Complete change of career!

Happy new year all! New year, new me. I have decided to train as a teacher! Something I’ve thought of before! A complete change would do me good I think. Little bit of doubt has creeped in, and a few friends have said…You…teach! Lol. But I think I could make a difference (no matter how small).

Has anyone made a complete career change? Be nice to hear👍


It’ll be a very busy time for you.

My partner did teacher training and it was the worst time of his life, left, got paid more working as admin in a bank on standard 8-4 hours.

Teachers work ridiculous hours alllllll dayyyy lonnnng :sweat_smile:

Good luck though :yum:


I trained for 4 years to be a Primary teacher with Special Needs.
I now work for a private business, earn so much more and work fewer hours.

Don’t mean to put you off, but really think about this before jumping into it. Teaching right now is a nightmare, teachers leaving in droves due to overwork, poor curriculum, academy issues, politics, lack of respect, parent behaviour etc etc.

Have you volunteered in a school, or done a bit of TA work first? Perhaps you should dip your toe before jumping in.


Hi, I’ve done a few weeks in a SEN school for few weeks. I really enjoyed it, and I’ve never known such satisfaction. Hence I’m going to do it as a career. I’m sure it’s tough working in behavior! ADHD and more. Just looking for a nice school in Leeds to grow and learn (working in Harrogate for a month)


Not to dismiss how hard teachers work, but this could apply to so many jobs.

The 13 weeks holiday on the other hand!

And that’s obviously not to say that it doesn’t have its down sides!


Congratulations on signing your life up to a job!

As a primary teacher in a mixed Year 3 and 4 class myself, I think being in the classroom is amazing and very rewarding. It is great that you want to make a difference and more people should enter.

Teaching is however a vocation. If you want to be relatively ‘good’ (and all schools are required to be good or better) then you will have a significant workload at home. The myth of rocking up at 9am and leaving at 3pm isn’t true. The average working week is 50 hours in school and at home. The teachers pay and conditions document clearly states teachers must work “such reasonable additional hours as may be necessary to enable the effective discharge of the teacher’s professional duties.”

If that doesn’t bother you then go for it! I’ve grown to live with it :joy: .


They don’t get 13 weeks :joy: they work majority of it so it isn’t as plain as it comes across.

Teachers get paid annual salary and work probably 7am until 9pm/10pm at night not getting paid any extra what so ever, and then working weekends and everything else.

They are so underpaid and under valued it’s unreal, and seeing what OH and his friends went through I would never recommend.

Edit: each to their own though, I applaud you for going for it.


Congrats! I did a similar thing. Went from international recruitment to emergency call dispatcher about 2 years ago and I don’t regret it one bit.


Oh dear….

The biggest teaching myth of all. I’m surprised anyone still falls for it.

Edit: Just to add that once you look into teachers salaries and so on, those weeks are actually, effectively, unpaid with the money for the rest of the year spread out over 12 months. It’s somewhat scandalous in my view an not well understood.

(No, I’m not a teacher. But I am about to change jobs though not my complete career which is somewhat relevant to this thread.)


I did the reverse! Had enough of teaching, became a tram/train driver, had a bit of a bump which ruined the fun for me and joined Monzo :joy:

I think the idea of a “career” or at least a single career is for most people a thing of the past.


A lot of my family are teachers and the salaries aren’t that bad. Once you start getting ‘points’ and such the scales tip up nicely, and then there’s routes/pay scales like department head etc (not all of which are managerial). I’m not saying they are raking it in, but it gets a lot better than the 20k or something you start with! The hours also go down once you’ve taught the same things over and over.

It’s still a high pressure job, but it can be a rewarding one. The first five years are definitely the worst - low pay, stupid hours!


In reality I found the job satisfaction is rarely there.

Sure you might have a few magical moments throughout an academic year, but mostly everything is overshadowed by the politics and the paperwork.

There’s a huge difference between a few weeks experience and a career. Of the people who worked for me in my department of 15, only two are still in teaching. I think my jumping ship gave people the belief if I could do it, then they could too.

