Current trainee – training, family life and working part time

March 9, 2020 5:16 pm

Becoming a teacher has always been something that I had dreamt of, however, upon leaving school I quickly became stuck in the routine of working in a job that did not fulfill my passion.

After having my twins, I wanted to pursue my dreams and make them proud of me whilst showing them what could be achieved through hard work. I knew it was ‘now or never’ to start my teacher training.

Whilst completing my degree at university, I felt that the sporadic placements were not preparing me enough for the teaching profession, I therefore chose the School Direct route so I could immerse myself in a school. This route has given me greater insight into the day to day experiences and expectations of being a teacher, and even at this stage of the course, I feel so much more prepared and confident in becoming a teacher.

Before beginning the course, I knew that it would be a big commitment financially for my family, so throughout the course I have continued to work part-time. Whilst at times this has been challenging, through strict time management, it has been do-able. The training year can be high pressured and I have found working part-time to be beneficial to me, as it provides a place where I can have a mental break from being a teacher, partner or parent.

Alongside working and training, I am also a mum and a partner, and I have found that time is so much more precious now (because I am away from them a lot more of the time). However, rather than focusing on the time I am not there I ensure I focus on and appreciate what I can do. For example, I make sure I always read my children their bedtime story. I take them to school every day and I have 1 day at the weekend where I am not doing any work.

I have also interlinked my home life, school life and training rather than treating them separately. For example; my children are currently in reception and my main placement is also in reception. My children will quite often inspire my ideas, they let me try out different lesson activities with them and they have been into my school with me during the holidays whilst I decorated the classroom, which they thought was an amazing adventure.

What has made this year easier for me has been the amazing support network I have around me including my family. I was lucky to fall in love with the first school I looked around for placement and within it I have an amazing and passionate mentor, who I am able to be honest with (which is so important) if I need help, support or time, and my mentor appreciates my other commitments.

EOE are very understanding and are always on call to help, they are so much more than just a training provider.

Whilst juggling part-time work, family and training are hard, it is also important to remember it is only for a year (actually 9 months). Which at the start seems like a lifetime, yet it flies by.

If I could offer advice it would be;

  • to ensure you have effective time management so you can take advantage of your ‘time off’
  • to ensure that you have a great support network around you and,
  • to find a school that fits who you are.

– Gemma, current trainee (2019-20)