The following interview was conducted by one of our members with a young teacher who left her first job within months of starting it.
When did you graduate from your teaching course?
How did you get your first job as a teacher?
Through an education agency.
Why did you have to leave your first job as a teacher?
I left my role as a teacher for several reasons:
- As a newly qualified teacher I wasn’t given the support and training that I was entitled to, despite asking management on multiple occasions.
- Management’s lack of appreciation for the hard work that I put into teaching. I was a newly qualified teacher who had no early years’ experience. However, I was told to teach a nursery class of 63 children, which included several children with special educational needs. Despite being thrown in at the deep end, I wasn’t given sufficient support and training to guide me as a first-time teacher.
- My joy, love and passion for teaching was slowly eroding as a result of feeling so overwhelmed, under-supported and burnt out within the first few months of teaching.
- My nursery class deserved to be in a school where the management cared not only about their education but also about their wellbeing. The children were subject to an unjust learning environment. For months, the children had to learn in a freezing classroom because of a broken boiler. For a week, the classroom had no running water, which meant that they had to walk to the main school building to go to the toilet, and that resulted in accidents. To watch the children endure such conditions saddened me every day, and I couldn’t bear to be part of school that didn’t care about or respect the children.
What did you learn from this experience about the state of education?
While studying for my degree, I completed teaching placement in several inner-London schools, so I am aware of the never-ending funding issue. However, the lack of funding plus the combination of poor management results in the continuous downfall of children who are already labelled as ‘deprived and disadvantaged’ owing to their ethnic and cultural background.
These ‘deprived and disadvantaged’ children deserve to be respected enough to be given tailored, enriched and stimulating educational resources according to their attainment level, to be taught by competent and passionate teachers and support staff, and also to be taught in a rich learning environment that will enhance them.
Despite having such a challenge teaching experience as a newly qualified teacher, this experience has taught me how to be resilient and how to persevere within an unorthodox learning environment. It has also heightened my passion and love for teaching!