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I thought I wouldn't have to say this....

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by anon1165, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Looby, sorry to hear you are feeling a bit disheartened.
    Just to say (and also to "rainbow", who commented in a similar way) that the last time I was in full-time teaching I would have given an arm for a department like this! There is nothing worse in my opinion than people who a) are already a set group who know everything about everybody's successive partners, second homes, cars and childbirths for the past 15 years; and b) expect you to share everything to the same degree, socialise with them outside school and generally be in each others' @rses all the time. Frankly, the fact that they come in, teach and go home sounds quite likeable to me because it is a sign that they know teaching English is a job, not a vocation, a second family or something that should take over your whole life. If possible, I would treasure this, Looby, and find my circle of friends outside school. Believe me: it's healthier that way.
    As for marking and organisation, I'm sure you could get loads of good advice on the English board re. this.
  2. It does get easier but I know English is an awful subject in terms of marking! Do you have a rota for marking your books, setting hwk etc? If you plan it all out day by day - setting hwk, taking in hwk and marking books and it's there in black and white (or probably colour coded [​IMG]) it's so much easier to keep track of.
    In terms of recording grades etc., I find a spreadsheet easier than a markbook - my paper markbook is just to tick or cross if they have done hwks or not. I record end of unit assessments and major pieces on a spreadsheet but I don't record a mark for every single piece of work - are you doing this?
    I know it's a bit naughty to mark during lessons but sometimes I manage to squeeze in a book or two if it's just tick and flick and it does help to make a dent in the pile.
  3. I know how you feel - again, I'm not much help as I'm also a struggling NQT but I'm at primary level. Just wanted to sympathise!
    I've gone from being an outstanding student to an unsatisfactory teacher and I have a difficult class so behaviour management is a huge issue which it hasn't been before.
    7 weeks til Christmas!!
    Lucy x
  4. jazz2

    jazz2 New commenter

    There are any number of threads on the NQT forum that will show you
    that you most definitely are not alone in struggling with your first
    year. So first of all, remember that pretty nearly everybody
    experiences what you are now feeling.
    You've put together a long
    list of things that seem to you to be going wrong, so I think the first
    thing is to work out what really bothers you most - and if you're sure it's the organisation, then for now just focus on that. Use the idea already suggested to specifically ask another member of staff how they organise their recording; better yet, ask a few of them individually, and see how similar/different they are, and use that to decide what will work for you.
    I have to say, though, that it sounds to me like it's the lack of support that's really getting you down. No-one seems to be helping you much, and you don't even have social contact to fall back on (don't underestimate how valuable this can be). I don't really have a solution for that, unfortunately, but I think you need to at least talk to one of your mentors and explain how adrift you feel. Either you need an alternative mentor, or to be put in touch with someone else in school whom you can properly talk to about how things are going. Maybe even an NQT in another school?

  5. i feel the same. i am not being supported and I am literally trying to deliver the spec. my organisation is all over the place as demands keep changing. i too am doubting my ability to teach effectively. you are not alone at all. i take comfort in remembering an article that said we are teaching in an ineffective system, schools are being asked to do things now that they were never intened to do. thats how i am keeping sane!!
  6. Just to add to the other comments you are not alone! I was all planned and excited for first day back and after lesson 1 with my low ability year 9s I just wanted to hide under the table! I'm an English NQT too and agree that marking is really difficult. Try setting homework that could then be peer assessed by the students, or used in the lessons for example the starter activity.
    I'm lucky that my department are very supportive however I get the impression that they think I am really not very good as I keep having behaviour management problems which is really hard.
    It all seemed so much easier during the PGCE!
  7. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter

    Did my NQT year in English last year. I agree that the marking load can be hideous.

    Regarding your year 8s - are you in regular contact with their year head? Have you tried to get support from him/her, their form tutors, or even your HoD? Remember, it is NEVER too late to make a fresh start with behaviour and act like you're starting the year all over again: remind them of the systems, get them in place with renewed vigour, and don't compromise.

    As for recording strategies: ask your HoD if your markbook will ever be audited or snooped on by the SMT. If not, then do whatever works for you. I find that if I have to write reports, do half term grades, or talk at parents' evening, I'll have the pupil's exercise book to hand anyway.
  8. I'm yet another English NQT, who feels utterly overwhelmed right now. I have almost entirely bottom or next to bottom sets and whilst most pupils are nice - each class has its share of handfuls and two classes in particular make me want to weep - theor behaviour and attitudes are so poor. I never ever have a lesson where I can simply teach from the existing schemes - EVERY lesson needs pulling apart and heavily differentiating. I am completely petrified about being observed with any of those 'hell' classes as I am so ashamed of the crummy behaviour and lack of work that goes on that I can't seem to control. It's not that they are rioting or anything, just that they continually talk over me, don't even attempt to start the work and only under the direst threats, will they write two, maybe three lines, in the sh***iest handwriting imaginable. Threats of detentions go ignored so I spend my lunchtimes chasing them up, when more than anything I want to be quietly left in absolute peace to get my head together.
    I am always friendly and welcoming, give up time after school to help anyone struggling and praise the pupils to boost low self esteem. But I am running on empty already and only been back a couple of days!
    I feel sick to my stomach about teaching sixth form as I didnt have any experience of it in my PGCE and I am struggling to keep up to speed with my subject knowledge. I work till late into the night every night and wake up before my 6a.m. alarm feeling sick. Once I'm in school, I'm usually ok, but being tired, I feel on the edge as though I could burst into tears at the slightest thing. My PGCE wasn't much use for preparing me as I was just left unattended 95% of the time and learned 'on the job' with next to no observations, so I am dreading being observed and finding out how officially **** I am. I have had no experience of data handling so I don't know how to use data to inform my planning. My mentor is lovely but I am naturally reserved and can't seem to express how I am feeling increasingly panicky and useless. The school is really pushing to raise standards and I feel like I am the weakest link in the dept.
    Up to half term, I felt on top of things - tired, and livign day-to-day, but getting by reasonably well. Since coming back, I just feel its a constant battle against the kids who don't want to learn and an overhanging shadow of learning walks, observations and departmental training initiatives....
    I'm sure I'll get back into the swing of school and regret posting this - it's just how I'm feeling now.
    Bl***y NQT year!

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