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Disheartened and ready to quit teaching NQT (long story, but please read!)

Discussion in 'Primary' started by coll42, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. I became a proud NQT in June 2010. I struggle to find work as most NQT's do. Finally, in January 2011 I managed to obtain a Year 6 temporary position in a school. The previous teacher quite clearly became slack with the classes behaviour and had to bribe the children to get them to be motivated in their work. I found it really hard to manage the class and the Year 5 teacher of the school commented that she thought the class had decided they were not going to like whoever was employed and took over the class. Maths is not my strong subject therefore I also struggled to teach this. After a couple of observations conducted on me, I was deemed an ineffective teacher. Prior to my employment at the school, I had mentioned on my application form that in Wales (where I had trained) the QTS tests were not applicable. The school claimed that they would be put into special measures if the children did not do well in their SATs. I had no meetings at all for support, or even an induction tutor until the school called in a women from the council to intervene. To cut a very long story short the HT said a lot of unprofessional things to me i.e.' I know a successful teacher within the first 3-4wks of employment and you ain't ever going to be a teacher, if you are I will quit my job' he also stated that if I stayed I would fail y first term. Therefore, despite having moved and having a contract with a flat just to work at the school, I had no choice but to leave.
    This experience made me realise that my PGCE had failed me in some ways i.e. I was not familiar with APP's and therefore levels that children should be at in a particular year or what the levels consisted of. Luckily, I managed to obtain a second job in a local school to my home town. I made my induction tutor aware that I was not familiar with APPs and she briefly spent no more than 10mins going through it with me. Ideally it would have been nice if she sat and levelled a child's piece of work with me and said why or why not it was a particular level. Admittedly I have had half an hour weekly meetings with my induction tutor which was great, but targets given to me were not properly supported i.e. she told me what to do, but not how to do it. There were a lot of crossed wires between myself and the HT at this school concerning deadlines for planning, IEPs etc too, which ultimately I ended up on 'capability' for. The council women from the previous school ended up coming to see me after another couple of observations that were deemed inadequate (judged by ofsted criteria, which I have read in numerous places on the internet that it is not recommended to judge NQTs on ofsted criteria.) It was decided that I would be put on an action plan where targets from the core standards would be simplified and evidence for meeting the standards would be made clear. However, this came across as nothing more than tight deadlines and strict targets of which I would have to meet with no support. 2 days ago I left the school. It was a huge shock to people associated with the school, particularly to the teacher whom I replaced who has recently informed me that the lack of support for NQTs has occurred three times before me including to her. My confidence is shattered. I no longer feel I want to be a teacher, yet I still really want to work with children. I am really thinking about making a formal complaint considering the amount of stress I have been under as a result of all of this, but dont know how to go about it. I'm concerned that no school will want to employ me now out of no fault of my own. All I want to do is feel settled in a job. Does anyone have some much needed advice for me?
  2. choddurham

    choddurham New commenter

    How much are you working in/out school?
  3. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    So sorry that you have had such a tough time.
    The best people to go to for advice will be your union. They will have dealt with situations like this before and will know the correct procedures to follow.
    Take care.
  4. Hi
    In answer to your question I work constantly outside of school!

    Other problem is that I have no union. Due to the flat I rented and having to pay my mum back for helping me pay off my rent contract, I am skint! Couldn't afford a union. :(
  5. Loony tunes

    Loony tunes New commenter

    Not a lot of help but in Wales (or certainly 6 years ago when I did my training) QTS tests were integrated into the courses so done differently to England but you still have to demonstrate the same competencies so I'm not quite sure of the relevance of that to your post
    I'm sorry you've ended up in such a position but think that maybe you need to take a bit more responsibility for things. Being an NQT <u>is</u> a massive learning curve and part of that is taking responsibility for your own learning - actively seeking out people/things that will help you in the areas you recognise that you need help. In your case APPs. There is lots of good information out there about them. Did you actually ask your induction tutor if you could do some of these things together or did you just moan that you weren't shown how to do them? Half an hour a week seems adequate time to go through some of these things. Its much more than I had or the NQTs in my current school get. Even when I was a student teacher we were assessed on the criteria Estyn use (I'm in Wales) so whilst you can't expect an NQT to have the experience and skills of a long-term teacher, it seems fair enough to be assessed by those standards. If you taught in a school that was inspected during your NQT year, you wouldn't be able to say sorry I'm an NQT to the inspectors.
    If you no longer want to be a teacher, there are lots of other jobs with less responsibilty working with children. Have you considered playwork?
  6. What about taking on a TA role for the rest of this year? This would give you a chance to be in school, keeping on top of the curriculum, and getting more skilled at behaviour management but you wouldn't have as much pressure. You could see exactly what the teachers are doing with regards to APP and learn on the job. I know several qualified teachers who are working in this role because there is less stress and feeling responsible for results.
  7. Um I happen to take a lot of responsibility for my learning, hence I work an awful lot outside of school. That incorporates researching aspects of teaching I don't know fully yet as well as the planning side of things. When you are in a small school consisting of only 3 teachers including yourself, it is a little hard to seek the people I need to in order to get help due to time constraints. Seeing as we are in the teaching profession, I would have thought that it goes without saying that if told I havent used APPs before, it is not enough to merely talk to me about APPs for less than 10mins. What about the whole VAK approach us teachers are supposed to have? Well, I learn by doing, not by being talked at. I asked for the support and wasnt given it. APPs are like jargon to me which is why I needed help.
  8. I have thought about a TA job. I have no issues with doing that other than finding a full time TA position. Monet isn't the be all and end all to me, but I do need to live. Lol.
  9. I feel for you a lot. Being an NQT and also did a PGCE, even though it was years ago now, I felt the PGCE totally didn't prepare me for my job. Luckilythough I had a great teacher, key stage co ordinator and learnt loads from her.
    can't believe you are on capability and as far as not being able to afford union, you really can't afford not to have a union. Join now. Tell your mum your problems and tell her you want to join the union. You have to. They will sort it out. The school has a track record of being poor with NQT's and shouldnt' get away with it.
    Thinking of you. Being a TA would be good experience for you. I wish I could help. I am not in year 6 though so can't really.
  10. One of the unions I am with cost me £1 for my 1st 4 terms of teaching.
  11. I do feel sorry for you but even experienced teachers have to go on learning. It is not unusual for the government or school to bring out a new initiative and just dump it on teachers. We have to learn together or in my case, often alone as i am the only teacher in my key stage. That involves late nights, researching the web, asking collegues for help and visiting other schools to see what they are doing.
    Teaching is not easy and you have to shout when you don't know something. Your NQT year and next two years of teaching will be hard until you begin to repeat what you are doing and get into your own ways of doing things.

