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Don't know what to do anymore. So disheartened.

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by secretstar, Jan 31, 2012.


  1. Ok, I'll try to keep this brief but there's a lot to say and think about so we'll see!
    I'm
    a NQT who qualified in 2010 with a 3 year BA Hons degree in primary
    education. Like many other NQTs, I did not secure myself a position for
    September 2010 when I qualified due to there being between 30-50
    applicants for every post.
    I signed up to do supply work and
    between Sep 2010 - Feb 2011 worked as a supply teacher all around the
    county. My agency then secured me a full time position in a school for
    the remaining half year. The school was a 1 form entry 'satisfactory'
    school and I really was thrown in at the deep end - I had to pick up the
    pieces from another NQT who I later discovered was bullied out of the
    school and I was not granted the 1 term of induction I was owed. I did
    not have NQT time at any point and often went without PPA as well as my
    cover supervisor was frequently used throughout the school as a supply
    teacher when others were off sick.
    Anyway, despite not being put
    on induction and missing out on my PPA and NQT time I made the best of
    the situation and successfully worked to the end of the year. I left on
    what I thought were good terms with the head and my colleagues and used
    my earnings to have a well-deserved summer break.

    In July 2011 I
    secured a job for a September start - my agency got me the interview and
    the school bought me out of the agency. I felt like my career was
    finally starting and that things were finally looking up with regard to
    teaching. This school was also a satisfactory 1 form entry in a
    difficult area but I felt that with my previous experience along with
    being granted my induction rights I would cope.
    Cope I did, for
    the first half term. My mentor gave me good feedback from lesson
    observations and my class settled well and made progress across all
    areas. To cut a long story short and 1 I've posted about before, my
    union then advised me and 2 other NQTs in the school to resign before
    Christmas. This was due to a new head coming in and deciding that if
    OFSTED were to turn up, the school would be put into special measures
    and therefore deemed it to be an unsuitable environment for NQTs.The
    head basically made us feel like we were unable to teach effectively in
    the school and graded our lessons as inadequate without explaining how
    to improve or putting any support in place. It was a case of resign or
    get dismissed through capability proceedings basically.
    Anyway, I
    then rang my agency and re-registered to do supply. I wrote to the
    council to apply for a letter of extension to get past the 16 month rule
    and was granted the letter. I am now working for 2 agencies again and
    getting fairly regular supply work. On Monday I registered with a new
    agency - the biggest and most widely used in the area. The interview was
    very positive and they said they could practically guarantee me work 5
    days a week. They phoned later that afternoon to say they were putting
    me forward for an interview for a long term placement in a local school
    after the Feb half term.
    I had mixed feelings about this, having
    had bad experiences being put on long term placements by agencies
    before, but was willing to give it a shot and tried to remain positive. I
    received a phonecall from said agency today to say that the 2
    references they got back from the 2 schools mentioned above were less
    than positive. I was told that I needed to 'chase' more references and
    that they would need to be good in order for work with this agency to go
    ahead. I then got on the phone to my old uni and my current agency to
    chase references, which will hopefully be sent tomorrow.
    I can't
    help but feel GUTTED that I now have 2 poor references from schools
    where I worked my guts out at. I was not given the support I was
    entitled to have at the first school and I was bullied out of the second
    school. And now I feel that my future career prospects have been
    damaged as a result of this. What gets me the most is that one of the
    'problems' with both references is that they imply that I needed lots of
    support.
    Firstly I felt very much alone in both schools in
    terms of support and secondly, NQT's are entitled to have support!? I
    don't know what else the references said but the agent told me that they
    are tick boxes, inadequate-outstanding, and both schools ticked
    inadequates and satisfactories for me.
    Where do I go from here?
    All I have ever wanted to be is a primary school teacher, however if
    this is the harsh reality of teaching, I need to think of another idea. I
    don't know what else I could do with a degree specific to primary
    education? I don't even know what else I would want to do. I have
    experience in nurseries but obviously that's nothing like teaching and
    the money simply isn't there.
    I feel like I want to give teaching
    one more shot, but have I blown that chance with these poor references?
    I don't know what I want and whether I'm coming or going anymore. My
    initial agency have got me work in a local school from tomorrow until
    half term so that is something, but where do I go from here and long
    term?

    Does anyone else have any similar experiences?
     
  2. youdarkblue

    youdarkblue New commenter

    That sounds awful, poor you!

    I probably don't have enough experience to give you any brilliant advice, but I have heard of other people ending up in similar situations...it seems to be mainly about the luck of the draw and the area you're teaching in, more than anything. Maybe try using character references/references from your training schools instead?

    If I were you i'd give it another go because, frankly, it seems like you still have a definite passion for the profession and you seem to be very reluctant to let it go. But maybe put a time frame on it? Give it six months or something and if you're still unhappy consider your options again?

    You seem very committed and like you've had a very difficult time, but there ARE better experiences to be had out there. Try your placement out and see how it goes, talk to the people there and ask them for advice (best people to ask!) and then start looking for somewhere to try again.
    Best of luck!
    x
     
  3. You need to see the references that have been provided - you can sask the agency for these and they will have to show you them. If there is anything that is factually incorrect then you can ask for that to be changed. It may well be that the references are tick lists of skills and attributes - these are very difficult to challenge as they are a person's opinion on which they rarely have documented evidence. Have you any lesson observations from these schools that show you in a good light? thes ecould cast doubt on the accuracy of the reference, also you should supply a statement to the agency about the fact that the first school acted illegally by denying you PPA and NQT time and not placing you on induction, that alone makes the reference less than sound in some ways.
    If you have worked elsewhere on supply try to get references from there and perhaps go back to your university tutor for a reference. In addition, do contact your union for help and advice on what can be done, they may be able to contact the school to obtain a fair reference for you, especially if at school 1 it is pointed out that they acted illegally and that other schools may have to be told this to place their reference in context.
    The Sage
     

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