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Struggling through my NQT year

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by R3dL4mp, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. R3dL4mp

    R3dL4mp New commenter

    I am new to this thread and clearly still new to teaching (See NQT above). I wanted to qualify to teach so that I could move abroad and teach in an international school.
    I am having a horrendous time during my NQT and almost entirely out the door but I have spoken to lots of other teachers who have taught abroad and really want to have the opportunity to experience this.

    So heres my question and I feel as though I already know the answer from what I've read but do I have to complete my NQT year before I can apply to teach abroad?
  2. caslh

    caslh New commenter

    QTS and experience are helpful but not always necessary, it will vary from school to school and between countries. Schools will also look at your previous qualifications and experience, and on your ability to add additional expertise (e.g. sports or other activities).
    Teaching abroad can be a great experience but it’s not always easy. I would advise you to think about the reasons why you are struggling - will these all be removed in an international school?
    Teaching isn’t for everyone and there are many other options for working abroad.
    This isn’t meant to discourage you though! NQT year can be tough, I hope that you have some support or feel able to ask for help.
  3. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Just keep going, its tough we know. This is what makes it worthwhile on your CV.
  4. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I never chose to complete the induction year as I never intended or intend to teach in U.K. post-qualifying. I started in a Mickey Mouse school in Spain but built my experience up. I have now taught in all but two continents and one of those is the Antarctic...
    mermy likes this.
  5. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    My partner has a teaching degree from Hungary which was converted automatically to QTS in uk. however, she has never set foot in the classroom as she diverted into nursing (she now has a degree in both).

    We’re moving abroad and I secured a position. She now has two interviews for international schools in the same city we are moving to despite never having taught.

    So it is possible.

    However, I would reiterate what the other posters have said. Teaching abroad is not always easy - I did it before. And I’m not casting aspersions but it may well be that you might have the same issues.

    Also if you can bear it I would stick at it as it will always look better if you can.
  6. bead

    bead New commenter

    You don't have to go through this hell.
    You can teach abroad without it, and you can also complete the NQT year abroad.
    You don't say if you are primary or secondary, but if secondary, you can quit teaching and go into industry and then move abroad working for a big multinational. You can also do the same if you are primary. Its just a bit more difficult.
    You can always go back to teaching later in life
    Many people do this.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    You'll be better off professionally if you finish your NQT year. Now that you've started, it would be hard to make it disappear, and presumably any relevant referee would know your situation and be duty-bound to address it.
    Schools which don't require NQT are not highest on the list. Your experience there might not be any better than where you are now.
    Schools which support you in doing NQT abroad would have to be aware of your situation, and that would likely lead to them declining to work with you.
    Which is the long and the short of it... if you still want to be a teacher.

    Please give some careful consideration to whether you actually want to be a teacher. Teaching overseas is usually better than teaching back home. And subsequent years are usually easier than NQT years. But the truth remains that teaching is work, children are childish, families are demanding, and unit plans always need to be documented. If your heart isn't in it, you would be better off realizing that now.

    This comes from someone who faced a similar crisis and came out the other side committed to teaching. But yes, there was a year of torture, and I was almost ready to walk away. It wasn't my NQT, but not too long after, and it was overseas. International schools do not erase all the challenges of back home. Nor does every bad year mean you have to quit.

    Good luck.
    576 likes this.
  8. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    You don't have to complete it BUT I highly advice for you to finish it. The previous comments are right. Reflect and ask yourself:

    - Why are you struggling? Be very clear to identify the issues.
    - Is your motivation right? Teaching is not for everyone and going overseas won't solve your underlying problems.
    - Is your mentor and school supportive? Have you exercised your all of the available support?
    - Could it be that you're hooked about the possibilities of travel and money rather than the actual profession?

    Your first couple of years are the HARDEST ANYWHERE, so figuring things out is important and identifying your weaknesses is a must.

    Best of luck.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, it really would be a good idea to finish your NQT year. It is tough, I am sure, but later you will be glad that you did it. Trust me. I am a smelly hippopotamus and so I know about these things.
  10. Jessaki

    Jessaki Occasional commenter

    I agree with the above, if you can grit your teeth and just bear it until July, then do. Yes, some international schools don't require you to complete your induction. Yes, it is much better to have at least one year's teaching experience under your belt before making the jump internationally. But think about this more practically. You will be competing for jobs with people around the world, you may look excellent on paper, good degree, good PGCE, good application letter, decent references, but an uncompleted teaching year on your CV. That may not install a lot of confidence. You may explain and give genuine reasons for not completing the NQT year, but overseas recruiters may also see this as, well there were problems teaching in their home country, what is the guarantee they will find it any easier in foreign country without the comfort home surroundings?

    I know it might still seem like a long way off, but Feb half term is nearly upon you. Get through each week, each half term. Once Easter is out of the way, then you are nearly there! The worst term is over (Autumn Term!).

    Start looking for international jobs now, start applying now for August starts. Keep yourself busy with planning your international move. Keep your head down at school, jump the hoops you need to jump through and just finish your NQT year. You can do it! It is a springboard to something better.
    gulfgolf and Kartoshka like this.
  11. JimmySmith19

    JimmySmith19 New commenter

    I opted not to complete my NQT year after the PGCE. The PGCE was bad enough for me! After the PGCE (QTS included) I moved to eastern Europe for my first post. I was beaten by the lack of sunlight, however, and over broken contractual promises for the year after. Then I moved to Mexico for my second international post at a more renowned school. Long story short, I've found contracts and had an array of offers after my year in eastern Europe. However, your first international post will be tricky to get but not impossible. Eastern Europe was a nice place to live (barring the weather) and you can earn a pretty penny there. Be open-minded about where it is you are willing to go.

    The NQT year isn't essential, though. I've gotten by just fine without it and I'm not sure it would have helped me a great deal professionally, anyways... I've learned so much so far and have had more freedom than I did during my training and often you can set your own standards as high as you want (and for some unfortunately low). I've come across some teachers who have only got TEFLs and CELTAs and have been working for many years. If you can you should try to finish it nevertheless since your over half way there!

    I'm still new to this international teaching, but it does come with its own challenges like communication, low-standards, uncertain employment, lack of resources (but remarkably extravagant school days) and getting any admin done without it being a massive hassle. Though, the cons are outweighed by the pros which, in my experience, have been higher average wages/savings, better work-life balance, interesting personalities and the chance for adventures.

    Keep on keeping on!
  12. ed717

    ed717 New commenter

    Get out of the UK and abroad as soon as you finish your NQT! Some schools however don't mind if you haven't done your NQT, but I would battle through and get it out the way...once its done its done, and you'll always be able to apply for schools who require you having done your NQT in the UK.
    It is worth it, life is a million times better, I promise you. I battled through 2 years in the UK (NQT + 1) and I was an idiot for not getting out as soon as I could. I honestly think I would be dead now if I had stayed, maybe that makes me weak but I really couldn't take it. Battle through and come and join the ranks of much happier teachers :) The grass is greener, I promise you! You can do it!!

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