The amount of planning, prep and assessment you have to do, the little time you have to do it and the pressure you get put under is unreal. I was head of a core department so my experience is a little different to somebody who teaches non-core but teachers across the school were regularly working 12 hours days, coming in on weekends and working from home when they were off.

This was a “good” school where we’d added 20 percentage points to our baseline A*-C over 3 years.

Every single event was ruined by the pressure to perform for Ofsted and to achieve results. Sure on GCSE/results day there’d be some celebrations, but then the Spanish Inquisition would begin into who hadn’t reached 3 or 4 levels of progress, which teachers were underperforming, how we were going to “support” them, performance management cycles, emails from parents, etc etc.

Please make sure you go in with your eyes wide open and don’t let it break you.


I was on nearly £55k a year as HoD, but I actually have more disposable income working at Monzo on a salary of around half. Partly because of the impact having a reduction in salary has had on tax, NI, SLC payments etc but also because I no longer have to go on holiday during school holidays, order less takeaway and drink a lot less alcohol!

However the extras like the pension are worth their weight in gold. I have just under 8 years pensionable service and that is worth, at current values ~£8k a year when I retire. Include the state pension and I already have enough, according to some sources, to maintain a basic standard of living when I retire.

That’s the BIG benefit of public sector work!


to answer your actual question, yes, a few times! Even when it hasn’t worked out, I’ve never regretted it.

I’ve learned nothing is forever, and things come and go. If you aren’t satisfied then making a change is sometimes just what you need. We have 35 years or so of working life, a few years here or there really makes no big difference.

I’m actually in the process of training to be a sailing instructor and setting up a sailing school (saving hard and training hard). It’ll take a good few years but I think it’ll be the ‘final career’ and probably start when I’m about 40.

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Little boats or big boats? :wink:

Medium? Like 40ft aha. Can’t afford to save up for a super yacht unless Monzo shares really tick upwards

Ah just about the perfect size!

I grew up sailing dinghies and then started sailing yachts in my teens. I definitely don’t have enough money to buy any form of yacht (until IPO :wink:) but my dad bought a Westerly Chieftain when I was in my early teens and later a Fisher 34.

I do miss being on the water!

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I’ve got a trusty civil service pension which I’ve been topping up for 16 years, there’s a decent amount in that. So yeah it’s deffo a good thing to at least fall back on when the time comes.

In response to the main part of this post, I’m on track to change career at some point this year. I’ve just recently passed my driving test, the next step is HGV .

I’ll be putting in for that training in the next month or 2. I’ve already got the money saved up, plus the added bonus is now it’s cheaper to get up to Class 1, due to the changes the government made to ease the crisis.


That can be debatable.

In the last 8 years since I became a teacher, planning has to be updated each year to accomodate the class you have. Even if you try to keep things broadly the same, I’ve had to rewrite most of the planning almost every 2 years due to curriculum changes, management crusades or a new headteacher wanting things done in different ways. Marking has become more onerous. Different colour highlighters, numerous comments and then an extra task for them to extend the work for 30 children, 5 lessons a day. 30 children respond, and then you respond back. As well as marking the next days work, rince, repeat.

Also as you get more experienced, you are asked to take on more (unpaid) responsibilities such as curriculum subject areas, in addition to your normal duties as a teacher.

At my school. I teach a mixed Year 3/4 class which comes with all the planning, resource making, assessment, marking etc. I am the Deputy Safeguarding lead, the Maths Coordinator, the History Co-ordinator, the Computing Co-ordinator, Educational Visits Co-ordinator and only recently got rid of being the Geography Co-ordinator. Each has 12 section file which requires regular termly updating, meetings, impact assessments etc. ready to be put on a shelf if Ofsted decided to deep dive your subject area or the LEA comes to do a moderation, and to tick box my appraisal.

Edit: Oh, I teach the children between 8:40am and 3:15pm so all that has to be done outside that.


For any career change, this is excellent advice :+1:

Having driven almost everything possible throughout my working life, I would say that as long as you know all the downsides (long hours, solitude, occasional breakdowns in the middle of nowhere, to name just a few) and you are comfortable with those downsides, then it is a very stable career.
Even before the current driver shortages, it has almost always been possible to change employers quite easily if you fancy a change of scenery.

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