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Taking time out after nqt year

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by norriskez, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. norriskez

    norriskez New commenter

    I'm an nqt on a year contract in Yorkshire. My school and my family are all expecting me to look for and get another job straight after this one. I have been straight through education myself without any gap years and I feel like now is the best time to do a bit of travelling and broaden my horizons a bit. I'm just a bit worried about how to break it to them as they all expect me to carry on teaching and get another job. I don't want to look as if I'm quitting or ruin my chance of getting any future jobs by looking unreliable. Any thoughts?
  2. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I don't think your current school will be expecting anything from you. For starters you are on a year contract anyway. Regardless of what you think, I don't think the school could care less what you do, unless they want to keep you. Even then people turn down jobs for a multitude of reasons, so i very much doubt they will judge you.

    Your family are different. It is your life though. You may not get another job straight after anyway. What is your subject?

    If you do go, just go with your eyes open. I don't think a year away will ruin your chances of getting a job in the future, particularly if you are flexible on location, but it isn't going to help. If a good position comes up I would consider using your summer holiday to do a bit of travelling and take the job. On the other hand a lot on here will say that you only have one shot at life so follow your heart... Understandable and it is only a decision you can make
    CWadd likes this.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Great answer, @DYNAMO67 !

    Best wishes

  4. Anon (2018)

    Anon (2018) New commenter

    My advice would be to absolutely ignore what other people will think and reflect objectively. Is this a long time dream? If you don't do it now, you might never do it. Life is not always about work! You have completed your NQT year, which is the most important. Your parents are of a different generation. Sometimes you just have to take a risk in life and follow your heart! You have decades of work left to worry about. Don't take time out just because the going is tough, BUT if you have a clear plan and have your 'gap year' mapped out, go for it!
    CWadd likes this.
  5. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    A gap year can really enhance your CV if you plan it, as @Lucy_Lous suggests.

    Think about getting in touch with VSO - Voluntary Service Overseas. They offer amazing experiences, all of which you can use your skills with. Or perhaps do a TEFL course. Or perhaps just plan an amazing trip and travel!

    People take career breaks to have children or look after relatives - schools accept that the career trajectory can be interrupted.

    As for your family - I'm working on the assumption that you are an independent adult who is fending for themselves. Far better to do this now, rather than take a job because "that's what people expect", and end up resenting the job (and everyone else!)

    Good luck!
  6. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Take a few years and teach abroad. two birds, one stone.
    JL48 and Kartoshka like this.
  7. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Might be an idea, although many if not most of the good British schools abroad require 2 years' experience, @Flere-Imsaho .

    Best wishes

  8. indiemuppet

    indiemuppet New commenter

    There's definitely no harm in taking time out, if that's what you'd like to do! Plus, I'd say that early on in your career is the best time to do so, as it'd be harder later.

    There's no way your future work is in jeopardy - schools are crying out for teachers now, and whereas 5 years ago each advertised post would attract 60+ applicants, they're lucky to get more than 3 these days (at least, that's certainly the case in the primary sector).

    Due to the current drop out rates and increasing number of classes, teaching has become one of the easiest jobs to pick up and put down and pick up again! Plus, we're all going to be retiring in our mid-sixties now - so why not take the year to travel?

    Good luck with whatever decision you make - but certainly, don't do it with any regrets!

    Got 3 minutes? Help out with my MA Learning Tech research & spread the word here!
  9. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    @indiemuppet - please do not include this link in your posts - it is getting perilously near to spamming the forums . . .

    Are you a Head of a Primary school to make this statement?

  10. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter


    Lucky to get more than 3? I read many posts of 100 + applicants for primary in some areas.

    Do your own research, don't rely on word of mouth. Are you hoping to come back to the same area? If you are, use your time now to suss out how any applicants they are getting.

    As for going travelling or whatever, what do you think? Really? You have a gut feeling, find it.

    I went to abroad for a year after my PGCE, but only because, if I am honest I didn't want to teach really - or rather, felt to inadequate to teach. When I came back, I needed money, and went on supply. The best move I could have made. Loads of experience, loads of annoyances, but I tell you what, some skills I got were well worth the aggro.

    So, would you be prepared to do supply (and don't mind what others on here are saying about rates - it is VERY area specific, and I would have got laughed out of town if I asked for the money others on here see as scandalously low :))? Have you got a secure reference from your current work place? Do you have dependents/financial commitments?

    In my experience, limited as it is, the year abroad was brilliant, and I needed it from a personal point of view. Would I do it again? On a professional basis, no, Because I finished my PGCE in 2010, and now, is the first time I have stood a chance at a permanent job. That is not all the result of that choice, but it was a contributory factor I believe. However, I am secondary, arts subject, and have been unable to move - and of course after a few years on supply you get the fees incurred by schools wishing to take you on - often not worth it for them. In an area like mine, after you have done a few years, literally two years on supply, most secondary schools you have covered.

    Take advice for sure, but really? Weigh up your options and decide, no-one can do it for you. Apologies for the rambling post, but I had to reply because the simplistic view of you'll pick up a job up no worries, is in my opinion, foolhardy. Around here, people are staying until they die or retire because the jobs aren't there.

    Whatever you choose to do, base it on research of your area, not hearsay - I know one primary up the road from me, had 60 applicants - it is a village school with one form entry.

    Research, decide. If you are prepared to take the possible consequences, go for it, if not, don't.

    You do the research for your area though - I cannot emphasise how strongly I feel about that. I live on a county border - two very different situations for my subject in each one. If I lived 40 miles to the East, I would need to make different choices!

    Well done on your NWT (the button next door doesn't work :)) year - mine is eventually coming to an end!!!!

    Whatever you decide, enjoy - just make sure it is your decision - you have the consequences, the positives and negatives to deal with, not your present employers or your family, you. Accept them and enjoy the ride.
  11. purplecarrot

    purplecarrot Senior commenter

    It depends on your subject and location. In my area we have a mass shortage of Maths, English, science and MFL. So much that some schools aren't bothering to advertise posts because they may only get 3 applicants so they're just going through agencies (& probably spending more in the process but hey ho that's a different discussion).

    If you're happy with your job prospects when you get back, I'd just go. Or do what's been previously said about VSO. An alternative if you're a young NQT under 25 would be looking at NCS they do some stuff overseas too and you just need a long summer so you could supply for a year and do that. Then get a job lined up for the September.
  12. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Top tier schools, yes, but there are decent schools out there that will employ teachers with a year's experience. Don't discount this option if you think it might be interesting!

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