Should I give teaching a go? Watch

Lkathryn08
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So essentially I’m currently on a placement year during my chemical engineering degree and I’m not really enjoying it to say the least. I can’t wait to finish and I’m counting down the days. It got me thinking that I might not want to persue engineering at all. Teaching is one of those things which keeps popping in my head.

I’ve been researching it trying to find the pros and cons and I’m not trying to be naive about this to not cloud my judgement. I’m aware of the long hours, lack of respect and lower pay. But I’m still tempted to go for it.

My biggest concern right now is that I’d be taking a considerable pay hit than if I continued Chem eng. But I hate sitting a work bored everyday and I don’t think I could do what I’m doing now for the rest of my life, job satisfaction has definitely become way more important for me.

I’ve also been trying to come up with points of why I want to be a teacher. I have loved learning and aside from getting picked on by other kids I loved being at school and helping others try to understand the material. As cliche as it sounds but knowing I could help students come to grips with stuff they just couldn’t understand before and being there to support them is really what is making want to go for it. I want to be there for kids like the teachers who did for me. I know I will get disruptive kids who will do everything they can to disrupt class and act out but it would be more interesting than what I do now.

At the moment I’m thinking of applying to teachfirst as I can do that along with other applying for other engineering grad jobs as well as I definitely wouldn’t be going back to uni. I don’t really want to go back to uni after doing an integrated masters with a placement. If I don’t get it then maybe that gives me the idea that it’s not for me, I feel it also gives me more time to make up my mind.

I’m not sure at all at this point. If anyone could help me and give some advice, it would be much appreciated.
Last edited by Lkathryn08; 2 weeks ago
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LucyDee1
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Hi there,

I can empathise with you fully. I went from being an engineering recruiter earning close to 6figs, to leaving to become a teacher.

As with any job, the ‘teaching’ part or the ‘recruiting’ part or the ‘engineering’ part is not the whole picture. You have to consider the other roles of a teacher. Are you going to enjoy planning lessons, marking books, dealing with parents?

In terms of salary, it was a no brainier for me. I was miserable. Doesn’t matter if I can afford a nice bottle of wine and do my shopping at Waitrose, I knew I’d be miserable if I stayed in the corporate world.

Teaching is VERY supportive. Your boss and colleagues are all rooting for you, and helping you. I never had that in corporate, where everyone was looking to scape-goat each other and blow out your candles.

I would also disagree with your comment about teachers being disrespected. They are, but only by ignorant folk, who probably don’t have the adequate GCSEs to enter the professional and are frankly, jealous.

New generation teachers, young ones basically, are highly intelligent, professional, no-nonesense people, like you and I. They have met much more stringent standards than teachers of 40 years ago, and that is very obvious when you meet them. I have really enjoyed working with my colleagues, and I have been very impressed by them all. They put the corporate world and older gen to shame.

You’ll make like-minded friends in no time, lots of whom were studious types also picked on at school. Plus you’ll have a secure job with 13 weeks holiday a year. ‘Who’s laughing now high-school bullies!’

Also, the teachers in my school arrive at 8:30 and leave at 4pm latest. The school is a ghost town after that. And that’s a huge secondary comprehensive, (ofsted outstanding). Don’t listen to rumours started by disgruntled teachers who were ineffective at planning and took on more than they were ever required to. Schools are very careful to avoid union action, and they don’t force you to work long hours. There’s been a lot of change in teaching, and that hasn’t suited a lot of the older gen IMO.

So, in a nutshell, I would say you're onto a winner with teaching. Go for it girl!

Sounds to me like you’re fully aware and realistic about the pitfalls of teaching, but you have also realised the immense benefits, and I think your mind is made up. Welcome to teaching! You’re gunna love it!
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ByEeek
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Get a job as a process engineer. Your degree is completely different to the actual jobs you are studying for. Go out, experience the world, get paid a tonne of cash, buy a house and when you are bored of all that, then become a teacher. Teaching isn't something you dabble in and reflecting on your experiences as a school kid is no way to assess what it is like for a teacher.

