Stay for a spell

26th October 2007 at 01:00
Sara Bubb on how to keep in good spirits until January.What's so special about October 31? As well as being Hallowe'en, it's when resignations have to be handed in if you don't want to be in your school by January. Right now, some of you may be feeling so overwhelmed and depressed at the scale of the job ahead that you're considering resigning. Don't be rash. If you're feeling low, take comfort in knowing that you are completely normal. In fact, those of you who are enjoying the job already are likely to be in the minority.

No matter how well you did in training, the first half-term is tough, mainly because a new teacher has to do exactly the same job as the old hand in the classroom next door. It really is crazy to give new teachers full responsibility for children's learning. It's amazing that anyone copes. Do we expect medics to fly solo in the operating theatre after training for just nine months?

It would be wonderful if I could tell you that things will be better after half-term but I'd be lying if I did. I'm afraid to say it, but things might even get harder, what with the worsening weather, shorter daylight hours and trying to teach frenzied children in the run-up to Christmas. But in January, pupils return calmer and ready to work.

Who knows what disasters life will throw at you during your first year of teaching. Crises in your personal life may tip you over the edge. If things really are bad and you can't see a way of making them better you might want to think about your options. Some time out and a fresh start might be best for you and your pupils. Handing in your notice requires a formal dated letter to the headteacher and chair of governors, sent from your home address, by October 31. Tempting as it is, don't vent your spleen about management inefficiencies but just keep the letter to the point. If they want to know how you feel they'll hold an exit interview. And don't forget to say that you're giving notice to leave on December 31 or you won't get paid for the holiday

Sara Bubb is an educational consultant specialising in induction and gives advice on the new teacher forum at www.tes.co.ukstaffroom.

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