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NQT thinking of quitting

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by teachme19, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. teachme19

    teachme19 New commenter

    I am an NQT who has passed term 1. To be honest, it was a difficult term as I felt stressed and demotivated sometimes because of some difficult classes I had and the workload, although my school and department are very supportive which I really appreciate. I had a difficult 2nd placement during my PGCE and I decided not to do my NQT year at all this year, take a break and do it later on but I was persuaded to get it done because of the good progress I made. Now, my problem is I am not really enjoying the job as I want (I do sometimes though but I have most difficult moments) because of some difficult classes and this is affecting my well-being (considering the workload and planning time) as I have no time to do any other activities. I go to school early and leave late sometimes even at 7pm (although I have been advised not to but the work needs to be done).

    I have thought about quitting possibly after my 2nd term (by Easter) but I really do not know what I will do once I quit (possibly thinking about taking a break from teaching) and I do not even know a ‘good reason of leaving’ to give to my school because they are doing all they can to support. Although, I have had a good Christmas break catching up on some sleep, seeing friends and family and doing less work too, I am still concerned about my mental health as I feel stressed and not very enthusiastic about going into school on Monday to the extent that I even had nightmares sometimes. Please help.
    Thank you
    afsheen1239873 likes this.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    The first thing I'd suggest is going to see your GP about your feelings of stress and mental health concerns. It may help just to have someone listen, or they could give advice, or perhaps medication.

    Don't make any big decisions while you're feeling like this. Wait until you've had a chance to step back.

    If school are supportive, and are telling you not to stay so late, is it possible to do only the bare minimum from now on, so that you can try to regain some balance?

    That's all I can say really. Good luck!
  3. teachme19

    teachme19 New commenter

    Thank you for response. I will see a professional to discuss how I feel. I am just worried that I might have fallen out of love for teaching and this might affect my practice. But thanks for your help.
  4. Piscean1

    Piscean1 Senior commenter

    Are you expecting too much of yourself? During my training year, one of my mentors said something which I now realise is true. He said my lesson was amazing but he was concerned because it wasn't sustainable to teach like that all the time. At the time, I was a bit offended but it really stuck with me.

    Last year, in my NQT year, I ended up having an absolute breakdown. Some of that was an inexperienced head and a difficult class but some of it was also my expectations of myself. My doctor was really helpful and I had counselling alongside medication.

    Meantime, I echo what has been said about not making big decisions in this state. Autumn really is the hardest term so it has so much potential to get better and you are in a supportive school. They are happy with you! So... Take your foot off the gas a bit, make sure you're using resources already made and not reinventing the wheel and go and see your doctor!

    You deserve some you time.
  5. Leigh1999

    Leigh1999 New commenter

    I feel for you. I remember feeling the same when I was an NQT- feeling that even though I was working hard, the kids were still misbehaving and I just felt that I was ineffective. I remember getting to Feb half term and lying in bed at 4am on the Monday morning of the first day of the second half of the spring term thinking that I just couldn’t do it. So I made a pact with myself- I said, “this isn’t worth it... I’ll take it one day at a time and get to Easter. If I still feel like this, I’ll quit”. Perhaps you could do something similar? Take it one day at a time and don’t think about the next holiday (there’s no point wishing your life away). Don’t even think about the weekend, just take one day at a time and knock ‘em off. When you get to Easter, take stock and decide whether you want to carry on or whether you want to resign.

    I don’t know if you’re primary or secondary? From what you write above I’m guessing secondary. Many people will tell you that things get easier in the summer term. This is true, but for this very reason don’t be tempted to make life changing decisions in the summer term. If teaching was three summer terms per year, it would be a piece of cake!

    And don’t let your own self-worth become connected to teaching. Remember you are a person with strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else.
  6. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Spring and summer terms are usually better look on the positive you passed term 1. You can leave a Easter with term left to finish. This can be completed elsewhere. Your real decision is whether you want to teach as a career or do you want to do something else?
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. reblom

    reblom New commenter

    I am an Nqt and I have already handed in my notice to leave at Easter. School are very supportive but teaching is not the career for me. No job lined up as of yet but I can’t wait to leave!!
    celago22, Doncaster17 and pepper5 like this.
  8. teachme19

    teachme19 New commenter

    Thank you all for the advice!
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. teachme19

    teachme19 New commenter

    What was the ‘reason for leaving’ you gave them?
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. reblom

    reblom New commenter

    I just said that I'd decided teaching wasn't for me. I've had no reply from the head yet, I sent in notice over holidays but expect a meeting this week and will say the same. I want to spend time with family and friends and not spend every moment anxious so will just tell them that.
  11. Doncaster17

    Doncaster17 New commenter

    I feel exactly the same
    Shedman and blueskydreaming like this.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I do not feel exactly the same because I teach in an international school. Teaching in the UK is a horrible job. There are so many things stacked against you if you are a British teacher, so no wonder so many NQTs quit.
    Shedman and pepper5 like this.
  13. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Bet that feels liberating! I'm about to do the same thing.
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  14. reblom

    reblom New commenter

    I’m stressed about leaving my year 11s when their exams will be so soon after Easter but I hate the job so much I’m not sure I can put myself through it.
  15. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Do what's best for you. The y11s will survive when you leave. You will have taught them what they need to know and can spend your final weeks refining their exam technique. This year has put me off teaching but I'm gonna see the year out and see if I can find a decent school or tutoring job. Are you going to give up teaching for good?
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  16. reblom

    reblom New commenter

    Yes I think I’m goibg to give up teaching for good and tutor until I get another job. I have taken on tutoring every day after school so that I can afford to get by without the school pressure. Hopefully can leave at Easter still but going to say I will consider staying till May so I don’t feel guilty about my year 11s.
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Good luck with whatever you do next.
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. cazp123

    cazp123 New commenter

    If you haven't already found a job try - www.versatile-recruitment.co.uk - They work with ex teachers, police and army to find a new job/career - Good luck!

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