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New school wasn't what I thought. Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lily_w, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    I have had a difficult few years and I am struggling in teaching. After qualifying, I worked at a great school for 2 years but moved away from the area, so I decided to leave and move to another school due to the commute. The second school was initially good but it went into Special Measures soon after I started and I was unhappy with the constant inspections and the sudden mass exodus of many of the staff and management - it was very unstable so I stuck it out for a year and a half and resigned at Easter. After that, I worked as a private tutor and decided to see if I could find a nice school that would reignite my enjoyment of teaching. I secured a job in a 'Good' school for September and I was looking forward to it.

    I've only been there a week and a half and I'm finding it really hard. I was told a lot of things on my visit/ interview days about the way the school runs that aren't actually true. I have a very challenging class with terrible behaviour issues - there is a child who was excluded and taught in isolation for the whole of last year who has just been put back into class with no phased return and he disrupts every lesson, every day. It's impossible to teach with him there as he wanders around the room and throws things around etc. I've approached the SLT several times but they seem to turn it around on me ("you need to try more strategies" etc.) He is violent towards the other children and it's awful. He is not on the SEN register, it's purely behavioural. I have approached the SENCO as I feel there are possible learning difficulties there, but she was very dismissive and I feel that the SLT have just washed their hands of this pupil. I need more support with him but they are reluctant to give it.

    The SLT do daily learning walks and I feel that it is excessive. I always feel like I'm being judged and I hate it. I've always been judged as a good teacher in previous observations so I feel that it is unnecessary. The SLT are also very demanding, passive aggressive and picky and I always feel as if I'm going to get in trouble for something. They talk to me as if I'm an NQT when I've been teaching for several years.

    I don't know what to do. I feel trapped and as Monday approaches, I'm feeling panicky and worried. I've decided that I want to leave teaching and study an MA in something completely different next year, something I've wanted to do for years.

    Part of me is thinking of resigning and leaving at Christmas but that wouldn't look good and it wouldn't be fair on the children, some of which are attached to me already. I'm going to find it so hard to stick it out until Summer though. Any advice would be appreciated as it's so early on in the year and I'm finding things very hard.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Lily

    I would leave at Christmas. The school is poorly managed and it isn't going to improve. If you leave at Christmas, that will not make you look bad . Although the other children will miss you, you have to look after yourself first. Please do not blame yourself as you were not to know about this difficult pupil and the school appears to have washed their hands of him.

    Contact your union as well and explain the situation as they may be able to tell you your rights and what action to take in view of this students violent behaviour since he is violent and it sounds positively dangerous. How the people who are SLT ever got to be in positions leadership is beyond me. So please call your union on Monday and then think about making plans to leave as soon as you are contractually able to do so.

    Your union should be able to advise you about the schools duty of care towards you in connection with this student. Please do not delay in contacting your union. Once you make a plan after taking proper advice and know you have a way out, you will feel better.

    I think it is outrageous for you to have been put in this position. Also try contacting the teachers support network for other advice and help.

    For the short term find out from your union if you can insist on a TA to be the class with you to help with the child you mention.
  3. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Leaving at Christmas is not a sin, and the children will get over it - after all, you've had them a week and a half and they've got over the change from their last teacher!

    You don't have to resign until October, though, so you might want to give it a bit of time before making a definite decision - it's always tough at the start of the year. That also gives you a chance to look around for other work.

    Keep pushing them on the difficult pupil. Perhaps, when they say you need to try more strategies, you should ask what strategies were found to work last year (to which the answer seems to be none). I guess you need to log everything, particularly anything which is a health and safety issue. If you could get him removed at least for a while, it might give you a better chance at establishing things with the rest of the class.

    And yes, union.
  4. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    Leave asap.

    It is a job. Profession no longer.

    You will be forgotten in weeks.

    Probably days.
  5. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    It's difficult though. Coupled with the fact that I resigned and left at Easter at my previous school, only staying from September to December at this school would probably make any future employers think I'm flaky and unreliable. Even though I don't want to stay in teaching, it still wouldn't look good on my CV that I'd only stayed a few months in a new job. I really wish I'd never accepted it in the first place.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Yes I can see what you mean about being concerned about leaving in view of the other short time you were in your previous post. If you decide to stick this out you are going to need help with the student who's violent. Was it any better today?
  7. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    Hi Pepper

    Well I was there a year and a half by the time I left so it wasn't as bad as it would be if I left at Christmas now. But I'm still conscious of it.

    It was slightly better today. I wrote an email to one of the SLT documenting all my concerns and explaining how difficult it was to teach with all that going on. They took him out of class today (all day) and said they'd be keeping him in class only half days from now on. I'm still sick of the constant observations by SLT though. They dropped in for ages today and we're making notes. It's stressing me out as i hate feeling checked up on.
  8. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter

    were* sorry, writing on my phone.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I am so glad to hear your day was better and you received some assistance with the challenging student. That is more than I thought would happen and well done for asking for the help you need.

    Don't worry about the constant observations as I am sure you are doing a good job. Try to enjoy your day teaching and concentrate on the children.

    If you can stick it out a little longer until you get something lined up then that will be better and in time you just might to decide to stay.
  10. lily_w

    lily_w New commenter


    I've come home feeling awful. The behaviour of the class today was terrible and the challenging boy has been put back in but will be "taken out some afternoons."

    One of the SLT shouted at me in front of the children today too. They were walking in a line through the corridor and some boys at the back were being silly. She blamed the whole thing on me, telling me that I need to practise lining up with them and walking through the school and her tone was so harsh and judgemental. She doesn't seem to understand that I'm trying my very best with a very difficult class, I'm new to the school too and they are not going to be angels. If she had seen what they were like 2 weeks ago, that was an improvement.

    I think I will resign and leave at Christmas. Then I'll have a lovely Christmas break and be able to apply for my MA in the new year and perhaps find some work out of teaching. I have savings and I can support myself and life is too short to be in a school where you're not respected or valued.
    ruthonormarshall and Jenna1972 like this.
  11. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Good luck - l think you have reached the best answer.

    I have to say that if a teacher, senior or otherwise, shouted at me in front of pupils, l would expect the most grovelling of apologies, and would go straight to the HT to launch an official complaint if it was not given at once. Totally unacceptable.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Lily

    I agree with all of what FF writes. I think you are in a terrible place and you have made the right decision to leave and you are in a good position to have savings. While you are studying for your MA there is always supply teaching and you couldndo the odd day here and there to top up your money if you felt it was something you could do. Supply is very flexible and if you do it day to day and there are some nice schools and if you go to a horrible one like the one you are at then after the day is finished you know you don't have to go back.

    If you want more information about supply teaching there is a lot of information on the supply forum.

    I am really sorry you have had to experience this and it sounds so odd that SLT don't know how to do their jobs properly; the woman who shouted at you should have helped you - not shouted at you. What is shouting going to achieve and it is not a good model for the children.
  13. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    It doesn't sound like the teacher has shouted at you to me. It sounds like one of them that is 'I think you are going to have to get them to practice miss' comments directed at the kids but dressed as a conversation with you. It is indicative of where you find yourself though at the moment. You are down and think the whole world is against you. It probably isn't, but you need a shot of confidence from somewhere. By your own admissions things are better. You know best, you see them everyday. Hold onto that.
  14. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Your SLT sound utterly unsupportive. For your own sake, get out!

    best Wishes!
  15. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes, leave

    As soon as possible

    You deserve better, and you won't get it there

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