What keeps me awake at night?

4th April 2014 at 01:00
By changing career have I joined a sinking ship?

Almost three years ago I resigned from my post as an office manager with my local authority and returned to university to fulfil my dream of becoming a drama teacher. Now, here I am, thankful to be almost at the end of my training. Yet there is a constant question playing on my mind: is this the right time to be embarking on a career as a teacher?

Last week I was offered a job at a local secondary school beginning in September. This should be an exhilarating time for me, but news reports and social media leave me feeling anxious about my choice of job. Long gone are the days when people decided on a career in teaching because of the holidays and pensions (and they have never worked from 9am to 3.30pm as people outside the profession seem to believe). This is not what attracted me - I wanted a job that was challenging.

So it is not the endless marking and long nights of lesson planning or the pressure of inspections that I find daunting. I expected these elements of the job and am happy to embrace them. Although the unknown future of education and the unrealistic proposals of England's education secretary Michael Gove do factor into my fears, I realise that these sorts of changes will occur throughout my career.

No, what is keeping me awake at night above all else is what I hear from teachers who no longer enjoy their jobs. There appear to be so many who have reached the end of their patience. Facebook and Twitter abound with comments from teachers who, after a long time in the profession, have said that enough is enough. And those who stay are not exactly full of positivity.

I have witnessed grown men reduced to tears and watched an excellent teacher lose her job because of corruption, intimidation and what can only be described as bullying from her senior leadership team. Teaching drama has been a dream of mine for so long, but is it the job I dreamed it would be?

The writer is a trainee teacher in England

Tell us what keeps you awake at night

Email jon.severs@tes.co.uk


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