Last academic year I had positive lesson observations and good feedback generally. This year I have a behaviourally very challenging/fairly low attaining cohort. I’m on an informal support plan due to be reviewed before Christmas (they haven’t given me an actual date yet…) Apparently the work in the children’s books are not showing enough progress so I’m a cause for concern. It wasn’t based on any lesson observations. The behaviour is challenging in my class, but this cohort have always been known for it- it hasn’t just suddenly happened. I have also put many things into place to address this. Last week at a Literacy book look, the handwriting of one child in my class was described as “appaulling.” When I pointed out the progress made with this particular child from the start of the year, I was told “It’s not about progress.” If it’s not about progress, then what are we all doing here?! What in the world am I supposed to do? I’m being told they will have to all have new books in Jan for a ‘fresh start.’ I’m also being observed in Jan because the head is “curious as to why the children think they can produce work like this.” I’m not claiming to be a perfect teacher but up until this point in my career, all feedback has indicated that I’ve been doing a good job. I work so hard (like we all do) 11 hour hours a day and care deeply about the children. Confusingly, my annual review (delayed from July, held the other week) went well. I was put through to the next pay scale and the head said there had been lots of positives?! In a way, I feel proud of myself. I have kept my head down, grit my teeth and kept on trying. Having said that on some days I question whether me staying there is a sign of strength or just lack of character. I dream about work. I wake up early on weekends too anxious to get back to sleep. My whole weekend has been spent worrying about work. Every time I open my emails, I have this anxiety as though something is going to physically jump out at me. Every day I’m thinking: “What next?” I have tried to bounce back from hard times there, but every time I manage to, there’s another set back. I’m constantly being made to feel like a poor teacher. Staff morale is extremely low. Other teachers have also had it in the neck recently from SLT but at the moment they seem to be particularly gunning for me. I have spoken to my union. Initially I had wanted to keep my head down and see things through til July but now I think it may be a blessing in disguise if they decide to put me onto formal capability, because then I just won’t come back and the union will negotiate my leaving terms/a decent ref and it won’t go on my record (according to their advice) I have to say, this whole experience has made me question whether I want to be in teaching at all. Is it this bad everywhere?