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Anyone else not enjoying life as a teacher?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by Tidally, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. my NQT year was disasastrous for me following a car accident, but also because i was expected to teach 3 subjects that I'd not a scooby about! I quit to recover and recoup my self-esteem - but i miss it so much.

    But I LOVED teaching and now there are no jobs in my specialism in my area and I can't move. I do wonder if I couldn't have kept going.

    I have the utmost respect for teachers that manage to do a good job despite all the difficulties thrown at them by students, parents/carers, employers, inspectors and government. If you can, keep going, Our young people need good teachers and too many are leaving the profession.
  2. I have read nearly all of the comments, regarding QTS, and agree it is difficult. However, spare a thought for me please. I have worked in my field for ten years, gained a degree in history, a PGCE/PCET in education, and this year attempted to gain QTS for which I am currently engaged at a local PRU. I have now been informed that I cannot gain QTS working in a PRU and working with my particular client group, it has to be done in mainstream. I am confused and totally deflated, at present.
  3. Sorry Laurenbarr I disagree with you. I think the children should respect the teacher (and the teacher the children) from the outset. Its part of being polite. Teaching has been the one job where I felt disrespected from the outset. In fact it has been the one job where I felt physically threatened (and even that seemed to be blamed on me!)

    In other walks of life this would not be tolerated. In fact I can remember sacking one guy who hit someone in my workplace and then swore at me.

    And yes there are other jobs where you get satisfaction and work as many hours- it depends what you enjoy doing!

  4. James_Smithhy

    James_Smithhy New commenter

    Hello There!

    First time posting on the forum but have benn reading this topic with some interest in my free period. I have to agree with many of the comments being made on here about work overload and kids who are disrespectful and the like and yes sometimes i do feel unappreciated and unsupported but the thing is you cant change those kids into what you want them to be.

    They may not like you but as far as i am concerned thats not my problem. I am there to do my job, which is to teach and if they cant be bothered, then its not my job to force them. I refuse to force anyone to do anything they dont want to do. I mean, dont get me worng, there are sanctions in place to make sure they do work but why should i have to stress out about some kid who is refusing to complete the work. I am still making errors in sometimes being too lax with the kids and it bites me in the a**, but this is a learning curve. I am not overly strict with any class, but all of my classes do the work they are supposed to do and dont really give me too much s**t and its because i talk to them and give them a chance to work. If they refuse to, and decide on wasting my time, then i let them know that its their own fault they are fallling behind and they have to decide whether they want to buck up or fail.

    As far as workload goes, i dont work on the weekends and not in the evenings either. I get in at 8am and will be out of the door for 4pm latest. How do i do all my work? I dont know to be honest with you. I just get it done because in the back of my mind, i know it has to be done. I work in my free periods and try to get all my marking done and yes i do have to work the odd evening or sunday morning but its no big deal, because i make sure i wrap eveything up in a few hours tops. My advice is to take it easy and dont stress yourself out too much because there are far more important things in life then workload and idiot kids.

    Work to Live dont Live to Work!
  5. OK lets clear this up, firstly i am not makin excuses for kids givin teachers abuse, it not right and i dont stand for it!

    when i was at school (5 yrs ago) there was no way on this earth i would ever have spoken to teachers the way some kids have spoken to me but i happened to be lucky enough to have come from a really supportive family and manners were something ingrained on me from before i culd speak! i thought that this was the case until i started my training when i was forced to open my eyes to what goes on around us every day....

    some of the kids we teach are lucky if they have a bed to sleep in some nights so manners are sometimes the least of their worries, this doesnt mean i agree with the treatment some teachers recieve but if theres no one at home to make sure they have even somewhere to sleep u can kinda see where the lack in manners comes from most of them dont know any better! and its not their fault!

    i got into a row with my long suffering other half a ew weeks ago because i spent most of my spare time in the guidance room tryin to help some kids that people in other places brand no hopers or trouble makers! but as i see it my job is not just to teach my classes but to take an interest in their well being!

    yeah sometimesi could lock the door so i dont have to hear their problems ut then who else is there! its up to us to set an example and i find the best way to do tht is to treat others as you would like to be treated!

