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First teaching job and not excited

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sophie_a_miller, May 8, 2019.

  1. sophie_a_miller

    sophie_a_miller New commenter

    Hi all,
    I feel like I just need some help processing feelings. I'm completing my PGCE year in a few weeks (fingers crossed) and just got offered a job at a great school which I accepted. The problem is that my excitement lasted mere hours before I started to feel stressed and anxious about starting. Its all the way in September, but I'm stressing about not being good enough, being chosen because I was the only candidate and other things. My feelings are just being worsened by peoples reactions to me as my excitement is muted - I keep being asked "you do want it, don't you?", and I just dno't know what to do!

    Has anyone else felt like this before?
  2. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    Firstly - I would recommend that you change your Username to something less identifiable (if tht is your real name!).

    I felt the same - full of nerves, moving across the country etc. By half term, I was desperate to come home. But... it got better. I made amazing friends, laughed, cried and ultimately became a hell of a good teacher.

    You can give it a go and if you don't like it - move on.
  3. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Occasional commenter

    It's a completely understandable and normal bundle of feelings. Everyone feels that. It's a tough job, and a stressful one - no getting away from that. Here on WD, you will find there's a small self-selecting group of people who will tell you that teaching is flat-out awful, completely unrewarding etc - but that has never been my experience. I think if you can focus on the kids, on your subject, on the day-to-day experience of developing in the classroom, you'll be fine.

    This in itself takes some strength - but if you can pull it off, I'm sure you will feel as I do: that the kids - the core job of teaching - make it worthwhile, even when you're being pulled from pillar to post by insane managers and useless targets.

    Presumably there have been aspects of the PGCE which you've enjoyed? Even among all the stress and fear (which again is entirely natural and normal)? Focus on those. On the other hand, if the PGCE has been unremitting hell, with no redeeming features, it's not unreasonable to cut your losses...

    And as @princesslegend rightly advises - change your username :)
  4. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith New commenter

    I remember many a sleepless night about beginning my NQT year. Most seemed to revolve around not having another member of staff in the room if things went pear shaped.

    Don't dwell on the anxiety or negative feelings, accept the fact that you are still learning. If the school is as great as you say it is, you should find yourself well supported as an NQT, and given every chance to grow and flourish as a new teacher.
  5. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Very common emotion.
    I was the first of my year group to get a job, first interview. Found it all a bit underwhelming for a few weeks, then was a sack of nerves for the rest of the summer. I can’t remember being excited at all.

    All the posts above are right.

    Good luck... and don’t forget how stressful it will be for the ones in your year who haven’t got a job by the end of June.
  6. sophie_a_miller

    sophie_a_miller New commenter

    I tried. I dont know how. I'm just anxious, I didn't see anything negative about my question about nerves so didn't think it was too big a deal.

    Thank you for your response. It's good to know other people have felt more anxious than excited too
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You're rightly apprehensive!

    You should be. It's a solemn undertaking. It's a privilege and a burden. There are two sides to everything. It won't be unalloyed achievement and accomplishment. There'll be silly behaviour and lessons when you feel you could have done better. Then there'll be joyous moments too.

    I'm considering going back post-retirement. 32 years of doing it. 6 years of not doing it. If I do get a job (supply)? I'll be absolutely bricking it! Thrilled to get work but still bricking it. Despite having done it for 32 years! How crazy is that?

    You're human. Finish your PGCE. Try to enjoy it. Have a good holiday. Get fit and well. Don't overdo it on the wining and dining and be fit for work in September. It won't be awful. It won't be great. It'll be a bit of everything. That's life.

    You're OK. Nothing odd about any of your feelings.
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    You'll be fine. I think it would actually be worrying if you weren't apprehensive. Only candidate - yes, but it's early enough that if they weren't confident about you then they could have re-advertised - it's not like being the only candidate in July when they're getting desperate!

    It's a long wait until you actually start, so in a way you need to put it out of your head for the moment, and concentrate on finishing your course - until you know more about your timetable/class, you can't get ahead on preparing anyway. The big bonus is that you're not having to stress about applications now, so you can make the most of the rest of your training. Hopefully the polite questions about your new job will reduce soon - but perhaps think of a stock answer to have ready so you can avoid thinking too much about it.

    I suspect there are few teachers who don't get anxious about starting at a new school, or even just the beginning of a new year. I used to get nightmares every start-of-September, but it soon passed once the year began and I actually met the new classes.

    You might want to plan yourself a reasonably busy summer - yes, once you know your timetable/classes you'll have some preparation to do, but that won't take all summer, and if you're inclined to worry then it's best to avoid having too much time to think about what it might be like!
  9. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    It’s like imposter syndrome. You feel as though you won’t be taken seriously as a ‘proper teacher’. But you have been offered a job and that’s excellent news. You say it’s a great school, so that’s a win.

    I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been apprehensive starting a new job. Heck, people can be apprehensive at the start of term. Go for it, accept all the support you’re given and believe! Do you know you were he only candidate? Even if you were, thy wouldn’t have appointed you if they didn’t feel you were right for it. The last date for resignations isn’t until the end of the month, so to have a job lined up now is good news.
  10. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Absolutely normal. I felt the same way. You'll be fine.

    Teaching is one of those rare jobs where you can secure your job 4-5 months before starting rather than a few weeks before starting and it does create time for worry and anxiety. Realistically, how long can excitement really be maintained for?

    Starting your NQT year feels a bit scary but honestly, it'll gradually feel very natural to be the "real teacher". It takes a while to get used to not having to defer to someone else all the time but it's actually very liberating.

    Enjoy the time between now and starting. Worry about the job in the last few weeks of the summer. If it'll play on your mind, limit yourself to a week's preparation at the start of summer then enjoy your break. I spent far too long sorting and preparing in the summer before starting my NQT year and I should have just relaxed!
  11. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Don't worry about it - it's perfectly normal. In fact, I'd be more concerned if you didn't have a bit of nerves - that might show overconfidence. If you can, it might help to get in to the school for a couple of days, maybe see your classroom, meet some of the kids and your future colleagues. You are a new teacher - you are not going to get everything right all of the time - heck, even nearly 7 years in I still get it horribly wrong at times!

    Get yourself through the next few weeks, relax over the summer (get a holiday if you can) and put school out of your mind. Good luck!
  12. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    There is a #womened movement who encourage females in education to be 10% braver. It’s negative feelings about the future that hold you back. The reality is you are going to be a great addition to the profession. The likelihood is you will quickly fit into your new school and before you know it the first year will have gone by. So focus on the successful future, is the #womened message, and believe in yourself to succeed.
    phlogiston likes this.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Bottom line is - it's a job. It's not one of these all you can eat adventure holiday experiences.
    Yes it can be and often is great, you get a buzz from working with receptive young people, the challenge of using your imagination to get ideas across and the chance to work with stimulating colleagues. (I'm not being sarcastic here - most of the close up day to day colleagues were brilliant, including many of the managers - only a few of them were less than helpful).
    However, it is a "get up every morning, stay until the job's done, finiish off when you get home, deal with grumpy kids and stressed colleagues, and face many unremitting deadlines for paperwork" sort of job.
    It's a job where you can invest huge amounts of energy, and nobody seems to notice.
    Enjoy the summer, make copies of as many resources as you can, note where the good stuff is on the internet, and enjoy your summer.

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