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Don't want to be a teacher any more

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by missmichelle85, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. This probably sounds bizarre, but today I had my first day of uni and I spent most of it trying not to cry. We were given our course handbooks and I just realised I don't want to do it. I have tried to talk to family and friends and they have all said to stick at it as I have no other options for work as the job market is so bad. I have been upset constantly for the past two days and I hate the thought of being a teacher for the rest of my life.
    I spoke to one of my tutors about it this morning and she said that I am probably a worryer and perfectionist, both are true, but something doesn't feel right. I could blag modules for my first degree when I wasn't interested, but I can't do that with a PGCE. I really don't know what I want to do, but I loved working with the primary children. I don't know how to proceed. I'm going to carry on going to uni so I'm not making any decisions yet, but I don't know what else I can do, do you think being a classroom assistant will be an option at all? Thanks everyone.
     
  2. This probably sounds bizarre, but today I had my first day of uni and I spent most of it trying not to cry. We were given our course handbooks and I just realised I don't want to do it. I have tried to talk to family and friends and they have all said to stick at it as I have no other options for work as the job market is so bad. I have been upset constantly for the past two days and I hate the thought of being a teacher for the rest of my life.
    I spoke to one of my tutors about it this morning and she said that I am probably a worryer and perfectionist, both are true, but something doesn't feel right. I could blag modules for my first degree when I wasn't interested, but I can't do that with a PGCE. I really don't know what I want to do, but I loved working with the primary children. I don't know how to proceed. I'm going to carry on going to uni so I'm not making any decisions yet, but I don't know what else I can do, do you think being a classroom assistant will be an option at all? Thanks everyone.
     
  3. Hi
    Could it be that the reality of it has just struck home? I have to say that I'm the type of person who like to be in their comfort zone. Learning to teach isn't like that and quite often at the moment I am so far out of my comfort zone, I can't even see it! My first instinct is to run and go back to where I feel more at home, but I know that's really not what I need, so I plough on through. The feeling when you achieve something you were scared of doing is great and that helps your confidence. You say you love working with primary children and that's what teaching is all about.
    Why don't you give it a go? You might find you really start to enjoy it. You don't have to make the decision to leave at this point and if you leave now, you might always regret not giving it a chance.
     
  4. Hi
    First off, don't make any rash decisions. I'm glad you spoke to your tutor that was the right thing to do. As a tutor myself I know that I much prefer students to be honest so that I can help and advise and I would not (neither will your tutor) try and keep someone on the course who will not succeed.
    Keep going at present. The first days on a PGCE can seem like a huge mountain that somehow you have to scale NOW. It may be a mountian, but you have the whole of the PGCE to climb it.
    You should also have on campus student advisers or counsellors whoc are not academic tutors and to whom you can talk about any other issues that may be upsetting you. Seek them out or ask your tutor to refer you.
    You don't have to make a final decision just yet. There may also be other options for you such as getting a post as a teaching assistant in a school - your tutor may have contacts or know of schools looking to employ someone and you may be able to find such a post - if that is really what you want - before you withdraw. I'm not suggesting that you use your PGCE place as a stop gap and a place to attend until you find a job - that would not be right, but by being open and honest with your tutor you may be able to fix something up that will not leave you with 'nothing' if you withdraw from the PGCE.
    Although taching was (and often still is) thought of as a 'job for life' it does not have to be. I taught in schools and now 'teacxh' on teacher training courses - its related but not the same as schiool based teaching (which is harder!). many young newly qualified teachers have short teaching careers, 5 years or so then move to other professions and transfer their skill set elsewhere. Yet more leave then return to teaching - sometimes when they start families as teaching can be a useful job for a parent that gives them school holidays with their children.
    James
     
  5. I'd agree with James. It may eventually be the right thing for you to leave, but once you've done that you can't get back on if you change your mind, til next year anyway... I've just done a PGCE but sometimes I was telling myself to keep going for one more week etc, and forget long-term. Good luck
     
  6. Don't give up just yet. The Uni bit is so different to actually being in a classroom and it sounds like you really enjoyed the stuff in Primary School. At leas wait until you have been into a school and taught a few lessons. You might find you love it! If you still really hate it then re-evaluate.
     
  7. I know that I definately want to teach but have been feeling doubtful about the course and my ability - I know it is because I'm outside of my comfort zone (echoed by other posts) and still feel a bit wobbly.
    Try talking to other students and you will probably find that some are thinking the same as you [​IMG]
     
  8. I didn't sleep at all last night. I feel like I've got myself into this horrendous situation and I can expect no sympathy. I spoke to a tutor and some students yesterday but none of them seemed to feel as bad about it as I did. Most were nervous but excited, but I generally feel that I'm really not interested, but at the same time I don't just want to walk out and give up without knowing what to do.
    It sounds awful but if I was offered a job in tesco I would probably just take it and drop the PGCE right now, my mum tells me not to be silly and everyone keeps saying I'm being stupid which really doesn't make me feel good about myself, I already feel bad enough!
     
