Ask a careers expert

1st December 2006 at 00:00
Q I have recently relocated to a new area of the country and accepted a maternity cover post. But I am really not suited to this school and, after just three years, I am not sure that I am cut out for teaching at all. I need to resign before my family (and my own health) suffers any more.

A There are two possible solutions to your immediate dilemma. Either tough it out for the period of the job, or go to the head and have a frank discussion about how you feel.

To decide which of the two is the sensible course of action, ask yourself how long you have had these feelings that teaching is not for you. Why did you leave your last schools and decide to relocate? And why have you taken a maternity cover post?

Any teacher starting in a new school will face challenges. Is your snap assessment that you are not suited to this school based on no more than the fact that everything is new and you have lost the comfort of the familiar?

If, after assessing the situation, you still feel everything is wrong, then cut your losses and quit

John Howson is a recruitment analyst and visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes university. To ask him a question, email him at

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