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The Pros and Cons of being a teacher

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    I am 25 years old and under-going a bit of a career change. After 3 years of working for a business as an advertising executive - i want something different!

    Now there is the potential to tease (esp if you know of the miller and armstrong sketch lol) and say that only people who fail in the real world become a teacher - WRONG! It comes down to personal values and what you want out of life.

    I have a 2:1 BA degree, am very creative and ambitious, and thought advertising would be the career for me. However, what i did not know, was all that came with entering into the business world. I loved it to start with, but eventually I realised I was not being creative but just doing glorified admin. The demands of the industry resulted in me doing 12/13 hour days on a regular basis (only getting paid for 8), chained to my computer and not knowing what I was doing it all for?!?! For some people this isn't a problem and their ambitions and goals are perhaps stronger - but then again we are all different - and my values in life and morals made me re-think my direction. I just couldn't get behind the company's aims - Where was I adding value to society? and Was my contribution really that valuable?

    From mentoring the temps in the office, I realised I loved helping people - it gave me such a sense of satisfaction and a buzz. I'm also very caring and sociable/a real people person - and the people i was surrounded by didn't seem to have the same caring outlook (not that they are bad people but they certainley had a more aggressive way of analysing and treating others). I was no less ambitious than them, but perhaps just in the wrong field.

    So, I want to change my career to one where i know I can make a difference. My mum has been a teacher all her life so I have a fair idea of how hard she has worked over the years. And more importantly she enjoys it! We have recntly discussed if teaching would be the direction for me. I volunteer at her school and funnily enough, at the end of the day I am able to turn to her and say 'I really enjoyed that.' I could never say that about my old job.

    SO, I'm still in the decision making process, but would like to contribute the pros and cons i have discovered in my research and would be keen to hear what anyone would like to contribute.

    PROS
    I am able to help others.
    As a teacher, you will wear many hats –
    a communicator,
    a disciplinarian,
    a conveyor of information,
    an evaluator,
    a classroom manager,
    a counselor,
    a member of many teams and groups,
    a decision-maker,
    a role-model,
    and a surrogate parent.
    High job satisfaction
    Passing on your knowledge and passion.
    10 weeks paid holiday
    Wall Displays!
    Having a laugh/fun with the kids
    The ability to use my own initiative and be creative.
    No two days are the same.
    You get to dabble in everything.
    Probably do less work than the average business employee, and probably smile a lot more as well!!
    Paid the same as secondary schools according to the TDA pay scale.

    CONS
    Sometimes stressful (every job is)
    Exhausting.
    Paperwork!
    You will be involved in -
    after school meetings,
    committees,
    assisting students,
    grading homework,
    assignments,
    projects,
    and calling parents - All these demand some sacrifice of your personal time.
    Children can get out of hand/ rowdy classes.
    Less opportunities to earn extra money, compared to secondary schools.
    Nitts!
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    Cons: children
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    Would you consider teaching advertising to slightly older group of students? Same impact on society and it wipes out a lot of the cons you mentioned above.
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    (Original post by Ro-flo)
    CONS
    Sometimes stressful (every job is)
    Exhausting.
    Paperwork!
    You will be involved in -
    after school meetings,
    committees,
    assisting students,
    grading homework,
    assignments,
    projects,
    and calling parents - All these demand some sacrifice of your personal time.
    Children can get out of hand/ rowdy classes.
    Less opportunities to earn extra money, compared to secondary schools.
    Nitts!
    The grading and marking would be so fun! They're surely not cons? The big con for me would be money, but the pros probably massively outweigh the cons - it would be such an amazing job. Particularly if you landed a place in a nice school.
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    Pros: Lots of holidays, easy if you cba just set some work and go to sleep behind your desk :p:
    Cons: not great earning potential

    I think being a teacher would be a really good job but i'd never pursue it just because of the salary tbh
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    (Original post by yodude888)
    Would you consider teaching advertising to slightly older group of students? Same impact on society and it wipes out a lot of the cons you mentioned above.
    Yes I would never rule out out alternative age groups, but i don't really see teaching children a problem.
    Additionally, i would rather do the GTP scheme and earn my qual on the job, rather than going back to full time study - so not sure if GTP enables me to teach adults.
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    Sometimes stressful (every job is) - not as much as other jobs! lol

