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I have hated my job as much as now

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Stormy861, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Stormy861

    Stormy861 New commenter

    Morning All,
    I started at a new school on Monday. I feel stupid because for the job interview, I was observed in my old school. Alarm bells should have rung out then but at the time I wanted a new challenge...

    Fast forward to September and I’ve inherited a class who’ve already had 4 teachers and they’re KS1. The behaviour is very challenging. I spent a lot of summer making my class room warm and inviting. The walls have been drawn on. The reading corner has been destroyed.

    I don’t mind planning my own PPA. I don’t even mind running a club every Friday evening which is what the expectations are at this school. What hurt the most was when the head said they hadn’t seen my children make enough progress in the 4 days we’ve been back and made out like it’s because I’d moved year groups and didn’t know what I was doing. My class are very behind and have picked up poor learning behaviours over the years which haven’t been ironed out because nobody has lasted long enough. I tried to get mathematical equipment out and it was used as missiles.

    The class is apparently ‘too fussy’ according to the head but on talking to other adults the behaviour has improved from what it was like last year.

    I have a TA who’s often out because she has other roles. She’s amazing when she’s there but is having to restrain three children in particular and take them out of the classroom to calm down often because they are a danger to themselves or others. This has happened every day so far. When she’s on her lunch break, there’s no one to do this.

    A behaviour plan has been put in place for these children but with little effect. We have three play times a day and I find the transition coming back in each time tough because the children take so long to settle. This also gives rise to some of the more ‘ challenging behaved’ children thinking it’s okay not to come in from the playground.

    The head wants to see small focussed groups in lessons but this is impossible when you’re alone.

    Recording of work every lesson is an expectation but when pupils don’t have the correct learning behaviour and you’re having to deal with children running out of the room, and hurting other children, the rest of the class aren’t getting on alone. They’re little and need help with reading and writing.

    I feel really sick which isn’t like me at all. I’m not eating or sleeping. I get to work at 7 and don’t leave until 6 trying to stick things in books so everything is prepared. I feel like I was always going to fail here.

    I’ve phoned my previous two head teachers and they’re shocked and saddened as I only leave schools for progression and am very resilient. I’m worried that my lesson observations are going to take a nose dive as I’ve already been marked as someone who can’t control behaviour, no matter how extreme.
    This will affect my reference as I’ve been warned that the head has a habit of giving poor references to people who have walked out mid year especially. I want to go on supply which will give me a chance to try out new schools first. What will supply agencies say if the head says I am a poor teacher? I am so tired already and usually at this time of year I’m enjoying seeing my children begin to succeed. I keep bursting out in floods of tears. I’ve spent all weekend planning lessons, knowing full well I’ll be spending the majority of them trying to keep my class safe instead of teaching and that the lack of recording in books will be used as a stick to beat me with. I cannot believe how overwhelmed I feel in my 8th year of teaching.
    Alice K and pepper5 like this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    This sounds like an extraordinarily difficult job.
    I think you need to face this head full on (says me knowing that I'd find it difficult).
    So what progress does she expect to have seen? She needs to be specific. Have the children worked in small focussed groups in the last two years. it doesn't sound like it, and the ability to do this is learned. It sounds as if you need to invest a lot of energy in building routines so that then the children can concentrate on learning.
    I would say that "too fussy" is far too vague a description of any class (or even any child).
    Good luck, I date say KS1 behaviour specialists will be able to offer more support than me.
  3. binaryhex

    binaryhex Lead commenter

    Do I understand correctly? You started a new school 4 days ago, have been criticised by the Head for lack of progress and are thinking of leaving? Mmmmmm.
    JohnJCazorla, pepper5, nomad and 3 others like this.
  4. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter


    If you go on Supply you will probably have to take a pay cut. And the expectation is you mark the books before you go home...

    You will probably get classes like the one you describe.

    On the upside , Supply agencies will care about what the schools they send you to think, not your previous school.

    It does sound like you need to move on long term, but it is very early in the term.

    Get signed off for work related stress if they pile the pressure on?
  5. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Head's an idiot. Start looking for your next job and do your due diligence properly this time.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Can you do what they want you to do?
    Do you believe in what they want you to do?
    If you're already doing your best then why ask colleagues what the kids were like before? What can you do over and above what you're doing? Anything? Don't bother making comparisons.

    Sounds the sort of idiotic environment we hear far too much of on TES.
  7. install

    install Star commenter

    You might have a chat with your old head and say you have made a mistake just to test the water about going back.

    If you can afford to - resign. Look for other jobs. Use your old head as a current referee and explain in brackets 'Most recent head who knows me'. See your gp - this must be stressful.
  8. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    Nothing needs to be added.
  9. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Head is not just an idiot they are stupid and destroying the future of teachers and children. Get out - speak to old head and if no joy get yourself signed off. This really makes me spit and so angry - what is the rest of the school like?

