Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm having a bit of a down day today and don't have many people to talk to, so I'm going to *talk* to you.

I'm in my final semester of teaching and am seriously doubting this whole career change, but as I'm almost finished my Masters, I really can't quit.

I used to work in marketing and was quite successful. I had a good managerial job in an industry that most cool cats would want to work in. During the GFC and while on maternity leave, I was retrenched (yes it can happen, yes it was legal), as I had negotiated my role down to three days and they wanted me back five days and some.

The funny thing was, I was only planning on returning to work after the birth of James to save up enough money to quit and start my teaching degree, so this whole redundancy thing was just the kick I needed to get that happening.

So now, three years later and almost at the end of the teaching degree, I'm really worried about my career change decision. I'm really good at marketing and know that I could get a part time job that I'd enjoy.

Teaching though, is new and I know the first few years will be tough. I don't know if I'm ready for the change and I'm not sure I want to do it. It also doesn't help that my recent discussions with those who are teachers haven't been positive. Most don't like their job, the paperwork, the discipline, the work, the bureaucracy, etc.  No wonder I'm stressed!

I have my first day of prac teaching next Monday and just hoping that I get a nice, supportive, positive teacher. I'm desperate to re-invigorate my interest in becoming a teacher. I'm desperate to be reassured that I haven't wasted this past two and a bit years back at university.

Now because every post needs a photo, here's one that makes me happy. This is from our recent holiday to Port Douglas. This is what eating out with three kids looks like.
Pencils, books and beverages are a must while you wait for food.

Now I really must get back to this horrible assignment that I need to finish. I'm really not in the zone for writing it though, so it's taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r!


  1. I never used to have doubt. Maybe its being a parent or a grown up, but it seems that I am constantly wondering if I am making the right choice.

    Good luck!

  2. I finished my teaching degree right before I had my 1st daughter. Now, 4 daughters and 8.5 years later, I still haven't used it. So perhaps I'm not in the best position to advise, but I do remember that doing the pracs reminded me about why I was doing all that study and slogging through all the assignments. Good luck with your prac, I hope it gives you the chance to refresh your enthusiasm for your new career!

  3. I feel for you.

    That prac next week will help you know if you've made the right decision.

    My husband did a teaching degree as a mature age student a few years ago and the pracs really helped him sort out whether teaching was the right choice for him.

    Here's hoping you get a teacher who lets you run the class without interfering.

    Now, get back to your assignment!

  4. I think you need to trust why you wanted to be a teacher in the first place, that must have been a powerful moment but we can all get bogged down in the chores of life (and negative comments don't help) that can make us lose our way a little. You are going to be fine.

  5. i taught many years before i had kids. yes, teaching is hard work, and especially here in the states, it is an underpaid, unappreciated vocation. but at the end of the day, you will know in your heart that you are in it not for the tangible rewards, but because you want to make a difference doing something that really matters in the world. good luck with your prac!

  6. Cold feet.....teaching, changing lives, making a difference, holidays off with your kids.......believe in yourself; if you are truly unhappy with your choice you can still go back to marketing down the track all the richer for what you have learned.

  7. My husband and I are both teachers. I taught for 9 years full-time before having children. I have spent the past 6 years, since having children, job-sharing with my husband.

    It certainly sounds like you've been talking to some disenchanted teachers. Perhaps they should take a leaf out of your book and find the courage to make a career change. Changing careers is a very challenging thing to do and I admire anyone who's not happy with their chosen field, to take that plunge.

    I enjoy teaching and find it very rewarding. However, it is challenging and at times difficult. I think all jobs that are rewarding and stimulating are like that. Challenges can both be exciting and difficult.

    I say give it your best shot. If it turns out it's not for you, then I'm 100% sure the degree with come in handy when you're applying in different fields. There are so many skills to be learned in this profession that can be applied out of the classroom.

    I'm not sure what kind of teaching you are doing. I'm a primary school teacher. If you need any assistance over the next few weeks please feel free to email me - pbgubby at spin dot net dot au. The best bit of advice I can give you is to work smarter, not harder. No really late nights. If you can't do this, you'll burn out after the first 7 days and it will show.(I've had a few prac students like this and it ain't pretty!)

    All the best.

  8. Go back and think about why, even when you were on maternity leave, you wanted to go into teaching.
    There will always be those who are not happy that seem intent on sharing their dissatisfaction with others - unfortunately they have the loudest voices often.
    Trust your initial judgement about why you wanted to teach - why it suits your and your family and what you want to achieve.
    I hope you get a wonderfully positive experience next week and it puts your mind at rest.

