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Anyone else not enjoying life as a teacher?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Tidally, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Cavy123

    Cavy123 New commenter

    Me. I absolutely hated it so I quit and am working in school support and am enjoying every minute. I don't regret it and know that I will never return to teaching.
  2. Chica77

    Chica77 New commenter

    I'm in my 4th year of teaching now at a very tough secondary school in an incredibly deprived area. I still have days where I want to give up and where I think 'just what is the point?'.
    I've been at the same school since I was an NQT, and my NQT year was absolutely awful. For the first term i'd go home in tears every day. The kids were just vile. It does get better though as the kids become used to you, and you build up a reputation. The workload gets easier too as you build up loads of resources and ideas.
    I'd love to change schools but there are rarely jobs advertised in this area. I did one of my PGCE placements at an amazing catholic school and, to me, that was what teaching is about. I could actually teach there and I was respected, and I was only a trainee.
    I think the best thing to do is to complete your NQT year and then have a look for other teaching jobs. It may just be the school. If you work in another school and still don't feel teaching is for you, that's when you start to look for something else.
    I worked in banking for 3 years before doing my PGCE, and there are some things I miss about an office environment. The overtime was pretty good for a start! So was the fact that I could get a drink or use the loo when I wanted! Oh, and the free weekends and evenings were great.
    However, i am rarely bored in teaching and I do teach some lovely pupils who make it worthwhile.
  3. Work / life balance is very hard to achieve for a teacher but really is important. Otherwise you may suddenly realise you are losing touch with all your non-teaching friends, which would be a shame, not to mention gradually dropping your leisure activities.

    However, as a teacher nearing the end of my career, I would never have chosen another profession. By varying the age-groups that you work with, and the areas of responsibility that you might take on, you can keep the job fresh, which is more than can be said for many administrative jobs. (I still dream the job though!)

    Seeing light dawn on a child's face, realising the progress the children have made since they first came into your hands, having children smile when you appear... There are compensations!
  4. keiraes

    keiraes New commenter

    I've seen 4 of my friends made redundant in the last few weeks alone - trust me I am GRATEFUL to be a teacher right now !
  5. I have been teaching for 6 years. I remember my first year being really hard, it wasn't just the teaching but there are a lot of changes to you life..... not being student, having to work.... being responisbile member of a school community.....
    Sadly in your first 2years of teaching you do spend your weekends doing school work, planning, making resources/worksheets... thinking about how best to deliever the lesson... reading up on different learning theories and the best way to teach something......... its like being a full time student but also having a full time job! The work load is insane.... but you just have to keep on working hard.
    It will get eaiser! This will be a hard year for you! But each day it will get easier and you will start to really enjoy teaching, the relationships with the children and making a difference in their lives!

    I hope this is helpful, but i think the way you are feeling is normal and all beginning teachers feel this way at some point and some feel this way for longer than others!
    Keep smiling!

  6. What a reply...bet the OP wished they'd not botheed! BH
  7. What a great idea! I wish I had done this over my six year, I could have published and made some $$$$
  8. its so great to hear that so many people have had such positive experiences i think if at least once in a while u cant see the light at the end of the tunnel....... pick another tunnel
  9. rambo12

    rambo12 New commenter

    Having taught for 4 years I am leaving teaching because of my experiences I have had in that short time. I did 1 year on pgce then 1 year on supply at different inner city schools in Manchester. I then taught for the last 2 years in an inner city school in London.

    Since the schools I taught in around manchester were in bottom 4% of schools in the country and my school in London is in the bottom 1% this may well be the reason why I have decided to leave????

    I have never felt so undervalued, underpaid, overworked and taken advantage of.

    The children certainly in the places I have worked run the schools. There is virtually no discipline or common manners in these schools. Which I think is very sad as there are pupils who really do want to learn but suffer because of others behaviour.

