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I'm going to have to leave teaching 2/3 through primary NQT year

(22 Posts)
Orlandsundry Thu 25-Jan-18 15:09:05

I seem to have developed anxiety, and spend most of my nights fretting, not sleeping and worrying. I have no idea how you permanent teachers manage it, I am a nervous wreck!
It's such a massive job, so much can go wrong and I just can't face it anymore. I just feel like curling up in a ball and crying.
I have posted on here before under my old name sandibeach and you have all been so lovely and helpful I just wanted to say thanks and goodbye!

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WoodenRainbow Thu 25-Jan-18 16:09:17

Sad to see another teacher leave but I completely understand why. I am hanging on by a thread. Is there someone you can talk to? A trusted teacher friend, colleague, a counsellor or union rep? Can you change school?

Orlandsundry Thu 25-Jan-18 16:25:55

Hi Wooden other staff at school are lovely and couldn't be kinder, but despite all of my hard work and effort I'm still not very good at teaching. I have a lot more to do to get better, but the well is completely dry! UGH!
I hope things improve for you though xx

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Lowdoorinthewal1 Tue 30-Jan-18 07:04:58

I just don't know why, as a profession, we are doing this to one another.

NQTs, RQTs, in fact any human teacher, is not going to be brilliant every day. I hate the way this culture has crept in where EVERY lesson must be perfect, EVERY piece of work must have a beautifully turned out record in the pupil's book, pupils must have feedback on EVERY move they make or you are a failing teacher and should be ashamed of yourself.

We just need to stop making people feel like this. There is a definite place for 'good enough', being able to throw in some silent reading so you can mark a set of books at school, being able to take a class that has got too giddy out for an extra playtime, doing a lesson with (shock horror) no written outcome...

But, until we all collectively decide to stop the insanity, we are going to drive our own profession into the ground.

Appuskidu Tue 30-Jan-18 07:22:38

We just need to stop making people feel like this. There is a definite place for 'good enough', being able to throw in some silent reading so you can mark a set of books at school, being able to take a class that has got too giddy out for an extra playtime

Absolutely-trying to be Outstanding every second of every day is not achievable and not sustainable and will break most people eventually.

My y6 (4th year junior) I remember-was just amazing. She was a total inspiration to me. Explained things well, firm, fair, covered all subjects in the days before the NC. Yet, I seem to remember chunks of the week where we just got on quietly (not necessarily silently) and she got in with helping those of us who needed it. Textbooks, work from the board, work cards. She wasn’t leaping around like an exhausted clown doing mini-plenaries every second. I think the sort of plenaries she did was, ‘if you got that-get your coat for play , if you didn’t, come here!’. Marking was a tick or a cross with a ‘see me’ if there were lots of crosses-so she could explain it. I doubt she ever spent hours deep marking! I doubt planning took ages either as there were textbooks that she knew inside out.

I think she is the person that caused me to go into teaching. She’d be absolutely horrified if she was alive to see what it was like today.

Orlandsundry Tue 30-Jan-18 07:54:39

I struggled with all of it to be honest, planning, pace, behaviour, marking. My school is an 'outstanding' academy with very high expectations. I was working over 60hrs a week, exhausted, and still wasn't 'where I needed to be'. I had a tricky class too so all in all I never felt like I was winning. I really could have done with a 2 year PGCE!
Thanks for your support though everyone...

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Masonbee Tue 30-Jan-18 14:35:52

Sorry to hear this @Orlandsundry

I hope you know already but just in case, it's not you, we are leaving in droves!

Wishing you lots of luck for the future flowers

SingingSands Tue 30-Jan-18 15:02:45

I’m sorry to read this thread.

I’m not a teacher, but 3 of my closest friends are teachers and they are killing themselves by staying in the profession.

It makes me so angry, as a friend and a parent. Totally agree with previous poster - the focus on excellence at all times is unattainable.

What can I do, as a “Joe Public” person?


Orlandsundry Tue 30-Jan-18 17:46:52

The parents of my class were lovely, the pressure on me came from the school. Amazing displays needed, very high achievement of all children, marking everything that moved, that's what tipped me over the edge I think. All parents would want that for the children though I guess...

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WoodenRainbow Tue 30-Jan-18 18:08:34

I don’t know where this will end. I don’t know of a single teacher who isn’t stressed out and killing themselves to stay on top of every expectation. I wish the unions would lead us in a strict ‘only work the hours we’re paid to do’ protest. If we all took every minute of our (unpaid) lunch hour and walked out at 3.30 and had the courage to just leave what didn’t get done, I’d like to think that it would be evident quite how very bloody hard we’re all working.

routeeen Tue 30-Jan-18 20:55:13

I'm very sorry. I am in the middle of a PGCE and very very close to doing the same. It's a particular issue in my case making things worse, but I just feel sick all the time these days with nervous anxiety. I want to finish but I'm terrified I may end up depressed properly if I push myself too hard, or otherwise ruin my health or mental health.

