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Quitting During NQT year?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Rascarin, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    PGCEs are tough, way back on mine my subject placement buddy had the makings of being a reasonable teacher but her second placement school was tough on trainees and she left, mentor issues I think. On mine I went from a full placement where the staff where just next door but with doors open to keep an eye on things at the end and a short alevel one where I was trusted solo as my placement mentor was tied up doing things dealing with a serious incident to having a teacher sat in the back clearly watching all the time, it felt like a massive step backwards.

    To anyone wanting an out take time to see if your exit plan needs some prep. I've been working supply for a number of years as I working on getting some extra quals via the OU. I'm getting closer to the end now and should be able to start claiming some certificates for my efforts. Possibly wishful thinking but I've gone for subject based stuff for the area I'd really fancy working despite it being competitive. However I'm more than happy to be flexible about what work I look for with them. The flip side of that is I'm in teaching for longer but this is giving me more experience in a profession that I can make use of when applying for those non teaching jobs.
    pathaniakaran00 likes this.
  2. Hi there,

    I'm an NQT student, and I have currently been signed off with anxiety. I started my counselling this week, and have been told there are severe signs of depression and anxiety. The therapist has been the only person in my life to say it's okay to not want to be in that environment anymore. Nobody else seems to get it, and I am so thankful that there are people out there saying that it's okay to take a break. This is a really tough job, and the pressures of the school and behaviour of students has just gotten to be too much. I am going to be handing in my resignation when I go back to work on Monday, and I'm going to discuss other options.

    I feel so much freer because of this. It isn't your fault, there is too much pressure for NQTs. Do what makes you happy and look after yourself.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Unless you have been there it is difficult to understand the mental strain teachers are under with the heavy workloads and the poor behaviour of some students. Some people who have never taught just never understand.

    It is an awful feeling to be near the edge of collapse and tillywills93 you have made the right choice to take a break.
  4. Timetoshine

    Timetoshine New commenter

    Hi Tillywiils93,

    Having just read your post, I know that I too have made the right decision. I am in exactly the same situation as you, but it's not the lack of support from colleagues that has tipped me over the edge - it is the whole-school ethos and the fact that culture overshadows a lot of professionalism. Having worked as a TA for many years, this was my long-term goal. However, the school I am in is fairly new (opened in 2009) and whilst it lacks in so many aspects, it does not welcome new ideas and well-known and effective initiatives. An Ofsted inspection two weeks ago has highlighted the school's weaknesses and because of this, there has been an immense amount of pressure to put numerous interventions in place - with this goes paperwork and unrealistic deadlines. At my first NQT assessment, I was threatened with failing my first NQT term, even though no concerns had been raised prior to this. I was ready to resign after Christmas (which was the worst I have ever had), but a colleague told me that you have to give notice of a half-term. I too have developed anxiety and cannot sleep at night. I have suffered from depression in the past and I am seeing the signs again. I know that I do not want complete my NQT year in the school. I will be going to my GP and I will be resigning. I know that I have to put my mental and physical well- being first, just as you have done. Thank you for sharing your experience.
  5. bethanevans23

    bethanevans23 New commenter

    Is this school right for you? I was bullied in my first school and was told I would fail which totally ruined my mental health and I left at the end of November, convinced that I would never teach again.

    I am now in a lovely school and got through my NQT. I'd definitely try another school first before giving up, you need to find an environment that will nurture you.

    PGCE does not prepare you for intensity of teaching but in the right environment you will thrive.
  6. Timetoshine

    Timetoshine New commenter

    Went to see the GP yesterday and told him everything that happened and the impact it has had on me. He agreed that it is not a suitable environment and signed me off for 2 weeks. He confirmed that the depression is evident but does not want me to start taking medication again. The thought of even having to go back for the last 3 days before half-term is making me feel physically sick. I want to submit my resignation letter whilst I am off but don't know if it has to be delivered personally or can be posted. Also, I am hoping that my union can help to get me an early release because of the effect on my mental health caused by being in that school. I cannot go back again, for any length of time!!
  7. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter


    First of all, if your Dr thinks you are not ready to go back you can see him at the end of these 2 weeks and get signed off again, so don't worry about the last 3 days before half-term.

    Secondly, you do not have to hand deliver your resignation letter. Simply post it in a post box, and email a copy at the same time. For extra assurance post it 'signed for' at the post office.

