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difficult situations

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by morgana11, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Worried about revealing too much, sorry if details are a bit vague [​IMG]
    I had a really rubbish start to being a teacher, in an awful school where behaviour was just terrible and the way management dealt with it was to blame staff. Most staff coped, as they'd been there for some time and while the kids weren't great for them they had the advantage of being established in the school, as an NQT it was obviously a different matter (had a timetable which was 50% not my specialist subject and the part that was my specialist subject was bottom sets) and I really did struggle to the point where I was worried about passing my NQT year.
    I left, the problem was I'd picked up on bad habits, mainly not following behaviour systems because at my NQT school if you went through the system (if you sent a child to HOD for instance) then you would be the one blamed not the child and I thought it was the same everywhere. Even though my new school had good supportive management and although like all schools some kids were pains it wasn't that bad but I did start to struggle (my own fault.) I recognised this so wanted a fresh start. I had a huge commute to work at that school so when I saw a post advertised at a really good school that was only 20 minutes away I applied for that and got it. I ended up only staying there a year as it really was just like a total personality clash, very driven and ambitious school and I was always getting in trouble over something (not wearing my suit jacket around the site) and overall just found it really difficult to work there. I did manage to deal with behaviour a lot more effectively but the HOD made it very clear that she felt it was a nuisance and the children did pick up on that.
    I had a long think as i had been teaching 5 years by then and decided i wanted a role with some responsibility so after sending off a lot of applications and being interviewed lots, I eventually got a job in a school as a head of key stage 3 english. The problem was the school's roles were falling so after 4 terms when a 2nd in department job came up I got that. unfortunately though it coincided with a load of problems in my personal life, I probably wasn't brilliant at it as a result of this and I think looking back I was actually quite depressed definitely for the first term I was there and probably the second as well. Although after that I felt better and wa sgetting more into the swing of things I think my card was marked and I had a lesson observation which was inadequate [​IMG] I actually think that was a pretty harsh judgement, it wasn't a good lesson but it wasn't as bad as they made out either - anyway, capability was on the horizon and I offered my resignation. the head said he could let me go now (this was christmas) but I explained money troubles were pressing - he offered to pay me until easter if I went now which I agreed to.
    thankfully, since supply wasn't very forthcoming I got another job co ordinating english which I'll start soon but I'm questioning myself, I don't know as I bet if i was reading someone else's piece like this I'd think "omg they should not be teaching" but honestly it isn't like that, I can plan and teach well and no one seems to have had a personal problem with me in any way, Im not an awkward or horrible colleague (well school no3 seemed to but honestly they did have very high staff turn-over!!) but my problems are behaviour management which I think is partly learned from first school and also not being a very confident person anyway and this in turn leads to other problems especially when i feel stressed/overwhelemed by a particular class.
    so what advice would you give me? (please be kind!)
  2. I think the kindest thing to yourself would be to take a break and find a job for a while where having high levels of resilience is not so critical. There you can gain confidence and slowly take on additional responsibility.

