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Should I leave teaching?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sharan1994, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. sharan1994

    sharan1994 New commenter

    I am and an nqt in primary and am considering leaving teaching and handing my notice this Friday. I work every hour and go to sleep late but can never get everything done.

    My school has set all the teachers in the school ridiculous targets, my Union has suggested this is to stop us progressing up the pay scale. Some demands are simply unrealistic with us expected to write reports three times a year. I also only have a lsa for a few maths lessons a week. One of the other Nqts in my school has already handed in her notice.

    I'm am unsure of whether I should leave now or force myself to stick out the rest of my nqt year. I would like to move into office work/administration but am concerned I will find it difficult as my degree is in primary education. Although I know I shouldn't base this decision on money, I know I can't also claim jobseekers if I leave a job voluntarily.
  2. sharan1994

    sharan1994 New commenter

    Sorry for the mistakes
  3. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    A few points on this.

    1) NQT year is hard. You are finding your feet with regards to planning and marking. You have not developed a working system yet. Don't work every hour god sends. You can't get everything done, no. You have to prioritise.

    This is a problem. I would suggest looking for another school.

    What is 'office work'? Do you have any experience of other sectors on which to base this?

    Stick at the NQT year and see where you are.
  4. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    Your union needs to stop suggesting and start doing something.

    Points 1 and 7 may be particularly relevant to you.

  5. cat2611

    cat2611 Occasional commenter

    I think you have 3 choices:

    Choice 1: quit now and never go back.
    If you don't like working all hours, going to bed late and having a never ending to do list ten teaching isn't the job for you. Some experienced teachers find getting a work life balance easier because they are better at behaviour management, they can recycle old planning, they can cut and paste old reports and they have experience of teaching old topics so they can prempt the children's misconceptions. However even experienced teachers spend many hours planning, marking, writing reports and preparing resources. I am on M5 and I find that I need to work every evening and one weekend if I am going to get enough work done. A friend of mine is on UPS2 and although she finds time to go to the gym a few evenings a week and to do some fun things at the weekends she regularly works in the evenings, the weekends and the holidays. Choice 1 means that you will have more free time, you can have more fun with your family and friends and as you are just starting out you probably won't need to take much of a pay cut. Have you got admin experience or are you just thinking of going admin because you have some transferable skills? Can you retrain for a different career or can you get onto a graduate training programme for a company?

    Choice 2: Try to do your NQT in your current school despite the ridiculous targets.
    I don't know what the job situation is like nowadays for NQTs. I can remember when I applied for jobs to do my NQT year I applied for anything and everything because I was desperate to get it completed as quickly as possible and before the 16 month supply rule stopped me from teaching. I don't know if the 16 month supply rule is still in place. If you do choice 2 you can continue to teach as a class teacher or as a supply teacher after your NQT year. The actual bit of teaching where you teach the children is fun and rewarding and you will probably earn more as a class teacher or as a supply teacher than you would as an administrator.

    Choice 3: resign and finish your NQT year at a different school.
    The job market seems to be a lot different to when I was applying for NQT jobs. Perhaps it will be easy for you find a job in another school because there might be a lot more job vacancies nowadays. If you do choice 3 you can continue to teach as a class teacher or as a supply teacher after your NQT year. The actual bit of teaching where you teach the children is fun and rewarding and you will probably earn more as a class teacher or as a supply teacher than you would as an administrator.

    I got through my NQT year because I enjoyed the actual teaching bit of the job and I wanted to have a fall back option for later in life. I've always found supply teaching to be an easy job to get as the agencies always seem short staffed and I find supply teaching quite easy too.

    Have you got a partner or family member who you can talk things through with?
    TEA2111 likes this.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Hullo @sharan1994

    A very difficult and tricky situation. And one that is shared by a number of teachers.

    The first thing to bear in mind is that the NQT year is hard always. And the autumn term is also hard. So two hards together! The second point is that if you give up now you may find it very hard, if not impossible, to ever get back into teaching at any time in the future. So just think about that.

    I am a little unsure about what I am going to say next, so I am going to Ask-A-Friend. @welshwizard ? @John_in_Luton ? I thought, and either of you two can correct me, that NQTs had their own performance structure for the induction year, and were therefore not set targets by a school? They just have to teach to the Teachers' Standards? So why does this NQT apparently have targets?

    Are you getting the right support, Sharan? Do read this brief guide to what you can expect in your induction year. It tells you what to do if you are not getting the help that you need, by the way.

    Here is my post with suggestions, if you are really feeling like leaving. But do think hard about it, and talk to your mentor at school. It's a decision that will have consequences.

    Possible other careers

    Best wishes

  7. cat2611

    cat2611 Occasional commenter

  8. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes, you probably should quit.

    It will not improve and will in all likelihood get worse.

    This nails it. You work for idiots.

    This job is nothing like it was even 15 years ago
  9. cat2611

    cat2611 Occasional commenter

  10. John_in_Luton

    John_in_Luton Occasional commenter

    Yes, NQTs should not be subject to the performance management / appraisal process, as they move into that cycle at the end of the induction process. They would have targets as NQTs, but these would be around their collating evidence to show that they are meeting the standards as NQTs (e.g. a target might be around successfully engaging with parents, knowing that their first parents' evening is coming up, for example, or if something like differentiation has been picked up in a lesson observation, then a target might be to show effective differentiation in the next observation). So TG's interpretation is accurate.
  11. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Thank you @John_in_Luton for clarifying that.