    See here for how to write your letter: https://www.tes.com/jobs/careers-advice/pay-and-conditions/teacher-resignation-letter

    TRY to not think about school too much while signed off. Do some nice things (coffee, netflix, a long walk). Don't read your school emails.
    pepper5 and (deleted member) like this.
  8. Timetoshine

    Timetoshine New commenter

    Hi blue sky dreaming,
    I have just read your reply and it has been so reassuring that I am sitting here sobbing - thank you so much. Try as I might, I am finding it really hard to NOT think of school, and how much of a nightmare it has been. Do I have to give a reason for my resignation or can I just say that I am leaving for personal reasons? Thank you again.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Please don't cry! Dry your tears and do something to take your mind off of all this. Do the washing up, watch an old movie, read a book...

    You don't have to give a reason in your letter. Simply state that you are resigning. Talk to your union re. negotiating an early release - have them deal with it, not you.

    Everything will be fine. I went through similar as an NQT, so I know that things WILL work out. :)
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. Timetoshine

    Timetoshine New commenter

    Hi there,

    I forced myself to keep busy - did a load of washing, cleaned out both fridges and tackled some ironing. Got in touch with the union guy and have just finished speaking with him. He wanted to know what had been happening so I filled him in. I don't know if it's because I expected a certain type of response from him but he kind of managed to get my back up. He proceeded to warn me of all the consequences of leaving after the first term - lack of income, difficulty in finding another job, questions being asked by prospective heads as to why I left the first school. I assume he had to make me aware. I stressed that my mental well-being is more important. He has asked me to speak to the LA NQT advisor tomorrow (I had already emailed her) and she might highlight even more consequences associated with resigning at this stage! Then he will contact the head at my school and arrange an early release - I told him that my sick leave would probably be extended by the GP because of the way I am feeling.
  11. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Haha, good to hear you've been so busy around the house!

    I did not find the union to be very helpful when I was having my NQT struggles - I sent a massive email detailing bullying, they sent me a pdf document about coping with the NQT about 2 months later... I did find the LA NQT named person to be very helpful and sympathetic though.

    If your school consider you to be 'not on track to pass the NQT' then they may be happy for you to leave (mine were!), so they may easily agree to an early release just to be rid of you!

    Good luck with the LA person, hope they're more useful than the union :)
  12. steveshortland25

    steveshortland25 New commenter

    please dont worry about what is currently happening. I went through a similar cycle last year. I wasnt the right teacher for the school I was working in. By Christmas they had put a 'support plan' in place to help me get on track, by Feb half term I still wasnt on track. This is when I decided to resign as they felt I would not pass the NQT year. An interim report was written (not counting towards NQT terms) suggesting reasons why I was not meeting the standards. I spoke to the named LA person who was lovely and I managed to leave a few days before Easter. I ended up doing a term of supply work which I loved and now I am teaching at a large school which is really supportive in a subject Im not a specialist in. My term 2 report was given an 'A' rating (my last LA were numbers for which I was given a 4 - not making satisfactory progress)

    My advice, get out. Take some time out to do things that you enjoy and get signed up with an agency - you are in the classroom without the politics. Look for schools that offer lots of support and apply. I am now only 7 weeks from my final report being written and still loving the work I do!

    There is light at the end of the tunnel.
  13. Timetoshine

    Timetoshine New commenter

    Thank you so much! I know I am doing the right thing by resigning. I emailed the LA person last night and she told me not to worry and that we would sort things out. She will speak with me tonight or tomorrow - my biggest nightmare is that she tries to talk me out of my decision. I will feel more at ease once I have submitted my resignation letter. Just want it all to be over so that I can actually look forward to the future
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  14. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I hope your LA person is as supportive as she sounds (and she's right - don't worry, it'll get sorted). The LA people know what's happening in the schools in the area because people talk. When I phoned up my LA guy he made this little comment about something that suggested he'd heard some gossip or had some experience with my school, so it was not a surprise for him to hear what was happening to me.

