I started working as an NQT in a challenging inner city comprehensive in July. My first term was tough, but I got through it with mostly satisfactory observations, and was told I was on track to pass my NQT year. However, since being back in January, I have had a very difficult half term in which I became very depressed. I found behaviour management in particular very difficult and actually walked out of some of my lessons as I was so upset.
Because of the difficulties I have been having, I was identified as being at risk for failing my NQT year, and was told to attend a meeting with the director for CPD (who is in charge of NQTs), my mentor and the NQT manager for the LEA. At this meeting I was told I was at risk of failing, that I should consider resigning to avoid failing my NQT, and that I should speak to my union rep. At the time I said that I really wanted to stay and pass my NQT, and was prepared to put in the work necessary in order to pass.The following week was half term, and I was paired up with a different mentor to focus on planning for the next half term in order to address the concerns and pass my NQT.
The planning work went well however as soon as I got back to school things went downhill again. I started having anxiety attacks and was unable to cope in the classroom. The Thursday after returning to school I basically went in and told my HOD that I couldn't do it anymore. He responded by telling me to make sure I had everything planned, and to stop "monopolising other teachers time." I went to see another colleague in a complete state, and she went and got my HOD. I don't know what was said, but he came and told me if I wasn't in a good state of mind I wouldn't be able to be in school, and sent me home.
My school's HR department referred me to a psychologist through Occupational Health. I saw him the day after I left school and will see him for a further five sessions. I also saw my GP who changed my antidepressant medication and signed me off with depression for two weeks. I am due to be returning to school on Monday. I don't really want to go back. Apart from my medication, which takes up to a month to kick in, nothing has really changed.
I have been looking for other jobs, but part of me feels it would be better if I just took a break, put my career on hold, and try again in a few years. I am only 22, so quite young for an NQT. I don't really know what my options are, is it too late to quit for Easter, could I get some kind of early release on medical grounds? Would this look bad to future employers? I know I definitely do want to teach in the future, I'm just not sure if I want to right now.