  9. gemmamarie08

    gemmamarie08 New commenter

    Aww hugs to you missmichelle85!!!
    It must be a horrible feeling. I would try to talk to your tutor again today and try to say what you have said above, especially the fact that you didn't sleep.
    It could be that you are simply adjusting to a new environment and need more time to adjust. You'll probably find that your tutor is understanding and may be able to give you some suggestions to help you.
    I'm sure your mum and others just think you need time to adjust (even though their opinions seem unhelpful to you).
    If you feel really bad or start feeling worse see your GP also.
    In the end if you decide to leave and do something else - whatever that might be - it's not the end of the world nor are you a failure, you tried it and didn't like it.
    Best of luck and keep us posted! xxxxx
     
  10. I felt a lot like this during my first week. The build up to the course has been so long (a year from applying to finally being here) and the pressure of it all was completely overwhelming. I also have some personal stuff going on which isn't helpful to the situation. I had a couple of lectures last week which almost had me in tears, too - just the realisation of everything, and the overwhelming overload of information. I knew it would be very hard with a huge workload, and that's not what upset me, it was just like...wow. I'm here. Should I be? Can I do this? Everyone else knows what they're doing and I don't.
    Something just fell into place a couple of days later. I don't know what exactly, but I'm so happy to be here with this opportunity, and it's certainly going to be a tough year but I'm really excited. And I definintely had moments of 'nope, that's it, I'm quitting' just a day or two beforehand.
    I think you've done the right thing by alerting your tutor to your worries, and I can also guarantee you that there is at least someone else in your group who is as unsure as you are - they just don't want to admit it to anyone else. So I'm sure you're not the only person on the course who feels this way, and I'm sure there are loads of brilliant teachers who would tell you they felt the same way right at the start.
    Wait until you're on placement - like you say, you love working with the pupils, so perhaps once you get back into that environment, you'll realise that you're doing the right thing. If in a few weeks time things still feel this bad, you don't have to keep going. Just don't give up yet. Take it week by week and set yourself goals of 'if I still feel like this in a fortnight I can re-assess the situation'. Also, the PGCE is only what, 9 months in total? Think of all the career opportunities you will have with the qualification even if you decide you don't want to go into the classroom.
    Hang in there, and in the meantime, feel free to PM me - I do understand how you're feeling! I definitely think you need to give yourself a bit of time to adjust and settle before you make any decisions. Getting on to a PGCE course is enough of an achievement - you wouldn't be there if they didn't think you could do it. You're there for a reason!
     
  11. Hi Missmichelle85
    I read your post and really felt for you. About 6 years ago I started a PGCE course and dropped out very quickly - I felt everything you describe so can really sympathise. I remember the tears, the not being able to sleep worrying over it and whether I had made the right decision, would I ever be able to make it etc. I was quite young at the time and was totally out of my comfort zone. I went back to my previous job and carried on for years doing something that was easy but never gave me that buzz in the morning....
    I wouldn't say I regretted my decision as it felt right at the time but I never stopped dreaming of becoming a teacher. (Its a feeling that never goes away and I think you may think like that). I reapplied for my PGCE last year and thankfully I was successfully accepted back onto the course 6 years later! I am a bit more grown up but still feel apprehensive/excited and I am still way out of my comfort zone but it is going to be worth it in the end. People on your course may not appear to be worrying but they will be. You definately are not alone.
    Take some time to think about it. I made a very hasty decision because I was so scared of not being able to succeed but its very hard to forget about teaching. Everyone's circumstances are different but I just don't want you to leave without thinking carefully about what is right for you.
    I wish you all the luck in the world. Let me know how you get on x
     
  12. Hi everyone,
    Thanks so much for your kind words and I am so glad I am not the only one to feel on the edge of insanity. I enjoyed things more today and all of the other students have been great, I still don't feel quite right though. I tend to compare what I am doing to other people, but I need to realise ultimately it's my programme and my career in the end, being a teacher is about being an individual isn't it? I'm still quite undecided whether or not a career as a teacher is for me, but I guess no-one is holding a gun to my head and if I do decide it isn't right, then I can always walk away. I just need to give it a bit longer and not expect to be able to write all of my assignments and understand everything right away! I think I'm better to take everything as it comes and handle each little bit as it happens! Does that make any more sense?
     
