Considering quitting my SCITT course - Any advice?Watch
Okay, so I'm currently eight weeks in to my actual first placement with a university-partnered local SCITT programme and it is destroying my mental health, confidence, and making me question and reflect on if teaching is the right job for me.
I've been quite reflective over the last two weeks on whether to continue with the course. I understand that the course is designed to be a 'trial by fire' of sorts and I have yet to discuss my concerns with my school based mentor and the course lead.
I am not enjoying any aspect of the teaching at all. I am struggling with behaviour management due to constant class set changes and new faces, and I have one of the more challenging Year 7 classes in the school. My other classes are top set Year 8's, which are a little better with behaviour and complete the tasks I set for them.
I've also found that I don't get much satisfaction from the teaching aspect. I don't have the same passion for teaching (I thought I did during the interview, of course!) as other trainees and I am struggling with the workload of seating plans, lesson planning and differentiation, adhering to the million and one school policies, and I haven't even touched my PGCE essay and preparation work yet.
I enter the school around 7am and don't leave until 4pm due to sudden changes or feedback meetings or powerpoint making (these have to be done in a certain way to meet academy guidelines). I am exhausted and not sleeping properly, which is making a bigger impact as we go through the weeks. I had such a wonderful time during half term, my prep work for the week ahead was done when I had the motivation and I had free time to indulge in my hobbies and look after myself. This distinct change almost flipped a switch in my head and now I dread going into school.
I also get exceedingly nervous before teaching my lessons. I am scheduled seven lessons a week and this is only due to increase. I am struggling with passion for the work, motivation, and the actual classroom practice. My feedback targets are consistency and behaviour management, which I am trying to work on, but the domino effect leads to 30 students not listening to a word I'm saying and the class teacher or SLT having to get involved to calm the class down.
I feel like even with a supportive mentorship team and a clear structure and targets, I am not enjoying this training at all. I would much rather quit now and save more paying back of tuition fees and maintenance loans in order to get on with applying for a different career instead of holding on until July. I am not planning on going into teaching even if I do stick with this course. I don't feel ashamed of wanting to quit - I've given it a go, and tried it, and it's not for me.
I want advice of where to go from here. I have my mentor meeting on Thursday and a SCITT college day on Friday. I wonder if I should email my course lead with my concerns early this week and discuss this with my mentor on Thursday as well. If anyone has quit their course and done the same, what did you do? Honestly, I just want to rip this plaster off now and save myself further grief. I think the pupils deserve someone who can cope with the workload and have a knack in the classroom - someone not me. I feel my personality isn't ideal for this level of stress and professionalism. Thanks for reading my essay, folks!
It sounds like your mind is made up, and there is no shame in that. Teaching is not for everyone and it's good you've recognised that early on.
In terms of the process of quitting, I would email your SCITT lead today, and ask for an urgent meeting on Monday (or as soon as possible). Tell them why you want to meet. Email your mentor and explain you will not be in school on Monday. Your SCITT lead will explain the process to you- you may need to go into school one more time to wrap up any lose ends, and it would be polite to contact your mentor and thank them for hosting you.
But if you have made the decision to leave the course, there's really no point in dragging it out for another week.
If you're at all unsure, I'd instead suggest you go to school on Monday, and discuss the situation with your mentor. Still ask your SCITT lead for an urgent meeting, and tell them why.
But there's no point in doing this week as normal if you are sure you want to leave!
Good luck, and all the best for the future.
Thank you for your advice! It is a tough decision and really has rocked me emotionally. I have sent an email explaining my intention to withdraw to my course leader and asking for a discussion around next steps. I'm still slightly shaking after pressing 'send'! I said in my email that I will attend school on Monday normally depending if I get a response this weekend, but I will still meet with my mentor in the afternoon and explain things to her as well. If my course lead contacts and asks for a Monday meeting then I will adjust my plans. This really is a saddening decision all round. I just now need to explain myself to the course lead, which will be another difficult process.
If at all possible, I would email your mentor this weekend and ask to meet with her before school on Monday, as she may not want you to teach in this situation.