Many moms consider a career in teaching at some point. Often when our own kids start school, and we’re desperate to find work that lets us have school holidays at home with our family. It can be hard to find work that’s flexible enough to let you have time off around school holidays and finish at three to pick the kids up the rest of the time, and many moms see teaching as their only option if they want to work. But, is teaching right for you? Yes, the hours and holidays might be ideal, but there’s a lot more to think about.
Are You Ready to Study?
You can’t just go into teaching. You might be able to get another job in a school, perhaps in the office or kitchen or even working as a classroom assistant, but if you want to teach, you’ll need to take on further education. What you need will depend heavily on what age group and subject you want to teach. You’ll probably need an education masters, but you may also require further qualifications in a particular subject if you’re going to teach it. If you don’t already have these qualifications, this can mean at least an extra year at school.
Then, there’s on the job training. Teaching isn’t like anything else, and it can be a steep learning curve even after you’ve started work. Then, even when you are comfortable in your role, the curriculum can suddenly change. If you want to be a teacher, you need to be prepared for a lifetime of learning, not just teaching.
Could you Be Around Children All Day?
Teaching is very different from parenting. These children aren’t your own. You’ll have to care about their needs and their futures, be empathetic to their feelings, put up with poor behavior and moods and have their best interests at heart, all of the time. It can be much harder when they’re not your own.
Can You Handle the Emotional Side?
As a teacher, you’ll spend time with some of the most underprivileged children in society. Some days, kids in your class will come to school hungry, they’ll be upset and cry, they might get angry and take it out on you. You’ll come across children who don’t have great relationships with their parents, and you might sometimes suspect abuse or neglect. You’ll need to know when to step in and help instinctively. Sometimes, you’ll have to go far beyond your everyday job. Some people can handle this. They’re empathetic, they cope well under pressure, they comfort and help, and then they go home and switch off. Others can’t. They either can’t deal with this side of their jobs, or they can’t switch off at the end of the day. Ask yourself if you are really the type of person that should be helping these children.
Do You Understand the Hours?
Many people go into teaching thinking that they’ll work 9-3, Monday to Friday for 39 weeks of the year and that will be it. This isn’t the case. You’ll be in school for 8am most days. You might not leave until five, later if there are events taking place or meetings with parents. You’ll take marking and lesson planning home, even on the days that you are there late. You’ll have to work for days in the holidays or spend time preparing your next classes. Make sure you understand what your working schedule will be like.