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  • FIRST POST
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    • 5,921Posts
    • 31,021Thanks
    AlexLK
    Renovations and Repayments.
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    Renovations and Repayments. 8th Mar 15 at 11:07 PM
    Hello and welcome to visitors familiar with my journey thus far and are surprised to see me on such a sensible board and a further warm welcome to the new faces wondering what they've let themselves in for.

    Let me begin by clarifying a few points: the first one is I am not sure whether I'm actually serious or not about clearing my mortgage and the second is the fact my house needs quite a bit of work doing to it. This work I do myself and in the time my wife and I have lived in the house we've learnt all kinds of new skills. The current project involves renewing the windows and I am making the frames myself, two are done and I'm pleased to say look great.

    I plan to use this mortgage free (how very grown up) diary to document the renovations and my savings activities, out of which overpayments may or may not be made. However, I am fully committed to long term saving and making as much money as possible. A long term goal of mine is to add to the BTL portfolio I shall one day inherit and am already becoming more involved in which is perhaps a good reason to pay my mortgage off and make my current property into an investment.

    Aside from the recent interest in moneysaving I have a four year old son, run my own company, play and teach the violin and piano whilst studying for my own interest. Oh and don't mention the cars.

    Those familiar with my debt-free diary will know I'm not exactly great at record keeping but am trying to improve, so please don't expect the detailed financial updates others seem to put on here. To kick things off, I suppose I ought to confess the mortgage debt is a total of circa £185,000 and I have no real timescale or plan in mind to pay it off.

    Sorry if this is not a particularly articulate introduction, as I seem to be at a loss how to tailor it to both those who've read my debt free diary and to new readers frequenting mortgage free.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
Page 164
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 19th Sep 17, 2:50 PM
    • 7,610 Posts
    • 16,788 Thanks
    heartbreak_star
    Alex, may I pick your brains regarding a musical issue? It's a bit silly but you might be able to help...

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

    #JC4PM
    • SingleSue
    • By SingleSue 19th Sep 17, 4:32 PM
    • 10,073 Posts
    • 56,419 Thanks
    SingleSue


    That's the ethos of many, if not most, schools currently. It's probably the main reason for the retention crisis in the profession. Teachers generally cite workload above the relatively poor salaries and unruly pupils. Unfortunately it's often exacerbated in schools that offer training on the job as they see themselves as 'outstanding' and have achieved that through working 24/7.
    Originally posted by maman
    It's the stories from current teachers that put my eldest son off from going into it finally. All through university he had plans to be a teacher, had even tentatively organised a placement for this September but the horror stories made him think again.

    He's starting a graduate office job in a few weeks although he has promised to look into teaching again in a year or so time when he is more financially sorted and has more life experience.
    We made it! One graduated, 2 currently at university, been hard work but it shows there is a possibility of a chance of normal (ish) life after a diagnosis (or two) of ASD. It's not been the easiest route but I am so glad I ignored everything and everyone and did my own therapies with them.
    Eldests' EDS diagnosis 4.5.10, mine 13.1.11 eekk!
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 24th Sep 17, 11:01 PM
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    AlexLK
    Thats absolutely the thing to keep in mind as you go forward.

    Save
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Thanks, Karmacat.

    This is very true. If you get through the training and get your qualified teacher status, there will be other doors open besides full time school positions.

    A very good friend of mine was ambitious when she started her teaching career, was head of department within 5 years, but was getting burned out and exhausted.

    Then she dropped to two days a week after having her first child, and she's never looked back. Two days allows her to get back to basics and just enjoy teaching while also having plenty of time with her young family.

    I do hope you can get some decent rest soon and start to feel more on top of things, and I am delighted to hear that your wife and your cousin are supporting you and coming through for you.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Thanks, Red Squirrel.

    Alex, may I pick your brains regarding a musical issue? It's a bit silly but you might be able to help...

    HBS x
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    Of course.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 24th Sep 17, 11:01 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 31,021 Thanks
    AlexLK
    It's the stories from current teachers that put my eldest son off from going into it finally. All through university he had plans to be a teacher, had even tentatively organised a placement for this September but the horror stories made him think again.

