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Anyone else having second thoughts about teaching?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Anoushka, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Having read some of the threads below, there seem to be quite a few people in a similar position to me - which is reassuring, as I thought I was the only one who wasn't loving this whole teaching lark. Am in my second term of teaching - about to go back to school after Half Term (ours was earlier than most places) and absolutely dreading it. I'm determined to stick out my induction year, but as soon as the summer holidays finally start I'm going to be out there looking for my next career move!

    I admit I drifted into teaching after becoming dissatisfied with my previous career, but it wasn't a spur of the moment thing - I worked as a teaching assistant for a year before applying, and really enjoyed it. I've always loved learning, and wanted an opportunity to help others to learn too. But at the moment I hate going into work each morning - I've even woken up in tears a couple of times!

    I want my Sundays and evenings back - at the moment I spend them tethered to my laptop. I want to stop feeling guilty because there are too many different things to do to finish any of them properly (I'm a perfectionist, and hate cutting corners!). I want to be able to go out for a drink with friends after work without worrying about how I'm going to make up the lost marking/planning time. I want my hard work to be recognised, rather than simply being given a list of things to improve on. I want the quality of my work to be judged according to how much the children have actually learnt, rather than whether I've referred back to the learning objective at least five times during the lesson. I'm fed up with being expected to be a parent, social worker and secretary as well as a teacher. I miss things that I took for granted in my previous job, such as adult conversation and having time to myself to reflect on things. I find the 'performance' aspect of the job incredibly difficult - constntly having to convey enthusiasm and energy in front of the kids despite the fact you're feeling ill, exhausted or simply fed up. I previously worked in central London, and really miss the buzz and social life that this entailed - by contrast, I feel cut-off isolated in my current village school.

    I don't mean this simply to come across as a self-indulgent whinge about teaching - I do enjoy the actual teaching side, and love the moment a child grasps something they didn't previously understand. I also find the children I teach genuinely interesting as individuals, and they make my laugh. But I'm finding that this doesn't make up for the long list of negatives I've listed above, particularly as I watch my school and university friends already (at 28) earning far more than me, often for working shorter hours. I suspect that all those people who have long suggested that teaching is a vocation, rather than merely a job, are correct - and, unfortunately, it appears that I lack this particular vocation!
     
  2. Having read some of the threads below, there seem to be quite a few people in a similar position to me - which is reassuring, as I thought I was the only one who wasn't loving this whole teaching lark. Am in my second term of teaching - about to go back to school after Half Term (ours was earlier than most places) and absolutely dreading it. I'm determined to stick out my induction year, but as soon as the summer holidays finally start I'm going to be out there looking for my next career move!

    I admit I drifted into teaching after becoming dissatisfied with my previous career, but it wasn't a spur of the moment thing - I worked as a teaching assistant for a year before applying, and really enjoyed it. I've always loved learning, and wanted an opportunity to help others to learn too. But at the moment I hate going into work each morning - I've even woken up in tears a couple of times!

    I want my Sundays and evenings back - at the moment I spend them tethered to my laptop. I want to stop feeling guilty because there are too many different things to do to finish any of them properly (I'm a perfectionist, and hate cutting corners!). I want to be able to go out for a drink with friends after work without worrying about how I'm going to make up the lost marking/planning time. I want my hard work to be recognised, rather than simply being given a list of things to improve on. I want the quality of my work to be judged according to how much the children have actually learnt, rather than whether I've referred back to the learning objective at least five times during the lesson. I'm fed up with being expected to be a parent, social worker and secretary as well as a teacher. I miss things that I took for granted in my previous job, such as adult conversation and having time to myself to reflect on things. I find the 'performance' aspect of the job incredibly difficult - constntly having to convey enthusiasm and energy in front of the kids despite the fact you're feeling ill, exhausted or simply fed up. I previously worked in central London, and really miss the buzz and social life that this entailed - by contrast, I feel cut-off isolated in my current village school.

    I don't mean this simply to come across as a self-indulgent whinge about teaching - I do enjoy the actual teaching side, and love the moment a child grasps something they didn't previously understand. I also find the children I teach genuinely interesting as individuals, and they make my laugh. But I'm finding that this doesn't make up for the long list of negatives I've listed above, particularly as I watch my school and university friends already (at 28) earning far more than me, often for working shorter hours. I suspect that all those people who have long suggested that teaching is a vocation, rather than merely a job, are correct - and, unfortunately, it appears that I lack this particular vocation!
     
