third life crisis

10 Sep

I thought about becoming a teacher recently. Well what 30 something middle class woman hasn’t?

That’s after i tried the studying thing, considered freelance writing, bought a piano to revisit my musical days, investigated ballroom dancing, cookery classes and cake decorating. And of course, as you know, i was set to do the charity thing before i got fired for being unkind about fat people. (Bigots, hear me, it was about BIGOTS!)

But the teacher thing comes back every now and then, and i haven’t put it to bed yet. I was seriously put off yesterday though when a newly qualified teacher (male) told me at a kiddies party that to be a successful teacher you could never ever show any signs of weakness, and that truth be told it was best to make the kids hate and fear you.

All this about primary school teaching. Ouch.

Actually this 3rd life wobble seems amusingly common amongst us 30 somethings. We spend our third decade trying to come up with the “idea” that will see ourselves as our own boss, inspire the nation to spend their hard earned cash on getting us rich quick, sending us spirally up the ladder of social mobility and into a detached house in Surrey with a downstairs toilet and concertina patio doors.

Truth be told, most of us just don’t have the brains or the balls. The best idea we manage to come up with was patented in the 1970s or sees us as yet another cafebar casualty licking cappucino froth from our open wounds.

So we get real, resume kissing our git of a boss’s arse because we need to carry a few holiday days over, and knuckle down to the daily 9-5 grind with a hiss and a false grin.

Or we start thinking about teaching.

It only takes a year to train, and the pays not too bad. All the best reasons for becoming a teacher. So what if the kids are our future?

But them someone comes along and tells you it’s no easy road these days and you’ll have to develop nerves of steel and an iron grip.

Hmmm, maybe that idea of mine could work after all? Now all i need to do is work out how to sew some wheels onto a pair of shoes….

15 Responses to “third life crisis”

  1. Sarah Fontó September 10, 2010 at 8:01 am #


    That is where you get all the “good stuff” that goes with teaching without all the classroom management crap that is pissing in the wind in the face of the utter deprivation and neglect that a handful of kids are suffering from.

    And it is great thrid age choice for a person who understands how kids work.

    I’d recommend the fast track CELTA, it’s a one month course and the skills you gain are tranferable to your chosen subject if after the investment (time, money) you discover you do enjoy it and have a knack for it.

    Trust me, it is so damn fast track that people find out pretty fast if they are a good fit or not.

  2. Pants With Names September 10, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    Hard work teaching! The pay might not be bad but it is not nearly enough for what they are required to do. I love the idea of teaching but know, in reality, I could never do it!

    Any more ideas? I’m looking for some…

  3. Elle September 10, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    There is no easy road really unless you’re really lazy, have no ambition or extremely privileged and even then how can you feel good about yourself if you don’t try anything ?

    Sometimes it takes a long winding road to self-discovery, although there is room to grow… always.

    This is an excerpt from a recent post of mine :

    ” What’s in store for me in the direction I don’t take ? ” is one of my favourite quotes from Jack Kerouac, especially at times of uncertainty, when I’ve been procrastinating or simply struggling to make a decision.

    I hope you find your true calling and the fulfilment that goes with it. I suppose as women and mothers we tend to question ourselves much more than men.

    All the best,


  4. jomiddleton September 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    Hahaha! Every year I think about becoming a teacher! It doesn’t help that my Dad is a primary school teacher, so he is always trying to encourage me. I do point out to him every time he mentions it that I don’t actually LIKE KIDS. I think that would be the issue for me. Love the idea of having my own classroom and making up lovely wall displays though.

    For my whole adult life I’ve always felt like I could anything, be anything… if only I could put my finger on what it was I wanted to do or be! I’ve been working for myself for the last year and get bored, lonely and long for an office. I guess there’s just no pleasing us ‘have-it-all’ 30-something mums…

  5. Alethea September 10, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    I felt like that till I had an ‘epiphany’ a few months back. Now I know what I am going to do and I can’t wait.

    You will have your light bulb moment and then everything will fall in to place!

    Good luck!

    • marketingtomilk September 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

      you can’t leave me hanging like that. What is your particular lightbulb missy?

      • Alethea September 10, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

        I have registered for a correspondence course and will soon be a bright shiny ‘Professional Proofreader’. My hubby is a graphic designer so I already have a foot in the door, and he has loads of contacts through work.
        Best of all I don’t have to work during school holidays, rest of the time I can work wherever I want.
        I even have a name for my new company but that won’t be revealed till I am 100% qualified!

  6. Muddling Along Mummy September 10, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    I know exactly what you mean – I don’t consider being a teacher but I do regularly think about training as a breastfeeding counsellor. I’ve done the mother supporter thing and to some extent its a logical next step but time, other pressures and so on

    The right avenue will open up and it will become obvious

  7. Mwa September 10, 2010 at 8:23 pm #

    I LOVE teaching. But yes, you do need to battle with the students at the start. Fine if you win…

  8. keatsbabe September 11, 2010 at 7:55 pm #

    Oh that is so me to a tee! My son is off to Uni with the ambition to teach and i am not at all sure he knows what he is letting himself in for…

    I have thought about teaching so many times – but I think I would have to learn SO much more before I could stand in front of a class with any conviction! I can hear myself saying ‘So you think you know better? You come up here and teach the class! – No I mean it…. really..’

  9. Gail September 12, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    Maybe it depends on where you teach!
    Teaching here in NZ is fab – well I love it, anyway. Depends a lot on the school and the demographic of the school – but in NZ here it’s generally lovely!!
    I’ve just returned to relief teaching recently and am having a ball with it. I remember at training college when I was 18 years old and starting off that it struck me that a lot of the student teachers were in their 30s/40s – mums returning to the work force!

  10. Jess September 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    I was a teacher long before I had kids and having my own was the thing that totally changed and improved my practice. Teaching became, for me, an extension of parenting. Even for the 18 year olds. The same things went for my toddler as did for them!

    But the classroom is the best bit – the reason I left was that I couldn’t cope with the other stuff, mainly the MASSIVE marking load that comes with secondary English. And the intense staff politics. I’ve never encountered a hotter ‘political’ climate that a staff room..?


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