You have your whole life ahead of you. Don't waste and burn yourself out by going into teaching first. The best teachers are those who have experienced life. Right now, all you know is education.

I have a load of mates who did Chem Eng at uni and are all earning in excess of £100k now (20 years later). Don't waste your degree on teaching.

Good luck!
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LucyDee1
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Ouch! Response to the rather negative gentleman suggesting teaching is for those who’ve become bored of their more exciting, high earning career.

Stick with teaching for 20 years and you could be head teacher... earning over £100k too. After just 5 years you could be head of dept/ks/year group, on £45-50k. That’s not bad for a 27 year old!

You’ll not just be buying your own lovely house, you’ll also then be sitting in your garden all summer long watching your chem eng mates squeeze in a week to lanzarote if they’re lucky!

Don’t knock teaching, there’s money to be earned and fulfilment to be had!
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Muttley79
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Don't waste your degree on teaching.
Good job your teachers ddn't think like that - not everyone is obsessed by money.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Lkathryn08)
So essentially I’m currently on a placement year during my chemical engineering degree and I’m not really enjoying it to say the least. I can’t waot to finish and I’m counting down the days. It got me thinking that I might not want to pressure engineering at all. Teaching is one of those things which keeps popping in my head.

I’ve been researching it trying to find the pros and cons and I’m not trying to be naive about this to not cloud my judgement. I’m aware of the long hours, lack of respect and lower pay. But I’m still tempted to go for it.

My biggest concern right now is that I’d be taking a considerable pay hit than if I continued Chem eng. But I hate sitting a work bored everyday and I don’t think I could do what I’m doing now for the rest of my life, job satisfaction has definitely become way more important for me.

I’ve also been trying to come up with points of why I want to be a teacher. I have loved learning and aside from getting picked on by other kids I loved being at school and helping others try to understand the material. As cliche as it sounds but knowing I could help students come to grips with stuff they just couldn’t understand before and being there to support them is really what is making want to go for it. I want to be there for kids like the teachers who did for me. I know I will get disruptive kids who will do everything they can to disrupt class and act out but it would be more interesting than what I do now.

At the moment I’m thinking of applying to teachfirst as I can do that along with other engineering grad jobs as well as I definitely wouldn’t be going back to uni. I don’t rwally want to go back to uni after doing an integrated masters with a placement. If I don’t get it then maybe that gives me the idea that it’s not for me, I feel it also gives me more time to make up my mind.

I’m not sure at all at this point. If anyone could help me and give some advice, it would be much appreciated.
Teaching is a rewarding career and money, as you've already found, is not everything. Look into the different routes into teaching but avoid Teach First.
Science teachers are in demand so you'll be able to pick a good school to work in. In addition, analytical skills mean you should soon get promotion if you want it

You could try to get into a school after your placement finishes to see how you get on.

https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
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Lkathryn08
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(Original post by LucyDee1)
Hi there,

I can empathise with you fully. I went from being an engineering recruiter earning close to 6figs, to leaving to become a teacher.

As with any job, the ‘teaching’ part or the ‘recruiting’ part or the ‘engineering’ part is not the whole picture. You have to consider the other roles of a teacher. Are you going to enjoy planning lessons, marking books, dealing with parents?

In terms of salary, it was a no brainier for me. I was miserable. Doesn’t matter if I can afford a nice bottle of wine and do my shopping at Waitrose, I knew I’d be miserable if I stayed in the corporate world.

Teaching is VERY supportive. Your boss and colleagues are all rooting for you, and helping you. I never had that in corporate, where everyone was looking to scape-goat each other and blow out your candles.

I would also disagree with your comment about teachers being disrespected. They are, but only by ignorant folk, who probably don’t have the adequate GCSEs to enter the professional and are frankly, jealous.

New generation teachers, young ones basically, are highly intelligent, professional, no-nonesense people, like you and I. They have met much more stringent standards than teachers of 40 years ago, and that is very obvious when you meet them. I have really enjoyed working with my colleagues, and I have been very impressed by them all. They put the corporate world and older gen to shame.

