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Having A Jaded Moment

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by katgiggles, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. katgiggles

    katgiggles New commenter

    I guess I just need to air this out with people in the same profession as me. I am an NQT who has gone into teaching after a career change as I wanted to make a difference, have a rewarding yet challenging job and be creative. I definitely have achieved those things, however I feel like I am not succeeding because of the pressures put on me. I'm trying to keep up with all the standards and expectations but feel like I'm fighting a losing battle. I recently was rejected for a permanent job at my current school and whilst I know where I went wrong with the lesson in accordance with the standards, I feel like if I was meant to do this and actually doing well then I wouldn't have got it so wrong. The pressure mounts with every staff meeting and after the rejection I just feel like I'm doing a rubbish job. The children in my class are (now) well behaved and motivated to learn, but I feel like I am failing them. Is this a common feeling amongst teachers? I have decided to take this chance to relocate and I have an innate desire to continue teaching, so am applying for another teaching job, but I feel like this disenchantment won't go. Does anyone have any opinions?
    I realise this is all over the place and really just a moan, but it would be good to have a third party discussion without people blindly telling me I'm doing 'just fine' because they're worried about my well-being and not actually looking at my own personal progress in this career.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Absolutely. I doubt there is a conscientious teacher who hasn't feel like this at times.

    Now of course the pressures seem to be even greater and is one reason why teachers are leaving the profession.

    I would recommend anybody in teaching today looks at it as a maximum of 10 years in the job - if you can last that long.Put your exit strategies in place well in advance so when it dos all become too much you can leave before it breaks you.
    Shedman, Exit3, sabrinakat and 3 others like this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You can never do enough. You can always do better. There's always something left undone. There's always something new to learn.

    Guilt comes with the territory.

    You have to manage your workload - and that includes your niggling feeling that you could be better and you're letting people down.

    New teachers (whatever age) have to keep coming into the profession and they have to get embedded. It takes time.

    You've got your class to behave better? That's a damned good result. You show promise.

    It's not the job it once was. It used to be a vocation. It's more of an exam-factory these days but 2 things :

    1 you will improve, you'll work smarter and not harder, primary can still be rewarding (I'd hope)
    2 educational ethos in most schools is now anti-creativity and allowing a teacher to be an individual

    So - over to you.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    This is a bit like those people who become parents because they want joy, pleasure and reward and then find that while you do get those things (I'm told) 90% of the time is spent mopping up unspeakable messes and trying not to throttle the child.

    Teaching, probably similar to careers like nursing, does have it's rewarding and creative moments, but 90% of the time it is just bloody hard work.

    How to tell you are a good enough teacher...
    1 None of your class killed each other
    2 None of your class trashed the classroom
    3 Some of your class learned what you taught
    4 A few of your class enjoyed their week

    If you achieve more than that, you are doing a fabulous job!
  5. katgiggles

    katgiggles New commenter

    I mean, the children aren't perfect by any means but they're a damn sight better than they were in January when I started and lesson disruption is at a minimum.
    A lot of this may be coming from now being in a Y2 class preparing them for the SATS as an NQT. I spent the autumn term doing supply and all I wanted was my own class, but perhaps going into Y2 was a dangerous choice as an NQT. I am adamant that I won't quit... yet. I want to be a teacher, and the breakthroughs I've already had with some of my most damaged children have been the most rewarding experiences I've ever had, it's just when it comes down to the constant need for accelerated progress with what feels like minimal guidance on how I should actually achieve that.
    Sorry, I feel that was more of an extended rant than an actual response.
    grumpydogwoman and peggylu like this.
  6. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    A fresh start in a good school can make the world of difference.

    Many schools are still excellent places to work and once you have got all the basics secure, there is plenty of scope for creativity with your pupils too.

    Consider any developmental feedback you have been given - You never know; they might have a point or two.

    Get searching for jobs, always visit the school first and trust your 'gut' feel when you are visiting.

