I have a PhD in the biological sciences and worked as a postdoc before going on a long career break after having children. I am eager to enter the workforce now and I am looking into teaching as a profession. I absolutely loved teaching undergraduates and graduate students during my time in research. Recently, I had a great time volunteering in a primary school, and I also really enjoy tutoring A-level biology students. I have not been able to get experience in a secondary school despite contacting several; I am waiting to hear back for the DfE school experience request. I am thinking about applying for a PGCE, School direct QTS, or the new teaching apprentiship route to QTS to teach Biology at secondary school. However, some of the stories I have come across on The Student Room about being placed in inadequately performing schools, poor mentorship, extreme behaviour management issues, poor school leadership, as well as the overwhelming workload for teachers from lesson planning, marking and adminstrative work, has got me questioning my choices. Although I have done plenty of marking and make my own resources for lessons, I have never done formal lesson plans. I have been lucky enough to have only taught well-behaved students and whilst I am prepared to tackle behavioural issues, I am not sure if I would survive if I was thrown in the deep end.
Could any of you share your experiences of going into teaching after a PhD? How did you find state school vs state grammar vs independent? Are you spending most of your evenings/weekends with lesson planning and marking? Have any of the schools you have worked for implemented strategies to reduce workload e.g. centralised lesson planning, automated question and marking software, AI generated lesson plans?