    He's starting a graduate office job in a few weeks although he has promised to look into teaching again in a year or so time when he is more financially sorted and has more life experience.
    Originally posted by SingleSue
    I hope it works out for him, Single Sue.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 24th Sep 17, 11:04 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 31,021 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Going to admit to not keeping up with this and the spending getting out of control. On the plus side, my business interests seem to be working really well (typical! ) and I'm surprised how much I'm enjoying working with my wife on the property project. Learning lots.

    Start as I mean to go on with ... Organise end of month treat ...
    Overpayment: Make one even if it is only £50.
    Food budget: Dread to think.
    Meat free days: 7/10.
    No work weekends: 3 / 3.
    15 minutes piano practise each morning: Most days.
    At least 10,000 steps per day: 18,000 today.
    10 minutes exercise (not inc. walking):
    A/F school nights:
    but most importantly ... Get through the month!
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Watty1
    • By Watty1 25th Sep 17, 10:06 AM
    • 2,986 Posts
    • 20,821 Thanks
    Watty1
    I know how easy it is for the spending controls to unravel Alex...just saying
    Mortgage at start of diary Sept 2013: £132,995 Aug 2015 £0
    Overpaid next mortgage. £79,491 down to £27152
    Knotted hanky fund now in full swing: £3776.40
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 25th Sep 17, 10:01 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 31,021 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I know how easy it is for the spending controls to unravel Alex...just saying
    Originally posted by Watty1
    Thanks, Watty. I know I’m outnumbered on here but I struggle not to buy things on most days, to be honest. Only dared to have a look at next months CC bill and it’s not good. Won’t be getting into any debt as it’ll be paid in full but I’ve started buying things without thinking again.

    Apart from the property and antiques business I’m not doing very well. Even my son was really annoying me tonight. Dreading Mrs K being away later on in the week. Seem to be finding people in general annoying, to be honest. Really cannot get on with anyone at the moment apart from Mrs. K. strangely.
    Last edited by AlexLK; 25-09-2017 at 10:06 PM.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 26th Sep 17, 9:03 AM
    • 28,346 Posts
    • 157,833 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I know Iím outnumbered on here but I struggle not to buy things on most days, to be honest.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Then thats one of the reasons that you're here! Good for you for saying it.

    Only dared to have a look at next months CC bill and itís not good. Wonít be getting into any debt as itíll be paid in full but Iíve started buying things without thinking again.
    And you've become conscious of it after only a month. We all fall back on old behaviours during stressful times. And doing a teaching course is a stressful time. Yes. It is!

    Apart from the property and antiques business Iím not doing very well. Even my son was really annoying me tonight. Dreading Mrs K being away later on in the week. Seem to be finding people in general annoying, to be honest. Really cannot get on with anyone at the moment apart from Mrs. K. strangely.
    See above. Its a stressful time! So use the adrenaline of stress to do jumping jacks or do an exercise video off youtube or something. With your son, maybe

    And how lovely is it that even during this stressful time, Mrs K is the one person not annoying you

    You're doing great
    Save
    Retired August 2016
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 27th Sep 17, 9:28 PM
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    AlexLK
    Then thats one of the reasons that you're here! Good for you for saying it.

    And you've become conscious of it after only a month. We all fall back on old behaviours during stressful times. And doing a teaching course is a stressful time. Yes. It is!

    See above. Its a stressful time! So use the adrenaline of stress to do jumping jacks or do an exercise video off youtube or something. With your son, maybe

    And how lovely is it that even during this stressful time, Mrs K is the one person not annoying you

    You're doing great
    Save
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Thanks, karmacat.

    Iím managing not to be too indulgent this week and have cut back on the wine with (and after) dinner. We have also made a £50 token gesture overpayment.

    Think Iíll try the youtube exercise video as Iím sure my son will find it fun. Most of my time is being spent on the businesses and Iím struggling to find the will to carry on with the course. Spent a lot of time looking into this and as much time as I could in schools beforehand but am having a complete change of outlook about it at the moment, unfortunately.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Watty1
    • By Watty1 28th Sep 17, 10:54 AM
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    Watty1
    There is no shame in (a) stopping if you have realised it is not for you (b) deciding to gain the qualification and then re-think as you will always have it to "fall back to" if you change your mind later.
    I'm rethinking a lot at the moment. I think it is fine to learn and move on.
    Mortgage at start of diary Sept 2013: £132,995 Aug 2015 £0
    Overpaid next mortgage. £79,491 down to £27152
    Knotted hanky fund now in full swing: £3776.40
    • maman
    • By maman 28th Sep 17, 12:06 PM
    • 17,354 Posts
    • 103,931 Thanks
    maman
    There is no shame in (a) stopping if you have realised it is not for you (b) deciding to gain the qualification and then re-think as you will always have it to "fall back to" if you change your mind later.
    I'm rethinking a lot at the moment. I think it is fine to learn and move on.
    Originally posted by Watty1

    I agree.


