Wait before posting resignation letter

28th October 2005 at 01:00
Their staffroom mug has not yet developed a coffee stain and their first red pen is still full of ink. But already new teachers admit they are feeling the effects of the job.

For some, the first four weeks of term has led them to consider a career change. One NQT said on The TES online staffroom: "Does it get better? I'm exhausted, and work such long hours just to plan average lessons. I've never been spoken to quite so rudely in all my life and I'm in a good school in a good area. Is this really how I want to spend my life? Is it wrong of me to consider quitting when we are only four weeks in?"

The Teacher Training Agency keeps no record of those who drop out during induction year. But independent research shows that 18 per cent of new teachers leave the profession within the first three years. And half of all trained teachers no longer work in school.

Alan Smithers, of Buckingham university, believes that university-based training is often inadequate preparation for the demands of the classroom:

"There are real differences between training in a university context and working in a proper school."

But other, more experienced teachers suggest that the urge to resign is part of the induction process. One staffroom contributor said: "I wrote my resignation three times in my NQT year, but did not hand it in. I am now deputy head of year. It does get easier."

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