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Taking a year out before NQT year in primary school - what are my options in filling this time?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by hannahthewaterman, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. hannahthewaterman

    hannahthewaterman New commenter

    Hello,

    I have just completed my 3 year Primary BEd course and am taking a year out (or possibly a term) due to illness before starting my NQT year. I have an illness that makes me feel exhausted a lot so I need to get my health back on track before starting a full on teaching job as a primary teacher.

    I am thinking of applying for TA jobs as even though it will still be tiring it will be less pressure and less tiring than being the class teacher. However, I am still unsure as to whether I will be up to even being a TA at the moment so I would be grateful if you could suggest some other options for a year out. What are your personal experiences?

    Thanks
    Hannah
     
  2. Studentteacher101

    Studentteacher101 New commenter

    Hi Hanna, I have just completed a 4 year BEd, also in Primary Ed. Although I have already got a job as a full time, permanent teacher, I do know of someone on my course who has decided to take some time out before finding a job. Obviously this depends on your current situation and circumstances, but he has decided to go traveling for a year (or more). If you have savings, or family/friends abroad (or even in the UK) this could also be a good option - it would give you time to get well, and do something exciting and fun before committing to a school and potentially making yourself even more ill.

    Good luck with whatever it is that you decide to do,

    A fellow NQT :)
     
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Do you need a job or do you have the means to live without one? If the aim of taking time out is to get your health back on track, you would probably be able to do that more effectively if you weren't working, so if that is an option then I would do that.

    You could consider volunteering in local schools, as this would give you a good feel for the sort of place you'd like to work in, and would also keep you in the loop educationally. Wouldn't have to be too tiring as you could choose how often to go in; if you built up to a full day or two, it could also be a good test of whether you're ready to go back to full time teaching after a term or if you need longer.

    If you enjoy studying and have the finances, you could consider starting work on a Masters, which would certainly fill your time! But might not be what you want to do at this point in your life.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Recover your health that surely is the main priority
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. dr_dig

    dr_dig New commenter

    I would second recover your health. I think its important to keep up to date, go to teach meets, and education shows, take time to read up on special needs or an area of interest.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. NotNQTForever

    NotNQTForever New commenter

    You could do supply- I have an illness that causes fatigue too and find supply works well for me as I can book days off as rest/health days and work the other days. If I am having a good energy week I can take on more work, if not feeling good, can take more days for myself and my health. It works well and I'm still experiencing teaching so win win! :)
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    I think that teaching in the UK is a bad idea. Have you considered teaching overseas?
     
  8. matryoshkadoll

    matryoshkadoll Occasional commenter



    Although I absolutely love teaching overseas, it is not for everyone. It can be a very lonely experience. Also, most international schools suggest a minimum of two years teaching experience in UK schools before moving abroad. Many schools will set this as a requirement depending on which country you are applying to because of visa requirements.

    Other international schools offer places for NQT's which can be really successful. However, I also know some people who have found the experience just 'too much'. As I said, it can be really lonely and if you are considering taking a year out for health reasons, I would probably just be really careful in making decisions like this as the pressures of being 'on your own' in a new country, having health issues and the demands of the job itself, can be somewhat overwhelming for a new teacher.

    Like others have suggested, supply and volunteering can be really good ways of not only keeping you in the loop from an educational point of view but also being able to stay 'in control' of what is best for you. I would definitely consider one or both of these options at the same time rather than TA work on it's own.

    The most important thing is avoiding 'gaps' in your employment record, especially in education. However, if you can go on supply - with some longer-term contracts, it means that you are physically 'teaching' in the classroom and having access to regular CPD. If you were to take on TA work on it's own, some people might think that you are down-sizing as such. I had considered it myself after having poor health due to bullying by a previous school. However, I decided to go on supply, and it really was helpful in 90% of schools that I taught in. After a year of supply, I was offered a position in an international school, which I took and am continuing to do this September in a permanent role in a lovely sunny country. I also have my 15 year old son coming who now has the opportunity to learn a new language and experience a fabulous culture.

    Although, I agree with the hippo, that working in an international school is brilliant medicine for the soul, I do think that you need to get yourself right first.
     
    pepper5 likes this.

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