Teaching: should I train to become a teacher now or wait?
July 9, 2018 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Currently weighing up whether to do my teacher training now, or defer it for a couple of years. Reason being I would like to get on with writing my novel.

So first off, I would be doing my degree in the UK if that makes any difference to the answers I might get. I've been teaching TEFL/ESL to both primary and secondary school level children at different periods. I feel I have a good handle on both now and am figuring out the best ways to develop my techniques etc.

I am at a point where:

1) I am becoming fed up of the ESL lifestyle (the lack of solidity and ability to have a steady on-going income). I'm thinking that for that reason it might be a good idea to complete the teaching degree next year and make my way into the teaching profession. Thus providing a way into a more settled lifestyle.

2) That said, I have been messing around with sort of writing and not writing my novel for years. I've published short stories and articles but I feel its time to stop dabbling and knuckle down by writing my first novel. This is my true passion in life and I want to give it my best shot.

Right now I am teaching and its intense with evening spent planning also. But even with challenging students I still love it, feel mentally lifted after every day and feel I can make a difference to my pupils lives. I like the idea of spending my life striving to become the best educator I can be.

But is the time now? And if I do focus on my novel for the moment, what can I work as instead? In the past I had multiple full time marketing jobs that I grew to hate because I find the roles inauthentic and disliked spending so much time online. Content Writing also took up a lot of my writing energy but its what I'm trained in. What are my options? Thanks.
posted by Willow251 to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Well, you love teaching. And writing. And even though no one should ever get their phd, you could get one in creative writing while teaching. Taking half of your time teaching and half writing may help you finish your novel. The graduate school may help you with insurance and a stipend while you teach and write. And write and teach.

You will be broke while doing this. Also, after. But I think you are already rocking this lifestyle, so here is one option to rock it with dedicated writing requirements.
posted by Kalmya at 3:55 PM on July 9, 2018

If writing is your true passion then you must put it first. Fiction writing requires full on concentration and experimentation. This is very difficult when you also have to write academic papers. Consider putting off the degree program for a year and commit yourself to daily writing during that time. That doesn't mean writing all day. You could get up at 4:30 am and write until 8:30 am. But do make it a full year. You don't want to find yourself distracted by the degree program applications in the last few months, when the momentum is finally getting you where you need to be in your creative work. Take a year. If writing is your true passion then you must put it first.
posted by Morpeth at 10:52 PM on July 9, 2018

More stability = more time to write. More savings, sick leave, and vacation time = more time to write. You’ll initially be busy, but it’ll level out after your first year and you’ll get way more writing time than you would if you constantly have to hustle.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:55 PM on July 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

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