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Can I get out now? HELP i'm lost!

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by Carofi90, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    So, i've had a rough teaching year to date...anyone who may have seen my other post back in Feb/March will know what I mean!

    I started in an SEN school and love SEN! They didn't do their part for my NQT (by part I mean didn't register me, didn't support me and therefore I didn't complete any NQT!). I then moved to a mainstream KS2 (ks2 never my thing) which has been ok, i've been up and down about it but support has been good. However this was just a terms 'direct supply' work.

    I am moving soon and was offered a reception job in a school and was very optimistic and also can do NQT there. However i've been very on the edge of whether teaching is for me. My first degree was in media studies and my passions lie within creative industries and well to be PERFECTLY honest I have no idea what it is I really want to do with my career/life. I AM going travelling towards the end of 2017 though, I hope, and this is my main goal at the moment.

    I just feel really unsure now if this job in September will be right for me! I really don't know if teaching is right for me, the things I like about it aren't always the right things to like about the job. I so want it to be good for me, i'm told i'm a really good teacher and have brought children on so far but I lack a lot of the umph and passion most teachers have!

    Anyone else in this predicament? Anyone have any advice about what else I could do that will be rewarding but less 'stress' and paperwork and government dictated? Anyone know where I stand on leaving this job before September? I feel terrible but I need to do what's right for me... I just wish I knew what that was?! I've battled with this since doing my PGCE!!! :(

    Please help...if you can!
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Hi @Carofi90, I'm just wondering why you chose to complete the primary PGCE (I'm guessing?) in the first place, and then worked in a SEN school - surely it's because you love working with younger kids, and in particular SEN kids? Maybe having a rubbish (or non-existent!) NQT year has made you forget that. And maybe this year has made you lose some passion too.

    Why don't you chill over summer, and start this new job in September with a clean slate, and just see how it goes. Give yourself until Christmas before you make a decision, but perhaps try to finish the NQT year first. Plus if you're going travelling, you need money! Perhaps whilst travelling you could do some volunteering with kids, to keep it relevant, in case you return to teaching afterwards.

    If you want to do something more media-related, but still work with young people, then why not investigate making the move to secondary Media Studies teaching? Or you could get involved in educational technology or something like that, wherever your interests lie.
  3. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    Hi @blueskydreaming thanks for your thoughts and advice there.

    I don't know, I always said i'd do a PGCE as teaching is something I felt i'd be good at and would always be a stable career, there are always teaching posts available. I often wonder if I rushed in though and didn't give media a real go. I had a couple of short term jobs that were tough and I think I got scared and ran.

    I now sometimes feel stuck. I do wonder if I should try it until Christmas and see how it goes and the school does seem lovely and the staff seem supportive and keen to have be start. Maybe you're right and the summer will give me a chance to chill and recharge and spend some time setting up and maybe i'll get some excitement brewing.

    Secondary teaching wouldn't be for me, I really have no desire (since leaving myself) to be back in a secondary school.

    i just feel that all I seem to do is complain and get VERY stressed about the workload, planning, paperwork, assessment and things that go wrong. Surely as a new teacher I should be all positive and optimistic. I already sort of feel teaching is sucking my youth and love for life.

    I just have no idea what else I could do! I've been out of any media loop pretty much 3 and half years now so no idea how to step back in and without taking a paycut. This new school is in a new area and already will be a huge pay cut :(. I just feel lost.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Do you want a job, a career, a time-filler until travelling?

    Teaching these days allows little room for creativity.

    Sounds to me as if you're just clinging on out of fear/apathy/economic necessity/insecurity.

    No really positive reasons jump out at me.

    Can you stomach it until your travels? I don't think you're going to enjoy it any more as time goes on. None of the things you dreamed of were actually true.

    Stability? Moe likely a succession of short-term engagements.
    Abundant posts? See above.

    Long-term it doesn't sound as if it's for you.
  5. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    I wish someone could tell me what was for me long-term.. I've no idea. Things I do enjoy I can't afford to do because well... it's 2016 and i'm an adult.. with other financial responsibilities.

    If i'm wishing, let me be a child again! CAREFREE!!
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Maybe you'll be in and out of loads of different jobs. Maybe you'll never settle to anything. Maybe you're mercurial.

    You sound like my younger daughter (she's 26 and often says just the same!)