    Inconsistency amongst staff, in particular senior management has made life very difficult concerning behaviour. If you follow the behaviour management policy and refer anything to senior team, in serious behaviour breaches it is just kicked under the carpet.

    Incidents not involving myself but other members of staff being kicked and punched has resulted in only a 2 day internal exclusion for these pupils!

    Poorly behaved children are greatly rewarded for nothing whilst the well behaved and hard working children receive little or no reward! What kind of message does this send out!!!

    Constant verbal abuse from learners and parents, 60+ hours a week easily, few free evenings and work on Sundays. What thanks do you get? A rubbish £1400 a month! It?s laughable!

    If the kids are badly behaved SLT tell you its your fault even when in class you are upbeat, lively and have spent hours trying to prepare stimulating resources for learners.

    To top it off you are expected to get kids through with 5 A-C grades when 65% of y11s have a reading age of 8 or 9!

    Two weeks to go, can?t wait! Back to my career and a handsome 16k rise on what I am on now for far less work!

    I only hope not all your experiences have not been as bad as mine?

    If they are then get out, its not worth it!
  10. The reality of day to day teaching is very challenging. I personally the ?in your face? discipline issues faced by many teachers separate this job from many others.

    I feel that at this stage in your year as an NQT you need to think about three things:

    1/ How to manage day to day in school

    2/ Keeping your original or current vision for education and your beliefs

    3/ Managing your personal life
    An imbalance of any of these three can cause disruption to your whole-self. Many teachers concentrate on number 1 at particular and often devastating expense of 3. Number 2 always takes a backseat.
    What balance have you achieved?

    A career or ?job? in teaching does not change as you are always battling number 1. However without more emphasis on number 2 and number 3 you miss out on life and spend too much focus on your career.

    (I just felt like saying something deep today! [​IMG])

  11. I'm loving half my job and would cheerfully kill at least two of the students in the other half. The half I love, teaching in HE, the half I don't FE with 16-18 year olds, HE, they come in wanting to learn, helpful and having done loads of work I didn't ask them to do, my managers are supportive, friendly and will quite happily help with second marking etc, FE, I saw my manager once this month, when she came into my class (without knocking or even letting me know she was there) to ask one of the students to go out. Same college, same work load, same systems, completely different experiences. I'm not even contract so the money is beyond unbearable as I get an hourly rate and no pay for marking lesson prep etc. But I really love my job in HE.

    It's nice to know some one else wants to tip students out the lab window, pity the bad class is on the ground floor, hmmm I wonder could I rig the computers to do something horrible when they go on facebook during a lesson ;)
  12. I've come to the conclusion thats its all about finding the right school for you. I'm not an NQT - have actually been teaching for 13 years (unlucky for some [​IMG]) Last year I was in my 5th year in a school I loved - just thought it was time for a change and a new challenge. I moved to a school that has just not worked for me (Its a tough boys school) - I dread going to work every day, have lost nearly a stone since september (and I'm already a size 8 so that is not a good thing!) and if i this had been my first school I might have left the profession! However, i think its more me than the school - all the teachers find it tough there but lots of them seem to love it and the head and SMT are great and very supportive.

    The good news is I'm too old & stubborn to just put up with it - so went out and got myself a new job for Jan in a wonderful school and I KNOW (lol) i am going to be very happy there.

    Life as an NQT is really tough - i remember too well the marking, prep and endless paperwork that you feel is never going to end - but it does get easier. Prep is much quicker when you've built up a good teaching file that you can just update & you'll find ways to make marking / paperwork easier and will become more efficient at doing it.

    Also - make time for yourself. I keep telling our PGCE student to have at least one day at the weekend off totally - its so easy to burn out in teaching and you need a rest!
  13. Teaching is a tough job, no matter where you work. Having worked in a few different ones my advice is to watch out for

    How much time we spend working

    How much time we spend with our friends / family

    How much time we spend pursuing hobbies / interests

    How much alcohol we are drinking

    How much exercise we are doing

    Address any imbalances!

