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Unsure whether to go to uni or not

HannHann Meme QueenMancPosts: 3,434 Boards Guru
For a couple of months I've been wondering whether I should go ahead with going to university or do something else. If I was to go to university I would be doing Primary Education, and leading to become a Primary Teacher, however with the work experience I've done I haven't enjoyed working in a Primary School, I've enjoyed working in nurseries. However for a while now I have been worrying whether I'll be able to cope with the work load at uni and whether I'll be able to complete it all. If I don't go to uni I don't know what I want to do with my life, I don't know whether I want to work in a private day nursery or work in a nursery and do a different course next year in uni.
Also I am worried about university interviews that are coming up next week and week after...
Any suggestions?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you already dont like your primary school work experience then i wouldnt suggest going and doing a parimary education course. Ive done a teaching course for 16+ and its not fun.

    However the nursery thing sounds good. Why not go for a qualification for that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You don't have to go to uni now. If this was me, I'd get the qualifications for childcare / nursery and work there. It sounds more like that's what you want to do?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what you've said, it doesn't sound like primary education is the course for you right now and I would discourage anyone for going to university just for the sake of it. You have a number of options:

    1) Don't go to uni know and spend the next few years getting experience/work in nursery settings or is something completely different.
    2) If you're sure about nursery settings, it is possible to do a BA teaching qualification in 3-5 years and being a trained early years foundation stage practitioner.
    3) Go down the vocational route and gain CACHE/BTECH/NVQ qualifications through an apprenticeship or college course.

    In terms of the work load, on a BA primary education degree, there is a a lot to do, but the 24 compulsory weeks of placement are spread out of 3 or 4 years, which can make the academic requirements more manageable. My experiences of studying for a postgrad in primary education are for the most part positive but there is so much work. I'm two weeks into my second block placement, we have to be teaching 60-70% of the time, which equates to about 18 hours of lessons to be planned every week, on top of three on-going assignments, weekly evaluations, lesson evaluations and pupil assessment and marking. It's really intense and there are days when I seriously question why I am doing it, but my underlying passion for teaching and inspiring children keeps me going.

    One thing we have been told is that if you're absolutely exhausted, ill, overworked, stressed and the children are being horrors, as a teacher it is your job to slap on a smile, be a positive role model and be ready to deal with anything. It will be at the worst possible time that something serious happens and no mater what, you have to deal with it. If you can't do that, then teaching isn't for you. Despite what many people think, it is not 9-3 with weeks and weeks of holidays. You will leave school every day and there will be at least one child you are worried about. You are the stand in guardian for thirty children, so that's 30 little people, all with their own personal and family lives, likes and dislikes, needs and requirements. No two days are the same. That makes it (for me) the best and worst job at the same time.

    There's no rush in going to university, even if schools/colleges tell you there is. Take your time and consider your options. Experience the world, have fun and gain valuable experience.
  • HannHann Meme Queen MancPosts: 3,434 Boards Guru
    Thanks for the replies guys.
    I spoke to my mum about it last night, she didn't seem too happy about it as I replied to her that I didn't know what I want to do with my life.
    First thing I'm going to do on Monday is speak to my tutor and see what she says about withdrawing my application from UCAS.
    In my last placement, my supervisor was in her 1st year of teaching and I noticed that she was under a lot of stress planning lessons, marking their work, planning homework, planning assemblies, and under stress that she was constantly losing her voice. From watching her stress, I don't want to go through that.
    ella! wrote: »
    In terms of the work load, on a BA primary education degree, there is a a lot to do, but the 24 compulsory weeks of placement are spread out of 3 or 4 years, which can make the academic requirements more manageable. My experiences of studying for a postgrad in primary education are for the most part positive but there is so much work. I'm two weeks into my second block placement, we have to be teaching 60-70% of the time, which equates to about 18 hours of lessons to be planned every week, on top of three on-going assignments, weekly evaluations, lesson evaluations and pupil assessment and marking. It's really intense and there are days when I seriously question why I am doing it, but my underlying passion for teaching and inspiring children keeps me going.

