1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Agonising over whether to quit

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by FrankieLee, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Currently at home/uni between placement 1 and 2 on a secondary PGCE. I should be getting on with my work but I can't stop thinking about quitting and want to hear that someone else out there feels this way.
    My first placement was at a good, supportive school. The workload was OK. However, I struggled really badly with nerves which seemed to get worse rather than better as the placement went on, by January I was in tears a lot and refusing to teach some of my lessons because I was so nervous. I went to the GP who gave me beta-blockers but I don't want to take them because I think if you need to take drugs to get through the day you have a worse problem. I managed to get to the end of the placement so I could have time to think, and I have been seeing a counsellor too but still can't seem to make a decision.
    I'm scared of quitting because I will feel like such a failure and I worry about being unemployed. Is there anyone out there who got through really bad anxiety and is now a happy teacher, or should I take heed of the warning signs and find something else to do with my life? I get good feedback when I do teach and I was so sure I wanted to do it but I know something isn't right.
    Anyone else thinking about quitting?
     
  2. Currently at home/uni between placement 1 and 2 on a secondary PGCE. I should be getting on with my work but I can't stop thinking about quitting and want to hear that someone else out there feels this way.
    My first placement was at a good, supportive school. The workload was OK. However, I struggled really badly with nerves which seemed to get worse rather than better as the placement went on, by January I was in tears a lot and refusing to teach some of my lessons because I was so nervous. I went to the GP who gave me beta-blockers but I don't want to take them because I think if you need to take drugs to get through the day you have a worse problem. I managed to get to the end of the placement so I could have time to think, and I have been seeing a counsellor too but still can't seem to make a decision.
    I'm scared of quitting because I will feel like such a failure and I worry about being unemployed. Is there anyone out there who got through really bad anxiety and is now a happy teacher, or should I take heed of the warning signs and find something else to do with my life? I get good feedback when I do teach and I was so sure I wanted to do it but I know something isn't right.
    Anyone else thinking about quitting?
     
  3. Dear FrankieLee,
    I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. I just thought I'd send a quick reply as a very close relative of mine was in a very similar situation a year or so ago, and at the same point in a secondary PGCE.
    Firstly, It's not uncommon to be stressed, and suffer from anxiety and depression. Infact it's extremely common. It's also no bad thing to treat these illnesses with medication, and something you should feel neither embarrased or ashamed of.
    Secondly, it sounds like you are a good teacher, and that's excellent that you are getting such good feedback. I think the question you really need to ask yourself is if you can see yourself enjoying this as a career. Ultimately my relative chose to leave the course because they couldn't see themselves enjoying being a teacher long term. The depression and anxiety were both manageable, and something that ultimately are no longer a problem.
    Thirdly, don't worry about making descisions and changing your mind. It's something everyone does, and you should be proud of yourself for getting this far and for doing well. Take time to make a descision like this, talk to your family (I know this helped my relative) and don't be afraid to ask for help from the course. I wonder if you can defer the rest of the year and come back to it later?
    And lastly, my relative quickly found a more suitable job and is now very happy. They don't regret their descision at all.

    Take your time,

    FG
     
  4. Hi Frankie,
    Firstly, I'm sorry to hear you're having these problems - but I know exactly where you're coming from.
    I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression when I was 18 (I'm now 26). I went to one counselling session (I should've gone to more really) and was put on medication. I took myself off the medication after about two years, which I now regret. I think the anxiety and depression had been lying undiscovered since I was about 11, as I used to get so nervous about little things at school that I'd be sick frequently - but it took until I was at university to get a diagnosis.
    After I took myself off the drugs, I was fine for a few years but I'm now doing a Primary PGCE. I've also had a lot of family issues. I failed my first assignment. All this has got on top of me. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist, and when I only got "satisfactory" in my lessons on my first placement I was not happy. I could see improvements in my teaching, and acted on feedback, but still didn't think I was where I should be.
    I'm now on my second placement and again only getting "satisfactory". What's worse is the class teacher often takes over in the middle (or at the start!) of my lessons, making me feel totally inadequate and like I can't control my class. I love the class, love the school, and love teaching, but it is really demoralising. Thoughts of quitting are going through my head now.
    My advice is, if you want to teach then do it. You're getting good feedback - which is better than me! There is nothing wrong with being on medication for your anxiety - it helped me a lot. I should probably go back on it so I can let myself go a bit more and tell my class teacher to go outside when I'm teaching!
    For me, I can build on the feedback given from my teaching - and I really want to know to improve - but every little knock-back makes me think about quitting. Thing is, we're so far through the year now, we might as well just stick it out even if we do fail!
     
  5. mickymilan

    mickymilan New commenter

    Don't give up you're nearly there
     
  6. Hve youi talked through these issues with your tutor? Providers will have access to student support and student counsellors. There will be help available for you to deal with these sorts of issues. It may well be that a course with counsellors could help prevent the nerves and problems. Don't just quit until you have explored all avenues of help with your tutor.
    James
     
  7. I'm surprised that you'd be willing to quit your PGCE but taking anti-anxiety medication is not an option to get you through it. I'm saying this as someone who has had depression and anxiety for twelve years. I'm really enjoying my PGCE and doing well - but I would have quit months ago if I had not been on medication. Don't dismiss it. Best of luck, and hope things become clearer for you. :)
     
  8. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Stick with the beta-blockers.

    I realise this may seem controversial, but I have been taking them to get me through my extra-curricular stuff (music) for some years now. It took me a long time to get used to performing to others in the public eye, especially when, before teaching, I spent a year as a professional choral singer. As the months and years have gone on, however, I have needed them less and less frequently.

    As a teacher - used to take them before every observed lesson once a week as I was stressed about it. After repeated good feedback, I became less anxious. Except for once or twice as I started my NQT post last September, I haven't needed them at all. It does get better.
     

Share This Page