  3. Sorry to hear that. Good luck for the future whatever you choose to do.
     
  4. I too am very very unsure about staying in htis job. It has a habit of just satisfying you enough to keep you doing it that bit longer, but I'm sure all of the reasons I cam einto teaching arent really a part of our daily lives. Im scared that if I stay beyond easter im stuck there. very difficult!
     
  5. corky

    corky New commenter

    Well! I thought I must have written a post in my sleep and put it on here Anoushka! You've put into words exactly how I feel. What you've said is so true and as nomorebull says, you do get sucked into it.

    I do feel guilty when I think of all the training I've done to get to this point that is going to be wasted. And when I speak to some of my friends who absolutely love teaching, I think it must be me. But I have to accept that even though I enjoy being with the children, it's all the other c**p that comes with that makes the job so hard.

    On positive note though, just think of the transferrable skills we've acquired! In my case, with the headteacher at my school, being able to produce reports et al, with no notice and ready for a week yesterday! Oh, and no extra time to do anything in. What, says the head, can't you miss your own children's event to get this done for the school? Er, no I can't actually.

    Any parents out there who think teaching is the easier option when your own children are young are so mistaken. Recently my 11 yr old was poorly at home alone. I had my NQT afternoon so asked if I could go home to be with him and do the work I was going to do at school at home instead. Well, you would've thought I'd asked for the world! I was asked exactly what I was going to be doing and after a lot of umming and arrghing, was allowed to go home albeit with a 'don't ask again' impression left indelibly stamped on my forehead.

    Rant over. Sorry.

    Corky x
     
  6. Not throw a spanner in the works but If I could turn the clock back ten years I wouldn't be teaching now. Complete your induction year, then do supply but only do supply for three days a week. Let the other two days be used for looking for something else, maybe a part time course that is more of a hobbie than retraining. I have seen an increase in the paper work over the past ten years ago and the majority of us are down trodden. Supply for three days a week will keep your hand in and you will see good/bad schools which will help make up your mind. i wish I had stayed on supply which I did for five years. I am looking at giving up teaching and would find it difficult to get back into my regular schools after such a long time away.
     
  7. corky

    corky New commenter

    I was wondering if supply was a feasible option, neverthought. I was also wondering if it's the school I'm in at the moment as opposed to teaching in general that's the problem. But I think the whole teaching profession is too bogged down in paperwork and achieving stats rather than children actually enjoying learning.

    The powers that be seem to have lost sight of the one huge variable in education and that's the children themselves. They are now seen as commodities which we need to get to a certain standard regardless of their actual needs or ability.

    Returning to something anoushka said, every lesson observation I've had it's been commented on that I don't remind children of the objective often enough. Isn't the fact that the children are enjoying the lesson, are engaged and I'm enjoying teaching it, more important than how many times I state the objective? Aren't the children demonstrating that they're 'hearing' the objective without me having to remind them that they are? Do I have to stop the flow of a lesson to reiterate the objective?

    Oh please stop me from ranting! I've never had a job before where I've felt so undervalued and worked so hard for such little reward. Arrghhh, I'm ranting again.

    I've stopped. I do not intend to start again. I'm going to bed now to sulk about having to go to school tomorrow.

    Corky x
     
  8. Do think about supply. At least all I thought about then was teaching and nothiing else. Supply allows you to teach. Ok you'll probably find that in a bad school it is your duty for the yard because they have swopped but it is a small price to pay for marking the work at the end of the day and just driving off to enjoy weekends and evenings with the family and holidays are just that !
     
  9. Your PGCE course etc was merely a warm up. I would say that your NQT year is a hellish one, but it does get better - I think at that between Christmas and Easter most NQTs would say they have large doubts about the job - I think it is due to the 'holiday' that is Christmas or the lack of it.

    It is tough but year 2 is better - the extra experience does help.

    It may be the school, and your mentor - lack of support doesn't help. You do need to make time for yourself and your family, and stop being a perfectionist (Nearly impossible I have found) sometimes that is OK is great cause what it really means is - Why repeat something a little better when I could be doing ...

    It is a hard lesson to learn but one we all do.

