New teacher says he quit after one term for his 'emotional and psychological wellbeing'

'I felt that what was expected of us was astronomical'

Rachael Revesz
Monday 06 November 2017 18:49 GMT
Mr Ledsham said university did not prepare him for how 'hard' teaching would be
Mr Ledsham said university did not prepare him for how 'hard' teaching would be

A newly-qualified teacher said he quit after just one term because he could not cope with the long hours and unrealistic work targets.

Eddie Ledsham, 22, revealed in a video blog that he decided to leave his class of eight-year-olds in Wirral to restore his “emotional and psychological wellbeing”.

Three years at university, he said, did not prepare him for how “hard” teaching would be, and he realised that pupils were taught simply to pass tests.

He said he woke up at 5.30am to do planning and marking, and did not finish until 6.30pm, and was often the last to leave.

Mr Ledsham said he lacked support from other teachers to prepare for classes as there was only one class in the year group.

“At uni, we were told that each lesson would require a three A4 page plan,” he said, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

"But, when you consider the fact that I was planning seven lessons a day, five days a week, that is an awful lot of planning to do."

The heavy workload meant he did not socialise with teachers during lunch.

After three weeks, Mr Ledsham said he cried about his negative experience to his mother, but she persuaded him to continue.

During his commute and when he was spending time with his friends and former girlfriend, he said he felt "guilty" for not working.

"I felt that what was expected of us was astronomical. I love working with children but the problem with the teaching is that there are so many expectations," he said.

"I think we should have been given more on-the-job experience during the course of the degree, as it didn’t at all prepare me for it."

His blog comes as the National Education Union has called for pay rises for teachers to tackle the lack of staff in schools.

Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the union, said last month: "The rates of wastage have increased among younger teachers and older teachers alike in the last five years. We fully support action to address these problems but we already know that workload is the biggest single factor in teachers leaving the profession."

The National Union of Teachers has also recently blamed soaring numbers of pupils being expelled - 35 a day - on schools acting like "exam factories".

However, the Department of Education has claimed that teacher numbers are at a record high - 15,500 more than in 2010 - and said the Government would invest £1.3 billion in teaching bursaries until 2020.

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