At what point do I just give up on my dream?(41 Posts)
Sitting here in tears.
Qualified as a teacher last year, went to loads of interviews but didn't get a job, now working but not as a teacher, looking for teaching jobs so I can do my NQT year.
Just come from my sixth or so in 2 months. No job.
I feel utterly useless and shit. I know I can be a good teacher but I can't seem to do a good interview, either my lesson isn't good enough or my student panel isn't good enough or I just lose out to someone who was better.
I am so stressed that I feel sick constantly, I have an uncontrollable twitch in my eye, my digestion is not right and I am constantly tearful. The tearfulness is mostly controllable around other people and I can put on a good front for the interviews.
I have another coming up in a couple of days. I feel sick at the thought.
I'm not sure how much more rejection I can take, its killing me.
What should I do?
Have you tried doing supply work, it's not ideal but it would give you experience and often if you do supply regularly for one school you get a great chance of a permanent position when one comes up. Don't give up, you will regret it. Keep positive, if you are negative going into the interview you won't give out the right vibes. Just remember that you CAN be and WILL be a great teacher and show them that. Good luck
What age do you want to teach?
I'm not sure about supply, I don't have a car and can't rely on the work being steady. I am working in education at the moment, just in a support role.
I'm age 11-18, in a non-core subjects.
TBH, if this is stressing you to the point you have nervous twitches, bowel problems, nausea and are tearful constantly, do you think teaching, with the stresses today, is a job you really want to do?
You haven't said if you are pitching at primary or secondary - but I can't think of a more thankless task than standing in front of 30 odd disengaged 15/16yo's, with drop ins, lesson obs, grading, marking, factor in control, discipline.
By your own words, your lesson isn't good enough.
We all have dreams, sometimes we have to realistically alter those dreams.
2 months may feel like a long time, but it's really not, especially these days when a lot more people are turning to teaching as a reliable job during the recession. Sorry, though - rejection is horrible. I am a teacher (university) and lost count of the number of interviews I've failed over the years.
Did you get feedback from the job interviews - that should help.
When I left uni, I had 84 interviews before finding a job...
You must toughen up and face it, especially if you want to teach. I know it's hard, but it's the only way you are going to get a job.
I'm sorry, it sucks doesn't it. At least you're making it to interview - lots of people won't be getting that far. Last time I was jobhunting I made over 100 applications and got five interviews out of that.
A friend of mine is a teacher who's been involved in recruitment lately, and really there is so much random stuff going on on the other side of the process - the mix of existing staff, the experiences the teachers recruiting have had before with different "types" of teacher, the non-teaching activities the postholder will be involved in, the ethos of the school and how you fit with that. It's about so much more than "is this person a good teacher or not".
Depending on how you look at it, that's either depressing, because it makes it all a bit luck of the draw, or heartening, because it means the rejection isn't really about you. You absolutely have to disassociate from the rejection.
OP there are ALOT of people applying for jobs at the minute. 2 months and six interviews is actually both very good (in that you're impressing enought to get interviews) and not very long to be waiting for work to turn up.
keep applying, keep interviewing, keep getting feedback, consider supply work and keep positive (cliche i know but at the very least it will make you feel better)
stressing out wont make the jobs appear or make you more employable.
Look up Amy Cuddy on Ted.com
Her talk Your body language shapes who you are will help you.
Best of luck.
My friend is doing work experience in a school - could be a good way of getting your foot in the door if any jobs come up - you'd have already got past that bit as they would know you and what you can do.
I really feel for you Madam I don't know anything about the education sector but I do have some experience of trying to break into highly competitive industries
and having lots of rejection
It's really hard not to take it personally but you mustn't. The absolutely best way to deal with the inevitable rejection is not to place too much on one particular application and always have a back-up plan. In practice this means, apply for a job but then immediately try to forget about it and start to look for something else immediately. This works a lot better than getting excited about something, applying for it, waiting for a reply, getting a rejection then having to pick yourself up again.
i think it would be easier if I wasn't travelling so much, I'm barely spending any time at home, I am growing to hate trains and shit hotels.
This is my fourth in 2 weeks and I'm just so so tired. Emotionally and physically exhausted.
Thanks for the tip about body language, I'll take a look.
In Scotland we are given a post for our NQT year, then you're on your own. I qualified in 2008 and just got my first permanent post in January 2013. These are tough times, but if what you really want to do is teach, you'll stick with it.
