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Old 13 Apr 22, 10:24 PM  
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buryboy
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Withdrawing / suspending University and teaching assistant advice

Hi all.

Long post alert 😀

Hoping for a bit of advice please
DD has been going to University since September - first year doing a primary school teacher course.
As many of you know she suffers with high anxiety.
Anyone she has been finding it tough - partly integrating though she does have one or two friends , but mainly a mixture of struggling to do the work and concerned if she can cope with being a teacher . She is considering starting again looking at becoming a teaching assistant.
The work she finds it hard to do the assignments - she gets reasonable marks but is a big anxiety every time - lots of Ď I canít do ití and searching for hours to find the info to answer the questions. She has been considering quitting before , but we have tried to get her to at least wait until she has done some placements ( which Is like the real job , not like the false world of Uni).
The placements were supposed to start in February but were put back and now are being done in an 8 week block after Easter .

Anyway we have had tears tonight at the dinner table . She feels she canít go on.
So the options are
- push her into at least starting the placement in the hope actually itís what she needs to do to determine if she wants to become a teacher OR a teaching assistant.
- quitting Uni
- suspending her Uni and maybe starting again in September ( not sure implications)

So just after general thoughts on what you would suggest , plus any relevant experience as to how we go about actually physically doing the next step .

Uni / her placement starts on 25th April .

Financially
My understanding is that ( if she quits before starting 3rd term ) financially she will be only left with student debt of 50% of the years course fees plus whatever maintenance loan ( not sure if thatís treated as 50% or 2/3rds of a year / what she has already been paid which I assume to be 2 of 3 instalments .( havenít checked with her as donít want to tackle stuff like that tonight with her )
Anyone able to confirm the above ?

If she starts 3rd term then I think she gets landed with with all the year Uni fees , will get her 3rd maintenance money but it will all be added to student debt

Telling people - when and how ?

With Easter and the Uni not in term at the moment , not sure if there will be anyone in to speak to / if they will answer emails until term starts ( which will be too late to avoid 3rd term fees etc)
Who do we actually tell at Uni ?
Presumably if we canít speak to someone ( going to try tomorrow) then we can send an email before term starts which will be treated as effective form the date sent and hence no term 3 fees ?
And what about student finance ? Do we need to tell them or will Uni sort that out ?


Sorry for the long post .

I am hoping she can at least get a few days over Easter to make her mind up so can officially give decision by next Thursday / Friday

I donít want her making a rushed decision - she has had a bone scan today saying her bone density is worsening , so that must be on her mind , also she has an autism assessment next week , so at lot going on in her world .

I think she could get her full hours back at M&S ( she is currently just doing a day a week ) which I think is what she wants to do - she does really enjoy it

Obviously all I want is for her to be happy but I donít want her to make a wrong decision . She loves kids , would make a great primary teacher if she could deal with the Ď pressure Ď
Deep down a primary school teaching assistant may be more her level

Anyone know the possible routes to becoming a teaching assistant - primary ?


Thanks for any advice
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Edited at 10:25 PM.
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Old 13 Apr 22, 10:33 PM  
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Cherrypie
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Hi Iím not massively in the know but I would probably say give the placement a go - she may love it and think the assignment stress etc is worth it x
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Old 13 Apr 22, 10:36 PM  
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With the finance it's a bit more difficult in that it's when the financial term starts not the teaching term, and they are usually early April so the uni may have already requested funding at which point it is now incurred even if withdrawing

The best option (but I appreciate may not be possible) is to "pull up the big girl pants" and get on and hustle through the remaining term.

It might be hard, and it might be hated but it is only for 2.5 months and then, if as you say she is passing everything (despite the anxiety), she will be qualified. She can then decide whether she wants to teach or assist from a point of having a choice rather than from the point of being unqualified for one option.

No one can take it away from her once she has it, so as I said, bets option is to just "push on" and get it over with...

This will require loads of support from you, and lots of encouragement and maybe even some "tough love" where you have to persuade her to do it even though you can see she isn't enjoying it and that is upsetting.

Good luck with whatever she decides, but this is more common than she thinks, and I bet half her course are having similar feelings, but hiding/not talking about it outside the house...
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Old 13 Apr 22, 10:39 PM  
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Just adding to my above, if you can afford to live without it, I would also be totally withdrawing from the M&S job this term.

Teaching quals are tough when you do them full time, I can't begin to imagine how tough they are if you also have another job alongside. Removing that and using the time for work/prep/relax would greatly affect her feelings of anxiety (or at least I know they would for me)
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Old 13 Apr 22, 10:47 PM  
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If itís her first year of a primary degree she wonít be qualified at the end of the year. If it was a PGCE I would agree just get it finished.

Has she spent any time in a school yet ? It can be a high pressure environment but I do think a teaching qualification can be used in many ways once you have qualified and passed the NQT year.

You can look at teaching assistant work / tutoring / working abroad / private schools. All options which may be less stressful than primary teaching in a school. You need that qualification first.


To be honest if she enjoys M&S then maybe thatís the best option. I would have thought they would have further opportunities for advancement if she wants to do more in the future.

I feel like Iíve contradicted myself a bit but really my point is teaching is stressful and the NQT year is particularly tough. But Iíd she can get some credit for this year that is almost complete then it seems a shame to lose the year.

