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Salaried SCITT student on the edge...

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Whatamilike, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. Whatamilike

    Whatamilike New commenter

    I'll keep it brief:

    I am a 45-yr-old single Mum - no partner, but helpful, albeit elderly, parents.

    I began my salaried SCITT course (to teach secondary science) in September and right from day 1 felt overwhelmed and have gradually been feeling more and more overcome by (a) the quantity of work and (b) the emotional drain of trying to balance caring for my children (12 and 14) with a full time job and study.

    I've identified the overriding problem as lesson-planning. My subject knowledge is rusty and I am tired and this results in it taking me 3-4 hours to plan a 1 hour lesson. The lessons I plan are good, I've been told, but tiredness (let's call it exhaustion) means my behaviour management is very hit and miss - mainly miss towards the end of the term. The stress of my daughter's GCSE exam coupled with two official observations, which went very badly, sent me crashing into a brick wall at the end of November, my GP certified me a gibbering wreck and I was signed off sick for two weeks.

    I went back into school for the last week before Xmas, which was OK as I had nothing to teach but I had hoped by now (2nd Jan) my passion and enthusiasm would have returned. But they haven't. In fact I feel as bad if not worse than I did before. Daily panic attacks and can't do anything much.

    (I'm depressed). (I'm getting treatment).

    However I don't think I want to give up. This has been my dream for many years and everyone at school is telling me I have the makings of a great teacher, and I believe I do. But I'm stuck...

    I'm not sure what my options are. I would like to start again and do it differently - I'm so behind with everything now. I know my course can be flexible and I can drop the PGCE component and just work towards QTS, which, if I continue, I shall do... and I shall speak to the course organisers and school, although I'm not sure how much of my mental condition I should reveal to them.

    Does anyone know if I can defer for a year and pick up where I left off? Or start again? Has anyone done this?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Thank you!
  2. bananatree84

    bananatree84 Occasional commenter

    So sorry I don't know if you can defer, have you a mentor or tutor etc that you can ask? I am on school direct salaried and it's bloody hard work. Maybe if you are not feeling confident with the subject knowledge this isn't helping your mental state as it might be causing you further anxiety so I guess having a good think about areas you are rusty in and asking other teachers for advice on the current knowledge in those areas might help you to feel better about things. Behaviour is a tough nut to crack perhaps you could ask for some advice on the behaviour forum. I have read somevery good books Paul Dix and Sue Cowley for example.
  3. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    You do need to discuss your situation with your mentor. The way the funding is arranged then deferral may not be an option but the decision is one that is made at school level. Are you getting sufficient support?
    Do use existing lesson plans and ideas (from in department and on TES) to help with the planning process- it does get faster as you gain experience
    You need to be aware that next year will not be any easier as the NQT year is equally as challenging
  4. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    So sorry to hear that you're feeling so overwhelmed and exhausted. As a mentor, I'd want to know if my trainee was feeling that way so that I could help them out.

    If you're not already doing these things, then some tips:
    - use the department schemes
    - ask colleagues who are teaching similar things if you can share ideas with them (& tweak for your class) -- I'd only suggest this once I knew the trainee can plan independently but it seems like you're there.
    - look for resources online
    - if you need a worksheet, try to make it reusable for another lesson.
    - set aside an evening a week to go home early
    - if there's anyone you get on with in school who has children, see what their strategies are.

    I don't know if deferral is an option on the salaried route, but if you speak to your mentor and the school, it may be that the school can pull strings or even might decide to keep you and fund you later through their staffing structures.
    The main thing is keep a focus on your wellbeing. Everything else will work out.

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