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I think i'm failing.....

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by GruffyMax, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. I'm a secondary teacher & started at my school in September, I was an NQT last year so this is my 2nd year of teaching.
    In my current school I teach 2 subjects, one of which isn't my specialism and i've never taught before. It's also a new subject to the school, has no schemes of work & the HoD doesn't teach it.
    I've struggled with subject knowledge & behaviour in theses GCSE classes this year, and feel I've made that known a number of times to the HoD. I even asked to work with the AST for behaviour, and after a number of observations & coaching sessions she said I didn't need behaviour help, just a bit more support.
    I've now had to explain to my HoD why my current grades for my classes are low.
    This has really upset me and i'm not sure what to say! I believe behaviour & engagement are the barrier to them achieving, but I also think it's wrong to blame the kids.
    I don't have these issues in my specialist subject, my students are progressing well and behaviour is, well, normal for a group of teenagers!
    I'm wondering if I can't teach KS4....what should I do now? It's starting to affect my confidence in my ability.
  2. So let's get this straight. You are doing well in your specialist subject and these classes are fine. You are most definitely not failing.
    I'm retiring this summer after 30 years. Teaching can, if you let it, screw your mind. Nothing is ever good enough. Instead, pour yourself a large drink and start counting down to the holiday.
  3. I think teaching your specialism is always so much easier - I taught several exam classes this year, both Year 10 and Year 11. I taught Biology to some groups, Chemistry to the other groups. No matter what the set and ability, the pupils I taught Biology to generally progressed better, very few behavioural issues even in low sets. My Chemistry classes I really struggled with - I knew the basics, enough to help them pass an exam, but I didn't know how to make it really interesting in some bits, and I couldn't field questions from the A* students and had to just say "I don't know."
    You've asked for support, so I don't think you're going wrong at all - can imagine it's very hard with no SoW and when it's a new subject. At least if you do it next year you can tweak things. :)

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