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!