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Help and advice - feeling like I’m ****

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by travelwings, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

    I’m having a crisis of confidence and feeling like I’m doing really badly in my NQT +1 compared to last year but I could very well be overreacting.

    I had good feedback all last year and my drop ins from colleagues and SLT, when they’ve left feedback, has been good. However I’ve had two observations now that have left me feeling bad and that I’m a rubbish teacher.

    My HoD observed me with a GCSE class for oral presentations and has now suggested I team teach with her. In the feedback she didn’t feel that I stretched the top set enough so I know this is why she suggested team teaching. I didn’t reveal it but I felt quite offended and now feel that the lesson was terrible and that I can’t teach.

    Aside from inviting her to another lesson and going above and beyond in it and showing her what I do in every other lesson I’m not sure what to do.

    It’s a competitive department and prigress wise I feel like I’m starting to be left behind.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    Please don’t be upset by this. I know that’s easier said than done, but honestly we all have things we could all improve on.

    If it makes you feel better, I got the same feedback for an unsuccessful interview a few months ago. I was exhausted and out of sorts and normally I am the one pulled in to demonstrate stretch and challenge for G and T!

    If the students are achieving and making progress you’re doing a good job. If I ever feel despondent I look to the students and ask myself honestly if I’m teaching them well. If the answer is yes which I’m sure it is for you hold your head high, see if there’s any useful tips you can pick up from your HOD and remember she will be picking things up from you, too.
  3. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    You need to learn to take constructive criticism. You can't honestly believe that in your second year of teaching you have nothing to learn from a more experienced teacher. It doesn't mean your teaching is terrible or even that you're not a good teacher.

    Team teach with her. See what you can learn.

    I'd also avoid getting into a pissing contest with the rest of the department. You will all have different styles and levels of experience. Do the kids learn in your lessons? If they do, it's all good and you can relax and not worry about what's going on in other people's rooms.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You're highly unlikely to be brilliant OR rubbish.

    Can you just not work hard and do a good job? There are literally no prizes for best results or best student feedback. You think those are the people who always get the promotions etc??? No. You're young and (therefore) naive.

    Teachers are hideously hypocritical sometimes. They hate criticism (even when constructive) but dish it out day after day and expect students to lap it up. Be humble. Learn something from a pro.
  5. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Thank you for replying! I will try to focus on my students and make sure they’re progressing. Their mocks were good but they could definitely be better so I’m going to spend time making sure I do as much as possible with them.
  6. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Thanks for replying!
    I know I have a lot to learn and can learn from my HoD as I’ve learnt so much from them already. I’m more than happy to observe her during any of my frees. I just wasn’t sure if team teaching would be the best due to the nature of the class I just feel that I’m declining this year and wanted some advice on what I can do to improve.
    You’re right I do need to learn to take constructive criticism a lot better.
  7. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Thanks for replying!
    I could definitely be better at taking constructive criticism! It’s not that I want to feel that I’m brilliant but more that I’m doing a good job and I’m using observations to help me assess that. But you’re right good results and student feedback is important and what I should be aiming to improve first and foremost.
  8. BlueCarrot

    BlueCarrot New commenter

  9. BlueCarrot

    BlueCarrot New commenter

    Just a thought. When I was an nqt I had grading 4to1 observations in a one year. I found the most useful to go and observe other colleagues in the school, not my department. I am sure you can identify great teachers in your school. Approach them and ask if you can come along to see them. Indicate it is for your own benefit and not observation per se. If you have a top set you may find beneficial to go and see them with other teacher, subject and see what they do to stretch them and begin interest.
    Although many years into teaching I still do that and always find interesting.
    Enjoy the learning curve.
    LunaBlue123 and travelwings like this.
  10. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    They wouldn’t waste their time on you if they didn’t think it was worth it. See it as a positive and that the hod would like to spend time with you teaching.
  11. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    You are being looked after and nurtured and that is a really good thing!
    LunaBlue123 and travelwings like this.
  12. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Thank you for replying and for the advice. I did this more last year so will try to start again. There are definitely a few inspiring teachers outside of my department I can get some advice from.
  13. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Thank you for putting a positive perspective on this as I think I’m in quite a negative and paranoid headspace at the moment!
  14. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    It’s easy to get into that frame of mind and if you’re going to survive teaching and have a decent life, then you need to work on that and try something like mindfulness. That would be the best thing you could work on, the teaching and children’s progress will get better with time. Don’t burn out.xx
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Comparisons are odious. I don't like the sound of this competitive department.

    Teaching isn't a science.

    Even if two people taught the same lesson using the same script to the same kids on the same day? The results would be different. There are so many variable factors. You will drive yourself mad if you constantly compare yourself.

    Learn from others. Sure. But not what they SAY about their practice. Make sure you know what they actually DO. But that still might not work the same way for you on a Wednesday afternoon in February as it did for Miss Fancypants on Tuesday morning in January. Try to enjoy it. That's a good start.
  16. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    In one day I can have three average lessons, a terrible one and one that's truly inspirational and magical. The biggest thing you can learn is not to experience that as a horrible emotional rollercoaster - you have to accept that with so many variables, lessons are not predictable and the quality of individual lessons is not something you have total control over.

    Don't sweat the small stuff! If the feedback is about stretching the best pupils, focus on thinking of and implementing ways of doing this.

    But be aware that on the day that the four brightest pupils in the class have been up all night at a sleepover or are desperate to get on their phone to buy tickets for some boyband or just want to go home and play the latest release of their favourite game, NOTHING you have planned will stretch them.
  17. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Great advice thank you! I need to learn that comparisons can be toxic. You are also bang on when you say I need to know what my colleagues are doing in their classroom and not just saying.

    I think I need to go back to doing some more observations of staff in and out of my department.
  18. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Thank you that is all very true! I’m going to speak to my HoD and some other teachers in school to find ways I can implement more stretch in the future.
  19. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I have to say that these constant observations are the thing that have finally put me off teaching, and no doubt thousands other (probably more).

    At one time, once you have qualified, that was it; you found your own style and pace from your own ability to self-improve. Now what we have is more people being unnecessarily demoralised and an open season for those who have something to prove. In the worst case, jumped-up careerists tellling time-served oldie how to re-invent the wheel. And what's more, apart from the extremes of very good and very bad, it is almost completely subjective.
    travelwings and grumpydogwoman like this.
  20. travelwings

    travelwings New commenter

    Thanks for your comment. I find it really interesting as all second year teachers, like me, have been put on an NQT +1 ‘course’ this year with observations and mini research project. Whilst I do think it’s a good idea to carry on learning and developing I do see what you mean about not being given a chance to put it all into practice and develop my teaching style.

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