Hi, I qualified in July 2015 and after doing a placement in an SEN primary school I took a huge risk. I felt so enthusiastic and happy and applied for a permanent post but didn't get it due to experience so took a leap of faith and went for a temporary, maternity cover, post which turned out to be a floating role around 6 classes. I was assured I could complete my NQT (well two terms of it whilst I was employed) and whilst it started wonderfully it soon changed and became one of the worst situations I could have imagined as a new teacher. A few weeks went by and I hadn't heard about my NQT induction so I chased up and didn't hear a lot. This chasing continued and it got to the point where I had to call in the local authority NQT advisor to assist me and it turned out the school hadn't registered me at all and I had to forget the Autumn term as counting toward my induction. I was, obviously, upset about this but tried to remain optimistic that we'd start it up from January and that at least i'd get a term under my belt. I also wanted to apply for another permanent position coming up before Christmas, hoping that with my new experience and a foot in the door i'd get it. It would have been for one class and a class I adored too but again I didn't get it due to experience and apparently I didn't blow them away as much this time around. Of course, this was a little disheartening but then I also heard they asked various people across the school about me and also that myself and the single other candidate had different classes within the school for our observations (which in an SEN school makes is particularly unequal as no class is even remotely the same) and also that whilst he was much older than me he was too an NQT. I was upset, I did cry and I felt very much like there was no intention to keep me on or to try and help me pursue a position and career at the school... which before I was actually employed they'd made seem the very opposite. During my firs term I also encountered some other personal problems and over the Christmas break I just started feeling very low and miserable about my position and school and future. Floating around as an NQT is actually very lonely and, evidently, soul destroying at times. Yes it's given me skills in working with a range of pupils and staff but it's very lonely and confidence gets knocked easily. I went back on the first day of spring term miserable and ended up having a panic attack + a personal upset and took two days off hoping i'd feel better and return at the end of the week and get back in to the swing of things. I saw my GP who said she wanted to sign me off with depression but I was scared of this so said I wanted to try and go in and when I did I broke down at work and was a complete mess before heading home to see my GP again and be signed off. Now, here I am still signed off waiting to get some sort of counselling and trying to figure myself out and i'm just so lost. I'm lost on what I want to do with my life, what else can I do? Do I still want to teach? I'll be needing a new job from Summer term and I feel like my only options will be mainstream and i'm so freaked out about returning to mainstream with all the pressures and lack of work-life balance teachers face. I like alternative teaching settings like SEN or hospital schools but they all want mounds of experience! I'm scared i'll end up in mainstream with less money, more workload and still unhappy. I had an awful experience on my mainstream PGCE placement as well and worked as a TA in mainstream prior to my PGCE and saw how terrible it could be on teachers. All we here is bad press about teaching now. I am trying to look for positions ready for April and i'm not inspired by any of them, I like working with SEN kids and I have considered also PRU's and i'm going to meet someone from a tutoring academy. I just don't know what my options are! I don't want to entirely waste my PGCE and now that I have NOTHING for my NQT induction I feel in an even more compromised position. I'm also worried about this absence affecting my references and my prospects as it is. I just want to be happy and supported and nurtured. I don't want tons of assessment and paperwork each day/each weekend and holidays. I just want to focus on children and teaching them and helping them. My first degree was in Media and I sometimes miss that. I've had many bad work place experiences and my confidence gets knocked I and loose faith. This, however, is the worst it's ever been and I just don't know what to do. It feels like a failure after such a short time to be feeling this way and to be signed off with depression! I spend each day anxious about going back because I can't afford to not return there at all as much I would love to be able to take all the time I needed to find myself and figure things out. I'd really welcome advice or tips or if anyone knows of careers or options open to someone in my position! Thank you for reading my essay and helping!