    What you've said sounds quite a lot for me to handle, I might sound lazy, but I can't deal with that much work, I can only just about deal with the amount of work I get now at college. As well as planning and assignments, it sounds too much for me to handle. I get distracted very easily and I have a feeling I'm going to get even more distracted and put work off more, which will result in sleepless nights trying to rush to get work in, which could lead to me not paying attention in lectures or being sleepy at placement, leading to falling behind with work or getting told off, leading to more stress.
    From year 10 I've wanted to work with children as I enjoyed my first placement, I always said "if I teach someone something new, I know I've done a good deed" but I guess I could do the same thing in a nursery setting.

    I also know that the females in my family have all worked in a nursery and I don't want to think that I'm copying them or give the impression that I am.
    When my mum has previously told me that she was a nanny, I was interested to see what that was like, I've recently started an interest in child minding and fostering, but I guess the fostering comes at a later age.

    One thing that has kinda put a downer on me wanting to work in a nursery is that one of my teachers at college told us last month "I don't want to come visiting students at placement to see you lot working in a nursery." She said it in a joking way and she was also saying that it's only minimum wage, I then was thinking of what my cousin has done, she has done a university course to make her a Level 4 which gives her better pay in a nursery, I could always do that in the future.

    I just don't want to look back and regret making the wrong decision.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You have to do what makes you happy. Not what everyone else wants you to do. There's one thing people making suggestions, but you shouldn't be pushed into something you don't want to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    You have to do what makes you happy. Not what everyone else wants you to do. There's one thing people making suggestions, but you shouldn't be pushed into something you don't want to do.

    I agree with this.

    It's sounds like you're close to making a decision and you've carefully considered what is right for you. There is nothing stopping you from going down the degree route in years to come. You can still impart new knowledge and information to EYFS children, in some respects more so, because you have the responsibility of helping them develop socio-emotionally as well as academically.
  • HannHann Meme Queen MancPosts: 3,434 Boards Guru
    I've just spoken to the head of tutors at my college as my tutor is off ill, and she was asking if I was sure and if I was going to change my mind in the future, and saying I need to inform UCAS and the unis.
    I just didn't want to tell her the full reason behind wanting to drop out as she kinda scared me and I didn't want to tell her. I just wish my original tutor Anita was in, I could tell her anything, but she is on a sick and we have a new tutor but she isn't in either. I don't know what to do, I don't want to go to the interviews as I'm scared and worried as I'm not prepared and I don't feel like I'll be able to talk in front of loads of people...
  • Cat88Cat88 Moderator Posts: 377 Boards Initiate
    HI Hann. Hope you're doing ok. Is there anyone else you could talk to about this if that particular tutor isn't someone you get on with?

    If you genuinely don't think this is the course for you, you don't have to put yourself through the stress of the interviews, I'd just suggest you try to get clear on the next steps required if you make that decision.
  • HannHann Meme Queen MancPosts: 3,434 Boards Guru
    Anita is back in college, I was going to speak to her but I just couldn't face speaking to her, I couldn't pick up the courage to speak to her. I just don't know how I'm going to speak to someone, I can't speak to teachers :(
  • HannHann Meme Queen MancPosts: 3,434 Boards Guru
    I want to write an email to Anita however I don't know whether it sounds right or not
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Instead of withdrawing your UCAS application, why don't you see what offers you get, and then defer for a year? You could take a year out and figure out what you're going to do next.
  • ShatteredSecretsShatteredSecrets Noob Posts: 186 Boards Initiate
    Hi there,

    I found myself in your exact position about a year and a half ago. For years I had been dead set on wanting to become a primary school teacher but that soon changed following a horrific placement. You have a few options:

    1) Go to your interviews anyway and see how they turn out
    2) Switch courses at uni (this is what I did and I gained a place on a separate course which could lead me to any kind of teaching but it could also lead me to many other routes too such as police, mental health, social work, nursery work etc)
    3) Withdraw UCAS and find a job for a year and reapply next year when you've had time to think of what you want to do.

    Obviously I know how hard this decision is for you. But you are not expected to know exactly what you want to do with your life right now at your age. It's likely you will not stick with the same job for the rest of your life. It's okay to change your mind and take your time in deciding what you want to do.

    Take Care,
    ShatteredSecrets

    I am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

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