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  • FIRST POST
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    • 6,090Posts
    • 32,250Thanks
    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.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
Page 163
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 9th Sep 17, 11:06 PM
    • 6,090 Posts
    • 32,250 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Start as I mean to go on with ... Organise end of month treat ... Not even thought about this but I think I need something to look forward to.

    Overpayment: Make one even if it is only 50. Should manage this.
    Food budget: 120 / 400.
    Meat free days: 2 / 10.
    No work weekends: 1 / 3.
    15 minutes piano practise each morning: 12 / 33.
    At least 10,000 steps per day: 14,000 today.
    10 minutes exercise (not inc. walking): 2 / 34. Haven't been counting but this has probably happened only 2 more times.

    A/F school nights: 2. Not really happened.

    but most importantly ... Get through the month!
    Last edited by AlexLK; 17-09-2017 at 10:30 PM.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 9th Sep 17, 11:29 PM
    • 1,551 Posts
    • 5,019 Thanks
    kelpie35
    Not been on here for a while. Not been doing much for a while other than trying to get through the days. Things haven't been good, to be honest. Hanging on with the course and coping but it is not what I thought it would be. No further with decluttering / selling things off.

    In other news, I'm busy with the property side of things with a potential big deal which will be quite exciting if it does happen.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    So pleased to hear from you Alex.

    Hope the course improves for you, all new things have their teething points.

    I am excited to hear about your property news.

    Keep plodding on and you will achieve your goals.

    Take care
    • smallholdingsister
    • By smallholdingsister 10th Sep 17, 8:04 AM
    • 3,601 Posts
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    smallholdingsister
    Which bits of the course weren't what you expected?

    Are you staying off the booze?
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 10th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    • 6,090 Posts
    • 32,250 Thanks
    AlexLK
    So pleased to hear from you Alex.

    Hope the course improves for you, all new things have their teething points.

    I am excited to hear about your property news.

    Keep plodding on and you will achieve your goals.

    Take care
    Originally posted by kelpie35
    Thanks, Kelpie.

    That's what I'm hoping this is. Always enjoyed my time in schools when I've worked / volunteered in the past, so hoping this will pass and I will enjoy it soon.

    Don't really want to say much on the property front until something actually happens, other than to say this house hasn't gone on the market and it's a business transaction.

    I hope I will get there one day.

    Which bits of the course weren't what you expected?

    Are you staying off the booze?
    Originally posted by smallholdingsister
    No, smallholding, I'm not. However, think I need to stay off it. Only been sharing a bottle of wine over dinner with Mrs. K. but sat down to do the weekly totals and we're spending far too much on wine.

    Everything is not what I expected nor congruent in any way with my previous experiences. It all seems incredibly tedious, without any room for creativity and patronising to the extreme. In my previous experiences staff have made me feel welcome, allowed me to have some freedom to deliver part of a child's education whilst developing my knowledge in a non patronising way. Unfortunately, it seems the only person in this school with any autonomy is the Head.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
    • smallholdingsister
    • By smallholdingsister 10th Sep 17, 11:55 AM
    • 3,601 Posts
    • 30,207 Thanks
    smallholdingsister
    Real life in teaching. Is all your training at one school? Have you peers to compare experiences with?
    • maman
    • By maman 10th Sep 17, 1:09 PM
    • 18,063 Posts
    • 108,116 Thanks
    maman
    Hanging on with the course and coping but it is not what I thought it would be.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Thanks, Kelpie.

    That's what I'm hoping this is. Always enjoyed my time in schools when I've worked / volunteered in the past, so hoping this will pass and I will enjoy it soon.

    Everything is not what I expected nor congruent in any way with my previous experiences. It all seems incredibly tedious, without any room for creativity and patronising to the extreme. In my previous experiences staff have made me feel welcome, allowed me to have some freedom to deliver part of a child's education whilst developing my knowledge in a non patronising way. Unfortunately, it seems the only person in this school with any autonomy is the Head.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    From personal research and your volunteering you probably have more curriculum knowledge than the average student starting on a teaching course Alex. The school has an obligation to ensure that you meet all the Teaching Standards so they'll have to take you through them however patronising that may seem. I'd rather you felt patronised than just thrown in at the deep end with a lack of support.