    Sorry. I would say there's no 'right' or definitive answer. You just have to muddle through and accept that things are never perfect.

    Make some lists of priorities to try to clarify.
  7. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Maybe try teaching EFL abroad. You can make a good salary in certain countries, and get the opportunity to travel to nearby places, learn a language, gain an understanding of different cultures etc. This would allow you to fulfill your financial obligations and still be able to travel :)

    I think your generation has been sold a lie - this idea that there's a 'perfect' job for you, or that there are 'jobs for life' - it's not true, I'm afraid. You've got to make your own path through this world.
    unfoggingblogger and agathamorse like this.
  8. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    I have considered teaching English abroad. I suppose I need to look at it that it's a school year, in a new school which seems lovely and supportive. They were so excited to hire me. Maybe I owe it to myself and to them to give it a try at least for a month or two. Me and my partner know we want to travel next year and we're moving in with parents in order to save to do so.

    I just hate not knowing exactly where my passion lies, I worry i'll have the same problems in the new school and rather than fight, I tend to take flight and panic! It could be great and maybe travelling will open new doors for me.

    I struggle to be positive and see the light. I've had such a rough year it's taken a lot of energy, positivity and strength from me.

    Thanks for your advice
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Keep that goal in mind, it'll help you get through the bad days. But you'll be at a new school soon, so there may be no more bad days! :)
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    Oh how I hope!! So far this year the bad days have put me in such a bad place and caused so many health issues. I would love this new school to feel right and make the bad days just melt away and become so easy to manage and brush off!!

    I think i've been so stressed lately as it is... lots of pressures, moving house, moving away from my own mum which is very hard.. so it makes sense i guess all my worries and stresses.

    I do hope they melt away!
  11. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Me too x
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. balvert

    balvert New commenter

    Hi @Carofi90

    Not sure any of this waffle will help but I've been in a similar situation to you but kind of in reverse.

    After graduating in 2009, I had a place on a Secondary MFL PGCE course but decided to turn it down at the last minute in favour of getting a job in the 'real world'. Since then I've bumbled from job to job, from place to place and none of it has given me the warm and fuzzy feeling of 'completeness' that I've been expecting. @grumpydogwoman and @blueskydreaming put it so nicely: our generation has been sold a lie of what life should be like. We've been brought up being told to follow our dreams, achieve our goals, but when those dreams aren't forthcoming and the goals seem hazy, it's quite a painful journey. The long and short is that there is no such thing as a dream job. All jobs are bad, all jobs are good, all jobs are stressful... I could go on. We won't wake up one day to find that everything is in its place, that everything is as it should be. I'm 30 now and have spent the past seven years or so learning this the hard way.

    The type of career path that sees us lurch from job to job seems par for the course for most people in our age bracket (I've just realised that I've made the assumption that you're a similar age to me, or younger!) but that doesn't make it feel any more comfortable. It's full of insecurity and worry and I can empathise with you. I am strangely happy with the choices I've made and the things I've done over the years, but none of it was easy.

    You say that you have the opportunity to complete your NQT year at your new school? My advice would be to give it your all and get that done. Your new school sounds supportive and as though they really want you to be part of the team, a potentially perfect scenario for completing your NQT year. There were many times over the past seven years where I've kicked myself for not becoming a teacher when I had the chance. That's not to say that I would still be a teacher now, but there were times of real financial hardship and uncertainty when the option of going to do some supply would have been a life saver.

    What I'm trying to say is that once you've got your NQT under your belt, there's a whole world out there for you to explore with that to fall back on should you need to.

    Ironically, I'm now (re)turning to teaching with a feeling of excitement and purpose, something I haven't felt for a long time.
  13. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Just because I taught for 30+ years (with a break when I had the kids) doesn't mean I loved it.

    The first two or three I felt useless and only not knowing what else to do stopped me from leaving. I didn't enjoy it. When I got pregnant I was thrilled to have an excuse to leave. Went back after seven years and found it was OK. I didn't mind it. From that point on (I was late 30s) I grew to enjoy it more.

    But it was only when I was 50+ that I really felt I was a good teacher.

    If I hadn't had such a limited imagination and enjoyed the holidays so much I would never have stuck with it.

