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Pregnant and struggling. Should I just quit?

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by FayeMichelle84, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. FayeMichelle84

    FayeMichelle84 New commenter

    Hello, I'm currently on a SCITT training course and am finding it very difficult. I found out I was pregnant just before Christmas and have been very ill with it. As a result of my illness and pregnancy I began to struggle in my new placement school. Things just went from bad to worse. I actually only ever had four days off absent (doctor's orders) but have not been on the ball. Also, the school and my new class mentor were unsympathetic which resulted in the head dismissing me. Things have snowballed and now the person in charge of the course is embarking on a character assassination which is making me very stressed and unwell. I feel they just want me to drop out and I'm beginning to think I should.
    I must add that pre-pregnancy my course was going really well. My first placement in a different school was great. I put in long hours and was never absent, even if I was poorly.
    My question is this: if I drop out due to the pregnancy is there ever any chance of me getting on another teacher training course in the future and would I get funding if I did? I still really want to teach but at the moment it's just unrealistic. I can't keep up with the demands of the course.
    I appreciate any help. I've lost lots of confidence and am getting very down.
  2. Janey214

    Janey214 New commenter

    Hi There, I'm a trainee teacher at the moment and I understand what you mean by the demands of the course. Good on you for doing so much to get to this point. I have a masters and I would say that PGCE is harder and more demanding. I cant see why you wouldn't get on a course if you did apply again the future. From my experience they are struggling to fill places in the PGCE uni based teacher training courses. Do whats best for you at the end of the day. Its your life not anyone elses.
  3. FayeMichelle84

    FayeMichelle84 New commenter

    The course I'm on is crazy. I know teaching is demanding but they don't provide any proper teacher training and they expect the trainees to just pick everything up off the class teachers. They tell the class teachers that they're not expected to teach us how to teach, though. I hate it and wish I'd chosen another course. If I wasn't pregnant then I'd muddle through but it's too hard. They've been really unsupportive. I've had a few problems at home too. I live with my dad who's disabled and, as a result of my pregnancy, I need to get him into sheltered housing as I'm moving in with my partner. My dad has nobody to take care of him. I'm moving home myself (which is always stressful). I've had to rehome my dog and yesterday I had to have my other dog (who I've had for 13 years) euthanised, as she was riddled with chronic arthritis. Plus my car is on the verge of breaking down. I can't believe how badly this training year has turned out. No wonder I'm always tired. I also have hypermobility syndrome which apparently makes you more tired when you're pregnant. I need a holiday...
  4. Janey214

    Janey214 New commenter

    Sounds like you have a huge amount to deal with. It may be worth seeing if you can freeze your studies. I know that some universities allow it. It wont do any harm in asking them as normally they will allow it when a student is experiencing difficult circumstances and stress. If they aren't helpful see if there is a student union you can access for help.
  5. FayeMichelle84

    FayeMichelle84 New commenter

    They gave me the option to defer but I'm not keen on going back to that course. I think I should defer for now and then think about my options once I've got my head straight. Plus I should probably see how I feel once the baby is here.
  6. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Sorry to hear you are poorly through your pregnancy, Faye.

    I would like you to contact your union immediately and discuss this with them, please. You cannot be subjected to less-favourable treatment because of your pregnancy. Your employer has a duty to modify your work, or find you alternative work or, if neither of these is suitable, for you to be on medical suspension because of pregnancy-related illness on full pay. It would mean that you would be able to return to your course after maternity leave without detriment.

    That is a crude summary of your rights, because I do not have time to write at length but please discuss this with your union before making any decisions of any kind.
  7. FayeMichelle84

    FayeMichelle84 New commenter

    Hmm, they seem to think that my pregnancy and illness does not warrant any extra help. The following is taken from an email of a meeting I had with the course leader and the Accountable Officer yesterday. This is what the course leader said in the email.

    'It was pointed out that despite her pregnancy that the requirements to be recommended for QTS were very clear and the Accountable Officer would not/could not make allowances for trainees.'

    I think this makes it pretty clear that they won't offer me any support. Deferring is the only option, really. In fact, it was made clear to me that I now have to go into the Accountable Officer's school on Monday, in to a class I don't know and teach maths and English. They're going to observe me 3 times a week at least too. They're just trying to push me off the course.

    Thanks, though. I'll give my union a call and see what they can do.
  8. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I believe that their intransigence may amount to discrimination on ground of pregnancy under EqA 2010.

    Discuss this with a regional union rep. Discrimination law is complex and not all school reps are up to speed on it.

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