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Not sure whether to continue teaching...

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Keep_hope_alive, May 21, 2019.

  1. Keep_hope_alive

    Keep_hope_alive New commenter

    It's my last week of my second and final placement and Thank goodness it's almost over as I just about made it out alive (no joke).
    This PGCE year has been the hardest and worst year of my life. I do secondary and mostly in the 6th form yet I still couldn't handle it.

    I have really struggled throughout this year. My mental health has been at an all time low where I have been very depressed and suicidal at times. I feel like even when I really try my hardest there's no payoff. I didn't really enjoy my first placement but at least I could see that I was making progress and my mentor gave me an outstanding on my report. My second placement I've barely made any progress and it's been terrible. I dont feel I've had even one successful lesson. And on my report its going to say 'sound' progress towards teacher standards which is very poor. I feel like I've gone backwards.
    Also, I literally have no confidence left and cry all the time and sometimes lock myself in the bathroom between periods to just let out my tears.
    It's a shame as this is not how I expected this year would go I have very creative ideas for lessons and like coming up with ideas however I can never seem to execute them.
    Despite all that, I can't even get a job. Every application I've done I've got an interview for. Yet I cannot progress beyond that.
    I'm really tired and over everything.
    I don't even know if I want to do my nqt year seeing as I can't get a job and my PGCE has been a disaster.
    I don't know what my next steps are and feel like this whole year has been a waste of time especially if I don't even do the nqt year.
    Can anyone offer any advice on what I can do? Or just any comments would be appreciated.
  2. bh38nj

    bh38nj New commenter

    Perhaps you are looking at your progress bleakly because you're depressed. Sound progress is very good! If you have made it to the end of the course and passed, you have done better than some. I worked as hard as I could and failed my first placement on all 8 teachers standards. I just wanted you to realise how good you actually are. They don't give away passes to just anybody. Most of my cohort in primary haven't got jobs yet, many haven't even had interviews. You could go on supply for a while and then decide if you wanted to continue. If you hate teaching, don't put yourself through it. If, however, you just think you're not good enough - you are! Be encouraged :)
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Have you seen your Dr about your depression and suicidal thoughts? If not, maybe you could pay them a visit now that your second placement is over? Or phone the Samaritans - they'll listen to you talk about anything you want.

    If you have been invited to interviews for all of the jobs you've applied for that's good - it means your applications and cover letters are good. As you're lacking in confidence and feeling down I imagine that comes across in your interviews though.

    I think you need a bit of time and space to recover from this year - once you feel more positive it will shine through in interviews. Maybe you'll start to feel better after your placement ends. Are you doing a consolidation placement, or will you be at uni, or is it all over now?

    I didn't get my NQT job until mid/end of June - there's still time for you. I ended up not staying in that job though, and did a maternity cover to finish my induction - it was great, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is struggling, as the lack of permanence reduced the pressure in my mind. You may find that supply is better for you. In any case, please don't compare yourself to other people - everyone is different, and we all have a different path through life.

    Also, please don't care about these stupid 'outstanding' and 'sound progress' labels - you are not meant to be the finished product after the PGCE. You may need a few years under your belt, as I have done, before you move towards reaching that point, as there are so many 'firsts' you still need to experience, e.g. first solo parent-teacher evening, first parental complaint, first cohort through the GCSEs... Don't beat yourself up about this stuff.
    Keep_hope_alive and pepper5 like this.
  4. Keep_hope_alive

    Keep_hope_alive New commenter

  5. Keep_hope_alive

    Keep_hope_alive New commenter

    Sorry bh38nj doesn't seem like my reply posted. Thank you for the reassurance! I am generally feeling a bit more optimistic about things and I guess I just need to grow in confidence more. Although I have finished or gained qts yet as the course hasn't ended only placement but hopefully things go well! And sorry to hear about your experience the PGCE year is difficult and I think judging the teacher standards can be subjective depending on who'd observing you. But I hope everything worked out for you in the end in what you chose to do! :)
  6. Keep_hope_alive

    Keep_hope_alive New commenter

    Thank you for the concern! I have reached out to counselling and will be going to sessions.
    And yes that's true I do think it comes down to confidence and whether it's the most suitable school. I'll be at uni after placement which I really like!
    Yes I honestly cant wait to just rest!! I am open to maternity cover so sounds great. And yes I'll definitely just go at my own pace and definitely just need time to find my feet. Thanks again!
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  7. PersianCatLady

    PersianCatLady Occasional commenter

    I had to do a double take for a minute when I first read your post as I thought that I had written it myself and forgotten about it.

    I wish I had written it then at least I would know that you weren't feeling so down on yourself.

    I don't really have any words of wisdom for you but I just want you to know that you are not alone.
  8. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I typed something very long but most of it has been said above, so I will just say this.

    The PGCE year was the worst of my life. The most tiring, the most stressful, and I really did doubt that I'd done the right thing. Once I got into schools, it was never as tough again.

    Sound progress is good progress - if you decide to continue in teaching there's nor reason why you can't make a very good go of it.

    Good luck

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