    yeah yeah i know it sounds like a total rant but at the end of the day all i have ever wanted to be is a teacher and i will do whatever i can to make sure my pupils get all the support i can possibly give them.
  6. well said lauren. I work with children from very deprived areas, most living under the poverty level and I agree with what you say about manners. Children come to school carrying the experiences they have from home.
    I had a child come to me who thought his name was little ****. At 5 years old he was convinced this was his name. It wasn't of course, but this was what everyone at home called him.I think the point im making is, it can sometimes be far too much to expect children to come to school with expected levels of respect when they get absolutely none in their home lives.
  7. Did you contact social services? That's a stick-on case of serious and systematic psychological abuse and a child in that position should be removed from their parents, or at least have their parents investigated.
    That's a fair enough point, although if a child's horrific upbringing is adversely affecting the learning of other pupils in his or her class then that pupil cannot remain in the classroom, *** up upbringing or not.
  8. The problem with this particular family (and seems to be quite true of the social area) is that it wasn't being used in an abusive way. They genuinely saw it as an affectionate term for him and found it amusing! The mother was really quite confused when we said it wasn't acceptable that her child was being called this (to be honest I think the 5 year old actually had a higher IQ than she did)! Social services were informed but didn't seem too interested.

  9. Although I am determined to stick it out, I am really not enjoying my NQT year sometimes. I have far too much work to do, I feel as though i'm not getting enough done constantly, and i'm putting incredible pressure on myself.
    I have been told a million times that I have to accept the fact that i'll not get everything done to the standard I want to, but it's not happening yet!
    Between working at home, working at school, doing houseworky things, and having two children under 5 (and a 25 year old man-child for a husband!) I feel like i'm going mad. Although my department are amazing, the SMT are VERY unsupportive of EVERYONE, and they are constantly breathing down my neck. I feel as though they are waiting for me to fail, so they can give me a good telling off about it. Unfortunately that is making me so nervous that I am making silly mistakes!
    Also my classes are a nightmare! Out of five classes four are bottom sets, I have a class of 21 with 17 statemented or school action kids in it, and no TA, I also have a form class, which is far more work than I expected!!!
    This is not really a complaint, because I do love my job, and the kids I teach, passionately, I just feel like I have no time for myself, and that in some ways, despite my best efforts, my own family and particularly my own children, are suffering for my work.


  10. Tidally and all others who are not enjoying teaching ......
    there is nothing wrong with you feeling this way. While there are some teachers who can take abuse and insults from kids, parents, fellow colleagues, SMT, LA, politicians, media and just about anybody else; there are also some who'd like to be treated decently and without the hassle of paperwork which after all in many cases are lies and damned lies that are there to feed the egos of politicians and non-commited parents.
    So if you feel strongly about changing jobs/career go ahead. Like many posters here I thought I'd make a difference, make small adjustments in teaching and learning and stay a little longer in the profession BUT have found that as each day goes by the teaching profession is ruined by people bent on doing things at all costs, even the education of majority of the kids; just to please a small minority thats bent on creating havoc. As it is the education in this country is going downhill and all the times new reports come out uk kids seem to be much worse than their counterparts in other countries, including the so-called developing countries! Hey the kids cannot even speak proper english let alone write it properly - so no wonder you'd feel dull and to use a common phrase of the kids in this country, boring with all the paperwork and disrespectful kids, their parents, the media and of course the politicians.
    Perhaps you could also leave and think about teaching kids who really want to learn - EAL or even the many new EU members coming to this country to learn english AND who'll respect you for your efforts, be glad that you helped them and really look forward to seeing you in all their lessons. Yes, I'd go ahead and leave while you are still young and able. Good luck.

  11. Interestingly I also have worked with people from very deprived backgrounds. This involved entering their homes and I have to say I was treated well on every occasion. So I have seen at first hand the backgrounds which some pupils come from. Including a most memorable house where chickens shared the same space as the occupants!

  12. Dear Pirate Princess,

    you sound like I did when I started my GTP. 4 years down the line, 2 or 3 nervous breakdowns later, and my family really has suffered for my work. Think carefully now!! IS IT WORTH IT? If you've always wanted to be a teacher, go for it unequivocaly, otherwise, think long and hard...
  13. RE: poster who said about being treated well in homes. Did I say anything about that? I was referring to children I work with who are not taught respect. I too have been to parents homes and have some wonderful parents, coming from the most deprived areas. I also have parents who are wonderful on the outside, but treat their children with no respect or love whatsoever.
  14. My point was that it has only been in teaching I have been subjected to total disrespect.