    I doubt even the Head has a great deal of autonomy when it comes to the curriculum. So there are few choices to be made when it comes to what you teach but there is a creativity when it comes to how you teach, the activities you use etc. I suspect at the moment they assume it's easier for you to work within the school's plans and build gradually. The NQT programme is designed to ease off the level of support as the year proceeds but you can always ask if you want to try something sooner. I always felt that there was too much time given over to 'observation' in the early stages. You'll learn most when taking responsibility for the whole class, finding out what you find most difficult and then observing experienced staff to see how they deal with those things.


    However, think I need to stay off it. Only been sharing a bottle of wine over dinner with Mrs. K. but sat down to do the weekly totals and we're spending far too much on wine..
    Originally posted by AlexLK

    You're always welcome over on the other thread Alex if it helps.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 11th Sep 17, 7:46 AM
    • 6,090 Posts
    • 32,250 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Real life in teaching. Is all your training at one school? Have you peers to compare experiences with?
    Originally posted by smallholdingsister
    No, I realise the other school may be very different.

    I know a couple of teachers but none in primary and most work in the independent sector. I didn't really get on with staff at the schools I volunteered at but was able to maintain a professional relationship, so that isn't something which concerns me if I get a job as a teacher.

    From personal research and your volunteering you probably have more curriculum knowledge than the average student starting on a teaching course Alex. The school has an obligation to ensure that you meet all the Teaching Standards so they'll have to take you through them however patronising that may seem. I'd rather you felt patronised than just thrown in at the deep end with a lack of support.

    I doubt even the Head has a great deal of autonomy when it comes to the curriculum. So there are few choices to be made when it comes to what you teach but there is a creativity when it comes to how you teach, the activities you use etc. I suspect at the moment they assume it's easier for you to work within the school's plans and build gradually. The NQT programme is designed to ease off the level of support as the year proceeds but you can always ask if you want to try something sooner. I always felt that there was too much time given over to 'observation' in the early stages. You'll learn most when taking responsibility for the whole class, finding out what you find most difficult and then observing experienced staff to see how they deal with those things.

    You're always welcome over on the other thread Alex if it helps.
    Originally posted by maman
    Yes, I've been introduced to the teaching standards. I knew about them before and have no problem working towards them. However, I don't feel I'm being supported in working towards those at the moment.

    Unfortunately, I'm really struggling to connect with the fundamental ethos of the school, the staff within it (on a personal or professional level) and the ways of doing things. I can say I would not take a job at the school because it's not the environment for me. However, in a different environment with different management, maybe it would be fine. Legally, I am not an employee now but whilst there's no renumeration, we are treated as employees. Can't say I like the idea of effectively giving us all the pitfalls with none of the benefits. Not to mention I feel the powers that be are effectively trying to send us on a guilt trip over how much work we put in. I've made the decision I put in what I can but not to the detriment of my family or my own wellbeing as I'm not going to be going down that path again.

    I think I may join you on the other thread this evening.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 11th Sep 17, 9:52 AM
    • 2,887 Posts
    • 7,722 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Legally, I am not an employee now but whilst there's no renumeration, we are treated as employees. Can't say I like the idea of effectively giving us all the pitfalls with none of the benefits.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    This is the case with a lot of vocational/professional qualifications.

    I spent 3 years unpaid on hospital wards in order to qualify as a nurse, and it wasn't all learning time, a lot of it was just as extra labour. These days student nurses (and physios and paramedics and others) have to take on 27k of debt for the privilege!

    What you get out of it is that you get some experience behind you (and not all experience has to be wholly positive to be valuable, sometimes seeing things done in a way you don't want to emulate is just as beneficial as being inspired) and at the end you get the piece of paper that enables you to do the job you love, in the way that you want to do it.
    • maman
    • By maman 11th Sep 17, 10:59 AM
    • 18,063 Posts
    • 108,116 Thanks
    maman
    Yes, I've been introduced to the teaching standards. I knew about them before and have no problem working towards them. However, I don't feel I'm being supported in working towards those at the moment.
    Originally posted by AlexLK

    This is the case with a lot of vocational/professional qualifications.

    What you get out of it is that you get some experience behind you (and not all experience has to be wholly positive to be valuable, sometimes seeing things done in a way you don't want to emulate is just as beneficial as being inspired) and at the end you get the piece of paper that enables you to do the job you love, in the way that you want to do it.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel

    That's a very good point RS. However, I would say that, although it's very early days to judge yet, Alex must get the support he needs. We have a crazy system where there's only one bite of the cherry for QTS so you have to make it work term by term in that first year. Wearing my HR related hat, it's terribly important to flag up any issues with providers so they can be sorted before each term's assessments.

