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Dear Sage and all, NQT needing help and advice...

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by s4mm13, May 13, 2012.

  1. <font size="3">Dear Sage and all,</font>

    <font size="3">I've been in my current school, on a one year maternity
    contract, for about 6 weeks and am really struggling.</font>

    <font size="3">I'm into my second NQT term as a DT teacher and am worried
    that I am not going to be able to complete satisfactorily as I can't see any
    way that I am able to make progress professionally. </font>

    <font size="3">I'm in a very difficult school that is having big issues at
    the moment; they are in the process of becoming an academy, they head has
    resigned (from my understanding this was enforced), teachers are leaving left,
    right and centre and SMT are also dropping like flies. I was also told that they only scraped through a satisfacory on their last OFSTED as they sent their worst student home; under the new spec they would be placed in special measures...</font>

    <font size="3">There are big behaviour management issues throughout the
    school and I am having big problems in my lessons. </font>

    <font size="3">I've had some awful days where I have felt threatened and
    intimidated by students. I have also had the mother of one young lady in year
    10 call to complain that I sent her child out of the class &ndash; I did so, so that
    others could complete a task without disruption (I didn&rsquo;t want to remove her
    completely to a different room so she had the opportunity to complete the rest
    of the lesson) and the situation has been allowed to get out of hand, a problem
    that has now spread to her sister (whom I also teach). I&rsquo;m feeling bullied and
    victimised by these students.</font>

    <font size="3"> </font>
    <font face="Calibri">Friday really topped off the whole 6 weeks&hellip; I was taking a
    cookery class with a group of year 8. They have not been a great class for me
    so far so was feeling a little apprehensive about my first cooking session with
    them (they have 3 teachers in total for this lesson due to part time staff
    etc.) but was prepared and trying to be as positive as possible. To cut a long
    story short, I had lost control of one member of the class (notoriously
    difficult throughout the school) and this then spread throughout the class. A
    flour fight then started which I did everything I could think of to stop. To
    make matters worse, another teacher had sent some year 11 girls into my room on
    an errand for her and one in particular was making the situation worse. She was
    about to leave the class when I asked her to remain where she was so that she
    could be sanctioned for her behaviour when she physically pushed me out of her way.
    What would generally amount to as assault if a member of staff were to do this
    to her.</font>

    <font size="3">It is clear that there are a lot of children at this school
    who even SMT cannot deal with effectively as they are unable to hand out
    sanctions effectively. How am I supposed to cope with these same individuals as
    a new and inexperienced member of staff?</font>

    <font size="3">I&rsquo;m at the point where I don&rsquo;t want to go back in tomorrow
    to face the same bullying behaviour from students which had been allowed to
    happen due to a lack of continuity and support from senior staff members. </font>

    <font size="3">I feel like a failure, an incompetent teacher who doesn&rsquo;t
    deserve to be in front of a class. How can I hope to make any progress in my
    own development when I can&rsquo;t even keep a handle of the children in my classes?
    On the other hand I can&rsquo;t afford not to have this job&hellip;</font>
    <font face="Calibri"> </font><font face="Calibri">Should I leave or try and stick it out knowing that I will probably fail the last part of my NQT?</font>

  2. oh, I'm sorry abou the poor layout and changes in text size. I tried to edit it but wont let me. now in tears...[​IMG]
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    If a student at my school pushed me out of the way, she would be externally excluded. This needs to be dealt with by the head. You might want to consider getting support from your regional union office.

    Essentially, your HoD should be supporting you with discipline problems. If you are following the school behaviour policy (usually you deal with misdemeanour and then, if it the behaviour is repeated or if child doesn't attend detention or whatever, it is referred), then somebody should be stepping in if you are getting nowhere. I would make sure your lessons are carefully planned and you are consistent with giving rewards and sanctions. Make sure every incident is followed up - phone parents, refer up the school etc. Don't take it personally and apply for every job that you can so that you can leave with a job to go to. But do make sure the girl who pushed you is dealt with.
  4. j_pink

    j_pink New commenter

    I'm sorry to hear of your terrible experience. My advice would be to look at completing your final term at a totally different school. Even as a supply teacher if it gets you out of there?
    I myself work at a very challenging school where the behaviour is very draining. The best advice I can give is a few things that have helped me:
    - Training the kids you teach by beginning a new class rules system
    - Following up and no empty threats
    - Being soooo clear on expectations BEFORE you start the task e.g."this is EXACTLY what I want you to do...nobody move a finger until I have finished speaking"
    - Allow praise at appropriate times
    - Mean business!
    These startageies got me through my NQT year, but I must admit, only in my final term did I see the fruits of my labour!
    Good luck x
  5. j_pink, thank you for your reply. Your comments and advice are much appreciated.
    Gloria Sunshine, this student is being dealt with by more senior members of staff, but I am unsure of what the sanction is going to be for her actions. I'm not sure how much faith I have in the head to sort out issues such as this when I look at how more serious incidents are dealt with, or not as the case may be...
    I do know that I am not the only one having difficulties with behaviour at the moment, but it doesn't make me feel any less of a failure. The school is in real turmoil at the moment, and this is evident by the behaviour and attitude of the students. I just have to hope that I can stick with it long enough to get through the next term and when the new head comes in, maybe things will start to get better for everyone.
    I'm just not sure if I can out up with any more incidents like these. I was pushed again today by a couple of students in year 7. Not sure if it was an accident or not as it happened from behind, but was with enough force to wind me for the last part of the afternoon. The girls were dragged over the coals by the HoD and spent the afternoon seperated and working in semi isolation, but it just makes me wonder what is going to happen tomorrow...
  6. First of all you are not responsible for the poor behaviour of the pupils. Teachers are accountable for what they plan and deliver, but the pupil must be responsible for their behaviour. It sounds as if the school has serious and endemic problems that are widespread and which will take a concerted team effort to solve. The problem is that often in such situations, teachers bury their heads and try to cope with their own situation rather than help out. There is also unwillingness on the part of experienced teachers to say when they are having problems, even if they experience similar bad behaviour - they see it as a weakness.
    You need to contact your union for support on this and I would advise contacting the teacher support network.
    As a NQT you can also contact the LA NQT adviser for help and advice.
    The Sage
  7. Yes, the behaviouir in the school runs much deepr than just classroom level. It weems to be a deep rooted problem that SMT and Head has failed to deal with effectively and has got out of control. Knowing this doesn't really make me feel any better.
    Sage, I will definitely be getting in touch with the teacher support network. I didn't know such a thing existed!!
    Thank you for all your advice and support

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