You’ll make like-minded friends in no time, lots of whom were studious types also picked on at school. Plus you’ll have a secure job with 13 weeks holiday a year. ‘Who’s laughing now high-school bullies!’

Also, the teachers in my school arrive at 8:30 and leave at 4pm latest. The school is a ghost town after that. And that’s a huge secondary comprehensive, (ofsted outstanding). Don’t listen to rumours started by disgruntled teachers who were ineffective at planning and took on more than they were ever required to. Schools are very careful to avoid union action, and they don’t force you to work long hours. There’s been a lot of change in teaching, and that hasn’t suited a lot of the older gen IMO.

So, in a nutshell, I would say you're onto a winner with teaching. Go for it girl!

Sounds to me like you’re fully aware and realistic about the pitfalls of teaching, but you have also realised the immense benefits, and I think your mind is made up. Welcome to teaching! You’re gunna love it!
Thank you so much for your response. It’s nice to know it’s not just me who has felt like this.

The reason I want to do it is because I think I want to enjoy what I do and I think I could do this with teaching. I did an a-level day for students coming to my work and I actually really enjoyed preparing that and all the resources to support the workshop. I really enjoyed it and it made me really think that I might want to do this even if I have to mark loads of books and deal with parents.

Also it’s really nice to see someone who disagrees with the typical sterotypes of teaching such as working ridiculous hours.

I think I need to give it more thought but thank you so much for your positive response!
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Lkathryn08
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Get a job as a process engineer. Your degree is completely different to the actual jobs you are studying for. Go out, experience the world, get paid a tonne of cash, buy a house and when you are bored of all that, then become a teacher. Teaching isn't something you dabble in and reflecting on your experiences as a school kid is no way to assess what it is like for a teacher.

You have your whole life ahead of you. Don't waste and burn yourself out by going into teaching first. The best teachers are those who have experienced life. Right now, all you know is education.

I have a load of mates who did Chem Eng at uni and are all earning in excess of £100k now (20 years later). Don't waste your degree on teaching.

Good luck!
well I’m curently on my placement year, so not all I know is education. What I know is that I really don’t like this current role I’m in now, I am counting down the days I have left until I’m done with my placement. I don’t think I could see myself doing what I’m currently doing for 5+ years. To me there is no point in hating what you have to do for a third of your life. I think I’ve learnt that money really isn’t everything. While I enjoyed the actual content of my degree, I don’t like my job. The only reason I can continue with it is I know that it will be over soon enough.

I’m not sure feeling like this is worth the money because it starts to consume my free time because I spend it dreading going in to work.

I’m not going to abandon engineering completely as it may just be this particular company or role but not sure yet. Like I said, at the minute my plan is I will still apply to Chem eng grad roles too but I’m probably going to apply for teaching too and if I end up not getting on to the teaching program then maybe it isn’t right for me and that will make me feel better about my decision.
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DSutch
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The title of your thread put me off a bit. You seem to have good reasons, but it should be with the aim of it being a career, not something for a few years.
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hello_shawn
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Private tutoring could pay more than teaching nowadays, on top of knowing your subject fully you have to know the specs of the exams your clients are studying for, plus you have the freedom to stray a little out of the spec to give your clients a better learning experience than inside a classroom
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Lkathryn08
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Teaching is a rewarding career and money, as you've already found, is not everything. Look into the different routes into teaching but avoid Teach First.
Science teachers are in demand so you'll be able to pick a good school to work in. In addition, analytical skills mean you should soon get promotion if you want it

You could try to get into a school after your placement finishes to see how you get on.

https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/
Thank you so much for your reply. Why would you recommend not doing teachfirst? The main reason that was my plan right now is because I can apply for that with other chem eng grad roles because at this point I’m still not sure. If I apply to a PGCE I will have to be at university for another year which I don’t want to do really as I’ll have already been a student for 5 years when I graduate. I also feel that I will have to commit more to doing a PGCE.
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Lkathryn08
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(Original post by DSutch)
The title of your thread put me off a bit. You seem to have good reasons, but it should be with the aim of it being a career, not something for a few years.
Maybe my thread is poorly titled but going in with the idea of it being a career is completely my intention.