    So our OP should NOT have

    but only targets relating to the standards that all NQTs are supposed to achieve.

  12. bigbev

    bigbev New commenter

    Hi S
    I so understand your worries/concerns/stress/anxiety....lots of us on here do understand.
    On the really bad days in the job I go through 'the plus and minus of the job' check list in my head....99.9% of the time the reason I stay is due to my love of working with children...on a dark day if I am just left with my class one of them will make me laugh/smile/be amazed and I come out knowing why I am still a teacher.....my hassles come with the outside politics of adults in school/staff room and the politics of education in general.
    As a teacher your job is NEVER done...there is always more you can do for the following day...you should have NQT mentor support who you can talk to and could help with prioritising your work load....if you just go as Theo says getting another teaching job could be tricky.
    Also as someone else said earlier your union should actually be doing something....not just saying what should happen....what level of union support have you had...school rep? local rep? regional rep?
    Good Luck and you are not on your own
  13. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Just to add to what @John_in_Luton has posted.

    I've copied some pertinent bits from the Induction for newly qualified teachers (England) Revised 2015. This is statutory and applies to all schools (including academies and free schools) where induction can be served.

    Monitoring, support and assessment during induction (page 16)

    A suitable monitoring and support programme must be put in place for the NQT, personalised to meet their professional development needs (including the development needs of part-time NQTs).

    This must include:

    § Support and guidance from a designated induction tutor who holds QTS and has the time and experience to carry out the role effectively

    § Observation of the NQT’s teaching and follow-up discussion

    § Regular professional reviews of progress

    § NQT’s observation of experienced teachers either in the NQT’s own institution or in another institution where effective practice has been identified

    Professional progress reviews of the NQT (page 17)

    The induction tutor should review the NQT’s progress at frequent intervals throughout the induction period. Reviews should be informed by evidence of the NQT’s teaching. Objectives should be reviewed and revised in relation to the relevant standards and the needs and strengths of the individual NQT. The NQT should record evidence of progress towards objectives and agreed steps to support them in meeting their objectives. Evidence should come from practice. (My underlining)

    Section 4: (page 27)

    Unsatisfactory progress and appeals Putting in place additional monitoring and support

    4.1 I
    f it becomes apparent that an NQT is not making satisfactory progress, the appropriate body should be informed and the headteacher or principal must ensure that additional monitoring and support measures are put in place immediately. Action must not be delayed until a formal assessment meeting has taken place. It is important that the NQT is made aware of where they need to improve their practice, and given every opportunity to raise their performance. The headteacher/principal and the appropriate body should be satisfied that:

    § areas in which improvement is needed have been correctly identified;

    § appropriate objectives have been set to guide the NQT towards satisfactory performance against the relevant standards; and

    § an effective support programme is in place to help the NQT improve their performance.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    This is basic stuff

    HTs should know this inside out. The Union should. Your mentor should and other staff should.

    The fact is that they either don't - or that they do and are ignoring it. Either way, I wouldn't want to be there any longer than I had to be. There's an accident waiting to happen.
    snowyhead likes this.
  15. TonyGT

    TonyGT Established commenter

    I'd stay just to get your NQT year. Try to not let it stress you out too much and just look at the final goal of becoming full qualified. There is no point in quitting now with all the work you have put in.

    Then, after you've finished the year, quit, never look back and find another school or do something else.

    Also, as someone said above, if you're looking for everything to be done at the end of the day then you're in the wrong job. If you think you've done everything, you've forgotten something. Probably something major. And it's going to get you fired :)
  16. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    The problem with trying to stick it out in such a toxic environment is that you may very well fail despite your best efforts. In which case the decision of whether to continue in education has been made for you. I know of at least one school that fails NQTs and then offers them positions at instructor's pay scales.

    My advice would be to cut loose and run. Either find something out with teaching, find another teaching post to complete your NQT or go into supply teaching. until you can decide what to do. You need to think about YOURSELF in this, there should be no other consideration at this particular point.
    Scintillant likes this.
  17. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    OP - I think you should at least see out your NQT year and get your NQT status/year passed.

    As others have said, your NQT year is hard in some unique ways (weirdly, I personally was going through issues with panic attacks at the time, somewhat counterintuitively, the business of my work kept my mind off it and I went through a period of hating weekends/holidays because my mind, in unoccupied periods, would bring on the panic again so I actually enjoyed the hard work if only to keep my mind off the panic attacks!) I know exactly what you are saying about not getting everything done - it is impossible to plan/resource everything to an ideal standard. Although I am personally quite poor at prioritising, (once I start something I want to see it through before starting the next job even if the next job is more important!), you have to try. Do the 'essential' tasks first and so on.

    Also the Autumn term I quite full on. At least after October Half Term is Christmas, then the promise of lighter/warmer days and eventually 6 weeks! If you still feel frazzled with no way out in May, hand in your notice and don't look back!
    DYNAMO67 likes this.
  18. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    All good suggestions and advice above. I would add that the Appropriate Body for induction in he school is usually the LA . As part of these duties there is a named contact you can get in touch with who can help with advice and information and should become directly involved if there are issues to do with the quality of the induction provided.
  19. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    It's work that takes place in an office.

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