    Exhausting.-yes this is true, i tutored once and it was.. can't barely walk after class lol

    Paperwork! - urm well you are already use to it :rolleyes:

    You will be involved in -
    after school meetings,
    committees,
    assisting students,
    grading homework,
    assignments,
    projects,
    and calling parents


    -OMG these is the fun part!! especially the gradings. Is there your heart starts pounding since that's the time you know if your students perform or not

    Children can get out of hand/ rowdy classes. -

    Less opportunities to earn extra money, compared to secondary schools. - Who cares?, you love what you do. It's not necessarily that you get high paying jobs you can save more money! lol. One of my lecturers was like you (from the industry) and she got 2x times more then lecturing but the things is it seems that she save more/spend less in the academic then the industry


    kudos for wanting to teach! i've so much respect for those who love to share their knowledge and to build our next generation. best of luck!!
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    (Original post by T-o dore)
    The grading and marking would be so fun! They're surely not cons? The big con for me would be money, but the pros probably massively outweigh the cons - it would be such an amazing job. Particularly if you landed a place in a nice school.
    Well from what i've reaearched, marking isn't a favourite task - but each to their own. Don't think it would bother me.
    Glad you view it in such a good light.
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    Quit the spamming please.
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    i don't think you get paid for after school 3: 15 overtime

    helping kids with C/w running after school club
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    (Original post by Ro-flo)

    PROS
    I am able to help others.
    As a teacher, you will wear many hats –
    a communicator,
    a disciplinarian,
    a conveyor of information,
    an evaluator,
    a classroom manager,
    a counselor,
    a member of many teams and groups,
    a decision-maker,
    a role-model,
    and a surrogate parent.
    High job satisfaction
    Passing on your knowledge and passion.
    10 weeks paid holiday
    Wall Displays!
    Having a laugh/fun with the kids
    The ability to use my own initiative and be creative.
    No two days are the same.
    You get to dabble in everything.
    Probably do less work than the average business employee, and probably smile a lot more as well!!
    Paid the same as secondary schools according to the TDA pay scale.

    CONS
    Sometimes stressful (every job is)
    Exhausting.
    Paperwork!
    You will be involved in -
    after school meetings,
    committees,
    assisting students,
    grading homework,
    assignments,
    projects,
    and calling parents - All these demand some sacrifice of your personal time.
    Children can get out of hand/ rowdy classes.
    Less opportunities to earn extra money, compared to secondary schools.
    Nitts!
    You do seem to have your eyes wide open going into it but you must also remember the following points:

    - hard to progress. Although you will have a salary increase each year you stay at a school it is often hard to progress to year head or headteacher within schools due to politics and bullying. You may have to take on an awful lot of unpaid extra work to try and show you are a good candidate and then maybe not get the position anyway.

    - not allowed much input on what you teach or how you teach and you will constantly be doing something wrong. The national curriculum is very restrictive and then there is your school's policy on what and how they teach. This may be ok at first, but as the years progress will become more and more frustrating and boring. You will be made to lie and change your style for OFSTED possibly.

    - difficult dealing with children who are in trouble and dealing with police/social services. Can be heartbreaking, and you have a code of ethics plus your own morality which may clash.

    - interfering parents who seek to get you in trouble because their child is thick/obnoxious. Also lying children getting you into trouble.

    - staff politics. Age comes before experience often. Staff who have been there a while generally hate change. You will find it difficult to suggest anything new. There will be established orders and hierarchies that do not necessarily correlate with official staff structure.

    - you say the cons take some sacrifice of your personal time, but it is a significant amount especially when you are new and eager and fresh and love your class and want to go the extra mile. No bad thing, but you could end up doing 3-4 unpaid hours at home every night.