Why don't you have a car? You're really restricting yourself there - supply would be your best bet, and you can't do that without a car.
Have you thought about teaching abroad for a couple of years? It's less competitive in many countries and you'd come back with bags of experience and confidence. I think that's what I'd do if you don't get anything in a few more months. I can recommend Hong Kong!
Oh and I think other areas of teaching can be much harder to get into. Try getting a permanent teaching job at university - it's taken me over a decade!
Madam, that's a rotten situation to be in, I feel for you. One thing I'd say, though, is go to the doctor. Those are pretty bad anxiety symptoms you're describing and, though they can't fix your job situation, they could maybe help you control your anxiety a bit more. I've had all the twitching, nausea and IBS and, though they don't sort the issues causing the anxiety, antidepressants and relaxation CDs do help alleviate the physical symptoms and get me feeling more confident.
And i second the post about the TED body language link. Yes, teaching's a tough, tough industry to be unemployed in right now but you will get there. And you'll get there quicker if you're well and calm.
That is really interesting, euphemia, I had no idea they find you a post for your NQT year in Scotland!
OP, I took five interviews to get my NQT post. I was travelling down from Newcastle to the midlands every time for each one, it was awful.
You are making it to interview though, which is such a massive plus! Since my NQT year I have obtained my next two posts on the first interview. I would be more than willing to suggest interview lesson ideas? If possible, a car will hugely widen your possibilities.
Teachers have until the end of may to hand in their notice, so lots of posts come up between then and summer hols which can only be filled by people not currently in teaching posts for a September start.
What age range/subject do you teach? Where in the country are you?
If you post in the staffroom topic, plenty of teachers would be happy to help you with lesson plans, interview technique etc.
I will buy a car once I get a job, I just can't afford one on my current salary, only passed my test recently.
I think I will begin meditating again, I stopped cos of time and think it would be a good idea to restart.
I need to finish planning my interview lesson for Thursday, struggling to find the motivation but won't be able to do it tomorrow due to work then travelling.
I'm thinking group activity, short written task and lots of oral discussion.
Also, I think I might be shit at doing student panel interviews, I never seem to know what they want me to say. I worry that I'm rambling but actually think I may not be saying enough.
I am an unemployed NQT too (actually started my NQT year but quit because I was so unhappy). I have been for about 20 interviews in the past year, and still no job (and I am a Chemistry graduate which is an in demand core subject)
Since October I have been doing supply and I really enjoy it! I would strongly recommend you give it a go if you can. It helps keep you in practice, so you are familiar in the school atmosphere and dealing with kids and their problems.
Where are you located? I know some areas it's harder to get a job than others, especially the South-West. Don't give up!
I know it's difficult to be positive. But you are making it to interview and a lot of other people won't be. And as others have said six interviews in two months is very good. Always think the next one I'll do it. And you will.
Right, trying to pull myself together and be positive for Thursday.
I always have a mini-crisis after a rejection but they are getting worse, possibly because I have not rested properly in quite some time.
If I don't get the one Thursday I'm going to give myself a couple weeks break, I need to chill a bit before plunging back in.
possibly because I have not rested properly in quite some time
OP, if you are finding interviewing for your NQT year hard and not resting prooey you're going to find NQT year super tough.
Sounds like you are more mentally tired from the rejections than physically tired? No real advice but jobs are difficult to come by and think of all those who aren't even making interview! You can request feedback which might help you work on your weaker areas.
Ok I used to be a teacher before dc and I also hated interview process.
You don't mention any dc?
What I did before dc to get jobs was live in London and do supply. Supply in the rest of the country (I've heard although not experienced myself) has taken a battering due to the introduction I cover supervisors. There still is supply in London though. Put in 100% become a requested supply teacher at a couple of schools and you will eventually get offered a contract. This is most likely result in your nqt year I'm sure. That is what I did.
More difficult if you have dc and can't relocate due to already being settled in schools or live in smaller accommodation due to London rent. Or if you have a partner who can't move for work. But I would still work on being recognised as a teacher at a couple of schools and become familiar with the staff, school procedures. Volunteer work, cover supervisor work? Is your current job within a school? Have you discussed your teaching career plans with you current employer?
You don't have to do the formal interview process to get teaching job in my experience.
Also just putting this out there.
Have you considered independent schools?
I am a bit of a chameleon and can get on well with a vast range of people.
