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NQT can't cope

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by vixx2, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Hello all
    I'm an NQT and have just completed my first term and about to start my 2nd.
    I am becoming increasingly worried about how my job is affecting me psychologically. I cry pretty much every night and morning, I feel sick about going to work, I have started to develop heart palpitations which I have never had before and I feel completely miserable, including when I'm at home. My school isn't 'bad' and the staff are always going on about how lucky we are to work here which makes me feel worse.
    I will feel like an absolute failture if I quit my NQT year as I've put in so much work, but I feel like the job is bigger than me and I feel a complete lack of interest or support from my department. I am one of 4 and have been given GCSE, A Level classes and a form group (Y11). I am also teaching French at KS4 which I said I couldn't do at interview (I've struggled on with it but I can't handle it anymore). I also have few friends at the school as I missed the boat early on and now feel quite isolated.
    Even small things like having a staff meeting after school are over-worrying me.
    I don't want to feel like this any more. Each day is unbearable and I just want to walk out but feel trapped as I'm an NQT and need to finish my year if it's to be worth anything.
    I also feel a huge responsibility to my Y11s and Y12s and feel like I can't leave them in the lurch.
    Please advise if you feel the same or if you know what might be my best option to improve my situation because at the moment I don't know what to do and I feel completely on my own.
    (My boyfriend is also a teacher and has never had any of these problems so I don't want to burden him)
    Thanks.[​IMG]
     
  2. Hello all
    I'm an NQT and have just completed my first term and about to start my 2nd.
    I am becoming increasingly worried about how my job is affecting me psychologically. I cry pretty much every night and morning, I feel sick about going to work, I have started to develop heart palpitations which I have never had before and I feel completely miserable, including when I'm at home. My school isn't 'bad' and the staff are always going on about how lucky we are to work here which makes me feel worse.
    I will feel like an absolute failture if I quit my NQT year as I've put in so much work, but I feel like the job is bigger than me and I feel a complete lack of interest or support from my department. I am one of 4 and have been given GCSE, A Level classes and a form group (Y11). I am also teaching French at KS4 which I said I couldn't do at interview (I've struggled on with it but I can't handle it anymore). I also have few friends at the school as I missed the boat early on and now feel quite isolated.
    Even small things like having a staff meeting after school are over-worrying me.
    I don't want to feel like this any more. Each day is unbearable and I just want to walk out but feel trapped as I'm an NQT and need to finish my year if it's to be worth anything.
    I also feel a huge responsibility to my Y11s and Y12s and feel like I can't leave them in the lurch.
    Please advise if you feel the same or if you know what might be my best option to improve my situation because at the moment I don't know what to do and I feel completely on my own.
    (My boyfriend is also a teacher and has never had any of these problems so I don't want to burden him)
    Thanks.[​IMG]
     
  3. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    I'm trying to send you a private message but the system keeps throwing up errror - will try later!

     
  4. NQT year is stressful for most people and it seems to be coming as rather an unpleasant surprise to most to discover just how much work is involved. having said that, your school does not sound either particularly supportive ("lucky to work here" indeed) nor particularly fair on you. I've never heard of an NQT being given A-level classes and being asked to teach something that you have clearly stated you can't is hardly the way to increase confidence. If you have a mentor or an advisor, you should sweetly ask for it to be recorded that you are unhappy with the French teaching for a start, so that it is taken into account with your appraisals.
    Rather than bin the whole thing, I suggest you start looking for a job somewhere else. Many schools are much more supportive of NQTs and more realistic in what they expect. If your experience is making you actually unwell you should see your GP because the alternative to getting treatment is taking loads of time off with stress/anxiety/depression, and that won't stand you in good stead for a new position.
     
  5. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate your time and encouragement.[​IMG]
     
  6. I'm in the same boat as you, however my school is supportive and really friendly which makes the situation worse, i'm lacking confidence and motivation and I really don't want to quit because I have worked so hard for this so far. My opinion, as long as you are not a cause for concern, hang in there till july. I'm teaching a levels too and I hate walking into the classroom. I feel like handing in my resignation next term, even though ive got a permenant position at my school, but then i worry about the lack of jobs during this period. I want to leave this career but dont know if this is the right thing to do at this stage of my life as im still young and trying to build a career
     
  7. Honestly, NQT year is sh1t for most people. It really does get easier the more you do it (as long as your school doesn't keep changing things) so just keep doing it. By May resignation date you may find that you have a lot more of it taped than you thought possible.
     
