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Dear Sara: Leaving NQT post due to panic/stress - how to quit?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by cb1415, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. milkchocwrapper

    milkchocwrapper New commenter

    hi,



    i was in a right state, dizziness, headaches, sickness, crying, stress, panic attacks for no reason!! constant fear of panic attacks... i spoke to my head started crying and she made me take a week off. then i reassessed what i want in life and decided what to do inthe future.

    i decided to leave my school to get my head clear. i agree that when i was on sick i went back after one week (even though my head said take two and ring back for more if i need it) but i needed to go back asap as the sheer dread of going back was growing the more time i had off!!

    i am leaving at christmas and cannot wait to get well again, i cannot believe that a year and a half in a job that i thought i loved did this to me... i hope you manage to make a decision like i did (that week off to think did me wonders)

    milkchocwrapper

    www.leavingteaching.info
     
  2. First of all, I'd like to say a big thanks to all of you who have posted on here as you have confirmed that I was right to stick by my decision to leave my current school and go back to FE teaching (I have a PGCE post compulsory). The sad thing is that I'm very happy teaching the 6th formers (I'm an A-level Psychology Teacher) as I've got full support from my boss (unusual for FE), but when I tried to teach GCSE Sociology for QTS, I felt so upset that I couldn't do it because the students were sooo babyish compared to the ones I'm used to that I just didn't know how to deal with them, despite support from the bosses. To cut a long story short, I got so upset that I was losing weight,lost my appetite, felt sick and frightened at the thought of teaching them etc that I decided to stop until I went off sick with stress (which would have been unfair to my A-Level students who I only have minor issues with). So the school took the class off me and replaced me with aother teacher. However, this disrupted the timetable of the 'learning to learn' department (don't know what other schools call this-it's for the SEN children who can't cope in mainstream school and need to learn basic skills), so it was suggested that I help with this teacher's classes including covering for absent colleagues. However, I really cannot deal with under 16s again, so I said no and resigned (either that or be sacked for refusing to teach the SENs). All I did was write a letter to the head saying I resign as from the date of this communication and handed it in to his PA after explaining to my boss exactly how miserable I felt (he said that he didn't realise how bad I'd felt). My notice period is 2 calendar months but my boss and I agreed that I would leave at Xmas (because that's when the contract would have ended had I been sacked).

    Anyway, before this happended, I too was given the 'yes, I can do it' and 'you're making things awkward' guff but I'd had enough and made this clear, so the bosses accepted what I said and did something about it in the end. This was so hard but I felt so relieved afterwards!

    So, my advice is:

    1. Write your letter of resignation (even if you change your mind).

    2. Call a meeting with your boss (ask for a sympathetic colleague or union rep to be present if it helps).

    3. Beforehand, jot down ideas about what you want to say (if like I did, you think you'll get upset again when you go through things).

    4. Just say what you want to say and refuse to be sidetracked or interrrupted (say, hold on, this is difficult for me, can you please let me finish).

    5. When bosses give you the guff, mentally ignore it (they're not saying it). It's Psychological manipulation (i.e. they're playing mind games with you to get you to change your mind and do what they want). They're not thinking of you or your health but what's best for them and the place where you work (e.g. getting someone to replace you)! Not your problem!

    6. If they ask you to 'sleep on it' 'or consider other options first', this is another delaying tatic (mind game), so say, no I've thought about it or I have considered other options and it's now got to the point where I can no longer cope and wish to leave the profession, I'm leaving.

    As for the resignation bit, unofficially the head can make the notice period longer or shorter so make it clear (in a non aggressive way) in your meeting that you want to go earlier if possible because of your health. E.g. 'I know the notice period is 2 months but would like to leave earlier if possible because of my health and so that you can get someone else in as quickly as you can, in order to avoid further disruption to the students'. Reasonable people will agree. If they don't keep seeing the doc and stay signed off until you either feel well enough to return to work or until your notice period finishes.

    Whatever happens, I hope that this post helps as much as yours have!

    Good luck!

    CW


     
    Abcmsaj likes this.
  3. clodaghbourke

    clodaghbourke New commenter

    Hi. I've just left my job after 2 weeks. The agency I went through is trying to change my mind but I can't deal with it. I've lost over half a stone in two weeks from stress and anxiety. I feel sick. I'm dreading telling my family. Everyone is like you need to give it a real try. I get that I do but I can't deal with crying my heart out over a job and having daily panic attacks. It's not worth it. I've started losing hair now. So I'm done. Im thinking of supply to get more experience and see what happens then. But I'm dreading letting my parents down. It's horrible.
     
  4. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    OK a lot of the advice on this post is really old - Sara was the host of this blog nearly a decade ago.
    You need to see your doctor - if you are not well enough to work then get a sick note.
    Supply work is not always less stressful in fact it is often the opposite.
    Take some time out to recover before taking the next step
     
    azucena and hasslethehog like this.

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