I found independent schools were interesting in that they often placed more emphasis on how the teacher got on with the staff, students and parents rather than just how they taught (although they still expected excellent teaching and classroom management).
It is just that I noticed that when they had agency supply in that although the supply teacher may have been a great teacher if they didnt 'get on' with the staff, students and parents then they weren't asked back. I didn't notice this happening to the same degree in non-independent school. So it might be worthwhile getting to know some local independent schools and seeing if you get along well there.
I'm a teacher too and trust me two months and six interviews is nothing! It took me a looooong time to get my nqt year done! I taught abroad for a bit and I also did supply for ages before getting my first job in the UK.
I also don't have a car at the mo but the public transport links where I live are brill. So I'm another one who would suggest going on supply - you get your face known in schools which always helps.
I used to save the job spec of every job I applied for (just in case I got an interview) and I remember hitting a real low point when I came across them all one night and realised just how many jobs I'd applied for. The fact is (in our area at least) for every job that comes up there's about 150-200 applicants so each position is like a mini lottery. You really just have to toughen up to rejection and just keep applying. It sucks but it'll be worth it when you have your own class.
It also depends what you are teaching. Physics= high demand, Art/Drama = 10 a penny
I agree with supply - you can often get a long term placement through them (covering maternity for eg)
Just a bit worried like other posters about your stress levels - NQT is a tough year.
Don't worry too much about student panels - it's the lessons that are all important & the interview.
Have you asked for feedback from your interviews? Why are you not getting the jobs, is it vague "other candidate was stronger" stuff or are there specific areas you need to work on?
What's the interview lesson about that you're preparing? Why do your other lessons not go well? Pitched at the wrong level? Not engaging enough? Run out of time?
There are loads of teachers on here, if you say what the problems are, we might be able to give you some tips.
Please do something about your stress levels.
Can you listen to relaxation 'cds' whilst on the train and meditate in the evening in the hotels?
If you can relax, your quality of sleep will be better and you will then be less tired.
Best wishes to you.
Could you improve your fitness? This will help with stress and increase your confidence.
Everyone feels crap at times, the trick is not to give up! Keep on keeping on.
stick at it - successful people have all failed at some point, you just have to learn from your mistakes, ask them for feedback etc...
never ever give up... when I was 20 I was working as a dishwasher and wanted to go into IT...I went to college then to uni - it was a struggle, but I knew if i was to give up I'd be a dishwasher the rest of my life...
I got my first IT job when I was 28, I'm in my 40s now and reaping the benefits...
check this book out too -
How did things go today Madam?
I know exactly how you feel - I used to be full time but left 4 years ago. Doing supply but can't seem to get a job. I've had 10 interviews recently and not got one.
It is depressing and demoralising. I know how the tears come and you just think you'll never get anything. It's so hard.
I didn't get the job today, I know I did well and they said it was a difficult decision and I was q strong candidate.
I'm sorry to hear that, do you feel that you've done better than in previous interviews/panel things.
Sorry, perhaps you don't want to do a post mortem this evening. But we might be able to help further/tweak for other interviews
Chin up! I'm a pro at rejections. I know it's so utterly shit and I felt like you three years ago.
I literally brushed it off my shoulders. After my tears had dried !!
You need to ask for feedback. 'What did they have that I didn't?/ what do I need to do to improve or get the job?'
If they liked you (and they were impressed enough to give you an interview...) they won't mind talking to you for 10 mins on the phone or an email.
Feedback I've had from interviews helped me get a job. Nothing to lose. Keep at it.
I always tell myself I wouldn't really have fitted in in certain places. (just to convince myself it was their loss!) X
Sorry sorry sorry, replying to your OP, rush on!
Get in touch with your careers and employability department at your University (may have a different name) as you could still access various courses.
Mine ran a Graduate Headstart Programme, which is funded, and open to any graduate from that university. I graduated 13 years ago and was eligable! Not all Uni's offer this service BUT most offer some help to an alumnus.
Do not give up, not until there is absolutely no way forward.
I was a SAHM for 8 years, had no confidence, and was very rusty in the 'job applicant skill' department! The GHS 3 day programme enabled me to write a very good CV (following a set path and balancing selling myself with giving an employer everything they seek), interview skills, introductory letters, words to avoid even! I'm now working in a place I am appreciated, and that has room to develop.
Please revisit your Uni.
madam rather than ask where you went wrong, ask what swung it in the other candidates favour? They may not want to tell you, but you lose nothing in asking x
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