  9. I think you should first practice as a teacher for for a little time. It is a great task to handle children and if you don´t like it after some time, you can change to your former profession. Perhaps you are afraid in some way to do your examination next week, but if you have no controlling and when you will work as a real teacher you will come to know very soon what you want to work as.
    You can be very proud of you that you have two professions and trust to your feeling.
    I wish you all the best and, no doubt, you will make the right decision!

    Good luck!

    (Sorry for my bad English, but I hope you will understand me)

    Many greetings from Germany

  10. I think that everyone wonders about their career choices at times! There are always good and bad days, no matter what you are doing. Teaching is hard work but is very rewarding, and honestly most things are are rewarding are also hard work! A teaching degree is never a wasted degree, whether you end up working in that field or not. I taught for six years, and although I haven't taught now since the 90s (!!) it was a very worthwhile qualification. So applicable to so many different things. Have faith, and follow your heart. And stick in there through the tough bits! I know that you will.

  11. Boy! What a hard thing to ponder! You are so close to being finished and once you are, you will always have that piece of paper that shows your hard work.

    Even if you decide that now is not the time for the career change, you never know what's going to happen in a couple of years. At least you will have the option if you want it.

    And in the other side of the coin, maybe the practice will renew that drive to teach! Either way, if you do it as well as you do all the stuff on your blog, you will rock it woman! *hugs!

  12. Can I just encourage you?

    Having 3 blessings at school (when they are older) and you working the same hours as them, having the same holidays as them etc may just outweigh the doubts....

    I disliked dropping the kids at the gate and them walking home after school to an empty house.
    A good friend of mine is a teacher and although she has been doing it MANY years and is a little over it, she loves that her kids are at the school she teaches at etc.

    I hope you do well in your exam.

    Ps - love your blog!

  13. You are so close to the end and it is at this time that truely you feel a little bit over all the study. Once you get away from the uni environment I am sure you will have a change of heart. Any degree is not wasted. I have a degree in Criminology - do I use it no - what would I use it for, do I regret doing it - no.

    I guess those teachers telling you that they dont like their profession is like women telling a first time mother-to-be when they are pregnant all the horrors of child birth. That is their story, that is their experience. This does not mean that it is going to be your experience. Maybe they should have a career change.

  14. You'll be an awesome teacher Chris - awesome. You're just exhausted.

    My mother waas a kindy teacher for over 40 years and never tired of it. And three of our good friends are teachers and love it - so don't buy into the negativity too much.

    Stick with it. Any child will be lucky to have you as their teacher - wanna move to Brisbane?

    C xxx

  15. I'm glad all these other people have said what I have been thinking. You are super woman and never stop, if it isn't for you you will work it out but you can't get this close and not have a fair go at it.

    Love ya, Sis

  16. I am one unit from completing my Teachers Aide course. It's far less work and study that what you are doing and I take my hat off to you. I absolutely love my time in the classroom at school and when I get called into work at preschool. It keeps me going with my studies to get them finished. I think the prac will give you your gut answer next week. When you are in the classroom with those kids, seeing them learning, watching them succeed, sitting beside them, knowing you are part of the person they are going to end up being, knowing you are educating the next generation, it's such a wonderful feeling and it will get you through. Stick with the studies, even if you decide later on that teaching is not for you, you have at least not wasted the study you have already done. I say go for it, I say good on you, and those negative teachers you have been speaking to? I think they need to seriously take a long good hard look at themselves. I pity the students in their classes if they have such a negative outlook. If anything, the knowledge you gain from your studies will only enable you to educate and support your own darlings too. Be gentle on yourself, see how the prac goes, and most of all, have fun. Learning is fun, it has to be, otherwise none of us would do it.

  17. Good Luck today with your prac teaching!!

    I have been mulling over this since you posted it but can never get into 'serious' writing when at home!

    I think this is totally normal for awesome people like us!

    My 'advice' or more like thoughts would be to definately finish your degree - have a big party - evaluate your options and follow your heart!

    If you have the passion and want to go back into marketing go for it...and then if/when you are ready for a change you will already have your degree and can cruise into that!

    I don't think you should have any regrets with the time you have spent on different paths as they all have been right!

    You have so many different things going on - I think you do a great job of balancing them - even though the tough times!

    Go on, get out there and prac teach some awesome kids today...and then whatever your heart / passion tells you!

    PS I also thought this was interesing:

    With the idea that our generation will have 7 different careers in our lifetime!


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