  14. I have always wanted to be a teacher and have worked hard to get here. I love the actual teaching part of the job and I don't even mind planning and things. However I feel that, as a probationer, a lot of the time I am not told things which I really need to know and am just expected to know them, and then get in trouble for not knowing. I also find that senior staff members can sometimes be very patronising and unkind. I am aware that you will come across people like this in all walks of life and all careers. However up until today I have just always got on with it and kept my head down, it's not as if I can go to another school while I'm still a probationer and I'm determined not to quite mid-way through I've worked too hard. However today for the first time I actually thought maybe this isn't the job for me. Up until now I have put up with having no life, often being in school for 12, 13, 14 hours a day, being constantly exhausted and feeling really run down and being spoken to like a five year old by certain senior staff members but if this is honestly what it's going to be like from now on for the rest of my life then perhaps my lifelong amobition was the wrong one.
  15. * ambition *
  16. milkchocwrapper

    milkchocwrapper New commenter

    I have 5 full days and 7 half days left to do (I work 80%).... So that makes it 12 working days ... 51 hours of school hours left and then an awesome Christmas break and six months off recovering from burnout lol. I cannot wait!

    I would much rather realise quickly that I will not be doing this in forty years and move now, rather than leave it until I am in my thirties or even forties before trying to get out and reclaim a personal life!

    I'm on the hourly countdown now and it feels so good to have made a deicision. Whether you choose to stay, go or change schools I think making a definite decision makes you feel so much better.


  17. I'm on the countdown to the Christmas hols, and keep thinking about how good it'd feel to be on the countdown to my last day in this job full stop.
    There are a lot of people on here who seem to assume that disliking the job is solely due to being new to it, and that it all gets better for everyone. It's good to hear from some of the others who are experiencing second thoughts a little later on in their career, and that it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm a complete failure at life for the crime of not finding myself enjoying teaching more as I drag my way through my second year.
    I'd leave tomorrow if someone offered me a way out. As it stands I have to be all grown-up and sensible about it, and resist running screaming for the hills. Instead I have to find a different job to do and that's the bit I'm finding hard- I know I don't want to stay in this job for a minute longer than I have to, but I don't know what to do instead!
  18. milkchocwrapper

    milkchocwrapper New commenter


    break down your skills. write a list of skills you use within teaching. eg. time management, ict, public speaking, presentations, planning, performance management, data analysis. it sounds silly but break down the skills you use and highlight the skills you enjoy using most. there are many careers sites which tell you which skills are used in which job. learndirect also has an online personality careers test. there are plenty of sites that can help u find a direction but if you feel the way you do, like running to the hills, then just take ANY job and once your head has cleared you'll be able to think more clearly about teaching when you've put some distance between you, don't pressurise yourself into thinking the next career step will be a step towards a new career... think of the step away from teaching as a pitstop in an easy job while you get your breath back and then think which direction you wanna go in. that's what im doing...

    i'm also leaving at christmas!!!! I don't even have a job to go to but i'm still leaving and i can't wait!


  19. milkchocwrapper

    milkchocwrapper New commenter

    i am also leaving at christmas, and even though i do not know what i will do, i just need to leave.

    i am not pressuring myself with finding a new career just yet, i will take ANY job, even starbucks if i have to lol... any job where i can put some distance between myself and teaching in order to think clearly about what skills it has given me and what aspects of the job i nejoyed and why i dont enjoy it... so that the next career directio i take is not going to be another mistake. i made a ist of all the skills i use (ict, planning, time management and deadlines, public speaking, performing, thinking on my feet etc etc) and highjlighted the skills i enjoy using just to get me started... but ultimately i need to take a breather before moving towards any other career.


  20. milkchocwrapper

    milkchocwrapper New commenter

    sorry, it said it hadnt sent so i typed my answer to you from memory again lol

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