    Good luck :)
  7. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    [QUOTE="katgiggles, post: 12027488, member: 4554070". I want to be a teacher, and the breakthroughs I've already had with some of my most damaged children have been the most rewarding experiences I've ever had, .[/QUOTE]
    Then, hold onto this... and in your darker moments (and there will be more) remember how you felt at the euphoric moments, knowing you are making a difference! Keep going, but remember to stay healthy and try to have a good work/life balance. Do you have a mentor you can talk to? If not at school, perhaps your old PGCE mentor? Or talk to your old PGCE colleagues? Perhaps go onto the primary sector of TES and have a look there? You are not alone.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    You get good bits and bad bits in teaching. Sometimes the bad bits overwhelm the good bits.
    It's tougher when you don't get a job at the school you work in than when you look elsewhere., you have to go and face them all the next morning, and the day after that....
    Get your NQT year out of the way and signed off and look around for somewhere that's right for you. The workload / appreciation pendulum may be about to swing back a bit as those in charge realise just how awful they've made things.
    Good luck, do the best lessons and create the best learning environment you can.
  9. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    And avoid Y2 and - even more - Y6.
  10. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Excellent advice!!!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Y2? Ugh.

    @chelsea2 Correct. Also YR6.

    That is definitely a big part of the problem. Heck, even my YR1 granddaughter is under the cosh with her spellings and phonics. At the moment my YR4 grandson doesn't seem to be under too much pressure. Phew.

    Deffo avoid 2 and 6.
    sabrinakat and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. katgiggles

    katgiggles New commenter

    My mentor at school is good but also high in management, so I was hesitant to offload my anxieties to her when the permanent post was pending. My year partner is also an NQT so I have her. Thank you though, I think that thread will help :)
  13. katgiggles

    katgiggles New commenter

    Thank you all for your helpful and kind messages. I feel a lot better to know it's normal to feel like this. I thought this was the perfect school for me, but perhaps i was wrong after all. I still love the place, but the anxieties and pressures have ruined me!
  14. tsarina

    tsarina Occasional commenter

    When I started teaching i was explicitly told that it took years to become a good teacher, that you had to do the yearly cycle several times to before you got used to it and that it takes experience to learn judgement, how to handle classes and how to teach concepts.

    They were right. I was a good nqt, worked hard, did ok, but still was surprised by the kids, made mistakes, and felt i was playing catch up all the time. Some lessons were rubbish, they just didn't work and had to be ditched. Others were great. After 5 years i had it mostly sorted. The next 5 years were great - i could teach! (except that the expectations got higher and higher every year, workload increased, same number of hours teaching but everything had to be perfect as people were watching and any mistake was a disaster.) But it was ok, i was the "safe pair of hands for the difficult bottom sets"

    After a while it was noticeable that the pressure on new teachers was increasing and then even people in their training years were being coached to get outstanding, which was fine as long as they were on 50% timetables with nice sets and team teaching, but when they moved to full timetables they found it hard, no one stayed more than 2 or 3 years.

    Very few people can be that good that quickly. A profession is one you train for, that takes years to master. Teaching is a profession but unfortunately there is very little recognition of that from the top any more.

    So there you are, left feeling inadequate and disenchanted. But there is a way forward! just tell yourself that it takes 5 years to be good, that you are allowed to make mistakes and not be perfect and that having you as a teacher is a whole lot better than a stream of supply teachers that the class would otherwise have. And know that you are already doing ok, (hence the good behaviour), and will get even better with experience.
  15. peggylu

    peggylu Star commenter

    @tsarina thst is all so perfectly put, a most accurate (and depressing) explanation of why young teachers are leaving or becoming disillusioned very early in their careers. Often these serious doubts are left to fester and they leave during Induction or as soon as their NQT year is over. If they are now lucky enough to be properly supported for a true NQT year it's the exception rather than the rule. Your points about the transition from ITT to NQT are spot on and it's ridiculous that this situation exists. Why people are putting these pressures on new teachers is beyond me, it's destructive to the individuals and the profession.

    @katgiggles there is a plethora of excellent advice from very experienced teachers, with lots of encouragement, in all the posts above. I can't add anymore to these as I would be repeating much of the same. So I will just wish you well in whatever you decide to do next, move away or stay I'm sure you will be a fantastic teacher.
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I so agree with peggylu that tsarina's post sums up the situation very accurately and succinctly.

    I still believe teaching is one of the most important jobs anyone can do.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  17. manuscript2007

    manuscript2007 New commenter

    Lara mfl 05 - what kind of exit strategies do you mean? I've been teaching for 16 years and am considering getting out but am trapped as I am the main wage earner in the house and can't afford a massive drop to start something else. What else do teachers go on to do when they finish teaching? (if they're not complete expired by it all)

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