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Thinking of packing it in


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#1 DoobieDoo

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 16:59

On paper/screen it looks crazy. I admit that. But it doesn't change the way I feel.

 

After about 20 years of instrumental tuition I don't want to start the new term, I feel ready for a change and have an interview for a slightly-over-the-minimum-wage job.

 

I actually love teaching and most of my pupils seem fond of me too, but the drawbacks have got to me.

 

I don't at all mind working hard , but I'm still skint all the time because so much of it is necessarily unpaid.

 

I feel that I can't always teach the way I want to, at least in schools, where the music hub who put me there insist on offering 20-minute sessions (even for the older kids) and where the parents are obsessed with exams.

 

I feel as if I haven't moved on, still doing exactly the same thing  after all this time, although my friends are scaling the ladder.

 

The only thing making me hesitate is that whenever I meet new people they invariably say what a lovely job I have! I've never been in thrall to other people's opinions but of course I agree with this! It is a lovely job, and has become my identity to some degree.

 

So why am I so desperate to go off and take a low status role working for a big company?


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#2 DoobieDoo

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 17:13

No, not trolling. Just curious as to whether anyone else feels like this.

 

Apologies if you felt it was wasting your time, but you didn't have to read it or reply.


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#3 sbhoa

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 17:23

I imagine it could easily be frustrating to be in a situation where you can't teach as you think best. 

Trying to do exam preparation on 20 minute lessons and with all the school holidays must be very difficult, though I know that people do manage somehow. (Perhaps by teaching to the syllabus rather than with more depth of knowledge and understanding?)

When I was first starting to teach one of my teachers said 'Don't work in schools unless you have to...'

Do you get to play for yourself and do any performing? Maybe getting out of this less than ideal situation and working at a 'regular' job would give you space to enjoy playing for yourself more and maybe you could manage a few hour private teaching on your own terms.


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#4 jpiano

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 18:03

There are plenty of classroom teachers who've had enough and moved to a job that acquaintances might describe as reduced in status- if by that you mean needing fewer qualifications, training, years of experience, and so on, than their teaching role.  How do we measure status at work anyway? It's more important to be happy and relaxed and I really wouldn't worry about what others think. I wonder, too, how far this whole thing about teaching piano being a 'lovely' job afflicts other roles too which are an extension of an activity the person loves doing? It's a problem that's bound up as well with the numerous threads about difficulties in enforcing terms and conditions and problems over late payment in that what we do is not perceived by everyone to be a 'real' job but either a hobby or a wonderful and creative vocation.

 

I spent 12 years doing peri teaching as well as renting a room in a music school - there were many happy years but by the end I'd had more than enough of the conditions, short terms which limited earnings, teaching in a cupboard (literally) and trying to meet expectations about doing exams on short lesson times, which meant a far more exam-centered approach than I usually do. I also know that the pressure to 'do grades' is more intense in some regions of the country where scholarships or  grammar school entry is an issue. I also found a whole day of 20 (or even 15) minute lessons was exhausting and could be very repetitive as it was a lot of little lessons at the same level, instead of longer lessons with diverse ages and standards which is what I do now at home. Plus I can charge more and have longer terms and I teach through part of the holidays, which means I don't need to have every single moment filled up and have time for other activities. The other thing I found was the dashing from one school to another ate into my time and meant that I had no time or energy for my own teaching development-after a while that will lead to staleness.

 

I take it you've researched the job you're going for to try, so far as you can, to make sure it doesn't replicate the negative aspects of your teaching work. As well as working out what it is you love about teaching and whether you could transfer this to another job, and maybe take on some private teaching that you're in control of and investigate some new and fresh ways of working.


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#5 BadStrad

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 18:22

Doobiedoo, I sympathise with your situation.  Teaching can be hugely rewarding, but when the associated stress is outweighing  the rewards, and you can't see a way to reduce or remove the stress, then it is maybe time for a change.

 

It sounds like what you need right now is a break, a time to recharge your batteries and perhaps the job you have an interview for is the stop-gap you need before moving forwards again.  I agree with JPiano that maybe some private teaching would be a good move for you as you so enjoy teaching.  If you feel ready to take that forward, could you offer lessons outside school to any of your existing pupils?  If you need the total break from teaching, then go for the job, gather your strength and then relaunch as a teacher with the support of the other job.

 

Good luck.


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#6 MusicMatters!

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 19:15

Heres my thinking.....

