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Anyone ever considered leaving the profession... even if you're an NQT?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Helena Handbasket, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Helena Handbasket

    Helena Handbasket New commenter

    I am considering it but not because I am overly streesed/don't feel I can do it/ don't enjoy it.

    I am considering becoming an education/ learning officer with a museum. However, not many jobs and a huge drop in pay. Totally unsure at the moment and I love teaching but some classes make me not want to go in.
  2. I actually did leave as an NQT. I never did finish it.

    The Edudicator
  3. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    In my first year as an NQT i nearly quit, it damn near killed me. I thought that hard work was all it took. I was working an 18 hour day and a lot of people were really worried about me as i just could never seem to get ahead of the work that was being set.
    It essentially(in my case) boiled down to bullying, they pushed me so hard that i would crack. They wanted me out and be damned to what happened to me.
    I'm now in my third year teaching and much happier for it. I don't find the work too much now, i work my backside off in term time so that i can enjoy my holidays. I work on extra-curricular projects(teaching myself new skills, e.g. photoshop, blogging) and still feel i am on top of it all. Sometimes it is not the job, it is the school you are in that just doesn't fit.
    teaching is hard, there is no 2 ways about it, and when you get to the end of long terms, then you do feel worn down. But there is time for recovery, this is what hte holidays are for. It's a simple process of time management and making sure you don't push yourself too hard to the end. plan your time effectively and you'll get through it.

  4. I graduated in 2004, and I'm ashamed to say that one class on my last 8 week placement managed to put me off what had been the only job I ever wanted to do! I had loved every other placement, but the last one was hell on earth for me and I couldn't cope with the idea of having a full year with a bad class, so I half-heartedly applied for a few teaching jobs, before going for a job which had an small element of teaching in it. I have been in that job for nearly 7 years now, but I have always missed teaching so I'm applying for teaching jobs starting in September. I feel a bit nervous as I am an NQT competing with others who have just qualified, who are trained in new strategies and policies that I have only read about in my own CPD, but I'm staying positive
  5. Ewadsworth - TA3/HLTA positions, Learning Mentor positions for starters
    Youth work, community work (possibly)

    There are loads of avenues open to you. I don't know if I want to teach again, so I am exploring all avenues in my job search.
  6. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    While I'd agree with most of those, I'm interested to know where you think you'll be employed on a better salary than teaching offers.
  7. I used to work to in the chemical industry and there are jobs there with comparable salaries. Less stress less challenging and maybe not as interesting but right now for me personally a better choice. However I feel the need to elaborate here - the salary that you get for teaching does not reflect the time and effort that some teachers put into this job, who really deserve better. I am constantly amazed by the amount of work and dedication that I see some teachers put into their jobs and they do more than me! Where do they find the time - this is why I have admiration for the vast majority of teacher.
    I have thought a lot about teaching and decided that its not for me, and I do take in comments here in this thread about PGCE courses and how I feel I wasted a place on acourse that could have gone to someone more able to teach than me.
  8. Bobby, I did feel that the PGCE prepared me well for teaching. However, it's not the teaching that's driving me out... it's the staff. I have a solicitor advising me to go for constructive dismissal on the grounds of bullying and intimidation (and hiring someone to replace me before I even quit) and family who are furious about what I'm going through.

    Logically I know that it's the school, not the career that's the problem. I'm applying for other schools in the hope that it will improve my life and I won't spend every working day wallowing in misery.

    However, there were times when I started looking for jobs in Asda, or a shop, or a restaurant. Times when I thought I'd be willing to take any paycut and do any job just to avoid feeling like this. It takes a lot of willpower to tell myself that it will be better if I just get myself to another school.

