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Is it always like this?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by vickysimpson1989, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. vickysimpson1989

    vickysimpson1989 New commenter

    Im in my second year of teaching at a pretty tough secondary. Problem is that the feeling of failure and worry still hasn't really stopped. I live a healthy life, i meditate, i exercise, i get outside and yet i still feel the heavy burden of school. I feel like the biggest worry is my year 11 group that have low attendance, poor attitude and poor ability. I really want them to do well but it has become clear that they wont.I lose sleep over them a lot. I have run 'catch up' all year and no one has ever attended. My Easter catch up only one came. I worry that if i moved school that i would be **** there too. Although i feel like i have learned a lot about how to teach these kind of kids i still feel like i catch keep going like this. We are also not having 'gained time' now and will be running revision class for other subjects when our subject has finished. Im dreading it as it will be like herding cats with my class.

    My question is does this feeling go and will i at any point feel like ive got this?
     
  2. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    I hope this isn't your name your posting under. If it is contact TES and change it.

    I am rather prehistoric and will let someone else answer your main questions. Hopefully they will have been teaching just a few years more than you. I would say that you are still very new to teaching ....
     
    Alldone and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    First, I do hope you are not posting under your own name as you will be very identifiable!

    Secondly, what you are feeling is totally natural! I felt like this at the beginning of my career too.
    Have you asked for support from your HOD? HOY?
    Other schools may or may not be different.
    Focus on the positive - one person came to Easter catchup! That is better than none!
    Regarding revision whilst other subjects have finished, that sucks but is not unusual. My advice, Don't see it as you having to teach from the front...have various revision resources available - mock exams, bite-size quizzes, on-line revision - each lesson, they have a choice of two to three areas they can focus on, then make yourself available to see individuals.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. sadscientist

    sadscientist Senior commenter

    Number one, yes change your user name if you are identifiable.

    Number two, absolutely yes, you will increasingly feel like you have "got" this. Chin up, summer is coming.

    Number three, stop this right now! There are a zillion reasons why they will not "do well", most of which are completely beyond the control of any one teacher. You are doing a great job by the sound of it, and some of them will do a damn sight better than they would have with someone else.

    Best wishes, take care of yourself.
     
    bonxie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  5. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Actually, the problem is the school culture which makes you feel failure and worry when you are doing your best with what you have in front of you. It's an important distinction to realise that this is about your response to culture, not your personal failing, because you can then start to rethink the way you respond and feel about your situation.

    If you can't shift your mindset, you need to shift your setting.

    So no, it's not always like this.
     
  6. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Second year is tough because possible the raft of support mechanisms no longer perceived as appropriate / applicable initially which of course is rubbish ! Not helpful I know but just needed to say it ....
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    It wasn't always like this.

    At one time if kids like this did poorly then (rightly) it was their fault. You can only help them so much.

    Schools are just trying to squeeze the orange more and more and people are looking elsewhere.

    My advice. Get out of teaching.
     
    andrew07 and dunnocks like this.
  8. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    I find myself rolling my eyes at the forum a lot this morning.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  9. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    You may well roll your eyes but as one who has suffered from this blame culture that pupils are not responsible for their (in)actions and ever increasing workload then I see it as the most positive thing that anyone suffering like the OP can do. I used to love teaching, it was a great job that has been destroyed in the last few years.

    I regularly talk to former colleagues and they are suffering the same and are desperate to get out. My wife is the same and she cannot wait to retire in a couple of years time.

    Why should such a poorly paid job (for the hours worked) treat people like this?
     
  10. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Yes indeed, many schools are poorly run and have developed an unhealthy culture under which many teachers continue to suffer. This doesn't justify advising someone at the start of their career that the solution to their problems is to end their career in my opinion.
     
    Pomz, -Sarah- and PeterQuint like this.
  11. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    It really is tough to say.

    Education has ups and downs. We're on a real down at the moment (I'd say the worst ever), but usually (for which read 'always' in the past) things have got better after a bad patch.

