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Starting a new job - anyone else really scared!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by forever_blue, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. Hi there,
    I am starting a new job on Tuesday, it's full time and a permanent post so straight in at the deep end! I'm returning to work after 9 months off, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in March so I've had 6 months of chemo, a few months recovery time and just before I had my last chemo I luckily managed to get myself this new job...my last job was a one year contract which ran out in August so I was on my own! I'm really scared about going back, I'm excited too but definitely scared so I know how you feel. What I would say is I think it's fantastic that you've got this 'cross over period' until you start properly in March. I had something similar 2 years ago in my first post of qualifying. I was offered a maternity post for January before the summer (providing I didn't get anything else - the HT was really good saying if I got a job for Sept I should take it.). I didn't, and consequently starting doing one day a week and any other supply in the class and school from about the second week in September. By the time I eventually took over in December, a bit earlier than planned at the other teacher had high blood pressure, I knew the class really well, I knew the parents, I knew the systems and routines, I had developed a relationship with the TA and other staff. Although it was still nerve racking taking over properly, with hindsight it was a really smooth transition and I encountered very few problems at all with either the parents, children or staff. This time around I wanted to do something similar, but because of my illness and low immune system I had to wait until late November before I was allowed in school, so I have only visited a few times and as it was the run up to Xmas I haven't seen much normality really. But the other teacher and TAs seem really nice and have promised to look after me, so I feel supported. I don't really know what to say about staying calm other than that I think once you are in there, getting to know the kids and routines, you will start to feel less nervous, and hopefully you will find like I did, that having that cross over period will be absolutely priceless. Good luck. x
  2. mapledrop

    mapledrop New commenter

    Hi everyone,
    It's good to know that we're all in the same boat! I'm a NQT and I start my new job on Tuesday. I have a mixture of feelings about it, I feel excited, happy and lucky to start my teaching career in a nice school but since the new year has arrived and next Tuesday comes closer and closer, I am now beginning to feel anxious and I am thinking to myself - can I actually do it?
    We have all worked so hard to get qualified/find a job and had some tough barriers to overcome in the process. If we can do that then we WILL be able get through induction and we will be fine.
    What are you doing over the next couple of days to prepare? What years will you be teaching?
    I'm primary and I'll be teaching Year 1. I've been fortunate in being able to spend some time in school before end of term so I have had a head start in planning. Over the next couple of days I've got to get stuff together to set up a toyshop but above all I intend to relax on the last bit of holiday we've got.
    Oh and I'm a NQT who hit the big three 0 last year, not married or kids yet, both of which I would like one day but now I have entered the world of teaching I'm wondering if I will actually have time for all of that.
    Anyway all the best to all of you and please post on here to let us know how next week goes

  3. I can not tell you how good it is to find out I'm not alone! I suppose with everything that has happened over the last few years I just feel that my life has been on hold until my career gets started, so maybe I feel under the weight of expectation now that I am soon to start my job. Also, had I not been ill I would have finished my NQT year by now and as this is only maternity cover I just wonder sometimes whether I will ever get there!

    I'm also going to be teaching Year 1 mapledrop (what year are you teaching currentbun?). I haven't really done anything to prepare to be honest because I don't take over with Year 1 until the end of March. Before then I am doing a couple of days supply at the school each week. Most of the supply is going to be with Reception which I am worried about too because I've never taught Reception. I'm going in on Tuesday although it's a non-pupil day to see the Reception teacher and then I am doing supply Thursday and Friday. I only got the job just before Christmas so when I'm in for supply I need to be finding out about my class, planning, policies etc to be ready for March as I don't have any idea about any of that yet.

    I really want to try and relax the next couple of days but I too am not sleeping and can't seem to get it off my mind. I really hope I can stop it from taking over my life when I start though, I think you need to have a life outside school otherwise you go a bit mad!

    I wish I could stop comparing myself to others, it doesn't help. I just wish I had trained as a teacher straight from school because by now I may have my own house and be settled instead of living at home and worrying about student debts and whether I will ever be able to afford to move out (seems unlikely at the moment - especially as I could find myself unemployed again after this contract!).

