of it as a range of schools.

    poly
    Member

    Angalis – so are you saying it doesn’t become a LITTLE easier after the first two years? Do you believe that your experience is better than the other teachers who tell me it does?

    Coyote
    Member

    Angalis – so are you saying it doesn’t become a LITTLE easier after the first two years? Do you believe that your experience is better than the other teachers who tell me it does?

    Sure, you can reuse resources and your experience grows as with any other role. However, increasing pressure due to clueless politicians meddling in the system, pushy or obnoxious parents getting in your face and non-teachers professing to know all about it* somewhat negates the benefits.

    What other roles don’t carry the same mental health risks? I’ve worked in IT for over 30 years. I have had roles as a Service Desk analyst, support technician, service delivery manager, project manager and head of IT in national and multi-national organisations. They have all had their moments but I wouldn’t say that they carry the same mental pressures as teaching. I’m not a teacher but have been married to one for over 25 years. Of course you know better.

    *see your post for sweeping generalisations.

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Subscriber

    I work in Insurance and have done so for a long time, was also in the military prior to this. I’d agree that from my perspective these industries don’t have the same mental health pressures as primary school teaching.
    My wife has been a teacher for a decade, I’d again also confirm it doesn’t get any easier after two years. Yes you know the role more, but the pressure to hit targets remains. I honestly see it like my early years in sales at a bank – the pressure to hit targets at all costs was very similar. There used to be a pride thing with only the strong survive, but this was just egotism at play. Anyway that’s digressing.
    I’d also like to generalise in saying in the two schools she has worked, there is a large number of young teachers with no previous industry experience, I’d also say there is an equal number of experienced teachers who have worked in other industries. Wife worked in banking, her best friend was a police woman and one other friend was a solicitor. The police woman and solicitor both came into teaching thinking it would have been less stressful than their jobs at the time. Solicitor is close to leaving and police woman moved to a village school in Wales with a complete different outlook and is now thriving (she was very close to giving up on teaching as had two periods of stress related illness).

    Primary Teacher? Life of Riley if the three I know are anything to go by.

    Angalis – so are you saying it doesn’t become a LITTLE easier after the first two years?

    Not really no, the work load and pressure increase if anything until you decide to step down. The teaching gets easier the other shit gets worse.

    poah
    Member

    But be careful how you define “good” and “bad

    different up here to England, no ofsted. The only statisitic I think is the number of passes at higher etc are recorded for high schools at least, couldn’t tell you are primary. That doesn’t actually mean anything though. I only went to “good” schools for my visits but that was because they were the only ones that replied. My eldest started off in a “bad” school but has moved to a “good” school. There is less distruption in the class from pupils in his “good” school if you understand.

    Primary Teacher? Life of Riley if the three I know are anything to go by

    Secondary is even easier and currently there are 31 jobs within 25miles of my house going free…and very unlikely to be filled by september. My current school has 4 posts needing to be filled just in science and no one applying to do them…sign up to the gravy train!! 😁

    Deleted because my other half is still a bit paranoid and doesn’t want any comeback. If you want to message me I’ll give some details. But it wasn’t a good time in our life.

    easily
    Member

    What the **** have we done wrong to get to the point where a job that should be so joyful is so terrible?

    This.
    I taught for 10 years. I loved every minute of my time in the classroom, and I never had much trouble from OFSTED as my results were so good. It should be – and sometimes is – the best job in the world.
    However, I couldn’t take the workload any longer – it got so depressing having no social life at all except for a few weeks in the summer. I even gave up cycling for the last 5 years, as commuting was impossible and there was simply no time to do it. There were far too many pointless tasks and ‘initiatives’ that were given priority over actual teaching.

    When I changed career my friend told me it was like I’d moved back to the city from afar (I didn’t ask if this was a good thing).

    Premier Icon Clink
    Subscriber

    I’m currently a Deputy Head in a secondary school with over 20 years experience in education (and worked in other jobs before that). I resigned last month; I love working with young people and I have a supportive school and headteacher, but my mental health was affected massively and I have had enough of trying to do multiple roles, each of which should be a full time job (I appreciate that other industries are similar in this respect). I fundamentally no longer agree with how we educate children in this country and the unfairness and inconsistency in how Ofsted scrutinises schools (i.e. looking for faults rather than a supportive process of working with school to improve them) plus the way that many parents take no responsibility for their children and blame teachers.