    I know you did your research and lots of volunteering before starting the course. If the problem is the particular school you're training in then it may be worth just biting the bullet and getting the qualification. What is it that's making you have this change of outlook?
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 29th Sep 17, 12:07 AM
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    AlexLK
    There is no shame in (a) stopping if you have realised it is not for you (b) deciding to gain the qualification and then re-think as you will always have it to "fall back to" if you change your mind later.
    I'm rethinking a lot at the moment. I think it is fine to learn and move on.
    Originally posted by Watty1
    Thanks, Watty. I'm rethinking a lot at the moment.

    I agree.

    I know you did your research and lots of volunteering before starting the course. If the problem is the particular school you're training in then it may be worth just biting the bullet and getting the qualification. What is it that's making you have this change of outlook?
    Originally posted by maman
    My concern is the culture; mainly due to politicisation, the way staff are treated and colleagues. I've mentioned before it seems we are made to feel guilty about having a life outside of work. One member of staff told me today that I "don't belong here", truth is I don't but I know it was a thinly veiled insult as she told me on my first day I won't fit in dressed as I was. This was all due to me wearing a suit and my old school tie (she became aware when I told pupils). I'm also fighting boredom each day which is something I didn't expect to be saying. Things are very slow going with a class and many don't seem particularly interested in learning. I had this to an extent in the music voluntary school but also had pupils helping to form intellectually stimulating and meaningful discussions. This is very different to my experience both volunteering and as a parent interested in educating my own son.

    Had dinner with my parents tonight as we had to discuss some matters arising relating to business. I'm really enjoying getting involved with a property project rather than just being the son who now deals with tenants because the parents are too old.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • maman
    • By maman 29th Sep 17, 11:24 AM
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    maman
    Thanks Alex.


    They sound like fairly unhelpful comments from your colleague. If you want to wear a suit that's entirely your own choice although maybe not the most practical in a primary classroom. Beware PVA glue!! But I can see that the 'old school tie' image is a form of political statement in itself. It's almost impossible to avoid political influence in education impinging on the everyday life of the classroom whether that's the effects of funding or curriculum changes or teaching to the tests. The list is endless.


    The only saving grace (and probably the reason that anyone stays in education) is that teachers do have a choice on how they deliver the curriculum and how they manage pupils. You have to be creative and make it engaging and whenever possible fun. There's still the drudgery side (not everything can be fun) but if you have good relationships with children they'll get on with that too just to please you. It's difficult to achieve this when it's not your own class and you have to work under the direction of another teacher (who may not share your viewpoint) and you have to tick boxes but when you have QTS you will have that freedom.


    From the employee side it is difficult to do the job properly and have a 'life outside work'. That's the main reason teachers are leaving in droves and the government is struggling to recruit. However, whatever the school culture is then provided you can do all the preparation, teaching and assessment activities that are required of you in the time you are prepared to devote to it then they can't dictate how you choose to spend your own time.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 29th Sep 17, 12:34 PM
    • 1,641 Posts
    • 18,471 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    If you are able to persevere and gain the PGCE the first year is the worst. That QTS year is effectively your probation year with greater scrutiny. Still a bit of tick-box evaluation I'm afraid. With that though, you have many more options. You could tutor, teach in smaller classes via the private sector or simply supply teach - though the latter means the relationships with the pupils are less well formed, on the plus side, much of the paper-keeping drudgery can be left to others, and you won't be scrutinised in the same way.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 - my annual target is £10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 budget of £3,500 including stores
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 29th Sep 17, 10:23 PM
    • 2,167 Posts
    • 5,974 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Will you be at the same school for your whole PGCE year?
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 29th Sep 17, 11:24 PM
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    • 31,021 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Thanks Alex.