    It is so lovely to hear from people in the same boat, I'd love to hear how you get on and what you are up to,

    K x
  4. All I can say is stop panaicking and stop comparing yourself to others, it will only make you unhappy. I am a few years down the line from you guys and I'm secondary but I went into teaching at the age of 26 after a PhD and working in research for a while (I'm a scientist). I had married at 24, was a few steps up the housing ladder and everything seemed mapped out. I have been very lucky to be in permanent full-time work since I trained but last year I split with my husband and started again. So I now find myself at nearly 31 with the storybook I thought was written ripped up in front of me.... But am I happy, you bet I am....... You can't change the past you can only change your future and life is too short to be unhappy. Stop comparing yourself to others, do the best you can do, enjoy your job and enjoy your life.
    Good luck!
  5. What a lovely post Kritur, you're right there is no point worrying about the past. I suppose I'm just so nervous that I'm worrying about everything at the moment. I am a bit of a stressy person, I really should try to worry less I thing, maybe that should be my new years resoultion!

    Thanks again for all the replies to this thread, they are really helping.

    K x
  6. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I'm someone who compares themselves to others constantly. I started training in teaching at the age of 26 (after a failed, long-term relationship that was going nowhere and a long, severe bout of depression), did a part-time PGCE so it took 2 years and am now 1 term into my 2nd year of teaching. I do have a partner, but there aren't any wedding bells yet, don't own a house and have no children of my own. When I look at others, who have the house, the husband, the baby, I get frustrated that, now I'm approaching 30, I don't have anything to "show" for my 20s at all... But then I remember that the children in the classes that really are my classes will forever remember me as Miss Sillow, their Year 4 teacher, in just the same way as I remember my primary teachers. I am now a part of the history for these children and that makes me smile!
    I have decided that my 30s will be the best years of my life and look forward to the next ten years and everything they have to offer. I will be happy in my life!! (Gosh I sound cheesy, but I'm sincere!)
  7. Sillow - you sum up exactly how I feel (except I'm single!). I do feel that I have nothing to show for my 20's. I have spent the entire time trying to get a career off the grouns but because I have made some bad decisions and hence have lots of regrets I didn't start training to be a teacher until I was 23 and had to do a three year BA because I didn't already have a degree I didn't graduate until I was 26. I then became very ill and a year and a half after graduating I was still unemployed and still unable to start my NQT year. I feel like I have made so many mistakes and have so many regrets and it does make me really sad and makes me worry that if I struggle to get a job once this maternity cover contract is over I will once again be unemployed and although older, I will be no further forward in my career. I wish I could just not worry and take things as they come!

    I love what you said about being part of children's history - I've never thought of it this way before and it does make me feel like my life is a bit less meaningless! I must try to remind myself of this when things are tough.

