Advice on my next step - PGCE to NQT or a new career Watch

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Report Thread starter 4 years ago
Hey guys,

Just looking for a bit of advice as I seem to be at a bit of a crossroads in life.

So basically I am on my 2nd 'official' placement (more on the official bit later) and I'm really struggling with the decision of whether to apply for a teaching job.

So here's my story/timeline......

I began my PGCE in 2013. In my first term I had a lot of background issues - family issues, health issues, financial issues etc which happened suddenly and issues on my first school placement (not of my own causing) which led to my uni pulling me out of that school and cancelling all links with them. At this point everything was in general at rock bottom and led to a breakup which tipped me over the edge and led me into depression and a few months out of teaching with docs getting help etc. Thats the short version of the beginning.

Feb 2014 - May 2014 - I was on an unofficial placement as a T.A at my lecturers sons school while the uni went through all their official procedures to make sure the 1st placement issues were not my fault - loved this period.

June 2014 - July 2014 - My 'official' first placement was at a nice school (previous was written off). Workload was a bit stressful but the school was in the top 0.5% in the country for my subject (maths) and they looked after me well.

Nov 2014 - Now - My 2nd placement. At an ok school but hating the job. Just those few extra lessons a week to plan and prep has tipped my work/life balance considerably. I'm totally fed up with the planning and marking in my own time BUT I love being at the front of a room giving presentations. But Im at a point where I am struggling to even plan and prep lessons properly just because I feel burnt out. My school want all lessons planned a week in advance and my xmas holidays have been a catch up. Im tired of the paperwork, box ticking, planning, marking and the overall affect its having on my home life. Plus there are alot of departmental politics which are largely being taken out on me e.g. a teacher saying my mentor is planning my lessons because she doesn't like her etc which is leading to an increased workload as I have to prove to the partnership tutor that my lessons are done well in advance.

So my question is as an NQT can anyone see it getting any better? Or should I try a career change? Having had experience in schools before this course I know that my 'official' first placement school was one of a kind and much much nicer than the average school I would likely find work in. So I cant see such a nice experience being replicated

As things stand I want to complete the PGCE out of stubbornness because to leave without it means my life fell apart in that first term for nothing and I lost someone I love for nothing. Nothing to show for over a year of graft.

But the thought of doing this as my job and working at home planning and marking etc makes me feel sick. And in all honesty I cannot afford to slip back into the depression I was in.

Sorry for the long story but any advice is really appreciated.
Mr M
Badges: 20
Report 4 years ago
(Original post by Ammo)
No advice but good luck and keep well.
Badges: 4
Report 4 years ago
I did my NQT year last year. The school is graded good but there are issues and the staff are mostly nice and the right people are very supportive (eg SLT and mentors, department).

Workload increased but my second placement saw me teaching 15 lessons and my nqt saw me teaching 19 a week so workload wasn't a dramatic increase.

Pros of the nqt year

You don't have to plan lessons in advance

If need be you can wing it

They are your classes so you can do things your way and develop your own style.

You will probably have your own room so if feeling anti social you can hide out in there.


Kids will test you

You still have more observations but not as frequently

You have to keep records of standards

Overall the nqt year was easier than the PGCE. I'd do the first year and then decide whether it's the career for you. The schools should be more supportive in your NQT as they are paying you and they want results.

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