    Be honest to new employers in a way that doesn't totally criticise - hard I know but you need to tell the story.

    I am kicking tables etc as I write this!
  10. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

    Is the SENCO lead dealing with the three children who need restraining? What advice has he/she got? For get about working in small groups and don't worry too much about progress at the moment, what must be sorted are the classroom routines and expectations. If these children have had 4 different teachers during their reception year then they are probably confused and have no expectation that you will stay with them so why should they invest in you? If the head starts to harry you about small group working and progress then make it clear that this will happen when the children have settled with you and are following instructions.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Stormy861

    I am very, very sorry to read your post. You weren't to know. The levels of the poor behaviour are shocking: reading corner destroyed, missiles and the walls drawn on. The most worrying aspect, however, is that the Head seems to think you are at fault for children not making progress in 4 days!

    Don't worry about anything but finding another post and leaving as soon as you can.

    Without competent SLT there nothing you do will change the situation and that is clear from the number of people they have gone through.

    Call your union and the Education Support Partnership and see what advice/help they can offer.

    This week stop staying late. Do the minimum. What you are doing is INSANITY. Get there on time and leave as soon as you can get away with.
  12. LeftTheBuilding

    LeftTheBuilding Occasional commenter

    Management failure. Get out now, before they drag you under!
  13. Orchid2457

    Orchid2457 New commenter

    Wow. Sounds dreadful. You are right to feel overwhelmed. All too often poor behaviour is not tackled effectively. With biting budget cuts the problem is likely to get worse as many LAs no longer have the resources such as behavioural experts, SEN specialists etc at their disposal.

    Get out. Even with a well behaved class, group is nigh impossible without TAs which is why my school moved to more whole class teaching. These children have been let down but not by you. You aren’t a magician and it takes time to build trust and rapport even with the calmest of children. The head should respect that you can’t do your job due to behaviour and be supporting you with the most challenging.

    If they cared about progress so much then these behavioural problems would have been sorted long before you arrived. Surely they’ve always affected the class and the head well aware of them. If they haven’t managed to foster calm children in the years they have been there, you had no chance in 4 days!
    pepper5, agathamorse and install like this.
  14. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    You have learned the hard way that the grass is not always greener on the other side. You took a gamble and sadly it appears you lost.

    It does sound like the Head could be more supportive, saying that 'not enough progress has been made' in 4 days seems ridiculously premature.

    Be mindful of the 'time of year' effect. Anyone who started in a new school will probably be at their most self doubting around now if it isn't going as well as expected, after 6 weeks off being back in a teaching job in Spetember can feel like being immersed in an ice bucket suddenly at the best of times.

    Unless it affects your health to the point of having no other choice to leave/go off sick (and if it does, leave/go off sick) I would stick out the year, see it as a behaviour management learning curve and look for a more supportive environment in th menatime.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I could cry at this.

    Go knock on your Head's door tomorrow morning. You say "here-have my planning. Have my resources.Take this group for fifteen minutes and show me what you want me to do and how it is properly done"
    Stormy861, bevdex, Ezzie and 8 others like this.
  16. Robberto

    Robberto Occasional commenter

    4 teachers already, restraining kids?They know what the classs is like but want to blame a teacher for it rather than adddress it. Don't be the scapegoat they may want to turn you into. Look for another role ASAP.
    wordsworth, pepper5, steely1 and 2 others like this.
  17. laydeedah

    laydeedah New commenter

    I was in your position once. You are still in your probation period, so you can go whenever you want to. Use it as a bargaining tool. I think the fear of losing you will override them wanting to blame you for everything, but the question is, do you still want to be there? You need to be happy. I went on supply. Best move I ever made. x
  18. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    What Bumptious said.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  19. thefutureisalreadyhere

    thefutureisalreadyhere New commenter

    I am so sorry to read this and want you to know that you are not alone. I am also 4 days into a new job, restraining children, drawings on walls, destroyed areas of the classroom. For me it has triggered an anxiety/depressive episode and I am going to the doctor tomorrow.

    I know its early days and some say you must give it time to settle in but the way I feel at the moment is that massive alarm bells are ringing. I am in my 7th year of teaching and feel as if I am experienced enough to know that this school was a mistake. I hope you find a resolution and some happiness.

    @laydeedah I wasn't aware that teacher contracts had a probationary period? I thought you were under obligation to give half a terms notice at either October, Feb or April? Any info appreciated!
    pepper5 likes this.
  20. hs9981

    hs9981 Lead commenter

    Smash your hand down hard on one of the tables and then very slowly and calmly raise your throbbing hand to your mouth and put one finger over your lips.

    If possible do it behind your TA as they have your back to you, so they scream for added effect.

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