    PROS

    - you will love your class. So much. You will want to help each and every one of them.
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    I'm training as a teacher (on the job) and finding it very tough. The thing keeping me going is that I don't want to let my students down and (when I actually can get a class settled enough) I really enjoy the process of planning and delivering a succssful lesson - harder than it sounds!
    Let me give you a run down of my day.

    5am - get up
    5.45am leave the house
    7.15-20am arrive at work
    7.30-8.20am - do work (marking, preparing resources, admin)
    8.20 - 9am -meetings and registration
    9am-3pm - teaching (obviously have some frees in that!)
    3pm - 6pm - stay at school planning/marking etc etc
    7pm - arrive home, make dinner, frequently do work whilst eating.
    8.30-9pm shower, chill etc
    9.30-10pm - go to bed.

    I also spnd a fair portion of my weekends doing prep/written assignments/gathering evidnce etc.

    Now I admit my schedule is lengthy because I live very far away from where I work and rely on public transport, so people in my situation who live closer to work obvioulsy have more time to themselves.

    So that is my life. Not today though, as it's a Snow Day haha!
    Ask away if you have any questions.

    (Original post by TIGIbedhead)
    Pros: Lots of holidays, easy if you cba just set some work and go to sleep behind your desk
    I dare you to go into a school and try and do this
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    I think the enjoyability of marking would depend on the subject though? I would find marking kids creative writing quite entertaining whilst marking maths would become a bit repetitive? Meh, but then you can't mark creative writing all the time so I'll scrap that idea...
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    (Original post by lemily)
    You do seem to have your eyes wide open going into it but you must also remember the following points:

    - hard to progress. Although you will have a salary increase each year you stay at a school it is often hard to progress to year head or headteacher within schools due to politics and bullying. You may have to take on an awful lot of unpaid extra work to try and show you are a good candidate and then maybe not get the position anyway.

    - not allowed much input on what you teach or how you teach and you will constantly be doing something wrong. The national curriculum is very restrictive and then there is your school's policy on what and how they teach. This may be ok at first, but as the years progress will become more and more frustrating and boring. You will be made to lie and change your style for OFSTED possibly.

    - difficult dealing with children who are in trouble and dealing with police/social services. Can be heartbreaking, and you have a code of ethics plus your own morality which may clash.

    - interfering parents who seek to get you in trouble because their child is thick/obnoxious. Also lying children getting you into trouble.

    - staff politics. Age comes before experience often. Staff who have been there a while generally hate change. You will find it difficult to suggest anything new. There will be established orders and hierarchies that do not necessarily correlate with official staff structure.

    - you say the cons take some sacrifice of your personal time, but it is a significant amount especially when you are new and eager and fresh and love your class and want to go the extra mile. No bad thing, but you could end up doing 3-4 unpaid hours at home every night.

    PROS

    - you will love your class. So much. You will want to help each and every one of them.
    I just wanted to quote this and say that I agree with everything here as well.
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    Teaching is an awsome job. Well i did it as a part timer. Taught 15,16 year olds which was very much fun. But the money would be a problem...not much i guess
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    (Original post by Becca)
    I dare you to go into a school and try and do this
    You mean that doesn't work :p:?

    I went to a pretty shoddy school tbh but i swear the teacher may as well not have been in the class in some cases for the amount of control they had/how much they taught us.
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    I have to say, after being showed some GCSE level coursework drafts by a (lovely) teacher at the school where I am volunteering, I think after a while you would forget what the english language looked like! I refuse to believe that my grammar was ever that bad. They seem incapable of realising that the rules in which order the words come in in speech are also used in writing!
    As for the pay, yes, you are not going to make a fortune, but I think it's plenty to live more than comfortably on, although it may take a few years until you are in the positition to think about buying a house, etc. I must say, the meetings and inspections sound like the worst bit of the job to me!
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    (Original post by Ro-flo)
    I am 25 years old and under-going a bit of a career change. After 3 years of working for a business as an advertising executive - i want something different!

    Now there is the potential to tease (esp if you know of the miller and armstrong sketch lol) and say that only people who fail in the real world become a teacher - WRONG! It comes down to personal values and what you want out of life.

