Dear James Having started at a school in January, and began my NQT period, a few issues have arisen and I have a few questions. It?s an ok school and most staff are supportive on a day to day basis, but I?m having a few issues with my mentor and the headteacher. This is mainly to do with observations, so my question is: is it possible to be observed by someone from outside of the school? When I started the head said that I?ll be mentored by herself and one of the other teachers as neither of them has time to do it full time. Unless I actively push for help on issues I get very little support. I often have to chases things up just to find out what they are as things are never explained when they are given to me. Though the other teacher makes time for informal meetings every few weeks, I don?t feel I receive much support. Is there a minimum amount of time mentors are supposed to give to NQT?s? Or any official guidelines? I?ve emailed the LEA to ask, but as of yet have had no reply. During my PGCE my lessons were consistently graded as good or outstanding, but here I don?t seem to be able to get beyond satisfactory. I have agreed with all my observations throughout my training, and some in this school, but for the last two I feel the feedback I have got hasn?t been correct or has been overly negative. The last two observations, one by the headteacher, and one by my mentor, were both graded as satisfactory. I have no objection to satisfactoriness, in fact it?s the opposite, I feel that to get a pass I must have done some things well, yet all the feedback I get is negative and phrased as ?you should have done this?? rather than ?work on this area?? Often it seems like they are picking out very minor things. I got pulled back today for having the learning objective and success criteria displayed during the independent task. (The children should know these and displaying them encourages them not to listen to the input, apparently.) I don?t want to seem like I?m not accepting what they are saying, and don?t want to cause any bad feelings in school, but do I have any grounds to argue these points? I feel like I?m being told what to do rather than being able to discuss my development. I used to enjoy observations and getting constructive feedback, but I?m now feeling demoralised by them. Maybe I was just spoilt by having two brilliant mentors for my PGCE. Is it possible to get someone from the outside to do an informal, or formal, observation? I?d ask other teachers in school, but would feel bad asking them to give up time and the head would never cover their lessons for them to do so. I?ve asked my TA to do some small observations and look at particular points, but would like a full lesson observed with some constructive feedback. Sorry it?s such a long post, I appreciate any time you give to reading this and any feedback you can give me. Many thanks, James.