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Anyone determined to stick through PGCE but not start NQT?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by empea, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. empea

    empea New commenter

    I'm completely in agreement here. Unfortunately I have just had a terrible placement in addition to a parent complaint and it makes me wonder... what's the point? I have no desire to complete my NQT year as I have swiftly learnt that not many people like teachers.... parents don't, other teachers don't, the government certainly doesn't.

    I'm tired all the time and I don't have a life and no teacher hides the fact it never gets much easier. I'm ready to work to live again and not the other way around, I'm ready to sleep 8 hours again and enjoy my weekends and I'm most certainly looking forward to holidays at times of my choosing! Hello Glasto 2013 =]
  2. RGJM2012

    RGJM2012 New commenter

    Me!! I have absolutely no intention of doing my NQT at this point. I feel that this year has taken me to the brink emotionally and the stress has affected my children, my partner and my close family. I have tried so hard in my placements and in one placement I have had fantastic support but I have come to realise that the career of a teacher is not a job, it is a life choice. You have to choose to hand your time and emotions over to a job (for the early years I am certain, whether this comes into balance as your career advances I cannot be certain but from the staff I hear daily complaining I am finding this unlikely). I cannot take anymore negativity, whether its during feedback (even though it is constructive it still feels like another negative slight on you), in the staff room, the general bitching of other staff in the dept, the parents, then when you get home the guilt trips from the kids, the planning every evening and weekend so the ironing pile grows, the house stays a tip and the kids don't get your time over and over again. I cleaned the fridge out over the weekend just for something enjoyable to do that I didn't have to think about. Now that is sad! I have already started looking into alternative employment. As I have budgeted for the GTP salary I am on I could live on a similar wage again and therefore feel confident something suitable could be found once the course is over. I have to finish the course, I can't afford not to but for now, and maybe for a long time, I have no desire to do my NQT year. It boils down to one simple fact. I'm knackered! And this knackeredness is impacted too heavily on the people I love and no job is worth that. You only get one life and right now I am not living it, I don't like that and want to change it. But as the original poster said I cannot talk about it, to staff or other students etc because I will be looked upon as some kind of ungrateful wench so instead I will smile sweetly and get to July holding my self-esteem and confidence in a doggy bag!!!!!
  3. Malaguena

    Malaguena New commenter

    I would agree with the fact that it IS knackering, it IS a life choice and it IS the most emotionally draining job you can do. However, I would disagree that it doesn't get any easier - oh yes it does!!! You are in the thick of it at the moment, but you will come out of the other side. After you have been teaching a while, it doesn't take hours to plan lessons (and you'll have previous plans to fall back on), you learn the diplomacy it takes to deal with parents and you'll learn to take everything with a pinch of salt. You learn that you can be a good teacher and have a life - there are only so many hours in the day, and teaching is a job where you can do it 24/7 and still not get everything done. Nobody dies if your powerpoint isn't amazing or you forget to make a jazzy plenary sheet for 7.1. Stick at it!
  4. kazzmaniandevil

    kazzmaniandevil New commenter

    Thanks for that, I'm feeling very daunted at some of the posts on here!! My mantra is work smart not hard just hoping that will work on the PGCE!!
  5. Notwithstanding