  13. missmichelle85,
    The ultimate decision about whether you want to continue or not is yours, no one can make that decision for you. You need to reflect on why you chose to go into teaching in the first place; did you genuinely want to become a teacher or was it a choice made as a route to employment in the current economic climate? Whatever your answer is, you will truly find out when you step into a school, observe a lesson and deliver one yourself. If after this you still feel comfortable or at least believe you can hack it then teaching may be for you otherwise you could reconsider if you've made the right decision.
    The university lectures at this stage can be very tiring and some of the theories you get told won't make a great deal of sense until you step into a classroom.
    I am an NQT and my wife had our first baby in the middle of the PGCE but I worked my socks off and successfully completed it. It is hardwork but it can be done. I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do.
     
  14. To be blunt - what on earth did you expect when you signed up for a PGCE? It does amuse me how many people get through a really tough interview etc to get on a PGCE then suddenly realise that they're actually going to have to do some work!
    If you had done a placement etc and realised the actual role of being a teacher is not for you, that would make more sense, but to go for the first few days, glimpse the extent of the workload, then want to run away is just silly. Why dont you leave sooner rather than later and let somebody who really wants it, have the place to train. Or give yourself a kick up the **** and get on with it
    You are not expected to know it all straight away, thats the point in training, and it is an intense year, but the pride you will have in yourself if you achieve it and qualify will be immense. And the pride and sense of fulfilment you get everyday as a teacher, never stops.
     
  15. Gloriousness

    Gloriousness New commenter

    Uhh.. I'd just like to point out that you said your family have said to stick with it as the job market for everything else is empty. So is teaching; there is almost nothing going.

    If you GENUINELY don't want to do it, make the decision and get out before you waste your own time and money having this stab at it.
     
  16. Impulce you comments seemed harsh. If you never had a moments doubt about becoming a teacher, and if you deal with your pupils as harshly as this comment, then I worry about *you* as a teacher.
    Everyone has doubts. I have frequent doubts over whether I really want to do this, especially when I look at others work loads etc. But then you get a smile from an awkward pupil, or control a group or have a class show real insight and remember why. People who have doubts are probably being the most realistic, or have the highest standards for themselves. If during their first degree someone spent 4 or more hours on each lecture, and spent days on each essay, they could feel very overwhelmed by the amount of work in a PGCE. Especially when you add on time in school, lesson plans etc.
    Rathen, the job market is not uniformly bleak everywhere and in all age ranges and all subjects. Also a teaching qualification can be useful for other jobs. Plus the fact as James said lots of people do teaching for a bit, ten something else, then return to teaching later.
     
  17. Ive got all the patience in the world with children, and 99% of people....but i really cant be ***** with timewasters that are throwing away someone elses opportunities. PGCEs are tough to get on, and if this person is only on the course because they think its a good career for this economic climate, they need to run while they still can and let somebody passionate take their place.
     
  18. I think there's a few things to consider missmichelle. If you feel positive about teaching your own class, in your own room etc then the PGCE year will be worth it. If you don't feel as though you want to teach, I don't think the PGCE year is worth "enduring" just for the sake of a qualification. It's too tough a year.
    I've been in similar circumstances and identify with how you are feeling. I gave it to Christmas and dropped out, worked as a chambermaid and was MUCH happier.

     
  19. Hi missmichelle85,
    Thank you for starting this thread because I feel exactly the SAME! I've just started a secondary PGCE and I have been in tears nearly every evening since. I know I am not scared of the workload and like you, I am a real perfectionist and a big worrier too. However, I think my confidence has just been shook massively and I feel like i'm not capable!
    We've been started off with some very hard hitting lectures on every child matters and those sort of things that make you realise that teaching (the bit you started a PGCE for) is only a really small part of being a teacher. I understand we need to know it and it is very important to be able to recognise signs of abuse but goodness me it is a very depressing start to the course.
    There is nothing else that I actually want to do either but all the same I'm not enjoying it. Looking on the bright side (which I am trying desperately to do) things can only get better! & we must be very consciencious to be so strongly affected, if we are woried about carrying on because we aren't taking part whole heartedly.
    I am going to stick it out, we start in schools in October so I'm hoping that that will allow me to reconnect with what made apply for a PGCE in the first place.
    Anyway, thank you again for posting this, you're definitely not the only one in this position.
    Good luck!
     
  20. You really must do that. It sounds like you have a lot of passion for teaching and I hope you will find that when you are actually in the classroom, teaching, you will love it. A PGCE (especially the Uni days) does not necessarily reflect teaching as a career. Yes, there is a lot of other stuff as well as the actual teaching part but you find that once in the job you just get on with it. It isn't presented to you in such a scary way (except on inset days sometimes) and makes sense when it becomes part of the job.
    I hope your course works out as you want it to.
     

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