    Have a really long think about whether you really want to be a teacher and if you honestly feel you can cope. It is not for everyone and if it is not for you you should not feel bad about yourself. lots of people drop out after their NQT year.
    Good luck for whatever you decide.
  12. maestra7

    maestra7 New commenter

    I had a horrible experience in my first term NQT. Please don't give up. I felt the same way as senior staff I respected and kept on giving a chance and trying to be patient and understanding as they were busy left me quite disllusioned with teaching. Get a fresh experience-supply teach! I did this and it's def the best thing I did since starting NQT. I have had countless excellent feedback, schools hiring me after a lesson obs even though they weren't looking for an NQT. Keep a record of your experience and areas you were strong at, what needed developing and areas of progress. Some same that lack of pupil success is the fault of the teacher. I have been pondering whether lack of teacher success can be result of poor SMT or mentorship.
    Praying for you.
  13. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    As someone else has said you do need to take responsibility for your own success.

    Half an hour a week is an awful lot of support, it is certainly not the 'lack of support' that you mention. I cannot imagine that an induction tutor giving you that much time was not also giving you advice on how to improve. However the tutor cannot do your job for you, sometimes you do have to think for yourself and make your own way, asking questions if you need to.

    A series of inadequate lesson observations, and not meeting deadlines to do with planning/IEPs/etc would give cause for concern to any HT. Capability would have given you targets and ways to meet those targets. If you didn't understand or didn't think you could meet the targets, it would have been up to you to say so. Capability targets also set out how the school will support you. Your NQT action plan, with simplified core standards and how you can show you have met them also seems clear enough. The evidence part is telling you how to meet the targets, but it would be up to you to do it or to ask for help if you couldn't. Again no-one can do it for you.

    I can see that you will feel disheartened, but you do need to learn from this and think what you will do differently. Maybe try supply teaching for a while to get your confidence up. Lots of classroom practise, without the pressures. And it will give you a chance to build up a good reputation with local schools which will help with applications later. A couple of long term supply stints will also mean you can use those HTs as your referees and so not need the two schools you have already worked in.
  14. I agree. I didn't have a clue about APP. It was something that came in when I was on maternity leave. I'd heard all about it and was really worried about it so I asked for help. I asked the Literacy co-ordinator, my year group partner and the deputy but everyone was too busy. In the end, I just took the sheets and worked it out for myself. I also looked on here for help and Googled anything I wasn't sure about. It's not that big a deal, I'm afraid. There will always be things you don't know and yes, you should always ask but then you need to do something for yourself and use your own initiative. Teaching is like that - we tend to just get on with it and hope for the best.
  15. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I was doing supply after relocating when APP became all trendy. I also didn't have a clue, but worked it out by asking on here and asking other people. Also by just sitting down and getting on with it.

    However no-one would be on capability or have inadequate lesson observations simply because they don't understand APP. There must be an awful lot more than the OP has said so far, and no problem with that.
  16. Hi I have read this thread with interest as my NQT has apparently moaned to the DH that she is not getting enough support. She gets 1hr weekly timetabled, plus our planning meeting weekly, plus daily after school for 15min to talk about anything that has cropped up. I think this is a lot.
    She too is constantly missing deadlines, failing to use initiatives and generally just to work hard. She keeps moaning about how long things take her (as if I nor anyone else were ever an NQT).
    Im sorry but I think NQTs these days want to be spoonfed too much- the initiative I had to show and the research and independent work I had to do to learn new things, get a grip on procedures and plan properly seem to have gone out the window!
    Maybe the unis are being too supportive and hindering progress as that is not the job we are in. Maybe its society and people as a rule are getting less proactive.I don't know but I do feel that most NQTs I have met recently are not as good a quality as they were years ago. Of course you can still get excellent NQTs and always will but the % of these seem to be dropping.
  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Flip me! I hope my NQT doesn't read this and thank that is what she is entitled to!

    Mine gets an hour or so fortnightly after school as a firm arrangement. This is where we 'meet' and fill in the paperwork for the meeting and so on. Then I try and pop over at least once or twice a week (she is in a different building to me) and see how she is. I also make a point of speaking to her in the staffroom if we are ever there at the same time during lunch. She does share PPA with her year team colleague and they plan together, so she has support there. That is it!
    I would pass that sort of thing to the HT. The NQT needs to know that missed deadlines are serious.
  18. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    What were your observations like during your course?
    As for Maths 'not being your thing' that's something you need to address through personal study!
  19. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Nice post Yohana.
    OP, how did your year 6 children do in their SATS?
    If you can get a TA post with a really good teacher in a big school that would be good experience, and take on stuff that TAs do not usually do.
    Teaching is hard, and which school you land up in at the beginning makes such a difference.
    Good luck.

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