    Notwithstanding New commenter

    When I was on the PGCE I'd made the decision quite early not to do the NQT year, I shared this with a few people on the course who made me feel massively ungrateful. Least to say I left the course in the new year, social life and happiness regained, still seeing daily news of how teaching as a job is going to become worse. Being self employed now is the polar opposite life. I can't imagine what state I would now be in if I had stayed, but I definitely feel that I jumped before humiliatingly being pushed. It's different for everyone though, and I just knew it wasn't for me, no shame in that. I'm not the only one either http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/aug/31/teaching.teachersworkload
  6. Johnsmithbitter,
    I'm so sorry you're feeling this way BUT I can completely understand the reasons behind it- The hours are exhausting, the work load is intense and if you try to have a life outside.....well!
    I am on my PGCE and I absolutely love it! I work at uni the 5 days a week, whilst not on placement, then I have a part time job that I do the remaining 2 days, this is not meant to rub in the fact that others have different experiences, more just as a friendly suggestion.
    I am also up till all hours preparing essay/resources/lesson plans etc...Yes it's draining, it takes everything you have but remember this is the equivalent of a 4 year BEd squeezed into 9 months. All you need to remember is WHY you're doing this, if you love teaching then you will find the ability to pull through the challenges.
    However contraversial my next statement is, it is heartfelt. If you do not want to continue with a career in teaching, that is your right to choose. But who have you tried turning to for support? College tutors? Peers? Mentors? Outside social circles? There is never a reasong be graded as 'failing', it is all just learning from experience. At my uni they are incredibly accomdating and will do everything possible to support you, they know how draining it is and why wouldn't they help you. If you have not explored these avenues then you really ought to, before you lose out on one of the most rewarding careers. If you have not tried support systems then have you already made up your mind??? Postgraduate drop out may look bad, but not as bad as a half hearted applicant for an inerview or a teacher who doesn't want to be there.
    Think about what you would say to a child who is struggling with a work load and pressures outside the classroom.... You owe these A level students the very best treatment and you CAN do it if your heart is in teaching. Teaching is not a job- you don't walk away from the desk at 5pm, you constantly think of lessons, planning, marking, worry about pupils- it is all consuming almost! Dangerously so! Just remember to keep your own personality and try and seek some support.
    Fingers crossed it turns around for you befor next term, Misskjk x
  7. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    I am currently a NQT and I actually enjoyed my PGCE and placements although admit I did have some doubts about teaching during my second placement-mainly due to behaviour.
    I have actually found my NQT easier than the PGCE in terms of workload because you don't have evidence to collect and noone is checking your lesson plans etc. But it is tougher in many respects because you are on your own without another teacher to back you up and you have all the responsibility for your classes and all the marking....
    My NQT post is only temporary as I am covering maternity leave but I am leaving 30 April and currently do not want to return to a school as I want to have a better work life balance and not to feel stressed all the time. I have found the PGCE very useful in helping me into employment outside of a school and am going to work for a training provider with adults in their workplace. Several people from my PGCE course are not working in schools and one is working as an education officer in museum and another in a similar role for a conservation company. It is definitely worth trying to battle through the last few weeks of the PGCE course as the qualification really does open doors even if you decide not to go into school based work.
  8. I won't be that's for sure. I've come to accept that I have too many things outside of work that I enjoy such as cycling, music, reading that I'm not prepared to give up in return for a 30,000 pound + job, it's just not worth it for me. I'll probably look to be a TA or something similar.
    I'm cretainly glad of the skills and experience from this course but reckon it could have done with far less mandotary paperwork - I'm already dreading the next placement due to this.
  9. Me most probably. I have not enjoyed putting my own children last this year and the thought of doing it through my NQT year and beyond makes me sick, frankly. I am also going to try for a TA job.
  10. goatherd

    goatherd New commenter

    I know what you mean - however when I was doing my PGCE, I came under extreme stress/depression (not from the course/placement but external issues) and I did tell my tutor who was (and 2 years later still is) extremely supportive.
    He told me to talk to the Uni counselling services - who had great support and were VERY used to teachers coming in - they are also confidential (except for the self-harm/harming others issues). They were also able to recoomend to the tutor an extension for the Uni projects - only for a couple of weeks, but it meant that I did not have to work on them whilst on placement.
    So I would recommend at the very least talking to the Uni Counsellors (student services, or student union possibly)
    Good luck
  11. I wouldn't be adverse to teaching say 3 days a week but at the end of the day there aren't many long term jobs doing that.
    I found it very tough going on the last placement and that was only 50% teaching. I do see the positives - there's loads but I didn't realise until doing this course how difficult the whole job is for me - how many tasks there are to juggle. I always thought because I had a degree I should go for the more responsible jobs (that's what they constantly tell you all through uni too), hence why I applied for this.
    But now I know there's nothing wrong with just being a T.A or similar if that's what I'll be best at, graduate or not. I'd be able to appreciates all the positives of school life better as a TA I think.
    I think it shows that I'm realistic about what I'm good at. I'm not going to lie to employers and say I can do things well when I know I personally can't - and I know 3 teachers who are TAs so it can be done. I know I should have done far more work experience and talked to more teachers before applying.
  12. GeeMarie

    GeeMarie New commenter

    I won't be. I'm on a GTP not a PGCE, but I know how you feel. I thought this was what I wanted, and I was wrong.

    To criticise because 'someone else wanted that place' or saying that not doing this wastes a year is silly. When I was offered the place, I wanted it. I wasn't to know at that point that doing this would reveal certain things to me, culminating in the realisation that I do not want to do this as a career. Why is that a problem? Many people do the same things with non-teacher training. It is not a lack of commitment- I am seeing out the year despite finding it incredibly hard. I am not becoming complacent and letting my teaching slide, because that would impact the students and that is unfair. It is also not a waste of my time. This year has taught me several things, and any sort of lesson learnt is worthwhile.

    I love the kids. The students make the days worthwhile. But everything else... no, I'd rather not. I'll be looking outside of the education sector once this is over.

