Mothers becoming teachers. What motivates them? What doesn't?
This research draws on six interviews with mothers with dependent children who are studying to become primary school teachers in New Zealand. It investigates the motivating factors that encouraged them to undertake such tertiary studies and also introduces the implications for their families. For these six women, the role of mother seemed intrinsically tied to their motivation to train as teachers. Considerations relating to mothering (in part) also influenced when they began studying towards this career and influenced how they felt about these decisions and managed their study once at the college. However, the pressures of organizing their own children before and after school, spending more time away from the home, and relying on the support of other people to care for their children added to their feelings of stress and guilt. Those of us engaged in tertiary provision need seriously to consider the issues around motivation evident in the women's comments and what we can do to address them and thus provide inclusive education for this group. Students who are parents, and, it seems, especially those who are mothers, need to know that their tertiary study is of value to them and their families, and that the environment they are learning in supports their specific needs.