Edited at 10:52 PM.
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Old 13 Apr 22, 10:59 PM  
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buryboy
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Originally Posted by 123 View Post
With the finance it's a bit more difficult in that it's when the financial term starts not the teaching term, and they are usually early April so the uni may have already requested funding at which point it is now incurred even if withdrawing


It might be hard, and it might be hated but it is only for 2.5 months and then, if as you say she is passing everything (despite the anxiety), she will be qualified. She can then decide whether she wants to teach or assist from a point of having a choice rather than from the point of being unqualified for one option.


Good luck with whatever she decides, but this is more common than she thinks, and I bet half her course are having similar feelings, but hiding/not talking about it outside the house...
Thanks for your response . I am taking the cut-off point to be the start of uni term , taken from ucas. ucas/finance/student...l-time-studies

Do you know different ? And any link that may help at all please ?

mmu.ac.uk/about-us/structure/term-dates/

The Uni Ďnormalí course term start date is Monday 25th which is her placement start date also . I am conscious that some schools may start back next Tuesday and hence hoping the Ď primary education term start date Ď is at least next Tuesday , not already gone .


She will only have done one year in a couple of months . Not qualified .

A few on her course have dropped out . I donít think this has helped her.

I also feel she has got even this far more for us than for her , and really struggling with pushing her further .
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Old 13 Apr 22, 11:01 PM  
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RE financial implications and what happens if she suspends her studies for a bit to build confidence ó best thing to do if she goes that route is for her to speak to someone within the university Student Services department or an advisor at the Student Union.

Each university handles finances slightly differently and has different rules for how long suspensions can be. It may be the case that she will need to provide evidence of her anxiety issues to allow for the suspension to occur and extend her course length for example.

Sheíll also need to speak with a tutor on her course about suspending, but best to check the regulations on how that can happen first ó academics are great but donít always know the ins and outs and hows and whys of doing the actual process!

Edited at 11:03 PM.
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Old 13 Apr 22, 11:01 PM  
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Not an expert on the topic at all, but I would suggest that if she is not ready for it at the moment that is ok, maybe later in life she will want to do it.

I personally had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I was 18. I did one year of my first degree. Then changed and got a degree in something else. Then worked for 7 years. Then went back to uni and got a master's in something else and then a PhD. I worked out what I wanted to do when I was in my early 30s. I had a lot of anxiety issues when I was at uni (and still do) so it took me a long time to work out what was best for me, but I got there in the end!
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Old 13 Apr 22, 11:04 PM  
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Hi, I canít help with the uni questions but I do have some insights into the course/teaching side of things.

I wonder if your daughterís anxiety is heightened at the moment due to her impending placement? If so, maybe youíll just have to get her through the next ten days and sheíll feel better and more able to cope with that side of things once she starts.

I did a PGCE not BeD but I can honestly say it was the most stressful, exhausting year of my life. The pressure was huge so I get where sheís coming from. However, once you are qualified and in your own classroom itís different, no assignments but lots of paperwork in other forms instead. Also, teaching involves having many eyes on you at all times (adult ones I mean, not children) and it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and Imposter syndrome.

Maybe, if the uni/finances situation allows, your daughter should think about alternate routes into teaching. Ie, getting a job as a TA now and gaining experience and confidence and then getting the teaching qualification later ďon the jobĒ.

Working with children is so fun and rewarding but it has to work for you as itís not an easy job.

I suspect from reading your post that you know all this already but itíll be difficult for your daughter to clear-sightedly see her way to making the right decision. I do wish her luck and if she does decide to take a break from uni, she can still work in a school to give herself some space.
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Old 13 Apr 22, 11:04 PM  
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buryboy
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Originally Posted by BevS97 View Post
If itís her first year of a primary degree she wonít be qualified at the end of the year. If it was a PGCE I would agree just get it finished.

Has she spent any time in a school yet ? It can be a high pressure environment but I do think a teaching qualification can be used in many ways once you have qualified and passed the NQT year.

You can look at teaching assistant work / tutoring / working abroad / private schools. All options which may be less stressful than primary teaching in a school. You need that qualification first.


To be honest if she enjoys M&S then maybe thatís the best option. I would have thought they would have further opportunities for advancement if she wants to do more in the future.

I feel like Iíve contradicted myself a bit but really my point is teaching is stressful and the NQT year is particularly tough. But Iíd she can get some credit for this year that is almost complete then it seems a shame to lose the year.
Thanks Bev
No because of Covid she hasnít spent any time in a school yet . Which is massive shame .
It being she is doing one long stint ( with a half term in the middle ) rather than a number of smaller placements , which might have been easier , and of course would have been started a couple of years ago

I am not sure if completing year 1 counts for anything in terms in particular of helping with a teaching assistant role . Thatís one of the things that I would love to know

Just not sure we will get chance to speak to anyone tomorrow that may be able to answer that


PS She isnít a newly qualified teacher . She is just in the first year of a 3 year Uni course
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Our 2014 west coast trip - pre-trip, small highs and lows , and photo book/storybook
Pre-trip reportsmall highs and lows
photobook/storybook
Our MOST ANNOYING trip to Tenerife February 2018 ( an homage to infamous dibb threads

Edited at 11:33 PM.
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