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Advice on managing a difficult NQT

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by StudyAngel, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. I would approach this as I would if it were in the boring old corporate sector...
    The easiest way to deal with personality conflict is to look at the individual personalities and how they are similar and how they clash. By analysing in this way, you will establish his motivational drivers as well as yours and this will probably go a long way to explain how and why he does things. Most probably it's not to annoy you but simply he uses more direct language than you're used to. Given he's older and yet an NQT, I would guess that he's come into teaching late in life and so maybe doesn't have the ability to build rapport or understand how abrasive he's being. Look at his past and where he's come from and see what skills he needed for his past jobs and how they can be transposed to teaching.

    How I used to manage my team in corporate world would be to take a step back, look at the intention behind his behaviour ( we can often seem know-it-alls when frequently we are trying to cover up our weaknesses) and have an open, two-way, constructive conversation with him to allow positive feedback.
    Good luck!!
  2. That's so funny!!! I can imagine how annoying it must be for you though. We seem to have had a string of PGCE students in recent years that come in and criticise established teachers and say things like "well I'm not going to do it like that" having not even taught anything yet. I would guess that your colleague's age and previous industry experience is making him like this - maybe he feels threatened by you (are you younger than him?) and so feels the need to be patronising. I would try to be professional and grit your teeth when he makes annoying comments, but also take very seriously when he slips up like not planning, missing deadlines, inadequate lessons etc. Shouldn't say this but putting him on "a support plan" would certainly bring the smile back to your face!
  3. You are HoD and are ultimately responsible for what learning goes on in his classroom. I have had the same prob, asserting myself enough. However, I have now picked up some really good tips.
    PM me is you want further advice
  4. newgeogteach

    newgeogteach New commenter

    Thank you for the replies. I agree that I need to both hold my breath through the comments and be more assertive.
    Part of the problem is that he doesn't miss the deadlines, just simply gets through by doing the minimum at the latest point. The NQT proffessional mentor is fully aware but not great with advice.
    Can I give him a target plan if he's not actually doing anything wrong....more just that it's not great and the department needs better?
    Do you have any ideas how I should word a meeting with him to discuss his progress?
  5. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    So raise the bar! You are admitting that what he is doing isn't damaging your department, he's just not forthcoming. If you and the rest of the department are doing more and you feel this is detrimental to the department then you need to be clearer about your objectives. You can't blame him for doing just what he's asked to do, and it's none of your business whether he does it with plenty of time to spare or just within the deadline - what matters is that he's hit the deadline.
    I'd also remember that he is only an NQT. NQTs are allowed to be a bit crap at what they do and use other people's lessons plans etc. So he's obnoxious - plenty of other, more experienced teachers are. That's not a crime.
    Now, if he's not doing enough but actually doing what you've asked, then you need to look at what you're asking.
  6. dianehistory

    dianehistory New commenter

    I agree Karvol. It is important to have all staff meeting deadlines without crises managemnt playing a role. I took your advice by the way and removed the threads, but thanks so much for taking the time and commenting, its really clarified things for me
  7. Charlington

    Charlington New commenter

    Are they?! I'd say that NQTs should ask for advice, but I wouldn't go as far as to say that they are allowed to be rubbish! Surely the first year of teaching is the time to be embedding GOOD habits!
  8. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    But it's also the time where they'll make most mistakes. And learn from them, with your guidance, rather than with too much criticism. It's hard enough keeping all juggling balls up in the air, without being made to feel that someone is watching intently and wishing for them to crash. You might suggest and share better ways of doing things, but you can't expect them to be at full speed from the first day. I certainly wasn't, and I'm glad my HOD was there to hold my hand rather than slap my wrist each time I got something wrong.
    Again, I don't see how you can blame someone if they have met their deadline. What is it to you if they spent most of the evening writing their reports? So long as the reports are in by the deadline, that's all that matters. You can advise and suggest, but as long as they've met them, you can't do anything about it.
  9. Charlington

    Charlington New commenter

    I agree about the making mistakes bit, and having a supportive HoD is important in helping someone to improve. I just don't think that 'crapness' should be expected!

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