  8. Hang on in there! My first year I remember being awful. I remember in the mornings I used to be crying and begged my partner not to let me carry on being a teacher once I'd finished my NQT year. I remember sitting at my desk at the end of the day crying and hoping noone would walk in and see me. One teacher said something to me like 'It doesn't get any better,' which really crushed my spirits. However, it DOES get better. Year 2 is easier than year 1 and year 3 is really quite easy indeed. I left my school after the first year, because we moved house, and maybe this helped as I'd left the stress of my first job behind. If it keeps you sane, look for other teaching jobs - ones for September will be being added from now on. Sometimes it calms you down just to think that there is something else out there. Have you talked to your mentor about this?
     
  9. Hi! I felt like that in my first job and it got to the point where I had to leave (even now, thinking of the place makes me feel sick). Luckily, a good long term supply post came up, so I was able to leave at the end of the first term (that was in 2006 and I'm now HoD elsewhere).
    The feelings that you describe were very similar to those that you described in your post, except instead of palpitations, I got to the point where I felt I couldn't swallow and couldn't breathe. The only thing that seemed to stop it was ice cold water.
    Anyway, I digress! I wanted to say that:
    1. You're not alone!
    2. Don't listen to those who say it's because you're 'sensitive' or being 'pesimistic' or 'taking things personally' (as I've been told when people have seen me in this state which of course didn't help, so I sncerely hope that this hasn't happened to you) because it's nothing to do with that! It's a reaction to the situation that you're in which appears to be more than you can cope with, so what you want is sympathy (which I offer you in full as I'm currently in another difficult situation which has caused some of the feelings to return) and someone to help you sit down and work out where you go from here and help you to do this!
    3. You are NOT a burden on your boyfriend! He loves you and I'm sure will want to help you as much as he can and I bet he HAS had some of these feelings (everyone does to a certain extent because it's the nature of the job) at certain times but like you, probably didn't want to 'burden' you with them, so talk to him! :) I felt the same as you about this until I got to the point where I was so tearful when I couldn't hide things anymore. Once I said someting, I felt so much better (ok. I still felt rotten but the tension of trying to pretend disappeared) and found that people wanted to help me.
    4. You've identified the main issue! The lack of support and heavy workload and doing things that you feel are beyond your remit! This is a reflection on the school not your ability and dedication. Remember this (as I try to), when you feel low.
    5. Advice-Do what's best for you! As I said, I think you should sit down with someone sympathetic and calming, break down the things causing you concern (they all add up I find until the final thing tips me over the edge-Wednesday it was having to submit target Grades on top of trying to complete 72 AS reports by Friday), possible ways of solving them (both short and long term) and then go on from there.
    E.g. I resolved the issue by going to my manager and saying straight out that I felt unable to cope with my current job and that if we couldn't sort out some of my issues, I'd either have to get signed off or resign (of course, I fully intend to do this-I wasn't saying this as a threat but a mere fact). While waiting for him to do something I'm considering ways of making my life easier, such as having a greater work-life balance. E.g. I'm not working this weekend (I normally would), sending resources to CRU instead of running up and down like a loon and thinking of ways to prioritise my workload. Of course, I'm also looking for other jobs as I realise that my current working environment doesn't suit me. I think that you're in a similar situation to me and that it's become intolerable for you, so a long term option for you is to go to another school that is more supportive at the end of the year (work out the best time to resign if you do this). In the short-term, you don't mention anything about your mentor, NQT co-ordinator or LEA advisor. Are they aware that you feel like this? If not, I suggest that you speak to them and spell out your feelings (without exaggeration) like I did. If their reactions are unhelpful speak to your union (if you've joined one) who can also give you more independent advice. You could also speak to someone from the teacher support network.
    Hope this post helps!
    Let us know how you get on!
     

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