It was more to do with leaving my current career plan of being an engineer to starting a teaching career. It’s just it was never my plan to go into teaching. It was always in the back of my head as something I would potentially enjoy doing but as for the cons I listed on my first post I did an engineering degree instead, knowing that it is something I could go into if I felt like that’s what I wanted to do.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by Lkathryn08)
Thank you so much for your reply. Why would you recommend not doing teachfirst? The main reason that was my plan right now is because I can apply for that with other chem eng grad roles because at this point I’m still not sure. If I apply to a PGCE I will have to be at university for another year which I don’t want to do really as I’ll have already been a student for 5 years when I graduate. I also feel that I will have to commit more to doing a PGCE.
Teach First is not a good programme as you get thrown into the deep end with poor support. I spend some of my time working in other schols to help people failed by this scheme!
A PGCE is not like a degree as you spend about half the year in school teaching but you learn how to teach and the pedagogy behind effective teaching.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Good job your teachers ddn't think like that - not everyone is obsessed by money.
I am a teacher myself. And I see these bright young things entering the profession straight out of uni full of enthusiasm. And then the reality bites and the degridation is scary. The stats then show that after 5 years, half leave.

Teaching is great but my view is that the best teachers are those who have experience of the real world outside the very bizarre world of education.

Ps I career changed after 17 years. My teaching reflects that experience.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Lkathryn08)
well I’m curently on my placement year, so not all I know is education. What I know is that I really don’t like this current role I’m in now, I am counting down the days I have left until I’m done with my placement. I don’t think I could see myself doing what I’m currently doing for 5+ years. To me there is no point in hating what you have to do for a third of your life. I think I’ve learnt that money really isn’t everything. While I enjoyed the actual content of my degree, I don’t like my job. The only reason I can continue with it is I know that it will be over soon enough.

I’m not sure feeling like this is worth the money because it starts to consume my free time because I spend it dreading going in to work.

I’m not going to abandon engineering completely as it may just be this particular company or role but not sure yet. Like I said, at the minute my plan is I will still apply to Chem eng grad roles too but I’m probably going to apply for teaching too and if I end up not getting on to the teaching program then maybe it isn’t right for me and that will make me feel better about my decision.
What are you doing? My mates work in a variety of industrys from oil, nuclear, pharmasutics to dog food of all things!

Follow your dreams by all means but be aware that teaching is brutal at the moment, especially science.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I am a teacher myself. And I see these bright young things entering the profession straight out of uni full of enthusiasm. And then the reality bites and the degridation is scary. The stats then show that after 5 years, half leave.

Teaching is great but my view is that the best teachers are those who have experience of the real world outside the very bizarre world of education.

Ps I career changed after 17 years. My teaching reflects that experience.
I don't think you can generalise. I'm regarded as an outstanding teacher and get seconded to help other teachers. I went straight into teaching [did have summer jobs when studying] and I'm told I was 'a natural'. I've know people come late into teaching who are amazing and others who think it's going to be easy and see it as an 'escape' - they usually struggle.
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username1230881
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I'd start with getting some school experience, if at all possible - most routes to teaching prefer you to have had a day or more in a state school pre-application, but more importantly you won't really know if it's for you without the experience.
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JAYPHENTON
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Hey I'm kind of in the same position expect I've done 2 years in a grad job, I did Mechanical Engineering at university and also have bit of experience in a secondary school teaching maths and loved it! I finished uni fell into a grad job and just don't really enjoy sitting at a desk all day I personally find it very boring so have just started applying for PGCE courses, I know it's going to be a pay hit but at the end of the day I want to be doing something which is more rewarding and I enjoy. I also registered my interest on the government site and they've been very helpful! I guess you've just got to weigh up the pros and cons and see which route suits you best but also remember nothing is forever and you can always change and do a PGCE after being in a grad job for a while or go into a grad job after teaching for a while! Good luck I'm sure it'll work out all good
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