    K x
  8. Reading these posts makes me smile because I'm starting to wonder who all these perfect people are we are describing - I think it's pretty obvious they don't exist! I am also a late developer, because I too had a long bout of illness after graduating and it took me ages to feel well enough to train to teach. My PGCE was hugely stressful because I encountered loads of problems in both a personal and professional capacity, and I qualified a year after my cohort with fierce determination but very shaky confidence!
    It's hugely reassuring to see how everyone has their own difficulties and no matter how perfect someone's life looks on the surface, it will never be quite what it seems. There is definitely something comical about the image of us older, wordly weary late-twenties grasping for NQT opportunities as we look on in envy and confusion at smiley, shiny-haired twenty-one year olds with a class full of angels, a fiancé at home and babies on their way!
    I think it has a lot to do with life choices as well as circumstances. Those teachers usually chose to teach straight from school. Although things might look rosy, they don't bring the life experience that we do. And like another poster wrote on here, a lot of these early marriages come into difficulties because the people are young and change etc.
    KarrieGem I know exactly how you feel and feel like that regularly. Facebook is particularly annoying with tedious pictures of perfect husbands/houses/babies coming up on the feed and announcements of promotions to headship at the tender age of twenty-two (ok thats an exaggeration but it sometimes seems like that!). But then I think 'stuff you lot' and decide I must concentrate on myself and not worry about them. Facebook is pretty shallow anyway - there is something depressing about constantly photographing and posting every second of your fabulous life - and if it was that great you wouldn't be on facebook would you?
    I just read an article about Helena Bonham Carter in which she says she was a late developer and 'hit adolescence at 30' which made me laugh and I think I'm the same! We don't all have to follow some old fashioned rule book about being married by 25 or whatever, and a lot of people who might have rosy-looking twenties will probably encounter some of the problems that we have already had to suffer and overcome, so in the end I have faith it all balances out :)
  9. You youngsters need to get over yourselves!!!! I'm 34 and in 2nd year of teaching secondary, not married, too skint to buy a house and don't want kids - just because people have all the traditional 'securities' doesn't mean they've got everything and are indeed happy!!. Trust me, you have plenty of time to do exactly what you want to do and what feels right for you.
    I totally empathise with all new starters, how can i not? i had to start at a new place too. I suffered from panic disorder in the past also, so i completely understand the need to assess, evaluate and worry about everything. You are on the right track though, returning to work after ill-health and about to do something worthwhile which you've always wanted to do. Doing supply beforehand is a really good way in (i did this) - don't worry that it's reception- you'll be great. And honestly, when you get going, you won't have time to stress or panic and will just be relieved to be getting on with it.
    I wish you all the best for tuesday, and remember none of us like the first day back. i'll bet there are at least 70% of your colleagues who don't sleep the night before. Happens every term!!
    Good Luck K :)
  10. Can I just say after reading your posts.. I can't believe how young you all are!! I'm starting a part time PGCE in April and the majority of people on the course are 35+. Who cares about age?Why do we have to follow a certain life plan? As long as you are happy and healthy who cares about the house and the partner and the kids right now (surely they cause too much hassle!) Anyway I felt I needed to contribute...what ever you do don't have regrets, you are obvioulsy teaching now for a reason and like everyone has said you have worked so hard to get where you are now so embrace it!
    Good luck with everything, remember...new year.. new start

    Jude :) x
  11. Hi,

    Some more great replies! Certainly given me something to think about. I have to say that although I too feel quite old for having achieved very little in my life it's not so much the age itself that bothers me. I am 27 and it's not that I think that that is old, like you say there are many people a lot older than that who go into teaching, it's more that most of the older people who go into teaching have had other careers or travelled or done other things in their life, so that althought they might be starting their teaching careers a bit later, they have had all these other life experiences. In my case, for all sorts of reasons, this hasn't really been the case and instead I feel that I have mostly wasted my 20's which is what I find difficult, rather than my age as such.

    Also it is so lovely to speak to people of different ages and backgrounds on here who have had lots of different experiences. Out of all my friends and family members (including many people younger than me) I am the only one who is single, has no children, is only just starting her career and still lives at home with her parents. This means that I do sometimes feel a little like an outsider because I feel like I am being left behind. I suppose sometimes you can feel a bit alone when you don't know anyone in similar situation to you but talking to you guys makes me realise that maybe I am not so unusual or as much of a failure as I have been feeling surrounded as I am by these 'perfect' people!

    K x
  12. Just wanted to add another few stories for you........
    Being part of children's lives. I get flowers every year from a student I taught 3 years ago, he thanked me on results day for never giving up on him and he is currently a soldier in Afghanistan. When I had to move out of the house I shared with my ex my removals were done by two of my former A-level students who were back from university. They had always kept in touch and said if there was anything they could ever do for me then just to ask. Another former student has helped me with my decorating.
    You haven't wasted your 20s, success isn't measured in bricks and mortar, engagement rings and babies, it's measured in happiness. You'll get your home if that is important to you, it may just take you longer than others. But, it'll be all yours when you do and you'll be proud of it. I used to live in a beautiful house with my ex, now I am doing up an unmodernised house and send most of my spare time in overalls, I am incredibly proud of it though!
    New Year's resolution, stay positive!
  13. What lovely students you have Kritur! You must have really made a positive impact on their lives, so you can feel really proud of that. I hope I can be that for the children I teach. I sometimes don't feel that I am a 'natural' teacher like some people but I hope that I can still do a good job.