    It's Friday - so aim to do something nice this weekend. For example, bake a cake! (sorry for pushing my own cravings onto you, haha!)
    Timetoshine and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Timetoshine

    Timetoshine New commenter

    Hi there,

    Have changed my profile pic. and username. Chose the cake because baking is one of my passion, so your suggestion to do just that was so apt! Anyways, just wanted to update you on my situation. My sick note was extended for another 2 months, the NQT person spoke to the head about early release (was granted) and now I am in a quandary because she basically told me that I could choose this Friday to be my `last day of employment', and that she would support me in drafting a resignation letter. She also said that the head would consult with HR so that they follow the right procedures with regards to my contract entitlements and other relevant matters. My concern was that if I do choose this Friday to be my last day, I will lose my sick pay so there will be no income. I spoke to the union rep. for clarification and he advised not resigning yet for the same reasons. He also wants to speak to the head and the LA person about the issues which have prompted my decision and my ill health. I told him that I whilst I cannot afford to be without a source of income, I just want to leave the past behind and move on. Also, I am worried about what impact this will have on a future reference I might need. I have told him that I do not want him contacting the head or the NQT person without my permission. The NQT person has been so helpful and supportive - she has told me that I can suspend my induction and continue with it when I am ready, taking forward 1 term. The union rep said that my leaving part way through the NQT year would be questioned by prospective heads. As my current mental state has been triggered by issues at work, I know that not having to return will have some positive impact on how I am feeling. However, I am also starting CBT tomorrow and the GP has said that in the meantime, I may well have to be put on medication. I just feel in limbo at the moment :-(
  16. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    Don’t resign. You should take the time to get better and you wont be able to do that if you’re worrying about money. Plenty of people leave mid NQT/year and go on to get jobs so don’t let that put you off either. I was signed off for a term and had no difficulties getting another job.

    CBT is lovely. I’m having it and I feel so good about life in general.

    Don’t feel bad about being on medication. You can either struggle to hold it together and wait until you fall to pieces, or take it and feel much better in general, which in turn will make life more manageable.

    I’m on anti depressants for genetic reasions (anxiety and depression runs in my family even when there’s nothing obviously ‘wrong’) and it’s really no big deal. You wouldn’t question taking insulin if you were diabetic so don’t avoid tablets if they’re going to help you.
    Timetoshine likes this.
  17. nutrition02

    nutrition02 New commenter

  18. JKZoeN

    JKZoeN New commenter

    I feel a bit like you right now....
    I have ts3 failed in my phase 1 because my tutor said my English isn't like his. I am not native English.
    I failed to submit one of my lessons before I took over timetable in Nov 48 hours in advance. The teacher didn't let me to teach. I was happy and glad I didn't teach that lesson. The only thing that teacher done was she didn't say anything to me but ran to Head of Dept/PCM to tell them. Head came, called me out and the first thing was: it's not acceptable. I was deadly shocking.
  19. JKZoeN

    JKZoeN New commenter

    This is my first time put comment on here. At least, I feel I am not the only one could make me happy.
    I love maths but didn't have maths degree instead I did business and Finance degree.
    I had Tutor for many students from high motivate to low motivate students. I made all of them obtain at least what they required. My students were the ones who encouraged me be a maths teacher.
    I always did at least one job including volunteer. My salary was fine. However, things changed when I had an offer to do PGCE when I had other offer as an Financial Assistant (I always wanted this in the past). It was hard decision but I decided a teaching path.
    As a non-native English, I know it's going to be very challenging. I love challenge btw, I wouldn't teach in my native language because it wasn't challenge enough for me.
    There were few dreadful times during my first placement school. Good students, teachers seem alright, my mentor is ok at some point if I treat him as a boss. There are few moment, I could 'kill' myself when I felt my pride and confidence were destroyed. My mentor never read my lesson plan, sometimes forget to give me observation form, mentor meeting notes.... unless I have to remind (I should beg him for it might be easier). I might be not good right now but I am a person and I should be treat equally like experienced ones. I expected others should treat me the same ways.
    I didn't want to talk to him unless I have to. My last few weeks at the first phase, I rather came to my mentor I came to other teacher ask for her advice. I wish she was my mentor or at least one of the class teacher. She is knowledgeable, care, kind. Unfortunately, my mentor always found the ways to disagree with anything I do although I have advice from other teacher and I really like that way. My mentor wanted to be an important person. He said to me ' being a trainee should know where you are... trainees should know their place when I asked him what do you mean?'.

    I may or may quit my training year shortly. I am glad I learn how schools make themselves struggle not just Government. Leadership, politics in school can be ridiculous.
    Why experienced teachers, leadership don't make life easy for everyone. Give them task, let them complete.... jobs done.... Inexperienced teachers shouldn't be suffered. We should work hard, have support but not feel low and lose confidence.
    Losing confidence won't help anyone. It won't make us a better teacher.

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