    I have a 2:1 BA degree, am very creative and ambitious, and thought advertising would be the career for me. However, what i did not know, was all that came with entering into the business world. I loved it to start with, but eventually I realised I was not being creative but just doing glorified admin. The demands of the industry resulted in me doing 12/13 hour days on a regular basis (only getting paid for 8), chained to my computer and not knowing what I was doing it all for?!?! For some people this isn't a problem and their ambitions and goals are perhaps stronger - but then again we are all different - and my values in life and morals made me re-think my direction. I just couldn't get behind the company's aims - Where was I adding value to society? and Was my contribution really that valuable?

    From mentoring the temps in the office, I realised I loved helping people - it gave me such a sense of satisfaction and a buzz. I'm also very caring and sociable/a real people person - and the people i was surrounded by didn't seem to have the same caring outlook (not that they are bad people but they certainley had a more aggressive way of analysing and treating others). I was no less ambitious than them, but perhaps just in the wrong field.

    So, I want to change my career to one where i know I can make a difference. My mum has been a teacher all her life so I have a fair idea of how hard she has worked over the years. And more importantly she enjoys it! We have recntly discussed if teaching would be the direction for me. I volunteer at her school and funnily enough, at the end of the day I am able to turn to her and say 'I really enjoyed that.' I could never say that about my old job.

    SO, I'm still in the decision making process, but would like to contribute the pros and cons i have discovered in my research and would be keen to hear what anyone would like to contribute.

    PROS
    I am able to help others.
    As a teacher, you will wear many hats –
    a communicator,
    a disciplinarian,
    a conveyor of information,
    an evaluator,
    a classroom manager,
    a counselor,
    a member of many teams and groups,
    a decision-maker,
    a role-model,
    and a surrogate parent.
    High job satisfaction
    Passing on your knowledge and passion.
    10 weeks paid holiday
    Wall Displays!
    Having a laugh/fun with the kids
    The ability to use my own initiative and be creative.
    No two days are the same.
    You get to dabble in everything.
    Probably do less work than the average business employee, and probably smile a lot more as well!!
    Paid the same as secondary schools according to the TDA pay scale.

    CONS
    Sometimes stressful (every job is)
    Exhausting.
    Paperwork!
    You will be involved in -
    after school meetings,
    committees,
    assisting students,
    grading homework,
    assignments,
    projects,
    and calling parents - All these demand some sacrifice of your personal time.
    Children can get out of hand/ rowdy classes.
    Less opportunities to earn extra money, compared to secondary schools.
    Nitts!
    Urmmm, you teach the same syllabus year after year after year. Also, if you're teaching several classes the same subject/grade standard, you can end up teaching the same lesson 3 times in a day...
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    Pros:
    The kids can be fun
    Their work can be fun/inspiring to mark
    Lessons can be fun to plan, especially if you break out of the box a little bit
    Good hours
    Good holidays
    Pay could be worse
    You're setting the kids up for life, not just academically, but also socially

    Cons:
    Parents' evenings are a pain in the butt...why would I still want to be in school at 8pm?
    As per the above, in my school we also have conseils de classe before the kids' reports are released. These start at 4 and depending on the size of the year group/s can go on to 6, 7 or even 8, which when it takes you an hour to go home is VERY annoying.
    Kids thinking it's OK to copy work off the internet
    Behaviour (there are problems with this in both primary and secondary)
    All the subsequent disciplinary stuff as per the above is also a pain
    Kids who make you feel like the World's Worst Person for making them pick up a pen and write something
    Pay could be better
    Sometimes the parents can be worse than the kids!!!
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    (Original post by TIGIbedhead)
    You mean that doesn't work :p:?

    I went to a pretty shoddy school tbh but i swear the teacher may as well not have been in the class in some cases for the amount of control they had/how much they taught us.
    Haha it really doesn't work, especially if you are a concientious teacher who wants their pupils to learn. They would run riot.
    Maybe in a grammar school, but not in most schools. Kids can be very unforgiving so you can't really afford to have "off days", at least not in front of them.

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Updated: February 22, 2009
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