    The same sort of pupils show very different behaviour in other circumstances. Unfortunately because the behaviour is excused and explained away often other pupils' education suffers.
  15. this is totally not about explaining away undesired behaviour, i just feel that too many people are very quick to dismiss a child as rude or badly behaved without knowing anything about the child.

    im not sayin that children from deprived ares/families are unloved or not looked after but imagine if u were a single mum wit 3 jobs 2 kids and no support...... i think i may struggle to find the time to teach my child manners!
  16. Tidally

    Tidally New commenter

    My children draw pictures of me shouting, that cannot be a good sign can it?
  17. 'Maximum effort, minimum reward'...the new slogan for the TDA! It's a lot of hard work, and life does seem like a drag when friends and relatives are done in their evenings and have weekends to themselves. Try and remember the funny little comments that the kids come out with...write a little note book of them and refer to it when you really are hating things. It is an extreme 'take home' job though, and that is why I am thinking twice myself.
  18. It really does get better. My first year was horrific and I can remember my older colleagues almost laughing at me when I said I couldn't cope. Not in a mean way, they just couldn't understand why I had to go through every little thing and to them it was like breathing, they didn't need to think about it!

    I to have some days when I can't sleep because there is so much going through my head, but you do eventually learn to prioritise and know what 'HAS' to be done and what can wait.

    Eventually you will probably go onto to take some responsibility and there will be some days and maybe even weeks where teaching and planning your lessons become the last things you are thinking about..... not a good thing, but after 7 years, I can quite happily 'wing' a year 7 gymnastics lesson and year 5 and 8 netball lesson.

    But don't worry, I now normally only need to spend an hour on a sunday evening planning my week of lessons.

    The trick is to learn to find one, tiny little thing that makes you realise why you went into teaching.

    My best ever moment was when I split my trousers demonstrating gymnastics and the kids waited to see the look on my face was anger or embarrassment before they wet themsleves laughing. It made me realise I had a shred of their respect and it was enough for me to get through the rest of the week!
  19. Tidally

    Tidally New commenter

    My colleagues in secondary school are far more happier than my self and i'm a primary school teacher! Too much to do in primary....and i've become even more depressed due to something that isn't going how I had hoped for my future life :(

    sorry i'm not making any sense :( I feel writing about it will make me feel better.
  20. I was a dreadful P.G.C.E. a completley stressed out N.Q.T. and somewhere along the line it is six years since I qualified I now enjoy it. I am secondary

    It is the time management aspect which I think is so hard and trying to clear your head sometimes.

    Somethings I learned on the way. I am not trying to tell anyone what to do, or be smug. Also my advice is based on being single and not having to look after a family as well as be a teacher.

    Get into school as early as you can, an hour on your own in the morning in your classroom gives a chance to finalise things and sort your head out.

    When the end of school bell goes then spend another hour assessing the work and have a plan of assessment. one day year 9 one day year 7-8 and with GCSE make a high priority for weekly assessment and feedback. Ok sometimes there is after school stuff but on days when there is not use this hour or two until 5 o clock. Then knock off at 5 o clock and avoid at all costs taking work home.

    You will end up taking work home sometimes and if you do it should be with an achievable goal. I will mark my year 9 this evening (goal orientated) as opposed to I will do some work (wishy washy).

    Discipline - schedule one PPA or free period soley and exclusively for unresolved discipline issues. A player of the system who sensibly does not turn (pupil view) up for your detention. I find is best dealt with during a free. Go to reception find out where the pupil is when your free PPA is then talk to the class teacher and ask if you can pick them up during their lesson. Then mid lesson you politley walk in and ask to see the pupil and talk to them outside the classroom. Have a note scheduling the new detention as they will not have their planner if they have any sense. If they are really difficult then if you can get some back up from SMT. The SMT is about and in earshot however does not get involved, direct the SMT preferably just glowering and observing. You can also show you are being pro-active and get a box ticked for your NQT folder. This strategy really works as it sends a signal to the pupil grapevine that it is not smart to mess you about, they will then choose someone else to be awkward to.

    Anyway just my thoughts. On discipline always try to keep to a strategy that they have broken a clear school rule (no planner arguing about being moved to another seat for example) as opposed to a debate about some silly event. They are of course expert and love debates.

    Just my thoughts and good luck and remember all them great teachers sometimes forget how it was when they were starting out!


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