    Shortcuts aren't a bad thing - Scholastic Books, Primary Resources Website, Hamilton Trust etc. are there because they make money the reason - teachers use them.
     
  10. I too am feeling the same. My class are a challenging bunch and it is so exhausting, I miss the days of being able to enjoy my evenings and weekends instead I worry about all the things I could do.

    Since Christmas I make sure that I go to school early so I can get things done then and then go home just after 4, but then I'm made to feel guilty when all the other teachers say "you going home already". I do live quite a distance from my school.

    I really miss adult conversation too, sometimes you really want to chat about something which has happened but never have the opportunity, the staffroom is always silent and the staff never chat to each other. I tried starting a conversation but they just looked at me as though I were an alien. I'm desperate for a proper conversation!!!

    I think it may just be the school I'm in and I know that I will definately be leaving in July. Whether I teach or not that's the decision I'm going to have to make.
     
  11. Hooray, more people not loving the job! It really is challenging, nobody I know has to deal with the grief, stress, disrespect, rediculous hours and huge assessment pressures we do, and for only twenty grand! My year 11's aren't going to get their target GCSE grades because they're a bunch of lazy so and so's and I feel awful that i'm a rubbish teacher. i'm so fed up of planning fantastic lessons that appeal to all learning styles, have different learning activities, cross curricular links etc only to abandon it and work out of textbooks in silence because the ******* can't behave.

    I totaly agree with being told what we're doing wrong and never what we're doing right, it's so disheartening and demoralising.

    Loads of the teachers at my school are cynical, miserable and hate the job but stick with it cos they feel they have to, I don't want to end up like that but am terrified of what to do next, all that training for nothing...

    Interested on anyoness view /experience of supply...
     
  12. Oh yeah
    So many second thoughts. I constantly think "why on earth have i worked hard to do this?"
    Sad thing is, I like teaching, just sick to death of horrible kids, too much marking and having no life. Other than that......

    Thinking I will stick it out for another year after this one, to see if it 'gets any better' and if not, will think again about my career....
     
  13. They say that the NQT year is the toughest and that it gets easier the longer your in it.....I really do hope that is the case. I love teaching children and love the job except for the one thing that continues to be mentioned- paperwork. If we were given time to look at this paperwork in detail then it would be a useful thing to have, but like most paper, its looked at once and filed away....what is the point? I know the capabilities and standards of every child in my class, yet Im still having to fill out assessment sheets, to highlight, write comments, and all that happens is they are filed away. Makes me very angry. Why cant we just get on with the proper job of teaching and edcuating the future?
    I too have been having doubts. I had a good first term, but have found this term particulary stressful. I am only 22, and feel about 52 at the moment due to the fact that I have no time to socialise apart from perhaps one night in 7. I am trying to create a work life balance at the moment, but like so many of you on here, I get freaked out when Im not doing anything that I should be doing something.

    Some of the more experienced teachers in my school simply come in each having done practically no prepation the night before and just come in and teach because they have the experience....how do they do this?! I am in school at 7.30 and leave at 5.30 and then still go home and work till around 9-10ish.

    Still...I intend to stick this out, I didnt study for 4 years to jack it all in!!! I just think the Government should actually listen to our views. Only in the newspaper today was an article about how teachers take too many sick days due to sickness, depression, etc....surely this is a wake up call for the government?! We can only hope...
    Sorry to have such mixed views, just felt like a rant! x
     
  14. After teaching for 6 years, GTP, NQT included, I recently walked into a room and it went deadly quiet, I looked behind me (to see if the HT/SMT/HOD were behind me) and realised they'd gone quiet because of me.

    Having been on the same roller coaster ride and wondering if I had done the wrong thing, giving up a good well paid job you relise you made it.

    Yes the planning, never being satisfied, reorts, data collection, obnoxious kids do get to you at times.

    It seems never ending but honestly, I dont have bad weeks or days, yes bad lessons still happen but no one said it was easy.

    Get through your threshold and the money is OK, you still do to much but it starts to get comfortable.

    Make sure you use the holidays for just that. A bit of prep is fine, a bit of marking etc but not everday of the holiday.

    It is a vocation, so only you will know if it is for you - good luck to all of you - it does get easier I promise.
     
