Take the risk

John Howson

I completed my GTP year in 2004, I've done my NQT year and in July 2006 will have finished my first year as a proper teacher. I'm not enjoying teaching. I'm stressed and I'm thinking of taking a year out to assess my feelings and explore other things. My thoughts are a masters degree in a subject related to my field (design and technology) or something completely different, such as volunteering for a few months and doing something for someone else in more need than the children I teach. My concern is that if I am seen to have left teaching to pursue something non-related and come back, will this put me in an inferior position with other teachers who have been working for years? I've been looking to change schools and I've found it more difficult than I thought because I teach the niche of textiles within the design technology umbrella. I'm worried I may not be seen as commited if I was to take a year off and then come back.

Although you see yourself as a niche teacher of textiles, you can teach across the DT curriculum. There more jobs for textilehome economics than just for textiles. Any extra you can add to your CV will help. You seem undecided between some extreme choices, so it may be that you are more interested in moving away from your present choice than to anything in particular. Narrow your choice to what you really want to do, then take the risk, since you are unhappy. When it comes to finding a new job, it will be the same kind of selling job you did when you found your present post, but with the advantages of more teaching experience and whatever you have chosen to do next year. If going abroad, applying for a new job is difficult until you return home, so take that into account. As to your lack of commitment, it depends on how you sell the experience. Schools want teachers who are positive and can explain why they did something, not just drifters.

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John Howson

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