    I am lucky – I have been offered another role (support staff) in my current school, but massive drop in wages and pension. However, I am looking forward to free evenings and weekends and be able to start cycling to work again 🙂

    My point? Working with children is amazing and rewarding and is to be recommended, however if you value your quality of life and wellbeing I would (personally) suggest a different career.

    minimind
    Member

    Primary school teacher? Don’t do it unless you want to experience long hours, pointless bureaucracy and burnout.

    simonloco
    Member

    Do not do it, from experience of several family members…

    Ewan
    Member

    As a counter example my wife loves her job. Doesn’t seem to have to do massive amounts at home, likes her colleagues and enjoys going in every day.

    She does work pretty long hours though in order to not bring stuff home.

    Teaches early years and has been careful to avoid getting given any ‘great opportunities’.

    minimind
    Member

    Please can my wife go to your wife’s school.

    She is a 50% part timer but in reality works about 5-6 days a week, and on teaching days that’s 0730 arrive at school, home around 1830 and a couple of hours work at home during the evening.

    Your wife’s school sounds remarkably relaxed.

    tjagain
    Member

    Similar jobs with different or less stress? Mine. Nursing. Yes it’s stressful work. Indeed in many ways more so. The big difference? It’s 37.5 hours a week and that is it. Work is work, home is home.

    Spin
    Member

    She is a 50% part timer but in reality works about 5-6 days a week, and on teaching days that’s 0730 arrive at school, home around 1830 and a couple of hours work at home during the evening.

    That’s crazy. I’m a secondary teacher in Scotland and I think I probably average out over the course of the year at a 9hr day. Hardly ever taken work home and never do work at weekends or in holidays (except voluntary stuff like DofE).

    simonloco
    Member

    Minimind, yes exactly that in fact atm.

    oldbloke
    Member

    My wife is a Primary teacher in Scotland and has been at it for close to 25 years. There is so much of the job she loves and it is definitely something she is naturally good at – what is needed from a teacher matches what she is like.

    But even she is wondering how long she can keep going. Number of things in no particular order:
    > Management part 1. It varies. And generally there’s not enough of it so managers themselves are overburdened and so miss things / make mistakes which impact teachers and kids.
    > Management part 2. Discipline support, or lack thereof. There’s always an excuse not to deal with the bampots which just emboldens them.
    > The council. Creates processes which are in conflict with what teachers are expected to do. Must use this software and must work online but oops, sorry it is down today when you need it. And again. And Again.
    > Inclusion on the cheap – not enough additional support for those who need it. If a kid needs near 1:1 attention because their capability is that of a 3 year old, then how is a teacher meant to look after the other 30+ in P5.
    > Specialisms. Things she spent time studying are being transferred to specialists to give McCrone time. She misses doing those subjects.

    None of that is impossible to sort, but needs resource and policy which does not seem to be available

    poah
    Member

    teach science so you get a max class size of 20.

    fossy
    Member

    I can’t see an ‘outstanding’ school being good to work in having seen how hard it is for even good in a HE environment (Uni).

    I work in HE training teachers, nurses, physios etc etc. they are all a hard job, and the profession is a vocation – I’m not one of those – I look after the “money”, but at all levels it’s hard, even training the ‘trainers’. Loads of government standards/audits and the like – it’s hard for teachers to deal with.

    The Education sector is very stressful. Yes we have good holidays/pension, but the constant external review pressures cause loads of stress, and then in turn, internal stress.

    It’s also a rewarding career for personal reasons – you rarely get ‘external’ praise….

    It’s a hard job – I couldn’t do it. My colleagues say they couldn’t do my job, but I’d just string the kids up. You need a good ‘team’ behind you to make teaching great. That’s where looking for a good school/college/uni structure is very important.

    teach science so you get a max class size of 20.

    Er… only my bottom set yr10’s and my tear 13’s are less than 20. The rest are between 28-32

    poah
    Member

    @anagallis_arvensis

    should have said in Scotland

    longdog
    Member

    I trained under the graduate trainee scheme to be a Primary Teacher, key stage 1 initially, then KS2.

    I loved it and the graduate scheme was a great way to train on the job and bring experience, skills and confidence into the job that straight from uni teachers often lack. Been male was seen as a big bonus by both the school and parents.

    5 years later I’m pretty sure it contributed to my ending up on incapacity due to ME/CFS though.

    Being a committed and good primary teacher is bloody hard work. Those holidays are well earned, atleast partly worked through (as are weekends) and essential for ‘recovery’, though obviously not enough in my case lol!

