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Horrible situation - teaching

(12 Posts)
isithometimeyet Thu 23-Jun-11 21:22:08

Didn't know whether to post this on bereavement board, education board or general screw up board.

Last Nov I lost my dad to cancer. It was a dreadful time. I tried to support my mum and sort out myself as much as I could.

I had always wanted to teach and have managed to get a graduate training programme place for primary, due to start this Sept. I have told my work I'm leaving and signed the contract.

I should be happy, my friends and family are delighted for me, but I really don't want to do it anymore. I did not take the decision lightly to apply - I spent time in schools, talked to teachers, have no illusions about how responsible the job is, or how exhausting. But at the time I thought I was up to it. On reflection I think I threw myself into activity after losing my dad rather than feel what happened. Now I don't feel I'll be any good at it, I don't feel I have the stamina for the hours, and most importantly, I think I will be bad for the children. I am tearful and anxious all the time and just want to hide at home.

Please don't flame me - I know this is an awful thing to do when so many people would give their right arm for a GTP place. Teaching is not just a job, you have to really want it, or else it's not fair on the children. I hate myself for getting into this situation when the children and the school deserve the very best, and someone else who was up to the job could have taken my place. I genuinely meant no harm and it?s too late now. The only thing I can think of doing is to grit my teeth and do the year, so as not to let the school down.
At the interview they told me I had great potential but I don't see that.

I know no one can tell me what to do, perhaps if anyone has ever got themselves in a situation they can't see a way out of, that would help.

duchesse Thu 23-Jun-11 21:33:06

It sounds to me as though you are still suffering from severe grief and possibly depression too. Only you know how you react to stress- If you really really feel that you can't manage this, would it be reasonable to ask to defer for a year so that you process your grief? Or is this stress coming from your present job? And are you the kind of person who can overcome this and throw into your job and grow from it.

I wouldn't imagine that anyone will flame you for it- it sounds like quite a dilemma. Can you take a lovely longish holiday this summer and think about it?

MrsHerculePoirot Thu 23-Jun-11 21:33:13

So sorry about the loss of your dad to cancer - that must be very difficult for you to both grieve for yourself and support your mum.

I am a teacher, although secondary, and we have GTPs often in our school. Ultimately you will teaching classes allocated to another teacher who will be supporting you, so if for any reason you decide not to complete the year the class will still be taught by their original teacher.

I would not worry about 'letting the school down' - schools and teachers would much rather that you drop out/change your mind rather than try to do a job you hate and aren't enjoying.

If you really, really don't want to do it anymore then drop out. However if you are all ready to go, maybe try it and see how you go? You might surprise yourself and love it an be a complete natural and this might just be nerves or a belated reaction to your bereavement. You won't be expected to teach lessons right from day one and you will get lots and lots of support, so there is no way that you wil be 'bad' for the children. You sound like a lovely caring person which is exactly what schools need.

I am not trying to make you do it if you don't want to btw, just want to reassure you that you are not tied in for the whole year if you hate it... hope I've managed to get that across OK!

fivecandles Thu 23-Jun-11 21:37:15

Agree with MrsH. Put yourself first and don't worry about other people. They will cope and they will understand. But I do think it may be worth ggiving it a go. If teaching seemed like a good decision a while ago, it may well still be a good decision. You can't be sure until you try and it sounds like you'd feel quite anxious about anything right now. It could be exactly what you need and if it isn't you've not really lost anything.

hockeyforjockeys Thu 23-Jun-11 21:41:35

This is obviously really difficult for you, and I think you are incredibly brave in being honest with yourself about the way you feel. I'm not going to question it at all, as you obviously are very realistic about what the job entails, but as you have always wanted to teach I just wonder what had made you change your mind? Again I don't know you, so I can't say if you are up to the job, but do you think this might be a temporary crisis of confidence in the run up to a big life change?

As for letting the school down, I really wouldn't get yourself too worried about it. In the beginning of the GTP you are more a hindrance than a help to the school (and I mean that in the nicest possible way), and it is only towards the end of the programme that the school start to feel the benefit. If you are struggling then you are going to take up time of others, who could start to resent you. It is hard, but it is much better to have a difficult conversation now than having to have many throughout the year. Yes somebody else could have had your place, but you don't know them and quite frankly you need to put your needs first rather than some hypothetical person. Please don't beat yourself up about it.

hockeyforjockeys Thu 23-Jun-11 21:44:10

Meant to add - the school will be fine if you don't do take up the post. GTP is a training position, and the school do not need to re-hire or make rearrangements if you drop out.

IndigoBell Fri 24-Jun-11 09:38:28

Can you go back into school for a couple of days now and see if it reignites your passion?

It's normal to get nervous before something as big as this...... Is there anyway it's just that?

If you know you don't want to be a teacher it's better to pull out now, then to do it for a year .........

inkyfingers Fri 24-Jun-11 18:07:29

You write 'I have always wanted to teach'. Can you hold on to that for now? As someone has said, it's a training post and you don't have to pursue it beyond next summer. Why not plan to start the training and see how it goes. It could be that the busyness helps you through - I know it might not....

Good luck

Snowfire Sat 25-Jun-11 06:55:33

I just read this and felt sad for you. Losing your Dad has obviously hit you very hard and tbh it sounds as though you're quite depressed. Have you been to your gp? I'm no expert but having suffered from depression myself, some of the things you say ring alarm bells.
Why do you feel you wouldn't be any good for the children? It sounds like you've gained a fair amount of experience in this area and the school would have assessed you carefully before offering you the post & telling you that you have great potential.
Please don't make a decision now, think about what made you go for this in the first place and talk to people who know & love you. It may be that you need a course of antidepressants to help you see things clearly again and support you through your grief.

purplepidjin Sat 25-Jun-11 07:04:56

I would suggest you need the Mental Health board - sounds a lot like depression and anxiety to me - tearful, anxious, doubting your own abilities...

Get thee to a doctor, discuss your options re: medication and counselling, and remember that they don't take just anyone. Several people with decades of experience between them think you're well up to it grin

PS I've had people telling me I should teach since I can remember. I've spectacularly failed to do so, including failing to get on GTP programmes. They have very strict criteria, which you've met wink

menagerie Sat 25-Jun-11 10:46:42


It sounds like you have made a difficult but good decision not to start right now. Doesn't mean you never will. I think you sound very responsible and thoughtful not to go into it when you aren't emotionally up to coping with a class full of children. But how you feel now isn't permanent. You are still very deeply in bereavement.

Can you ask to defer for a year and explain why? Are you getting any counselling for you bereavement? Can you take a year doing a much less taxing job while you take care of yourself, and then see how you feel?

isithometimeyet Sat 25-Jun-11 10:51:49

Thanks everyone for kind messages.

I feel as if my 'radar' has been shot to pieces and I can't tell what would be the right thing to do. I just can't see myself in the classroom. I have thought about going into the school, but the problem is I have to make the decision very soon so there may not be time.

Thanks in any case for your kindness. I was really worried about posting on here. I am furious with myself for getting into this situation. You've been really great.

Ps to those of you who have been trying to get onto GTP and haven't managed it, thanks especially for being kind as this must sound crazy. I would say to you, don't give up - when the time and the place is right, it will happen for you. There is no time limit on teaching, the more life experience you have the better, so see this as a time you can refine your skills until the right day arrives. I hope that doesn't sound too glib.

Thank you everyone.

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