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Dear James - Progress...

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by msloops, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. Hello James,
    At Christmas my 1st term NQT assessment result was "may not pass".
    Since then I felt like things wwere improving - in my most recent lesson obs I got a 2, and the man observing (the guy in charge of NQTs) said it was "a ton better" than the first time he saw me with the class. At that point I was so happy [​IMG] and felt like I was definitely on the right track. I also did some work with an AST in my subject area, and she also said that she could see I was acting on her feedback and making progress.
    However, I just had a meeting with my mentor and asked her how she thinks things are going. She was very very vague. When pressed, she said that she is concerned that not all students in my classes are making progress.
    In my year 8 class I am still struggling wtih behaviour, and there are several students who often do very little work. Maybe around 5 kids. Now I KNOW that that is too many and they should all be learning, but I did not know that this was enough to mean I am not making enough progress towards the standards. I'm in quite a challenging school and lots of teachers have classes who don't always behave themselves.
    I also had been told earlier in the year that I would not be failed on the basis of just 1 class. However when I mentioned this to my mentor she said "oh yes well we'd written off your year 10s anyway". This is very annoying because i have made loads of progrses with my year 10s, but because there's several very challenging individuals in there (one of whom has now been permanently excluded, another who is constantly turning up to my lessons stoned, another who spends half his life in internal exclusion anyway) they decided not to even bother giving me a chance to do well with them.
    I am now very disheartened. I wish they'd told me this before the Easter resignation deadline. She didn't tell me she was concerned until I really pressed her. Even then she was still saying "don't worry about the big picture now, just get through this next observation." How can I not worry? What's the point of observing me if I'm still failing even though I've never got a 4 on an observation?
    Basically what I want to know is, how perfect do I have to be in order to pass the 2nd term? Will I fail unless I can show proof that all students in all my classes (except the "written off" class) are making loads of progress in every single lesson? What kind of extra proof should I be gathering, since she's obviously not convinced by my satisfactory and good observations?
    Thank you
     
  2. Hello James,
    At Christmas my 1st term NQT assessment result was "may not pass".
    Since then I felt like things wwere improving - in my most recent lesson obs I got a 2, and the man observing (the guy in charge of NQTs) said it was "a ton better" than the first time he saw me with the class. At that point I was so happy [​IMG] and felt like I was definitely on the right track. I also did some work with an AST in my subject area, and she also said that she could see I was acting on her feedback and making progress.
    However, I just had a meeting with my mentor and asked her how she thinks things are going. She was very very vague. When pressed, she said that she is concerned that not all students in my classes are making progress.
    In my year 8 class I am still struggling wtih behaviour, and there are several students who often do very little work. Maybe around 5 kids. Now I KNOW that that is too many and they should all be learning, but I did not know that this was enough to mean I am not making enough progress towards the standards. I'm in quite a challenging school and lots of teachers have classes who don't always behave themselves.
    I also had been told earlier in the year that I would not be failed on the basis of just 1 class. However when I mentioned this to my mentor she said "oh yes well we'd written off your year 10s anyway". This is very annoying because i have made loads of progrses with my year 10s, but because there's several very challenging individuals in there (one of whom has now been permanently excluded, another who is constantly turning up to my lessons stoned, another who spends half his life in internal exclusion anyway) they decided not to even bother giving me a chance to do well with them.
    I am now very disheartened. I wish they'd told me this before the Easter resignation deadline. She didn't tell me she was concerned until I really pressed her. Even then she was still saying "don't worry about the big picture now, just get through this next observation." How can I not worry? What's the point of observing me if I'm still failing even though I've never got a 4 on an observation?
    Basically what I want to know is, how perfect do I have to be in order to pass the 2nd term? Will I fail unless I can show proof that all students in all my classes (except the "written off" class) are making loads of progress in every single lesson? What kind of extra proof should I be gathering, since she's obviously not convinced by my satisfactory and good observations?
    Thank you
     
  3. Hi
    First thing to note is that you do not pass or fail induction term by term. A pass of fail comes only at the end of the process, in term three. Then the school either recommends a pass or a fail and it si the LA who officially judge either a pass or fail.
    If the school has identified issues then they must put in place a support mechganism that may also involve extra training and they need to identify exactly what the issues are, which standards they feel you are not making progress towards meeting and thgen have a set of targets for you to meet that are meaningful; (e.g. a general traget like 'ensure all pupils in the class make progress' would not be specific enough - they would have to provide you with success criteria soi that you and they know when you have metr the target). They need to involve the LA (which they seem to have done) and the LA needs to suppoort and monitor progress.
    Ideally the recommendation about a pass or fail at the end of term three should be based on evidence - that evidence should not just be from specifc observations but could include a wi8de range of things from observations to evidence you collect from your day to day teaching. If all your observations have been satisfactory or better and if you have any other evidence which shows you meeting the standards then on what basis are you 'failing'?
    It would, in my opinion be most bizarre to fail someone who is at least 'satisfactory' and sometimes 'good' in their teaching unlkess there were other professional duties that you were failling in - but these need to be identified and support put in place to try and help you meet the standards.
    To condemn a teacher on the basis of a few pupils not making enough progress is also bizarre. In the mentor's classes e.g. do all pupils make loads of progress (how is this being measured?) all the time? I doubt it.
    James
     
  4. Thanks James.
    I do have 3 targets to work on with some success criteria which they gave me after I complained at the last assessment point. The success criteria are quite descriptive even though I asked for them to be clarified. When I asked how I'd know when I'd made enough progress the NQT man said things like, "I think you'll know if you're making progress." I then specifically asked for them to raise concerns as soon as they arise because obviously I don't know if my progrses is enough.
    They did mention in January that they were meeting with a man from the LA but I have no idea what came of that (the AST is in my department anyway). I haven't heard anything from the LA about any support.
    My mentor is comparing my 3rd set year 8s with her top set, and she says there is only one pupil in her class who does very little work, so why is there 5 in mine? I don't think it's fair for her to compare me with herself when she is in her third or fourth year of teaching.
    I think she is basing her judgements on a general impression of behaviour in my classes that she gets from the fact that I often use the on call system, and that sometimes there have been issues in the corridors (my year 8s took ages to line up properly today and were causing mayhem for example). Also she wants me to show her my students' books to prove that they are all filling them with lots of lovely written work, and to be honest not all of them are.
    I'm not sure my mentor actually knows exactly what standard I need to be at to pass. She's never mentored before and she keeps saying things like "it's really difficult for me to say without seeing you teach" etc etc. (why not observe me then?) I knew I wasn't a great teacher (yet), but I really did think I was diong enough to at least pass the NQT. So disappointed. Don't know what more I can do.
     

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