    I worry that otherwise you and the schools you work in are going to go through hell.
  3. thanks for your reply.
    I don't think (and I am being really honest here) the schools have been through hell in any way, I've done the job, have turned up, haven't taken loads of time off, haven't traumatised any kids ... it's been dealing with poor behaviour (which can really be a bit of a tornado in itself, just keeps getting worse) and confusion with so many different schools re systems. every school is so different.
    I have this job to start, I can't not go from a financial pov as well as a moral one so have to make the best of it but i want to avoid old mistakes? :)
  4. I think you seem to be blaming all the schools you have worked at (how may is it?) and not really designating any personal blame. If you know you learned bad behaviour management at the first school you were in - and you recognise this as a failing on your part - then change it. If you are not sure what the procedures or sanctions are in a new school, you should speak directly to your HoD or just ask your colleagues. There's no shame in admitting that you are not sure of the procedures in a new school, being new after all but problems will occur if you continue on in a manner that you have learned from another job. If you are relatively new to the job and still learning then why did you apply for a leadership role? It seems to me that you attempted to run before you could walk.
    I would follow the first poster's advice and give yourself a break. If you are not a confident person then this will come out i your classroom, if behaviour management skills are not your strong point then of course the pupils in your class will pick up on this. Maybe you need a refresher course or some extra training in classroom management before returning to the classroom.
  5. No offense, but how are you managing to get jobs?!! On the practical side, you need to observe teachers who are strong on behaviour management and read books on this. Can you arrange to observe others before you start your new job, as turning up as an english coordinator and then saying you have an issue with this might not exactly go down well?
  6. Aah, i see now - the relative rarity of the male English teacher!
  7. Well said. I was going to ask the same question (as the job market is extremely tough at the moment). It seems to me as though the OP is lucky enough to be offered one job after the other but bails out of them at the first sign of a challenging situation. Apologies if I have read this wrong.
  8. well yes you have read it a bit wrong really [​IMG] also I am female!
    I get jobs because I think I'm good in the classroom and I don't leave at the first sign of trouble, trust me. I stuck out my first post for 2 years and to be honest I wish now I'd got out earlier because it really wasn't good news.
    I'm definitely not blaming the schools either - just trying to explain how things honestly were and I have taken the blame, I wasn't in a "good way" when I started my last job because of things in my personal life and things went wrong from there, if I hadn't been a new person at a new school some time out might have been good (personal bereavement and other horrible circumstances) but I was trying to make a good impression and didn't want to take time off before I even started!
    The one prior to that I was OK at, but left due to falling roles. School 3 really was not the right place for me, and school 2 in a way I wish I'd stayed with as it was a nice school but that said it was a hell of a commute (over an hour) and no one was surprised when I said I was looking for a post closer to home.
    All I'm trying to explain is that I'm keen for history not to repeat itself, I think you might have read my post and just thought I was blaming the schools, which is absolutely not what I want to do. However you're obviously getting my pov - the school (if asked) might say that they appointed someone who they thought was really good but then they didn't fit in because of this and because of that.
    Anyway I'm not sure why that's such a problem but thanks for replying anyway!
  9. ITA76

    ITA76 New commenter

    All schools have different policies for most things. You have taught in a number of schools so I am sure you know this. I would just suggest - read the policy and stick to it like glue.
    Two years really isnt that long to be honest in your first job.
  10. Hi I think I have sent you a PM but not sure I did it right - anyway if not let me know.
  11. agree, however in the context of the sort of school it was I wanted to leave after two weeks to be honest!
    anyway, it's obviously very hard to explain everything and I think suffice to say there is blame on both sides. what I'm keen to do is put that behind me and move forwards, I think I was just dwelling a bit on things yesterday.
  12. Morgana - I think you'll be absolutely fine - a lot of 'over-thinking' goes on about behaviour management.
    It is my view, after lots of experience in different roles at different places - that good behaviour management is usually not 'within' the teacher at all.
    Teachers with excellent management have normally been in a school for donkeys, and that is why they have it - put them somewhere else and they'll have the same problems you will have in your first years at any school. After a while all these 'long timers' start to believe that they have developed some skills which others don't have - but in truth - anyone who stays in one school for a lengthy period of time will find themselves in this position.
    If you join as a Head or a DH you automatically have a massive head start. If you teach on supply you will never have good control of classes. That is it - no secrets - just grind away for a few years picking up on as much as you can and getting the best job done that you can. Hey presto - in 4-5 years time - you will be the best teacher ever. Then you will never leave.
  13. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    Too true. The same applies if you've taught either key stage 3 or key stage 4 only for yonks and then have to teach the other key stage. Changing from a 14-18 upper school to an 11-18 school was no picnic for me.
  14. Great post by Capt Kirk [​IMG]
    I also think it is possible to be unlucky, especially as it's easy to exchange one bad experience for another in terms of schools.
    Recently, I experienced some horrible bullying by my HT and I was very lucky, as I applied for other jobs and was offered the first one I was interviewed for which was at a lovely school. The second one however was someone I didn't want to work but I simply had to leave my school! I could easily have ended up in a similar situation. It is difficult.
    Good luck!

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