My guess is that in every job, its possible...no likely to get cheesed off after 20 years...but does that mean you should jump ship? Maybe, maybe not...

i can understand having that general feeling of unsure.png so i suggest making a list of all aspects, details of your job and then ticking off which tasks you most dislike doing.....its possible that you can improve the situation enough to breathe new life into it.

 

Next, I'd find out everything there is to know about this other job.....talk to people in a similar position and find out what drives them barmy about th work..then make another list and again tick off what you would enjoy and/r hate about this alternative position.

 

And lastly, I look at a completely different area....what would be my ideal job of there were no limitations? Is it possible for me to retrain? Maybe study thru distance learning?

 

That what I'd do....best of luck!


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#7 DoobieDoo

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 20:48

Thanks, people, for the very helpful thoughts and the excellent advice. I do have private pupils and find that side of things rewarding but as there are limited after-school hours in a day, I need the schools work to pay the rent. I do play and write outside of teaching, and was wondering whether having a job that requires less thought and simply requires less of 'me,' as sbhoa says, would lend extra vitality to my own musical endeavours. Or perhaps I do simply need to apply fresh thinking. I'll make some lists!


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#8 edgmusic

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 21:07

As I am on line
 
Apologies if you are not.
 
But are you trolling? It's against forum rules.
 
If you want to 'retire' do it. It's your decision. Go get a "low status role working for a big company". [/size]
 
How can we offer advice as you have the figures to make a living out of teaching or not!\[/size]
Stop wasting people's time.


[/size]



A bit harsh, I feel. I saw nothing in the post to suggest trolling.

The poster is having doubts about continuing and looking for support and advice from others on the forum. That's what we are for. Many teachers on here have probably had similar feelings at some time over the years.

I found your blunt response very unhelpful and disappointing.
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#9 hummingbird

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Posted 01 September 2017 - 22:22

 

As I am on line
 
Apologies if you are not.
 
But are you trolling? It's against forum rules.
 
If you want to 'retire' do it. It's your decision. Go get a "low status role working for a big company". [/size]
 
How can we offer advice as you have the figures to make a living out of teaching or not!\[/size]
Stop wasting people's time.


[/size]

A bit harsh, I feel. I saw nothing in the post to suggest trolling.

The poster is having doubts about continuing and looking for support and advice from others on the forum. That's what we are for. Many teachers on here have probably had similar feelings at some time over the years.

I found your blunt response very unhelpful and disappointing.

 

Perhaps the OP would find it helpful if magicfingers would be willing to relate his/her experiences of leaving teaching for a corporate job?

 

 

 

So why am I so desperate to go off and take a low status role working for a big company?

Do you think you miss the camaradie of working with a group of people?  Although it does rather depend on the group of people being easy to get on with.

 


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#10 Norway

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:00

I wouldn't worry about status or what other people are doing - their lives might not be as wonderful as they make out. Just focus on which job is right for you. It is not unusual for teachers to feel a bit down or anxious before the start of a new term after the holidays. A less well paid job is not necessarily going to be less stressful - in my experience, the less well paid a job is, the more stress you get! Could you gradually increase your private work and reduce your school work? Then you wouldn't have to take such a risky step all in one go. Good luck! smile.png


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#11 just helen

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:38

Would you consider combining jobs? Take on a part time 'day job' but carry on with teaching after school?

I spent 7 years working as an activities co-ordinator in a nursing home as well as teaching piano and violin later in the day. It worked very well for me, and was interesting to see life at the other end of the spectrum, so to speak...


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#12 just helen

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 10:48

By the way, I think magicfingers was out of order! What a harsh unnecessary reply to someone who was looking for help and advice.


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#13 jenny

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 11:27

By the way, I think magicfingers was out of order! What a harsh unnecessary reply to someone who was looking for help and advice.

 

I agree. Very negative and totally unnecessary. We should all be here to help each other. 


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#14 cestrian

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 14:16

 
But are you trolling? It's against forum rules.


Indeed, it is. So why do it?

To the OP, you can be happy and contented or sad and disappointed in any job, wherever and no matter how much you earn. On the plus side you can probably easily go back to teaching if you have a change of heart down the line. Many say that it is best to regret doing something rather than nothing so go for it and enjoy, but it is better if there is pull rather than push.
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#15 Misterioso

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 17:14

I can understand your feelings of not moving on, DoobieDoo, especially since you feel that you can't teach as you would wish to where the schools are concerned. But only you know how you really feel. Follow your heart.


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