Q: I am a 23 year old woman and will graduate
this year as a new teacher. I have attended my local university
for both my first degree and my teaching qualification. I have
accepted a job in a comprehensive school some 170 miles away
from home. I have never lived so far away from my family and
friends before. At first, I was really enthusiastic, but I am
now beginning to worry whether I have done the right thing.
A: It is quite normal to feel apprehensive about your
Other people who have been in similar circumstances have told
us that they have had concerns over the suitability of their
own ability and personality to the demands of the new job. This
again is usual, but given that you are a graduate in a specialist,
as opposed to a generalist, subject, you should have few worries
about your academic ability to deal with the content of the curricular
material. Similarly, as you are nearing completion of your teacher
training, it is unlikely that you are unsuited in terms of your
personality, to the job. You would have been told about this
at the beginning of your course and would have been advised at
various times throughout if there had been anything that would
have prevented you from successfully completing your training.
Some people have said that they have been anxious over relationships
with new colleagues. This, too, is absolutely normal. You are
entering, for you, what is the unknown. You will encounter people
you will get on with and perhaps some you don't. In a large school,
there is almost certainly going to be someone in a similar position
to yourself, and remember all the teachers there had to start
sometime. You may be given a mentor to help ease you into your
new post. It may be best to be a listener at the start until
you have weighed up the situation. Use the advice of your mentor
and ask for help when you feel you need it. It is not a sign
of weakness to ask when unsure. You will probably find that you
will soon settle in.
Your feelings are normal. There will be times when you will
feel down, but they won't last for ever. You are about to enter
what is accepted as a period of change, which can be stressful.
Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it and try to establish
appropriate ways of coping with your impending changes.
Best of luck for the future. Let us know how you cope - it
might help others.