    Spin
    Member

    What is it all you teachers working over weekends and holidays are actually doing in that time?

    longdog
    Member

    Medium and long term planning, lesson plans, resource building, assessment write up and marking, sorting out classroom resources, displays, specialist duties (ICT & PE in my case). Even just sorting out exercise books and classrooms for new years and terms.

    Actually teaching the kids is the easy bit! Well ish….

    Spin
    Member

    I think I do most of the things you mention but mostly fit it into a fairly reasonable working day. Things are a bit different in Scotland and in secondary teaching but I wonder if that explains it all?

    longdog
    Member

    Well I don’t know how. I got maybe an hour a week that wasn’t direct teaching during school hours.

    In KS1 I also spent my dinner time most days listening to kids read while eating my sarnies.

    There’s an obsession with good schools, eleven plus, catchment areas etc and all that shit darn sarf that (apart from the odd areas of Glasgow and Edinburgh), we don’t really give a shit about.

    In the main, kids just go to their local school up here, and get an education.

    I hope to god it stays that way.

    Although Ruth Davidson bangs on about it every bloody day.

    Spin
    Member

    I got maybe an hour a week that wasn’t direct teaching during school hours.

    That makes a difference. In Scotland minimum non contact time is 5hrs per week I think.

    Spin
    Member

    I hope to god it stays that way.

    Not sure it’s going to. Phrases like ‘using data to close the attainment gap’ are getting bandied about with increasing frequency.

    Spin
    Member

    n KS1 I also spent my dinner time most days listening to kids read while eating my sarnies.

    That sounds like a choice you made? Not saying this is you but I have an awful lot of colleagues who complain about doing stuff they’ve chosen to do, been put under no pressure to do, won’t be criticised for not doing and that has minimal impact!

    longdog
    Member

    Nope, not a choice I made. I guess I could have said no its my dinner, but I’d have been out on my ear and failing my kids. I was in a fairly deprived area where most kids got no support at home, teachers would grab kids when ever they could at break or dinner to read with them. It was expected.

    Also prep for and taking part in school events, plays, bingos etc. outside normal school hours for fund raising.

    Spin
    Member

    I guess I could have said no its my dinner, but I’d have been out on my ear and failing my kids. I was in a fairly deprived area where most kids got no support at home, teachers would grab kids when ever they could at break or dinner to read with them. It was expected.

    To illustrate the differences, I absolutely cannot imagine that happening in a Scottish school.

    It also illustrates the massive governmental hypocrisy around education. They claim it’s valued and a top priority but they don’t fund it properly and instead pile pressure on teachers to improve the outcomes. If there was a literacy issue in your school there should have been a proper, proven, timetabled program to tackle it, not time wasting, sticking plaster pish like grabbing kids and reading to them in your lunch hour. You wouldn’t have been failing those kids by not doing that, the system was failing both them and you.

    I care about the pupils I teach but I also care about myself and I’m absolutely not willing to work myself into the ground to make up for governmental failings.

    I think I do most of the things you mention but mostly fit it into a fairly reasonable working day. Things are a bit different in Scotland and in secondary teaching but I wonder if that explains it all?

    Having a max of 20 in my classses would cut my marking load by about 25%

    Blimey. This makes depressing reading. My OH is a primary teacher here in País Vasco, gets paid 14 times a year (extra month at both Christmas and Summer), is usually at school from 8.30 to 16.00, til 19.00 once a week, brings nothing home except a ton of marking every term end. Hols are 21 Jun to 1 Sept, 2 weeks each at Easter and Xmas plus avg 12 días festivos, no half terms here.
    Many downsides as with any job but the teachers are well supported and she genuinely loves working with the kids, we bump into them around town fairly often and they’ll always stop and chat.
    The British way of doing things usually filters through eventually so the future doesn’t bode well…

    Sounds like there is a lot of difference between teaching secondary in Scotland and primary in England.

    Another example from England.

    A teacher I know teaching year 2. School tells her there is no money to buy basic teaching resources next year (ie. colouring pencils etc.). Without those resources the kids won’t be able to meet their attainment targets (e.g. they have to learn how to colour between the lines). But If they don’t meet their attainment targets, the teacher will be blamed and put on capability review. The heavy hint from the school that she will be expected to fund those resources herself.

    Not surprisingly she will be another teacher leaving the profession.

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