    Problem is, as an NQT you are defenceless. An easy target. Someone can threaten to recommend that you fail your NQT year and you cower in the face of being banned for life.
  9. I have been teaching for two years at my current school and am feeling completely lost. I have been replaced by an NQT (end of fixed term contract), and my head is using my reference as a threat to show how little faith she has in my teaching.
    This is not helped by the fact that I find levelling difficult - I ask for help but am left to my own devices - then I am crucified by the head in front of subject leaders and my head of year if my levels are innaccurate. If they are fine, then the progress is not good enough, if the progress is 3 sublevevels, then the attainment is not as good as the other teachers who have been teaching for 6+ years.
    I am clinging to the fact that I can leave in July, but I don't know if I can make it that long - I feel sick at the thought of going to school, someone looking through my books or my planning. I am hoping to follow the advice on this thread 'change school before you change career' and am willing myself to keep my chin up (might need some scaffolding) and get through these months.
    Apologies for typos, just having a really bad day x
  10. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    Hi and thanks to everyone who has replied,
    I made it through the half term and am now into the next one. I am still having an awful time. 2 main problems:
    firstly, kids will not listen to me at all, even for one minute, to the extent that I am finding it difficult to do any actual teaching - I spend much of my day telling them to be quiet and they spend their days ignoring me or shutting up then starting to talk again as soon as I look at someone else. They have no respect for me at all. Doesn't matter what I do - shouting, sending them out, keeping them in at break - nothing seems to make any improvement. They just don't seem bothered about behaving me and they have no respect for me whatsoever. Obviously it's not ALL of them: about half are mostly OK (I have about 5 who are great all the time) a few regulars who disturb nearly all the time and a few who disturb a significant proportion of the time. I am trying to notice and praise the good ones and all of that but its difficult when there is so much bad behaviour to focus on all the time.
    secondly, a culture of bullying has developed in my class and there is a group who pick on one of the girls all the time. Throwing pencils at her, calling names, poking her etc. They just will NOT leave her alone - I had to ask one of the boys involved to sit down 22 times just in the first session today cos he kept getting up and going over to her. Again, nothing I say or do to the offenders seems to make any difference. I don't know what to do to make it stop.
    so, pretty bad. 6 weeks and 4 days to go. I am getting support, but the kids just will not behave at all when I am in on my own, they are marginally better when I have a TA but the school cannot and will not provide one all the time every day and besides, they shouldn't need to.
    I don't think I can handle full-time teaching next year. I spent most of the last week before half-term (and weeks prior to that) in tears about the horribleness of it all and I just cannot face spending every day like that. Unlike some other people who have posted, this is my second school and the same thing happened in the first one so I can't see it being different anywhere else. I have applied for lots of jobs and had 2 interviews, but my heart's not in it and I'm not remotely bothered that I didn't get the jobs because it means I'm not tied into anything for September. (ewadsworth you dound really similar to me!)
    I too have wanted to be a teacher for the past 10 years and most of my work has been in preparation for that so it's daunting to consider doing something else when that's all you've wanted, but I'd rather that than spend any more time being miserable. I have told the agency that I would like to continue doing primary supply in Sept "until I sort myself out" were my words I think! I still have 11 months of supply allowance left after July. I only want to do 2-3 days a week though. The agency used to get me work every day but I just don't want it. I also want to use my Sociology degree for a possible move into teaching Sociology in FE colleges and am in the process of filling in an application form. I also still have my nice, easy call centre job. So I am looking to do 2 of: working supply, working in FE, working in the call centre. Having 2 jobs makes life a bit more interesting, at least until I decide what suits me best.
    I realise I might sound a bit selfish, I just don't want to spend any more of my life being miserable. Roll on summer hols
    Thanks for reading
    Helen xx
  11. I totally relate to your comments, I also am struggling, and I am only a few weeks in to my first contract, two terms to go. I did supply teaching on the same class on and off for several wekks before beginning. I am overhwlemed by the workload, the behaviour issues and the stress. I cannot sleep properly and feel very stressed. I know new teachers are supposed to find the first few years tough, but I am overhwlemed! I have issues balancing work/ family also, and feel that family is always losing out. I am seriously considering leaving, as I have the option in my contract to do so at the end of a 5 week trial period. Feel terrible leaving the school having to find another teacher, as they have had a lot of staffing changes recently, but just not sure I am up to the job. I think supply teaching of younger students ( I am primary and have the 11-12 yr olds) would suit me better. I do have some great moments teaching, and have had some very successful lessons, but really struggle to manage behviour and I am at a "challenging school"...hoping things will improve, but yes, it is a tough job.
  12. Oh my goodness, I am so glad other people, especially lottie, feel this way. I come home most nights after wokring my **** off to cry about how badly the staff treat me. Honestly I just cannot wait to get out of this school, my kids are adorable and the only thing keeping me going, they are angels but the staff are driving me to depression.
    As an NQT I am looking for another job in a nicer school, with staff who treat you like humans and don't talk to you like your a pile of ****. I am positive about the future and I am looking at september being the start of a new year, clean slate and all, and I can find somewhere that appreciate me.
    Good luck to everyone out there, if you can survive a rubbish NQT year and come out stronger, using your 'experiences' as learning curves then you are a stronger person than people to get it easy. I agree with Bobby, I think, who suggested chnage school before chnage carreer, great advice.
    Keep strong everyone xxx
  13. I'd love to go back to that job if I could! Just couldn't afford to do so now.
  14. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I'm considering leaving but purely because I can't get a job...
  15. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    I am leaving my school tomorrow. The head told me he is replacing me with someone else from Monday. So that gets me out of trying to get through the next 6 weeks - but it's also another failure. Another indication that I should leave teaching? Hopefully the agency themselves aren't sacking me though as I would like to continue doing supply, at least until the summer holidays.
  16. So sorry to hear things have not worked out for you. From your posts you seem to feel the same way about teaching that I currently do - I am applying for jobs but my heart is not in it. I do some tutoring which I like but you can't make a living out of it. One thing I have started doing is listing the things I like about the job and things that I hate, and also how I actually feel about the job, things I like, things I dread etc.
    You'll feel better I'm sure for being out of that school but I am sure you'll be wanting to find work or another career. What ever you decide I hope you'll be happy.
  17. Hi

