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at the end of my tether.......

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by daisyface35, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I was just wondering if anyone feels this way and if they have any advice on handling things. My NQT year is really not going quite the way I planned. At first, in September it started off well but then things seem to have gone down hill. I wouldn't find if I had done X,X and X but I really don't understand where I am going wrong. Every few weeks or so I get hauled into random meetings with no warning and basically told how rubbish I am. However, usually this is based upon what people have said rather than hard evidence. I have been told that I am rude to members of staff, which I strongly dispute and have not been told who it is that has said that I am rude.
    I also left a classroom untidy once (I don't have my own room) and my induction tutor took this mean that my classroom management is unsatisfactory. I checked with him to make sure that the messy classroom was the only basis for this and he said yes. I think that is a very unfair assumption based upon mess!
    My mentor is nice, but recently, this relationship has also become strained. They can be very moody, which makes me feel on edge all of the time. Infact, the feeling of dread every time I come into work in the morning is what is upsetting me most. Due to the fact I get no warning for these slagging off meetings, it worries me that they could happen at any time, most likely when I think everything is ok.
    Tomorrow my 2nd assessment and review is due. I have been reassured that the box saying is not currently meeting the standards will not be ticked, but this dosent really make me feel any better. I know it probably sounds childish and petty but I really do feel like I'm been singled out. There are other NQT's and I am sure I am not the worse but I have not heard of anyone else having trouble.
    It really is catch 22. Im miserable and upset at work so I get told Im not engaging with staff etc but the whole reason for that is that I dont feel comfortable and im not left alone to do my job.
    Does anyone have any advice on how to better handle these 'witch hunt' meetings, so as to not take it too personally? I flew through my training year and I really do think that I am an adequate teacher. I'm not perfect, but I am sure many teachers, if they were scruntised the way I am, would come unstuck in places too. I don't expect to not be told if I am doing things wrong, but at the moment it really does feel like I can't do anything right.
    I have a joint meeting tomorrow with my mentor and induction tutor for my review and assessment and it makes me feel sick thinking about it. I feel like the little person and that I cannot defend myself. I have not been observed since October by my actual mentor, yet she seems to have also made assumptions. I have never had an unsatisfactory lesson and have been observed since, just not by my mentor.
    Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this situation and come out the other side better off?
    Thank you!

  2. This is not a very good way to manage people. Such meetings cannot be productive and will rarely result in any meaningful development or improvement (if indeed development and improvement is necessary). It can simply be demotivating.
    In thye next meeting you need to politely suggest that such meetings do not actually address any problems. To solve a problem or an issue it needs to be made clear what the issue is and then an agreed way forward. If you feel that such meetings are leading towards harrassment then it may be worth contacting your union for help and advice (they do not need to be involved at this stage necessarily). Make a note of the meetings and write down what is being said and how it is being conducted - you may need this at a later date.
    Yes this dopes seem to be unfair and the link in tenuous to say the least I know of very messy teachers who are fantastic at classroom managment and tidy ones who are rubbish - there is no causal link in my mind. If it is someone else's classroom then leaving it untidy could be seen as unprofessional - after all it is their room not yours and you should make an effort to clear up - but again I can see that moving constantly causes problems and a lack of time and opportunity to clear so perhaps you need to speak to the room owners and agree about places for 'your stuff' or request help in the form of boxes, transporters, trolleys etc to help make the situation better for you and other staff.
    It may well be that other factors are at play here and the mentor is being placed under pressure for something and you are bearing the stress of this. Try to find a time when the mentor is happy and ask if you can have a chat. Explain that while you understand that part of the role of the mentor is to point out flaws and where things are npot going right, could they also bear in mind that, just like the kids, people also need positive support and you would appreciate being told where you are going right so that you can learn from the positives and apply these things to other areas of your work. Also explain that while you appreciate it is difficult give advanbce warning of meetings it may be helpful to do this as then you would be prepared for it and able to make the most of their constructive criticisim. At the moment random meetings tend to leave you confused and unable to really grasp what the problems are so that you can work at them to get better.
    Often people having issues do tend to keep quiet. If there are concerns about progress then these should be raised as soon as the concerns are apparent and not left to an assessment meeting. Random meetings are not notice of any problems. If there are problems then they must be clearly articulated with evidence and a support plan put in place, targets and success criteria provided as well. Additionally any issue should result in an observation by the Head as well as contact with the LA adviser for NQTs. So on this basis - if these things have not happened then the assessment should be ticking the 'making satisfactory progess box.
    See above - it's also worth noting that good management results in problems being attacked not people.


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