    Unfortunately, I'm really struggling to connect with the fundamental ethos of the school, the staff within it (on a personal or professional level) and the ways of doing things. I can say I would not take a job at the school because it's not the environment for me. However, in a different environment with different management, maybe it would be fine. Legally, I am not an employee now but whilst there's no renumeration, we are treated as employees. Can't say I like the idea of effectively giving us all the pitfalls with none of the benefits. Not to mention I feel the powers that be are effectively trying to send us on a guilt trip over how much work we put in. I've made the decision I put in what I can but not to the detriment of my family or my own wellbeing as I'm not going to be going down that path again.
    Originally posted by AlexLK

    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.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 16th Sep 17, 12:11 PM
    • 2,887 Posts
    • 7,722 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Hope you're getting on ok Alex.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 16th Sep 17, 10:46 PM
    • 6,090 Posts
    • 32,250 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Only just managing to write a quick update. I think I need to get back to checking in here and completing my targets.

    Not really sure what my future holds at the moment re. work / study. Very tired this weekend and have spent hardly any time with my son over this week. I realise I could spend a lot more time with him if I were to get more involved with developing the property business and dealing in antiques than I would if I were teaching full time. I didn't think effectively paying to work would concern me as much as it is but the hardest thing is being made to feel guilty for wanting to spend time with my family. Mrs. K. has been wonderful this past week, so has my cousin and even my parents have. My wife thinks it's not a nice industry to work in and I'm starting to wonder if she's right.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 17th Sep 17, 12:15 AM
    • 1,551 Posts
    • 5,019 Thanks
    kelpie35
    Sorry to hear you are having doubts about your new career move.

    It is very difficult to work full time and care for your family in the manner you were used to.

    Only you know what is best for your future.

    I do hope you find time to enjoy family time with what is left of the weekend.

    Take care.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th Sep 17, 11:12 AM
    • 29,440 Posts
    • 168,963 Thanks
    Karmacat
    It's a very tough industry these days, and no mistake

    I hesitate to say this, but you don't have to work in it for the rest of your life, even if you get your qualification. There's full time paid work, part time too, whether state or private, and there's also private tuition, which has a decent rate of pay per hour, and fits really well into the life of someone who has other streams of income going on as well.

    Just something to think about.

    Take care, Alex.
    Retired August 2016
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 17th Sep 17, 12:36 PM
    • 1,991 Posts
    • 21,137 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    My husband undertook teacher training as a graduate in his mid forties. He found the "wisdom" regarding research that had not been revisited for close to fifty years, with more and more theories layered on top, combined with a need to blindly accept that this was how it must be done, very frustrating. He bit his tongue, put his head down and got through it. He loves teaching, despite the downsides and has no regrets, but he wanted to quit at several points.

    So don't feel you are alone Alex. My husband did not have a plan B so he stuck with it, but it called his very desire to teach into question. I feel for you. It is a dilemma.
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 28-09-2017 at 6:09 PM. Reason: typos
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after June 55.17% 5,517.10/10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,288.55/3,000 including stores so far 42.95% of my annual budget at the end of June
    My DFD is here
    • maman
    • By maman 17th Sep 17, 5:37 PM
    • 18,063 Posts
    • 108,116 Thanks
    maman
    My husband undertook teacher training as a graduate in his mid forties. He found the "wisdom" regarding research that had not been revisited for close to fifty years, with more and more theories layered on top, combined with a need to blindly accept that this was how it must be done, very frustrating. He bit his tongue, put his head down and got through it. He loves teaching, despite the downsides and has not regrets, but he wanted to quit at several points.

    So don't feel you are alone Alex. My husband did not have a plan B so he stuck with it, but it called his very desire to teach into question. I fell for you. It is a dilemma.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    It is a dilemma. It's sad that being used as a political football by successive governments has had such an adverse effect. Alex is just what the profession needs: a teacher who thinks! Too many these days just follow, not helped by teaching to the tests. Unfortunately it's necessary to work with the system to get the piece of paper.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 17th Sep 17, 10:26 PM
    • 6,090 Posts
    • 32,250 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Sorry to hear you are having doubts about your new career move.

