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Leaving before finishing (or properly starting) my NQT

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by disillusioneddramateacher, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Hoping this is the correct place to post this - I'm having a serious dilemma that I've been turning over for some time.

    To break down where I'm at:

    I completed my Secondary Drama PGCE in 2017, and was unable to secure a teaching job for September 2017.
    In the summer after completing my training, I went back to the McDonald's job I had before the PGCE, as money was a concern. In October 2017 I started doing day to day supply with an agency, on the understanding that they would be able to find me a drama teaching job, as they claimed to have a couple of positions waiting to be filled. For a long time the supply work was consistent, so I left the McD job to do supply full time.

    I did day-to-day supply with this agency for the whole academic year, with a couple of longer term placements. They also found me a maternity cover drama teaching post, which I was in from March 2017 until July 2017. Originally this was meant to last until Christmas, but the school told my agency the day before the new school year started that I was no longer needed. Needless to say, I'm angry about that, particularly as no explanation was offered as to why I was suddenly out.

    During my term at the maternity cover, I presumably completed one term of my NQT, but the organisation at the school was so poor that honestly I have no idea what is happening with it. I only had one formal observation, and never received any kind of documentation or paperwork. I have asked my agency to find out about this, but am still waiting a response. The school I did mat cover for was one of the worst I've worked at - even though I'm an NQT they offered basically no support, which I'm sure is because I was employed through an agency, and not directly with them. SLT was disorganised, kids were awful, and other staff not particularly helpful. I passed on a number of opportunities to apply for jobs before the summer, as I had thought I had a secure job until at least xmas. I honestly wish I'd never taken up the offer in the first place.

    The whole experience has put me off teaching, which I already found really challenging during my PGCE year. I can't stand the stress, I hate the amount of effort I need to put in to get almost nothing in return. I don't feel like teaching is what it was sold to me as before I started - I hate that I'm forced to care more about paperwork and results than I am about the human children in front of me.

    It's 3 weeks into the new school year, and I haven't done any paid work for almost 3 months. I'm 25 and still live at home with no foreseeable way to move out. I'm sick of my life stagnating.

    I'm very concerned that I will not be able to get a teaching job again this year, and I feel like the longer I have to wait the more my training is slipping away. I feel like it would be better to cut my losses and get a job elsewhere (my partner works at Aldi, and has encouraged me to apply there or similar), but I don't want to regret the choice later on.

    Can I come back to teaching in a few years when I'm in a better position, or will I be shooting myself in the foot? Drama teaching jobs are already few and far between, and I know that every year more people qualify and I am against more competition. Would it be better to just get out, and find another way to work with kids, which is what I love the most about teaching anyway?

    Does anyone have any advice about any aspect of this? I know it's a complete mess - sorry! Thanks!
  2. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    'I can't stand the stress, I hate all the effort I have to put in for no return'. The return is working with amazing young people, who make you laugh each day but also want to make you tear your hair out at times! Perhaps apply for another role in a school and offer to help out the Drama department after school until you find a permanent position? Or continue doing supply? All experience counts. I wish you good luck for the future!
  3. Thanks for your reply!
    You're not wrong, I do love working with kids and drama is my passion. I suppose what I mean by no return is more a frustration with having to hit targets, etc. I go back and forth over this at least 6 times per day, and I do think I will continue to do supply until at least xmas, but probably have to take on something else part time to cover my bills.
  4. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Get a job at Aldi and run a drama school at the weekends.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Go back to MaccyD's and get on their graduate training programme and make a career that way?

    Maybe try independent prep schools before you give up completely. They tend not to be too much about exams and paperwork and you won't get the exam stress of older children. BUT you would likely need to teach another subject as well, unless you are in a huge school.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    You can go back anytime to complete your NQT year. Though you can’t keep doing supply, I think it’s 5 years after qualifying that you cannot do supply if you have not completed your NQT year.
    Have a break from it. When you feel good about it all again then go to an agency and only go for interviews for permanent posts, the agency will take a cut but I think it’s worth the hassle of not having to write multiple applications.
    I don’t know how easy it is to finddrama jobs, it seems to have been squeezed e cessivly in my school.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    After five years a person who hasn’t completed their NQT year cannot undertake day-to-day supply as any work done has to count towards the NQT year.