    They sound like fairly unhelpful comments from your colleague. If you want to wear a suit that's entirely your own choice although maybe not the most practical in a primary classroom. Beware PVA glue!! But I can see that the 'old school tie' image is a form of political statement in itself. It's almost impossible to avoid political influence in education impinging on the everyday life of the classroom whether that's the effects of funding or curriculum changes or teaching to the tests. The list is endless.
    Originally posted by maman
    Thank you, maman.

    They are unhelpful at best. Today I discovered everyone else (including another student teacher) has been invited out to dinner. They seem to think it is OK to exclude me. I don't know why but I seem to have an ability to wind people up before I've hardly said anything.

    It seems the rest of the staff do not know how to present themselves but are militant about how pupils are presented. Not a chance staff would have been allowed to teach dressed as most of them are during my schooldays, yet they dare critique my presentation. Not sure what's political about telling pupils to have pride in their school?

    I'm starting to find that to be the case. It seems there's a lot which has little to do with preparing pupils academically.

    The only saving grace (and probably the reason that anyone stays in education) is that teachers do have a choice on how they deliver the curriculum and how they manage pupils. You have to be creative and make it engaging and whenever possible fun. There's still the drudgery side (not everything can be fun) but if you have good relationships with children they'll get on with that too just to please you. It's difficult to achieve this when it's not your own class and you have to work under the direction of another teacher (who may not share your viewpoint) and you have to tick boxes but when you have QTS you will have that freedom.
    Originally posted by maman
    Before starting this I thought I would enjoy this side to it but I'm not engaging with the pupils either.

    From the employee side it is difficult to do the job properly and have a 'life outside work'. That's the main reason teachers are leaving in droves and the government is struggling to recruit. However, whatever the school culture is then provided you can do all the preparation, teaching and assessment activities that are required of you in the time you are prepared to devote to it then they can't dictate how you choose to spend your own time.
    Originally posted by maman
    I am not able to complete what I need to in the time I can devote to this (Monday to Friday 8-4). Initially I thought I would have extra time in the evening but at the moment it is all systems go with the property project which I am managing. I am getting behind with the paperwork but cannot face losing my weekends to it nor time with my family. Being honest I went into this mainly because my outlook about others has changed over the past few years and I wanted to give pupils an opportunity to engage with education and improve their lives. I think there is also an element of realising my son is becoming more independent and my wife will bear no more children. As I enjoy being a parent, I thought I'd enjoy being a teacher and having a class would occupy me during the daytimes and keep me young. However, I'm finding some of my old views are creeping back (don't think that's a good thing as I'd got to a point of seeing good in most people) and starting to realise I'm apathetic to pupils showing no motivation to progress.

    If you are able to persevere and gain the PGCE the first year is the worst. That QTS year is effectively your probation year with greater scrutiny. Still a bit of tick-box evaluation I'm afraid. With that though, you have many more options. You could tutor, teach in smaller classes via the private sector or simply supply teach - though the latter means the relationships with the pupils are less well formed, on the plus side, much of the paper-keeping drudgery can be left to others, and you won't be scrutinised in the same way.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Currently I don't think I'm going to get through this year, SL.

    Will you be at the same school for your whole PGCE year?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    No, not at the same school.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 29th Sep 17, 11:32 PM
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    • 31,021 Thanks
    AlexLK
    In other news, Mrs. K. has returned. She got home early and picked our son up from school. We've been for a nice walk this evening (whilst son was at orchestra) before sitting down together after putting our son to bed to work out our finances for the coming month. My wife has decided she wishes to help me and has improved my spreadsheets. We are going to set some October targets tomorrow.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • daisy 1571
    • By daisy 1571 30th Sep 17, 8:27 AM
    • 205 Posts
    • 2,627 Thanks
    daisy 1571
    Morning Alex

    As per what others have said, if you can keep your head down, suck it up and do the work required during this year to get your qualification then you can pick where your skills fit best eg maybe a private school, a small school, a 'niche' type school or the local school etc. At the moment you are one person (a temp one at that) in an established school with an established ethos and you need them more than they need you so do what you must do, learn what you can about teaching and, crucially, about how to treat other student teachers you may one day be mentoring and move on to your next assignment. If your lad was finding things a bit hard but you could see the bigger picture of why he needs to do a particular task you would be trying to engage him in doing it. Sometimes the bigger picture requires you to just get through things not to change every situation into one where you are fulfilled and exeedingly happy in every job. Do the same pep talk with yourself. After all that's what being a grown up is all about. If you want to teach at some point in the future you will need this qualification so don't give it all up just to have to rejoin again in a year or two.

