23rd May 2008 at 01:00
Q: I've completed a PGCE with qualified teacher status (QTS), but found the paperwork involved in working as a whole class teacher for six weeks stressful
Q: I've completed a PGCE with qualified teacher status (QTS), but found the paperwork involved in working as a whole class teacher for six weeks stressful. Should I still complete my induction year or do you know of any jobs I can do with children, just having QTS?

A: I am sorry you found the paperwork stressful on your final teaching assignment. If the rest of the task was enjoyable, then why not persevere and see whether you can reduce the stress as you gain greater experience and through support from your colleagues?

The most obvious other job that you could undertake is as a classroom assistant. You might need some more training for a specific role, and the pay is much less than you would receive in teaching.

A compromise would be to complete your induction year and then combine work as a teaching assistant with supply work in a school when they needed a supply teacher. This would increase your salary and help you to avoid too much of the paperwork you don't enjoy. You could try to work as a supply teacher anyway, after completing your induction, but you might not find that as satisfying as working in a single school.

Most other jobs that require QTS will expect some classroom experience and may be able to pick and choose from those with more years' teaching than you have had. A more radical solution is to consider what skills you learnt on your PGCE and see what they might provide. Areas such as the youth service, many voluntary organisations and even the probation service work with older and younger children and your background might be of interest to them.

However, wherever you end up, there will still be paperwork and it might be better to develop strategies to overcome the stresses rather than to quit teaching.

John Howson is a recruitment analyst and visiting professor of education at Oxford Brookes University.

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