    To the OP I’d say, if you really want to teach, keep trying on supply. If money is a concern, could you go into something else part time and try to get supply around that to keep your eye in? Or consider other roles in education (teaching assistant for example).
  8. hs9981

    hs9981 Lead commenter

    Leave the UK.

    There are several government teaching programs (where you don't even need to have passed NQT). If I were you I would do my NQT year first, even if you don't wish to teach in the UK in the future.

    You could, for example go and work for the EPIK program in Korea. It appears the Spring 2019 application cycle is in full flow now. http://www.epik.go.kr/contents.do?contentsNo=56&menuNo=286 I assume, for a March 2019 start.

    You will get a rent free apartment and you should be able to save 700-1000 pounds per month as a minimum. You will also get an extra full months pay (once you successfully complete your one year contract).

    There is a similar programs in Hong Kong/Japan and a few other Asian countries.
  9. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    This is not a bad idea to get tons of experience and do what you want with kids who want to be there! There are lots of different drama schools out there that you could join - PQA, for example, is amazing!
  10. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    You are taking this too personally, the supply needs of a school change from day to day, even hour to hour, this happens in supply

    sold to you by who? Most teachers and teaching forums would have given you a fairly realistic view of teaching, or did you het suckered in by those stupid government adverts.....?

    ( I keep wondering if people who get deicieved by these have any legal redress, but thats another thread really)

    Can you apply as a TA? its fantastic training for teaching.

    Its probably worth trying to finish the qualification, even if yu never teach again after that, it gives you the option of tutoring, etc.

    How welll qualified are you to look for English teaching jobs? You may be more in demand than drama?
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Primary. Or English.
  12. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Go abroad for a year or two on one of the Government programs, as suggested. The Korean option is an excellent one, so is Japan; a great place, friendly people, fab mountains, skiing, coast, food, and access to many places around it. Then come back and do your NQT year wherever you can get a job. Then look at international teaching. I would also develop the ability to teach English as it makes you more employable - arts are having a bad time and are in decline at the moment in the uk.

    At 25, living at home broke and working in mcDonalds is a bad place to be but it won’t get better unless you change and take charge. UK schools are tough, unrelenting and difficult places to work in but you don’t come across as ready to put up with the constant sh1te, poor management and terribly behaved pupils found in many state schools yet. Going abroad on your own to work will make you far more resilient, confident and strong, things you are not at the moment.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  13. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    “I started doing day to day supply with an agency, on the understanding that they would be able to find me a drama teaching job, as they claimed to have a couple of positions waiting to be filled.”

    All agencies without exception lie through their teeth to get you on their books. Wise up! They are not in the business of helping you fulfill your career ambitions. They are in the business of making as much commission as possible by getting you to work for as little as possible by stringing you along with all kinds of half-truths that sound plausible. The first step for them is to tell you want you want to hear to get you to sign up. There is never ever any comeback for them telling as many lies as they want to you.

    This is what I mean about going abroad. You are not wise or strong enough yet to work in the UK. You will be one day, but not unless you make a real effort to change and working abroad is one way to grow up. My initial thought was that if you haven’t become strong by 25, you never will, but I could be wrong. So, start applying to the Korean program today, then the Japanese one, and then start looking at other options in other countries. Try looking at VSO as well. You need to apply, apply, apply all at once. Make it your full time job from now on. If in doubt, apply. Then pack a small bag with essentials and go.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    This is what teaching looks like in England in 2018. So get used to it. If you want a different experience then you will definitely have to look overseas, I think. And probably stay there.

    It has not been ever thus. The world was very different when I started in 1980. But I see no prospect of immediate change.
    SundaeTrifle likes this.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    Cut your losses. Get another job. :cool:

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