    However, as ever, there are two angles to everything. Maybe doing this has actually shown you that you had a really good job right within grasp all the time and you don't need this teaching drain. Maybe you have FINALLY had the mindshift from this strange attitude you have to working in the family business. Maybe you are finally ready to commit to it properly and do it to the best of your ability full time and to heck with your folks trying to undermine you about how they would have done things. It's time for you to take the business forward properly into the next 30 years or so and this time to take a proper salary for the hard work you do instead of this weird guilt you seem to have about taking your due salary.

    Just my thoughts for the little they are worth. I'm sure it's completely natural to swither like this, i would bet you most of the others on your course are having similar thoughts if not now then at some point over the year. We all need to try things to see if we like them, if you cooked something and didn't like it you wouldn't label yourself a failure, you'd just say you didn't like it and cook something else next day. As long as you try something properly and don't just give up at the first hurdle, as long as you have the bigger picture in mind and don't think like a teenager ie 'every job will be EXACTLY the same as this placement so I don't want to teach' then you will make the right decision for you. And only you can know what that is, so NOONE can tell you you did the wrong thing.

    Chin up and you will make the right choice

    Daisy
    "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion" Take hold of every moment by anon

    The difference between what you were yesterday and what you will be tomorrow is what you do today
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 30th Sep 17, 1:20 PM
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    Red-Squirrel
    Ok Alex, I'm going to be a bit harsh here, I'm sorry to do it and I assure you its only because I care!

    Do you remember when your son started at the village school and it seemed that you were always on the wrong side of the staff and the other parents and that you always seemed to wind them up? Remember how at first you were convinced you were in the right and that they just weren't up to yours and your son's standards? Remember how with a bit of time you realised that they just had a slightly different approach and had had different experiences to you? A few years down the line and with all the progress you've made in seeing things from other people's perspectives those relationships are so much better and you and your son are both happier and better off for it?

    Is it at all possible that when faced with this new situation you have reverted back to old habits that haven't done you any good in the past and aren't doing you any good now? Turning up as a student teacher in a struggling state school in your old school tie perhaps not the best way to make the right first impression? Being critical of experienced professionals when you are new to this and haven't faced the obstacles they have yet perhaps not a great way to make supportive relationships with the staff?

    There are undoubtedly some things that you are right about, the culture of sacrificing your own personal and family life for the school is not right and not something you should feel obliged to get into beyond your contractual obligations, and I'm sure there are teachers teaching in a way you would not want to emulate yourself. This is all part of the process you're going through though.

    If you will be starting at a different school in the January term, why not see it as a fresh start and approach it in a slightly different way. Dress smart but more in line with how the other teachers dress, not in a way that comes across as a statement in any way! Make an effort with the staff you meet to ask about their experiences and how they have managed with the things you are finding difficult, you might get some really helpful knowledge.

    You are talking about your course in a very defeatist way at the moment and its not even October yet! If your son had wanted to start a new hobby and then decided to give up after three and a half weeks, what would you say to him? What lesson would you want to be teaching in that situation?
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 30th Sep 17, 9:11 PM
    • 5,921 Posts
    • 31,021 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Morning Alex

    As per what others have said, if you can keep your head down, suck it up and do the work required during this year to get your qualification then you can pick where your skills fit best eg maybe a private school, a small school, a 'niche' type school or the local school etc. At the moment you are one person (a temp one at that) in an established school with an established ethos and you need them more than they need you so do what you must do, learn what you can about teaching and, crucially, about how to treat other student teachers you may one day be mentoring and move on to your next assignment. If your lad was finding things a bit hard but you could see the bigger picture of why he needs to do a particular task you would be trying to engage him in doing it. Sometimes the bigger picture requires you to just get through things not to change every situation into one where you are fulfilled and exeedingly happy in every job. Do the same pep talk with yourself. After all that's what being a grown up is all about. If you want to teach at some point in the future you will need this qualification so don't give it all up just to have to rejoin again in a year or two.