    It is very difficult to work full time and care for your family in the manner you were used to.

    Only you know what is best for your future.

    I do hope you find time to enjoy family time with what is left of the weekend.

    Take care.
    Originally posted by kelpie35
    Thank you, kelpie.

    We've had a good, if quiet weekend. I'm starting to see the potential in things I had somewhat dismissed beforehand. Finding being "employed" (well, sort of) very difficult and am throwing myself into the potential property project during my (few) spare hours. My wife is spending more time on it than I and seems to have found herself in my parents' good book.

    It's a very tough industry these days, and no mistake

    I hesitate to say this, but you don't have to work in it for the rest of your life, even if you get your qualification. There's full time paid work, part time too, whether state or private, and there's also private tuition, which has a decent rate of pay per hour, and fits really well into the life of someone who has other streams of income going on as well.

    Just something to think about.

    Take care, Alex.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Thank you, karmacat.

    I am seeing a different side to it now I am a part of it, rather than a volunteer or someone who teaches pupils how to play the violin (seen as being non-essential, I suppose). I think some of the problem is having other commitments, both familial and business.

    My husband undertook teacher training as a graduate in his mid forties. He found the "wisdom" regarding research that had not been revisited for close to fifty years, with more and more theories layered on top, combined with a need to blindly accept that this was how it must be done, very frustrating. He bit his tongue, put his head down and got through it. He loves teaching, despite the downsides and has not regrets, but he wanted to quit at several points.

    So don't feel you are alone Alex. My husband did not have a plan B so he stuck with it, but it called his very desire to teach into question. I fell for you. It is a dilemma.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    It doesn't seem things are much different now, SL. There seems A LOT of mindless, repetitive paperwork and tasks which seem to be little about educating pupils. From what I've seen it doesn't seem to change all that much post qualification, either. That doesn't concern me so much as the blame and guilt placed upon us. There seems an expectation of us to give an awful lot of time at the expense of our own families / other commitments which I am not willing to give. I care about giving my pupils an education but not at the expense of my wellbeing.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 17th Sep 17, 10:29 PM
    • 6,090 Posts
    • 32,250 Thanks
    AlexLK
    It is a dilemma. It's sad that being used as a political football by successive governments has had such an adverse effect. Alex is just what the profession needs: a teacher who thinks! Too many these days just follow, not helped by teaching to the tests. Unfortunately it's necessary to work with the system to get the piece of paper.
    Originally posted by maman
    What the government wants seems to play a vast role which I hadn't quite anticipated. I suppose that was not helped by my own background. A lot do seem to follow and to be honest I have come across ones that do not seem to be articulated or educated professionals.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 17th Sep 17, 10:33 PM
    • 6,090 Posts
    • 32,250 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Start as I mean to go on with ... Organise end of month treat ... Going to speak to Mrs. K. about this tomorrow evening.
    Overpayment: Make one even if it is only 50. On track to make a 100 overpayment.
    Food budget: 300 / 400.
    Meat free days: 5 / 10.
    No work weekends: 2 / 3.
    15 minutes piano practise each morning: 20 / 33.
    At least 10,000 steps per day: 11,000 today.
    10 minutes exercise (not inc. walking): 2 / 34. Completely forgot about this target. Should update more.
    A/F school nights: This has been much better over this week, not even had wine with our evening meals.
    but most importantly ... Get through the month!
    Last edited by AlexLK; 24-09-2017 at 11:02 PM.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 11,200
    Mortgage Overpayments 5,500
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 18th Sep 17, 8:30 AM
    • 29,440 Posts
    • 168,963 Thanks
    Karmacat
    There seems an expectation of us to give an awful lot of time at the expense of our own families / other commitments which I am not willing to give. I care about giving my pupils an education but not at the expense of my wellbeing.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Thats absolutely the thing to keep in mind as you go forward.

    Save
    Retired August 2016
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 18th Sep 17, 11:54 AM
    • 2,887 Posts
    • 7,722 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    It's a very tough industry these days, and no mistake

    I hesitate to say this, but you don't have to work in it for the rest of your life, even if you get your qualification. There's full time paid work, part time too, whether state or private, and there's also private tuition, which has a decent rate of pay per hour, and fits really well into the life of someone who has other streams of income going on as well.

    Just something to think about.

    Take care, Alex.
    Originally posted by 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.
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