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NQT quit NQT year and thinking of leaving teaching.

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by wildeoscar17, Jun 19, 2019.

  1. wildeoscar17

    wildeoscar17 New commenter

    I completed my PGCE last year and graduated as an 'outstanding' student teacher by the course manager (they were also my trainee teacher mentor). Though my PGCE year was tough and had its ups and down, I really enjoyed it. I loved my last placement, it was by far the hardest in terms of workload and though I had a non-existent social life (I went from seeing my partner few times a week to once every half term) I really enjoyed it. I loved working with the children, seeing the progression and knowing I was the one who contributed to that impact! I managed to secure a job at a school albeit a rushed situation- I got headhunted and immediately got the job. I went into the school, happy to have been there and looked really forward to having my own class.

    Then the academic year starts, it was all OK at the beginning then it went wrong...quick. I had very little support, I had no NQT mentor (and asked about this several times!), my year group partner was very independent and had very little time to discuss planning/assessment and other bits. So I was sailing on a boat without a sail, basically on a plank of wood- yet I still enjoyed being at that school. Then NQT observations kicked in (by several different people) and I realised how 'bad' of a teacher I was (this was said to me), though I had 5 observations I had no paper copies of the feedback (though looking back on it the verbal feedback was not constructive e.g. 'you failed this part of the teaching standards'- yet no advice was given on how/what I could do to achieve that standard!) I had no targets and I got ignored by anyone I asked help from... basically my plank of wood started to turn into sawdust. I mean I actually got ignored, I would go to my year group partners class, ask them a question and wait 5 minutes for a response which never came- I look back and laugh. I also began to plan and resource for two classes during my PPA time as my year group partner had no time to sit with me- they were a busy person so its understandable, but the workload was becoming unbearable. So I spoke to the SLT/HT and asked for support twice during the first half term. Then I asked the third time, nothing changed- I was told that this is what to expect as a teacher and I took it on board. I was in my classroom and heard a few teachers and TA's talking about me negatively. I made noise so they could hear me and they immediately stopped, one person even said "I didn't know she was in!". Gossiping and rumours started to spread about me, people claimed that I said/done things, luckily I was able to clear it up as I was not in school those days the rumours happened or I had not left my classroom. I was sick, went to the doctors several times, the doctor suggested I take time off work but I knew I couldn't, I didn't want to leave the school just like that. Then it all stopped, I resigned with no job to go to. I felt so much happier the minute I handed my resignation letter in. Though I had completed a term, the NQT report was never written so I never actually completed a term of induction.

    January I started supply teaching and it been OK, work is slow but I'm getting some experience. Now its June, I have applied for countless jobs, had 1 interview and was told that they were impressed by my interview but decided to give it to someone more experienced. Then I applied for the school I supplied it extensively, I was hopeful but again it was unsuccessful I did not an email to say I have been unsuccessful- bearing in mind everyone in the school including the HT asked me to apply. I was reluctant at first as it was in a year group I have no experience in but then I thought what have I got to lose, the school were supportive and I could see myself doing it.

    Fast track to today, I feel extremely worried, anxious and sad for a few months now. I lose sleep, I have had less than 3 hours sleep since April, my appetite is gone and I am so worried about my future. I want to give up teaching as I have tried so hard and failed! I feel like I have been failing since August last year. I love teaching and I have tried to find another school where I can flourish but the question of 'Well how do I know you won't leave us?' seems to pop up... a lot.

    Anyway, I'm thinking of leaving teaching. I know I'm seen as a failure and have been since I left my job, but I can't seem to be hopeful. I was resilient, that was the biggest skill I took away from my PGCE and the start of my NQT term. Yet now I want to leave, I don't see myself as a good teacher anymore, I feel unwanted in schools and I just don't know what I'm doing.

    I've been looking at similar threads and one person wrote 'if you're unsuccessful by 25 then just throw in the towel', or something along the lines of that. I know its ridiculous, but that made me feel like my sturdy plank of wood which turned to sawdust is now turning into flesh-eating bacteria- eating away at my soul.
    It's true when people say we tend to focus on the negatives more than the positives, I just didn't realise how it could affect me this much.
  2. wildeoscar17

    wildeoscar17 New commenter

    If anyone wonders why I never got the LA/Union involved it was because I was told not to by other teachers at other schools as when I left I would receive a bad reference. I agreed with this notion, the fact that rumours were spreading made me feel like an outcast so I thought I'd leave, get on with it and find another school. Obviously, that's not happened.
  3. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I'm really sorry this has happened to you.

    I had an awful start to teaching. I left my NQT school part way through the year, and found a maternity cover at a school that restored my faith in humanity (and teaching). If you're having problems finding a permanent position I'd suggest looking out for a maternity cover - especially if there's an odd start date. I now teach internationally.
    wildeoscar17 likes this.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sorry you're here.
    Do they still count as a "partner" if you still see them that infrequently
    Why did they take on an NQT?
    Independent is not the word I'd use. Unsupportive and unhelpful.

    What the...?
    collective bullying.

    It sounds as if you've had an awful time of it. I'm not in a position to comment on the quality of your teaching.
    It is possible to invest too much into any job. Teaching absorbs too much of you if you let it. It should not separate you completely from partners and family. You teach to support life-not endure life to enable you to teach.
    DexterDexter likes this.
  5. wildeoscar17

    wildeoscar17 New commenter

    Haha he is still my partner, 9 years and still going. He is supportive and understanding, to say the least.

    I have no idea why they took an NQT, I was their first NQT in 4 years.

    I completely agree, being on supply has made me value the people around me. I let teaching take away from me, but because I was happy no-one really said anything. I realise the importance of health, happiness and spending time with loved ones.
    A1EnglishResources likes this.

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