BossWitch Tue 30-Jan-18 21:03:07

Leave. Leave, leave, leave. I wish I had. Now I'm ten years in and I can't work out an exit other than being a stay at home mum and hammering our finances for a few years. I had 4 months off with depression and anxiety last year. Suicidal thoughts for 3 months before that. Run while you can. Build a career in something sane - which is not education.

swampytiggaa Tue 30-Jan-18 21:10:17

As a parent I am horrified by the changes in schools now. My eldest is 25 youngest is 9. Lots of different schools attended. The main change I see is in the age of the teachers- most of the older ones (40+) have left leaving the recently qualified. All that amazing experience and knowledge lost 😞

partystress Tue 30-Jan-18 21:15:29

Sorry you are feeling like this OP. Sounds like you are in a school with ridiculously high expectations and nowhere near enough support. You are probably right to get out now and give yourself a break.

But, don't give up on teaching as a career for the future. Ask to be released before the end of term so that you've only completed one term of your NQT rather than two. Then, if you feel like you want to have another go, you've got two terms to establish yourself in a new, hopefully more realistic, school. It's never going to be an easy job, but the tide is turning in lots of schools, where leaders have the confidence to adopt ways of working that reduce workload. Also, maybe spending more time in schools, without the pressure of being the class teacher (eg as a TA), might help rebuild your confidence and help you develop your skills. A PGCE only scratches the surface - it's a very tough route into the profession and you end up feeling like the whole world is on your shoulders when you have barely any classroom experience behind you.

Good luck with whatever comes next for you.

itsjess Tue 30-Jan-18 21:19:59

It really is sad that we've created this culture- as a pp said. I loved teaching and was very good at it but it ruined me. 15 years in I finally called it a day. I wish you all the best OP x

BackforGood Tue 30-Jan-18 21:34:14

So well said Lowdoorinthewal1.
I said much the same to the Teachers Pay and Conditions Board when they came to tick a box to ask opinions of our staff back in the mid 1990s. We explained that - whereas everyone would appreciate more money, it wasn't the salary that teachers were wanting more of, it was the ridiculous expectations of being what would now be called 'being Outstanding' every second of every day. The lack of trust. The lack of recognition of professional judgement. This was 20 years ago, and it has sadly continued to get worse year on year.
I'm darned sure I made mistakes in my probationary year (now NQT year) and Im darned sure I made mistakes many time over the following decades years too, you know, like all human being do sometimes, but you were considered to be a good teacher when you could walk into a class and teach without a lesson plan when needed, let alone a differentiated written outcome for 5 lessons a day. It was considered a good thing when you followed the interest of the children, or responded to the weather or what happened in the news or whatever.
Sorry - going off on one now. sad

Orlandsundry Tue 30-Jan-18 22:02:33

I have thought of that @Partystress, as that was one of the toughest parts, I just didn't feel that I have enough experience to draw on. Had no idea really how to teach most of my classes properly and I was in there on my own for most of the time. Horrible feeling that you have to wing it.

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thecatfromjapan Tue 30-Jan-18 22:04:26

Orla Are you sure you can't find another school and complete the NQT year?

Honestly, all schools are NOT like this. Can I PM you?

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Thu 08-Feb-18 12:59:15

We don’t want that OP (at least not all). I want my children taught be competent teachers who inject lessons with life and interest. I don’t give a damn about the displays or seeing that everything has been marked. I’m sorry your school is insane.

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Thu 08-Feb-18 13:00:20

And be competent I don’t mean outstanding, all singing all dancing. Just competent.

castasp Thu 08-Feb-18 14:56:36

The displays thing is ridiculous in primary schools. Yes, they look lovely, but the time they must take!

When I first started teaching until about 2012 ish, I got the feeling they were trying to bring it into secondary schools, but no one seems to be overly bothered these days. I wonder if it's because secondary school teachers do tend to push back against some of these demands a bit more, especially ones we know we can't do.

Eg. I'm a science teacher, and have no creative ability whatsoever, so every display I've ever attempted has ended making the room look messier! And I would guess most other science teacher are the same, so the whole "displays" thing just dies a death.

Whereas I can imagine in primaries, there are lots of artistic types who quite like doing awesome looking displays, but that then means everyone feels obliged to do it.

Orlandsundry Thu 08-Feb-18 15:35:31

They do take ages! At least a day to do a good job when you start out, and as you get more experienced you learn the shortcuts. I was competent, and made lessons interesting and engaging - I love learning new things, so hope that my enthusiasm rubbed off. It's just all the other stuff that got in the way. Marking, planning, photocopying, cutting, making flipcharts, meetings, talking to parents, the days were never long enough. I think if the behaviour of my class had been better I may still be there, you can put up with a lot if you feel you're achieving something, but it all felt pretty futile towards the end.
Anyway, and going to go back to do some office work until I can bear to try again!

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