    K x
  14. Dear KarrieGem, my new job starts tomorrow and I am so nervous my legs are actually wobbling but not as nervous as when I started in September in my first NQT post. No-one expects you to be firing on all cylinders from day 1 and the first days are more importantly spent in getting to know the kids and how the school works. Reception will be great. It is helping me to remember how I thought I could not even go in on my first day in September as I was so scared and now here I am after a term, thinking of my 'old school' as a place where I knew what I was doing. Mostly other staff are supportive - allow yourself a running in period - and remember you'll feel so much better after the first day, after the first week, after the first half term. This is the hardest bit to face nerves wise - once those kids come in and you start talking to them and looking after them you'll feel better and that's why you trained in the first place isn't it. Good luck & try not to worry. Try to get enough sleep and do simple planning for a couple of weeks. What will happen if your lesson goes wrong anyway? Plan it differently next time. You sound as if you care about how you will do - doesn't this make you the best kind of teacher, caring and trying - that's all anyone can do! This is the advice I'm giving myself - sometimes it works! R x
  15. You have really hit the nail on the head, that is exactly how I am feeling today - like I can't even go in tomorrow! What you said about how people aren't necessarily expecting you to be great from the start is also making me feel a bit better. I think because I actually graduated over a year ago and did actually work briefly in a school before getting ill I sometimes think that maybe people expect me to know what I'm doing but I really don't! I am trying to keep things in perspective as you say - if a lesson or a day doesn't go great, is it really the end of the world? I want to be a good teacher but since being ill I have realised how important it is to look after yourself and perhaps remember that while teaching is an important job, it is a job not my whole life, I don't want it to take over everything, everyone needs a life outside work.

    Good luck tomorrow, I hope everything goes well.

    K x
  16. I just wanted to add, although I am one of the young ones you all speak about (i'm 23 with a loverly bf, but no kids or house just yet!), I have the up most respect for everyone who does teacher training and goes on to be a teacher! There is a real mix of people on my PGCE and I love mixing with everyone and everyone! I think its a great career in terms of people of all different ages mixing, working together and becoming friends :eek:) Everyone has different life experiences and you should never regret what you chose to do in the past, present or future! :eek:) I want to wish you all the best of luck for starting your new jobs tomorrow! I'm sure you will all be FAB!
  17. mapledrop

    mapledrop New commenter

    How did the first day go?
    Training day for me, was nice to speak with staff and got some useful behaviour management tips. Also sorted out classroom (with the help of a fantastic TA!) and sat down with mentor and had a chat about planning the next few days.
    However, tomorrow the kids are coming in - I've got everything planned and know what I am going to do but still feel very anxious!!
    Hope everybody had a good day

  18. I'm glad your day went well. At least you're all planned and organised so I'm sure you'll be great tomorrow!

    I had a non-pupil day today too. It went well and everyone was really nice. I am still a bit worried about my supply in Reception though. I had a look at the planning today and there are several bits that I just don't really understand or not sure what the activities referred to are. I don't want the school to think I'm stupid or a bit useless but I've never had Reception before and the planning seems quite vague to me. I really don't want to make a fool of myself so I hope I can do a good job somehow!

    K x
  19. Horrendous unfortunately :(
    Cried when I got in. Thrown in at the deepend completely. Was total chaos. Some lessons went ok but others were absolutely shockingly bad because I don't yet have the skills to do what they were expecting, plus it was the first day and covering for another class so I had no idea about anything. School has also taken away my support so I feel set up to be ****. Very angry at how things have turned out but won't go into details here, but it all feels v unfair. Will leave if things don't change.

  20. Hi Current,

    I have sent you a message.

    Karrie x

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