Thinking of leaving the profession.

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0Melanie0
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Thinking of leaving the profession.

Post by 0Melanie0 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:32 pm

Hi All

I have been working in Early Childhood for the last 3 years. Prior to that I ran science outreach programs and had a series of upper management type positions at a university. I have a science degree, multiple TAFE qualifications in different areas and a really broad skill set. I went into early childhood because there seems to be a lack of STEM specialists and I thought I could fill a niche.

Although I love what I do I am really disillusioned by the industry as a whole. The pay is rubbish, the conditions are mediocre at best, I find many of the regulations stifling and it appears that employers (in general) have the view that educators are a dime a dozen. I am completing my diploma but am at the point where I think I should just throw my hands in the air and walk away. I can go back to research, earn twice what I do now, be respected for my work and not have to deal with other peoples' bodily fluids.

I know I'm a good educator and that I am valued by the families whose children I care for and the people I work with at the moment. I just don't think it's enough.

Has anyone else had a career crisis like this and how did you resolve it?


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Lorina
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Re: Thinking of leaving the profession.

Post by Lorina » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:27 pm

It's so hard... this industry is tough... for someone as experienced as yourself in other fields to come work in the early childhood industry, the pay, the conditions, how Educators treat each other at some centres, the stress, the paperwork... it's a lot to take on!

Personally, for me, I knew that once I had a child that I wouldn't go back to working in a centre, I just couldn't leave my child to look after others or even deal with the pressure... so instead, I started working full time on this site and created a great little niche website which has been working extremely well! In the meantime also developed a documentation app... so using my experiences and knowledge I channelled my passion for early childhood into something that works for me and my family!

As for your case, you mentioned being a STEM specialist... there is definitely a need for Educators to learn about STEM, how to incorporate it, what to do, experiences that promote STEM, advice etc. Since you are qualified, I would suggest you could probably put together a professional development course/workshop for Educators to participate in where you discuss STEM etc. so Educators can learn more about it... you could travel to different services to put on the STEM workshop... I'm not sure about the logistics of it and all, it was just an idea incorporating your specialist field and this industry...

Maybe you could come up with something that you could do if you don't necessarily want to work at a centre you could do something else for children and services...

:geek:,
Lorina

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Lorina
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Re: Thinking of leaving the profession.

Post by Lorina » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:29 pm

Also at a lot of services I was with we did Kinder Dance. That's when a woman would come once a week to teach dance to the children... you could try something like that with STEM...

Sorry brainstorming out loud here!! :giggle:

:geek:,
Lorina

Miranda C
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Re: Thinking of leaving the profession.

Post by Miranda C » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:14 am

I'm hearing you loud and clear! I have almost reached the stage where I am done with the entire early childhood education and care industry. I have changed centres a few times and have found that even the 'good' ones (rated Exceeding and above) are more concerned with making money and cutting costs than actually working within the best interests of the children. The expectations on the educators are quite heavy, and the financial expectations are obscene (unpaid work at home, buying resources, 'volunteering' time on the weekends etc.). I have recently begun to stand my ground in regards to unfair workload, I work in a room on my own (ten children, 10:1 ratio) and refuse to undertake any work that I don't have time to do during my shift (I am a hard worker and always strive to complete all cleaning, paperwork, environmental set up and reset, planning, filing etc.) but rarely do I get everything done so I am falling behind. I no longer care, if they want me to finish it then they need to pay me. I realise now that the industry is carried along on the backs of educators who 'just stay back to do it/just buy it themselves/ just finish it at home etc.' and this ridiculous state of affairs needs to stop!

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Lorina
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Re: Thinking of leaving the profession.

Post by Lorina » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:30 pm

Hi Miranda,

You should not be doing any extra work outside your work hours unless you are being paid to do so... any work you need to complete at home you need to be compensated for. I also refused to do any work at home or outside my hours. It is completely unethical and work should not interfere with home life. As for resources you buy, they are yours to take once you leave your services or unless you had been paid for them by the centre. It's important to try and limit your expenditure as an Educator, you can't buy everything so try and use the resources you have or try to make them.

I agree that a lot of pressure is being put on Educators! From paperwork to cleaning and buying resources!

:geek:,
Lorina

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