    I too am an NQT and work at quite a challenging school. After my PGCE I found that behaviour management was one of my biggest weaknesses and my confidence lacked because of it. The best thing I could advise to anyone is to do some supply work. I spent a year on supply doing day-to-day work and it worked wonders for my behaviour management skills and my confidence! I worked at so many different schools and even though it was tough at times I had the chance to try out different strategies and I knew that if it all went a bit wrong I wouldn't have to face the same class again if I didn't want to. It also takes the pressure off as you don't have the planning and assessment etc and you can leave the day behind at 4:30 and not have to worry. I'd honestly recommend it to anyone, best thing I ever did. I don't really have any problems with behaviour any more and I knew I was ready to take on a full time class as I had so much experience.
    Hope this helps, good luck!
  18. Refreshing and sad to read so many NQTs struggling.
    My story is virtually identical.
    The school isnt particularly bad.I have support from mentors. Trouble is when I am on my own in the classroom I can barely be heard. Virtually all my classes are the same. About 8 kids in each one have no intention of listening to me. Any sanctions I have applied (detentions phoning home etc) dont seem to work.
    My lessons generally now have the same format.
    - Easy starter (If I can think of anything)
    - I try and speak for as short a time as possible.
    - Several worksheets to work through, or text book. Spend the time encouraging kids to work, or helping those that actually are, whilst at the same time trying to quieten others down..
    - Rarely get the chance for a plenary.
    The kids cannot handle any kind of questioning. I have tried many different types of lesson - investigations, outdoors, kinesthetic - blah blah.. nothing really works for me.
    3 classes in particular really brought me down. In february I was sure I wouldnt pass.
    contrary to all the advice I was given outside the school I stayed on, more through loyalty to my HOD than anything else.
    Ive now been told I wont pass the year.
    Basically unable to show any progress of the standards due to being unable to manage the classroom. Trying to manage poor behaviour does de-skill you. It also depresses you which has a knock on effect on your other classes.
    Everyone says your NQT year is hard. I thought this was normal.
    I seriously considering appealing - this will be hard to do, because it will be a rough ride on my mentor (and HOD) as well as me. And I dont want to go back to it in September anyway.
    I think I was given too many classes with too many special needs kids, that I didnt have the experience to handle. And I was too naive to ask for more help when I needed it. (Although I did ask for help)
    How can you be consistent with behaviour management when the IEP's say 'ignore low level misbehaviour' - or just endlessly encourage, and give positive praise when doing good.
    My relaitionship with these classes is now broken. My mentor sits in on lessons when she can, but it has become humiliating and faintly ridiculous. It is embarrassing.
    Very strange having to continue the next 6 weeks with this.
    Although that said I now know just how those ****** off year 10's and 11's feel when they tell me "Whats the point in trying? Ill fail. Ill only get a grade F anyway."
    ...I have to encourage them and I know that its true and I knowhow they feel.
    Well that is the job. You dont just teach a subject. You teach kids - that means you teach manners, discipline, respect and enthusiasm. These things are even more important to the low level/ 'failing' kids who much about. I just am not up to it.
    Thanks for letting me vent my spleen :)
    Hope this is of some help to anyone reading.
  19. Hi!
    First of all - don't quit!
    I am coming to the end of my training year this year and have also had ups and downs with behaviour.
    First of all, It's about being established in the school and if you are a new member of staff, a trainee or an NQT you have to work A LOT harder with it. It doesn't come easy and it can't be helped.
    Keep fighting! You are starting at a new school right? a chance to start fresh! Look in the mirror, think to yourself 'I am not going to take any shi*' Know that what you are teaching is important and they need to know it. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from other teachers you know will be supportive. You are not the only person that worries about this.
  20. That's really interesting! I'm about half way through doing a part-time PGCE with the OU over 2 years. Because I have family commitments I don't want to teach 'full-time' and I have been scanning job adverts for part-time NQT jobs and realising that they are few and far between. So I've been wondering about doing my NQT supply with an agency. Obviously it will take me more than a year that way, but I just want to get it in the end. I'm in a challenging school too, but basically loving it, though not getting enough sleep during the full-time bits of my training! I have 3 teenage children myself which probably gives me more patience and sympathy with the pupils and being that bit older myself may just make them take a bit more notice of me. Also the staff at my school are really supportive, and good at telling me what I'm doing wrong so that I learn loads. I hope I go on enjoying teaching and feel sorry for all the people on this forum who are having such horrid NQT experiences!

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