    However, as ever, there are two angles to everything. Maybe doing this has actually shown you that you had a really good job right within grasp all the time and you don't need this teaching drain. Maybe you have FINALLY had the mindshift from this strange attitude you have to working in the family business. Maybe you are finally ready to commit to it properly and do it to the best of your ability full time and to heck with your folks trying to undermine you about how they would have done things. It's time for you to take the business forward properly into the next 30 years or so and this time to take a proper salary for the hard work you do instead of this weird guilt you seem to have about taking your due salary.

    Just my thoughts for the little they are worth. I'm sure it's completely natural to swither like this, i would bet you most of the others on your course are having similar thoughts if not now then at some point over the year. We all need to try things to see if we like them, if you cooked something and didn't like it you wouldn't label yourself a failure, you'd just say you didn't like it and cook something else next day. As long as you try something properly and don't just give up at the first hurdle, as long as you have the bigger picture in mind and don't think like a teenager ie 'every job will be EXACTLY the same as this placement so I don't want to teach' then you will make the right decision for you. And only you can know what that is, so NOONE can tell you you did the wrong thing.

    Chin up and you will make the right choice

    Daisy
    Originally posted by daisy 1571
    Thanks, Daisy.

    I think you've summed up my dilemma rather well. I am aware not every school is the same and something would fit more than the current one but I'm really not sure I want to teach at all. Before starting I thought I wanted to teach and if I didn't get through this year it would be to do with something external rather than the job itself. I had not tried being in the school environment five days per week before now.

    At the moment it's making me appreciate my other business interests and has given me the confidence to believe I can work at something for 40 or so hours per week. After becoming ill I used to let everything else come first before work because if I'm honest I knew there were no real consequences and I had let work take over before leaving. Despite not enjoying myself, I feel I am mentally stronger than I ever have been in adulthood. I contacted my old business partner about him potentially doing some joinery work for me because he's the best I know, I was the one to destroy the friendship we once had and it was my mind which wasn't on business matters. I wouldn't have done this before as I wasn't focusing on what was right for the business. To cut a long story short, we met for dinner and went through our requirements. He wants the job, we got talking about furniture and how one of our old designs would work really well in the setting. I miss running the business terribly and always said had I given it more time and effort things would be very different. As for my parents, we are getting along very well. They are really pleased with the effort my wife and I have put in to moving along with the development project.

    Ok Alex, I'm going to be a bit harsh here, I'm sorry to do it and I assure you its only because I care!

    Do you remember when your son started at the village school and it seemed that you were always on the wrong side of the staff and the other parents and that you always seemed to wind them up? Remember how at first you were convinced you were in the right and that they just weren't up to yours and your son's standards? Remember how with a bit of time you realised that they just had a slightly different approach and had had different experiences to you? A few years down the line and with all the progress you've made in seeing things from other people's perspectives those relationships are so much better and you and your son are both happier and better off for it?

    Is it at all possible that when faced with this new situation you have reverted back to old habits that haven't done you any good in the past and aren't doing you any good now? Turning up as a student teacher in a struggling state school in your old school tie perhaps not the best way to make the right first impression? Being critical of experienced professionals when you are new to this and haven't faced the obstacles they have yet perhaps not a great way to make supportive relationships with the staff?

    There are undoubtedly some things that you are right about, the culture of sacrificing your own personal and family life for the school is not right and not something you should feel obliged to get into beyond your contractual obligations, and I'm sure there are teachers teaching in a way you would not want to emulate yourself. This is all part of the process you're going through though.

    If you will be starting at a different school in the January term, why not see it as a fresh start and approach it in a slightly different way. Dress smart but more in line with how the other teachers dress, not in a way that comes across as a statement in any way! Make an effort with the staff you meet to ask about their experiences and how they have managed with the things you are finding difficult, you might get some really helpful knowledge.

    You are talking about your course in a very defeatist way at the moment and its not even October yet! If your son had wanted to start a new hobby and then decided to give up after three and a half weeks, what would you say to him? What lesson would you want to be teaching in that situation?
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Thanks, Red Squirrel.

    I suppose I've a lot to think about.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
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