Come back now

5th May 1995 at 01:00
With reference to Mary Thornton's excellent article "You were so much more than just good enough" (TES, April 21), I hope newly qualified teachers who've given up teaching in despair will reconsider their decision. Return while you are still young.

Twenty years ago, I quit teaching to try a new career (which came to nothing). The truth is: I think I'd have persevered with teaching if Mary Thornton had spoken to me like that! Maybe someone did, but I didn't listen.

Now that it's too late for me to stage a comeback, I see I made the same mistakes as this newly-qualified teacher. I had high expectations of myself and of the pupils. But whenever I changed schools, I was appalled by the declining standards. Sadly, in my final full-time job, I felt isolated; there was no camaraderie in the department; no snippet of encouragement from an elder statesman; I forgot how to laugh.

The past 10 years have consisted of odd days of supply. I've moved to a new area. The situation is even worse - the education authority won't even put me on the supply list because of the time that's elapsed since I worked "on a regular basis".

NQT be warned: the chances of making your fortune in another career are as likely as winning the lottery.

Competition in exciting jobs (journalism?) is fierce, and countless rejections can depress even the strongest of us. If only I'd realised I couldn't take on everything. I should have stayed in the fight and done my best.

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