  15. I'm currently half way through 2 nd year and finding it so much easier than last year. The majority of NQT mentors seem to be ****. No time. Tell you/dont show you etc...

    Phew! This year has become fun. PLanning so much easier and I know more about what I am doing. Less paranoia from management.

    We have first baby on the way and suddenly the holidays really make sense.

    Last year an experienced teacher said do 3 yrs and then decide. Good advice I think.

    I do yr 2 and wont be leaving the profession in a hurry.

    The grass is greener: management in business can be just as pressured just as unsociable and ten times more boring.

    Paperwork: the more there is the less chance it will be checked in detail. A handy correlation!



     
  16. Glad to see it's not just me, weight lifted off shoulders etc. I'm hating teaching and have decided to quit but seeing my contract out. I've been looking at other jobs for a while but my problem has been that it seem totally acceptable to quit another career in favour of taking up teaching but no ones interested when it's the other way round. It looks like I'm going to be doing the whole uni thing again to retrain and will supply teach until then so I have some money coming in but only for 3 days a week.

    I've had quite a rough time since qualifying always thinking it'll get better but it hasn't. I hate the fact that my observations don't go well but I'm not given credit for what does work and my teaching ability seem to be judged on the few pupils who do nothing/misbehave rather than the majority of the class, especially when I've observed them in other lessons and they are exactly the same! I also hate having aspects of my teaching picked on which have never been an issue before. I hate my life revolving around my job, not being able to do stuff because its on a school night etc, and having to give up my time to plan etc when you know that its going to wasted if pupil X actually turns up for the lesson. My year 11s are so lazy it's unbelievable - I'm having to break everything down so much so that they'll do it but then get told I'm not challenging them enough, so then to a more challenging lesson and get told I need to break it down! No one can agree on anything! Kids just think if they don't get the grades they'll resit, do the foundation course first etc or one of the many other schemes provided that means that not getting good grades doesn't matter because you can do it this way instead. I find the whole thing really frustrating, miss talking to adults throughout the day etc. I admit there are some great kids in my classes who I really get along with but find that I'm relying on them being there and saying something funny, grasping that idea etc to get me through the day.

    I wish I'd never started the whole teaching thing especially as my old workplace offered me a pick of any job just to keep me which I turned down - I'm now not qualified to take up any of these due to a change in regulations. These jobs also earn a lot more money, working at weekends etc is optional and you get paid extra for that - how stupid was I?
     
  17. I had second thoughts in January. I was on long term supply. I quit. Although I thought about the training and effort that it took to qualify I do not regret leaving. There is a life after teaching and I am happy to be living it! There is no point making yourself miserable. I feel I have an exciting future ahead of me that does not involve classroom teaching.
    Good luck to you all.
     
  18. Fudgebrownie- primary???????????
     
  19. I am currently in my second year and it is so much easier than your NQT year!! I am loving it. I failed my first term due to lack of support from SMT and a very poor class. However when a new head came and she recognised that I could teach and helped me out with all aspects so my confidence shot up and I realised that I could do it!! The paperwork IS never ending and there will aways be people in higher places who will critise you (School improvement officers, OFSTED etc) but rememeber that most of them haven't taught for about 10 years and could never do the job now.
    Last week some of us were observed and the deputy got told that his lesson was a step back into the 70's!! And when he was challenged about the class, (the same as I had last year)he conceded that they were a poor class and that he couldn't do any better!!
    It will get better and you will start to enjoy it by Easter time when you've finally got the class where you want them. Forget telling the LO to the children every five minutes, have it written on the board so they can see it and read it when they want!!
     
  20. Mostly I've really enjoyed my NQT year so far- it's been really hard work but my class are lovely and I've been lucky with my school. The last half term has been difficult though as I moved into my first house over Christmas and have been constantly on the go since, decorating, sorting out furniture etc... because I didn't rest at all at Christmas I've had a cold since December and this week I've made a stand and I'm not doing anything. I decorated one room, went shopping and that's it- spent the whole day today on the sofa watching **** tv. I now know that you have to rest in your holidays to make it to the next one! Full-time teaching is so demanding, I can't see myself doing it forever- maybe 2 more years then I'll have kids and go part-time, there's no way I could work this hard with children! I'd really like to go into counselling one day actually, there's no shame in trying something else- you could come back to teaching later.
     

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