    Even now, in this dip, some schools are better than others. Without knowing about your school and how it's run it's difficult to say.

    As a general point, the early years can be tough even during the good times. Stick it out as long as you can at your current school. If it gets too bad, then move. If it's just as bad elsewhere, and you can't stick it there either, then is the time to re-think your options.

    I don't see any point in bailing out while you still think it's possible that you'll survive.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. PeterQuint

    PeterQuint Lead commenter

    But you can't advise someone to act on the basis of your own experiences when you know for a fact that other's experiences have neen different.
     
    Pomz and drvs like this.
  13. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Fair point.

    But in many ways it is easier to leave earlier rather than later in the career as you (hopefully) have moved up the pay scale and find it harder to move to jobs on similar incomes.
     
  14. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    From what you describe, you are not the one who is ****. In these circumstances you cannot be judged as a teacher on their results, only on your efforts and your hopes/expectations for your class (when they probably do not really deserve it). Hang in there and if it gets to be too much, do consider a change of scenery before throwing in the towel on your teaching career.
     
  15. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I have over the years had many year 11 groups like the ones you describe. They're probably like it for almost everyone, and their refusal to co-operate probably reflects their feeling that the formal learning they're offered in school isn't what they need for success in life.
    A sensible system recognises that this problem is not just down to the class teacher, and would find ways of providing education that stimulates these kids to participate and develop their skills in a different context.
    Just because these kids have given up doesn't mean they don't need to develop their skills.
     
    FollyFairy and sadscientist like this.
  16. VeronicAmb

    VeronicAmb Occasional commenter

    If your school know you are a good teacher and have evidence of this from previous years, then you must understand that this is not down to you, but your students. Yes, our job includes motivating and inspiring students. But, just sometimes, that doesn't happen and it is the students' fault. Nothing will change that. If you know you are doing your best for these students, then that's all you can do.

    Get SMT to speak to them, maybe ask one of them to talk to the whole year about how important their revision needs to be in order to get somewhere in later life. I know most of the time that does work. But if they are not willing to help you with your tough class, then I would leave and go to a different school.

    There will be good years and bad years where you'll get that horrible class you can't be bothered with. But that's part of the job. Do not let it deter you from the real reason why you became a teacher!
     
  17. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Is it always like this.

    yes it can be.

    Some people say it isn't always like this for them, and some people say it is.

    In my experience, and observation, it is like this more often than not.
     
  18. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    One of my students has announced that she has a cleaning job in an old people's home. I feel that she has found her niche in life. She doesn't need/want qualifications she has a cleaning job. Sadly, this is what we are up against. No aspiration, no motivation, no expectation.
     
  19. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter


    'I feel like the biggest worry is my year 11 group that have low attendance, poor attitude and poor ability. I really want them to do well but it has become clear that they wont.I lose sleep over them a lot.'

    'Number three, stop this right now! There are a zillion reasons why they will not "do well", most of which are completely beyond the control of any one teacher. You are doing a great job by the sound of it, and some of them will do a damn sight better than they would have with someone else.'


    Easier said than done from somebody who is relaxed/lucky enough not to lose sleep over the job. But teaching is stressing out many people and causing sleep loss. Not just teaching either, workplace culture (and life in general) causes insomnia for many and frankly in terms of mental health, while it is very much more openly discussed now, I fear we are in the midst of a mental (ill) health epidemic.
     
  20. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    'One of my students has announced that she has a cleaning job in an old people's home. I feel that she has found her niche in life. She doesn't need/want qualifications she has a cleaning job. Sadly, this is what we are up against. No aspiration, no motivation, no expectation.'

    I can see where you are coming from but actually a part time job running alongside studies shows motivation in my view and a desire to earn your own money. And I would go so far as to say this comment is a bit disrespectful of cleaning staff, you would soon notice if they stopped cleaning your classroom!
     
    minnie me likes this.

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