    Good luck to everyone who is teacher training- I really hope you rekindle the passion you felt that turned you to teaching in the first place, and manage to pull through and become great teachers. If you don't, I hope you find something that makes you happy!
  13. I'm currently doing the PGCE Primary and I totally understand why some do not want to take up a NQT position. There are a few people on my course who feel the same way. I think no amount of experience in the classroom can prepare you for this job. Some experience may give you a rough idea but in terms of getting a real understanding of the job I think you have to actually do it. Those who say that changing your mind means you've wasted money and prevented someone else from have your spot, I think is quite ridiculous to say. It's not like you've dropped out half way through and even then it is within your right to do so. I think that one's health and well being is more important and those who say otherwise I question their happiness and state of mind. Life is very short and I would rather look back on life knowing that I tried to enjoy it and make myself and my family happy rather than sticking with something because one should.
  14. My advice would be to get out whilst u can if ur feeling le this. I stuck at it for an additional 3 yrs, wat a mistake! donotteach.blogspot.com
  15. Wow, i'm not really surely the reply from someone stating "I pity you" is that illuminating/helpful. Ignore that one I would.

    I completed my PGCE last June, achieving outstanding in both my placements and succeeding in all the uni work. I found it so so so difficult and exhausting but at the same time I loved it, it was such a great year.

    Since completing my PGCE I have worked for an environmental charity and have traveled New Zealand for 2 months. I'm soon to turn 26 and can completely understand why you feel pressured to start your NQT year, especially with other teachers on an official forum basically saying you dont deserve to have been accepted on a course...

    It's your life, you know the things you love doing, the things that challenge you, the things that stress you out, the things that drain you and make you sad; I think its your prerogative to carve the life you want.

    I'm writing this as much for myself as for you... I still find the question "so, are you going to teach then or what?" from family and friends completely tiresome. Bless them, all they want to do is strike a conversation! I'm certain one day soon i'll be in that classroom again, but why burn yourself out because there is this factory line that you seem obliged to jump on, play it how you want! if you complete your PGCE you have your qualification and the choice. If you quit then you dont. You are not obliged to start your NQT year, and everyone can empathise with wanting to feel happy. So do whatever you feel will make you feel happy!

  16. minceandquince

    minceandquince New commenter

    I thought this comment was so rude and abrupt. The PGCE course is very intense and mentally draining, it's understandable that some students will feel discouraged by the experience. The person hasn't said that they can't see the rewarding side of teaching, but has decided it's not for them. They are entitled to feel this way and it's better that they admit this now before going into teaching and not feeling as committed and enthusiastic as a teacher should. Surely anyone can see that?
  17. I have a NQT job to go, which I secured in April so quite a while before I hit the rather hideous wall that I am still currently not able to get through. I now wish I didn't have the job so that I could take time off and think about what I want to do.
    My problem is behaviour management and not creating a prescence that shows I'm the teacher. I am too 'nice'. I hate the fact that after two terms I am still in the same place with this and it has caused me a lot of problems, including anxiety problems and almost getting suspended from the course. My tutor says that I know what I need to do, my problem is putting it into practice. I have no confidence and just expect to fail NQT as I have nearly failed PGCE. I have consistently taken one step forward and two steps back in my second placement. Ultimately I haven' tbeen able to develop the skills that I need.
    I really wish I was in the position of people on this topic who have the luxury of reconsidering what they want to do. I am dreading my NQT school discovering how rubbish I am but also think the sooner they find out the better. I am wondering how honest to be about my failings when I start with them.
  18. F1sydney

    F1sydney New commenter

    I am in the same position, as in I have the PGCE and do not want to teach, I have now been out of work for six months and have applied for endless TA, HLTA, mentor etc. jobs but still find myself on jobseekers. I was told during feedback of my last interview to go ahead and do my NQT year, but the thought makes me feel ill. I passed the course with flying colours and found the uni work easy as I did with managing behaviour and delivering lessons. There are many reasons why I have decided not to go into teaching, but to say that I should have been aware of these issues at the beginning or that the position should have gone to someone else would be wrong.

    Surely it is better to know this now than go into teaching half heartily. I am hoping soon someone will recognise that I can transfer the skills I have developed and help children to achieve just as much as a teacher can.
  19. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious New commenter

    Or for long term absence. Cover teachers tend to exist on long term sick/maternity at times. Not that it means there's a lot of positions waiting to be filled.
    Actually, that's rare. Schools aren't supposed to use teachers for cover except in emergency circumstances - it's part of the workforce agreement, I believe. It's what gave rise to the cover supervisor position in the first place.

  20. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    As a supply now for 2 years fresh out of my NQT year I would have to disagree with this.

    Consistency in behaviour was on of my weak points and as supply is often trial and error (you dont have to see classes again) you can find out what works for classes and what works for you. My behaviour management has improved so much on supply as have lots of other skills.

    Highly recommend supply for teachers that are uneasy or wondering about their career choice, you get to see lots more schools and talk to different teachers. For me, supply made me so hungry for teaching I would recommend it to all NQTs for their first year.

    However, I am primary so I cannot comment on the secondary supply market.
    Freshtanazar likes this.

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