    So I don't think I ever DID figure out what was right for me. Too late now. I'm 60! ;)

    Muddle along. That's fine too.
  14. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Also found first year very hard. then grew to like it, as my experience made teaching a lot easier. This continued for most of my career, but towards the end I grew to like it less and less, resulting in retiring 6 months earlier than I planned.
  15. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    Thanks for all your thoughts and comments. It's almost a month later I'm still really not wanting to start this job in September I think it's because I've had to move for it and I just want to go back 'home' and find a different job and just still save for my travelling trip and experience the world and then decide what to do.

    I've signed an offer letter but not the actual contract but no idea what to do!! I've cried almost each day in last couple weeks.
  16. DrEmmaKell

    DrEmmaKell New commenter

    Hi Carofi,

    It sounds as if you're really suffering at the moment and you have my sympathy. Do you have friends/family you can talk this situation through with? Sometimes the views of those who know and love us best can be the most powerful of all. Education Support can also be great at offering down-to-earth guidance: https://www.educationsupportpartnership.org.uk/.

    Now for the bit that may sound a bit harsh. There is a school community which is relying on you to turn up in September. If you make the decision that you cannot do this, it is imperative that you inform them ASAP (using whatever means you can to make contact - the school is likely to be closed for the holiday) to give them a fighting chance to find someone else. If you simply don't turn up, or leave after a couple of days, it is the group of children in your care who will suffer the most. What you COULD do - and I wouldn't advocate this under normal circumstances - if hand in your notice on the first day and leave at half term, subject to the school accepting this.

    I don't believe teaching is the kind of job that you can simply 'stick' for a while - it isn't fair on the young people. That said, as you get into your stride in the role and get to know them, you may well find that you find your passion for the role growing.

    Beware, too, of the 'real world' - yes, teaching is emotionally demanding and can be very stressful, but you are unlikely to find a job which doesn't demand a lot of you.

    As to the dilemmas and issues you are facing at the moment - I don't think they will just 'melt away', but to use the old cliche - 'what doesn't kill you...'. You are likely to find yourself wiser, stronger and clearer about what you stand for as a result of this period in your life.

    I wish you all the best in resolving this.

    chiomajane and agathamorse like this.
  17. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    Hi Emma

    Thanks for your advice and support. I just really feel so sick at the moment. Theres lots of other things coming into play and I regret taking the job. I hate feeling this way, I don't know what to do. I want to be able to try but I just feel no excitement only dread and fear. I feel I just want to explain the issues to the headteacher and hope she can find someone else. I hate feeling of how much it will let her down but i've suffered with anxiety and depression earlier this year and i'm very concerned it's happening again. Also my passion lies in SEN and I regret walking in to mainstream. I thought the idea of reception would make me feel OK but I sort of feel worse for it.

    I'm also so scared of what else I'll find, how long it will take and the fact that if I stay with the job I'll be away from where I call home and feel cut off.
  18. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I agree with post 12. If you are able to complete your NQT year you will put yourself in a good position for the future. Even if you leave teaching, it is a job you can always do earn money even if only on supply into you get something else organised.

    It sounds as though you have a supportive school and if you use the Swiss cheese technique you will find that you can manage. The Swiss cheese technique is just doing small things at a time until you get the entire job completed. It is taking one day at a time. You are young and nothing is forever. You won't be at that school forever - just one short year.

    Jobs are very scarce now and you are in a good position to have one in what seems like a good school.

    However, if it is causing you so much distress then take the advice in post 16 and let the school know as soon as possible.
  19. Carofi90

    Carofi90 New commenter

    I only have an email address for the headteacher or the school number. Email seems unprofessional but I wouldn't know how to even start and I feel really scared too!
  20. DrEmmaKell

    DrEmmaKell New commenter

    Bless you - hate to think of this casting such a shadow over your much-needed holiday.

    Can you put your finger on what it is EXACTLY that is causing so much dread?
    Classroom management?
    A repeat of previous negative experiences? (If so, what exactly is it that you dread experiencing again?)

    Flipping the coin over:

    What are you looking forward to?
    What are the strengths that you have to offer?

    N.B. Your passion for and experience in SEN are likely be of huge benefit to ALL students.

    Also, give yourself permission to stop thinking about this for chunks of time - take yourself away from people and places that make you think about it and try to have a proper break - sometimes stepping away from a situation can help the situation become clearer.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.

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