Qualified At Last! Time to teach… or not.

Finally, after a long long wait for official confirmation I am the owner of a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with an Ofsted 1 grading. Not a bad turn around time that when exam board sat at the end of July and we had all work graded and returned earlier in July.

I can’t say that the wait for this confirmation hasn’t been without its inconveniences because it most certainly has. It’s not good for a new teacher to miss the start of term by not being able to complete evidencing of qualifications and fitness for purpose in time to take up a job and not having evidence required by agencies or HE providers for registration for work or for masters level study but hey ho, c’est la vie and all that.

So after all of that and the stress of the past few weeks trying to chase up the qualification wasting time, effort and money receiving the official confirmation is a bit of an anti climax because there is nothing depending on it or waiting on it any longer, my opportunities have passed and I have to start looking for new ones with the wind blown out of my sails.

I’m thinking of giving up and waiting a year, working in industry and looking to get into teaching next year, I’m not keen on a late start, my plans have gone to pot and so although I love teaching, it’s what I’ve always wanted to do and I’m good at it, I probably won’t be a teacher now for the short term at least.

Walking into a classroom, being responsible for all that teachers are responsible for takes a lot of confidence and it takes even more of that confidence when you are going to attempt to do it with no preparation time after the term has already begun and someone else has already been teaching your classes and you’ve lost that opportunity to set out the stall in the first days. I think that time when the class arrives for a new term or a new course is really important not only for building a rapport with the class and establishing some ground rules but also for your credibility as a teacher and also for your own confidence. I don’t know if confidence diminishes as you get older but certainly I don’t feel that I’m prepared for being dropped in at the deep end in quite this sense. I’ve seen from my placement how unsettling it is for students to have a change of teacher, it was one of the things the students I taught complained about the most. As a recent student myself I can imagine how I would feel if my teacher suddenly changed after a couple of weeks. It’s not really something I want to do. I don’t want to give students a poor service, I want to be the best I can be and this isn’t how you go about doing that.

It might be the wrong decision but it feels right and so with deep regret it seems that my teaching career, the one I’ve worked so hard for is going to be on hold for a while yet. I won’t do nothing teaching related, I’ll keep reading and keep preparing myself and make sure I don’t miss out on developments in my chosen sector but it won’t quite be what I’d planned to be doing this year, I’d hoped that I’d be getting a year under my belt and learning and developing on the job but that’s not going to happen now. I might be able to start a masters in January somewhere but I had to let my offered place go. I just hope this doesn’t mean that I end up back in industry and never get out again.

I wonder if people responsible for the administration of these qualifications realise the damage they cause with their lack of attention to detail, their reluctance to listen and their shoddy unprofessional attitude? I doubt they’d care because if they cared they wouldn’t have made the mess they made in the first place. Feeling very let down at the moment but then I guess that’s life and at least I have my qualification which is better than nothing.

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