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Dear Sage:Leaving teaching during NQT? Good idea? Help!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by jubilee, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    There is no time limit on finishing Induction so you could return to teaching further down the line and complete the missing Induction term/s if you can find a school to take you on (contract or temporary supply teaching of a term's length or more).
    Seeing as you are signed off for at least another month, give it more time before you make a decision. If you still want to leave early, contact your Union for help in negotiating an early release.
  2. Perhaps looking at other careers would be sensible. I don't mean to be discouraging but having that much time off for depression is not going to make you top of the pile for future applications - it looks like you can't handle it. Good luck whatever you do once recovered.

  3. Hi crafty,

    I am an NQT who found myself in a similar position. I had a history of depression before I started my NQT, and had a relapse in January which was triggered by my job (I didn't like the school). I ended up taking time off work just after February half term for 2 weeks. Unfortunately I found that when I came back in March, I was still unable to cope with being in the classroom, and lasted 4 days before going off sick again.

    Ultimately I realised that I would not be able to work in that environment, at least not at this time, and resigned from my post shortly before Easter. Fortunately for me, my school did release me early from my contract and I was able to leave with immediate effect. I had completed 1 term of my NQT at the time I left.

    I am now working as a self-employed private science and maths tutor, and am also running science clubs in schools. I am currently looking for another teaching job, ideally for September. However this time I am being much more picky about the schools I apply to, as I know my depression was a direct result of being in the wrong school.

    With regards to "leaving and doing another job", you should bear in mind that if you are signed off sick, that means you are too ill to be working, any kind of working. If you are serious about finding another job, you will need to quit you current job and have your sick note expire/ be replaced with a fit note before you start a new job. I would also say don't rush into getting a new permanent job, you made a mistake once, don't do it twice.

    Going back to teaching with an unfinished NQT isn't impossible, but it isn't easy either. I don't know what subject you teach, some are harder to get a job in than others. If you do plan to return to the classroom, make sure you have some recent experience of working with children, ideally in an educational capacity e.g. tutoring, TA, museum work etc.

    Overall, remember that you are not alone. I know several other NQTs who have had to terminate their NQT halfway through, for various reasons. Some have stopped teaching permanently, some have gone back to teaching following a break. Some are still deciding/ trying to get a new teaching position.

  4. If you wish to leave early you have to negotiate an early release. I suggest that you askyour union for help in doing this so that you can have an agreed exit point and agreed reference. There is no time limit for completing induction should you wish to resume teaching at a later date. Your union will also be able to provide you with help on crafting an application should you wish to return (provided you are a member).
    The Sage
  5. Hi,

    This actually happened to me. I spent the first 7 weeks teaching, signed off sick with stress because of being bullied by teachers, including head. Got union to negotiate me out of school by Christmas.
    I was never going to step into another classroom again EVER. However, needs must when you need to pay the bills and I couldn't find a job to match my skill set. Primary teacher by the way. I applied for many positions outside of education and got no where. So one day I put my C.V. on line and became a supply teacher.
    This was the makings of me. I loved supply work, I worked at my craft and became, what was described as a good teacher, by a head of school I supplied in.
    Eventually, after applying for many positions, I managed to continue with my NQT.
    I am currently at a school where I have completed one term. I am enjoying teaching and being supported. I do find the workload hectic at times but that is teaching.
    Negatives to leaving early - trying to get another school to interview you. It's very hard. In the end I changed borough's and have half hour car journey to work. I am currently a satisfactory teacher with elements of good. That's ok considering the baggage I have been carrying around with me. (Failing teacher!)
    I would say negotiate out as quickly as possible because you only have 31 days before your NQT gets extended. Don't waste those days.
    People were telling me that I was in no fit state to make the decision to leave - but I made the decision the day I phoned the doctor. There was no way I could cope with the pressure and being told that I was doing everything wrong.
    The truth was the school was failing me not I was failing!
    I spend weeks extremely depressed as I had worked so hard to become a teacher and did very well on my PGCE. So well that when the Dean of Education saw the state of me at graduation, she tried to get me a job. I wasn't in the right place.
    What I am saying is if you have made up your mind to leave, leave. If you want to return to teaching do the supply route first to make sure. You can also check out schools too. There are some schools I would never return to.

    Good luck and look after yourself.
    Remember it isn't your fault.
  6. How did you leave

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