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Newish Teacher wanting more responsibilities...

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by anon9092, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. anon9092

    anon9092 New commenter

    Well, I am in my second year of teaching and my second school. I love my job, the kids and school so much. However, in both my teaching jobs I have felt like I am being overlooked for my age. I have been the youngest in both departments. I started teaching at 21 and am 23 now. Others have been of the same experience of me as well.

    1st job - with another NQT. She was three years older than me and yet no jobs or responsibilities were advertised/shared. All the work went to her. I produced new resources, the kids loved me and shared new ideas in meetings. She was offered to mentor new teachers (something I said I definitely wanted to do!) and look at literacy.

    So I moved.

    2nd job - with an NQT and another member of staff with the same years experience as me. The other 'same experience' teacher has been offered to mentor two of the PGCE students we have and once again, I haven't even been approached. I am the only one in the department running after school clubs and aiding one of the seconds with literacy. I know positions will arise in the next few months as a KS3 coordinator or literacy but I am scared of being made a fool out of if I don't get them. Other people have said they wouldn't take 'orders' from someone much younger than them.

    I look very young for my age and just wondering...does it get any easier?
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Did you ask why you were not offered additional responsibilty ? You are assuming ( if I have read the post correctly ) that it may be age related but there may be other reasons you have not considered.
    rachelpaula008 likes this.
  3. anon9092

    anon9092 New commenter

    My other school, the department didn't gel to me. It was a tough school. I know it is no 'evidence' but I am quite analytical and in all my jobs age has been brought up. When I was applying for jobs I was declined because of my 'experience and age'. It has been commented on numerous times how I look like a sixth former.
  4. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Ok. I don't see what you have to lose by applying for the promotion.It demonstrates ambition and intent . If you are not successful listen to the debrief / feedback. Don't get hung up on the fact that it may not go your way. You need to be resilient in this job. I suspect here are lots of senior and middle leaders out there who are significantly younger than the individuals they lead and manage - some may be great and others not so great.
    rachelpaula008 likes this.
  5. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Have they been in the school longer though? I don't really think either of you have the experience to be a lead mentor for any student, but there you go....

    I don't think age is an issue if you know what you are on about. At the moment your focus should be on bedding in at this school. You have a 40 odd year career in front of you. You already have one move of school behind you as well. I struggle to see your rush to move on. Is this the origins of you 'failing to gel' with your last department I wonder?
    rachelpaula008 likes this.
  6. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Agree with others. Plus
    Have you thought about changing your appearance to change this?
    Landofla likes this.
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indeed - it's not a race. Concentrate on being an outstanding classroom practitioner before you take on additional responsibilities, especially mentoring (which I would be seriously concerned about giving to someone with as little experience as you or your colleague).
  8. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Just going on what you have said, you have identified a problem (you look young) so what have you done to address this? If there is another issue, which I suspect there could be, then you shouldn't need to worry about having to change how you look.
  9. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    I completely agree with @Middlemarch
    I've been teaching for nearly ten years and I haven't lost sight of the fact that I'm still learning my craft. I've been asked (ordered) to take on more things in the last few years but I would really rather just concentrate on giving the very best I possibly can to the children in my class. Wouldn't it be better to be a respected leader who draws on a rich amount of experience? I really don't believe you can lead effectively after 2 years in the job. Just my opinion.

    Slow down, would be my advice.
  10. KelRilon

    KelRilon New commenter

    I agree with whitestag. Have been doing this job for a decade now...and I've got quite a bit of responsibility (most of it, I don't mind). Give it time and enjoy not having to do even more paperwork and sit in even more boring meetings.
    It's gotten to a point, where I need to take a break. I'm moving jobs,...might be considered to be a "demotion" by some. I'll be giving up my leadership role and earn less. Don't care. I want to be in the classroom. I want to teach my class. (I don't think that I'm great at "leadership". I expect people to do their jobs without me having to micromanage and constantly check up on them. I'm more than happy to do mentoring, support others and hold subject lead positions...but even then, I expect other teachers to be grown up professionals, who are capable of getting on with their jobs. That's apparently not what I'm meant to do...:rolleyes:)
    whitestag likes this.
  11. MelanieSLB

    MelanieSLB New commenter

    That's a joke, right?
    I look like a sixth former, despite being 28 (oh, gosh, nearly 29), and there is no way I would change my appearance. I get recognition for my work, and that is all that matters. I can't honestly believe this suggestion was made as anything else but a joke.

    From what you say, LCRose, you already do a lot, maybe you are not offered any extra responsibilities because it would be too much work?
    And I agree with others, you should not be mentoring at your age. I started teaching at your age, I have experienced lots of different contexts, in two different countries (Uk/France), been a supply in secondary comp and in sixth form, and have now a permanent job in sixth form/higher education, and I still don't consider myself good enough to mentor anybody.
    lucyfrancis92 likes this.
  12. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Mentoring isn't always about how good you are. Yes, you need the knowledge and skills but if we all waited until we were perfect teachers there would never be any mentors!
    Godmeister and Landofla like this.
  13. MelanieSLB

    MelanieSLB New commenter

    A perfect teacher doesn't exist, in my opinion. But you need to have honed your skills and come to a few difficult bridges to cross before you can mentor somebody: 2 years of experience is not giving you the wide variety of experience and problems that your tutoree might encounter.
    I think that no teacher should mentor another one unless they've been teaching ten years. Yes, it's an arbitrary number, but it feels like it's the right sort of period (you settle as a teacher and develop being a teacher for 5 years, you become better and better for another 5, and then you are ready to pass on your knowledge; to me, wanting to tutor when you have two years' experience is arrogant -sorry, LCRose- ridiculous and potentially damaging to the trainee).
  14. whitestag

    whitestag Senior commenter

    I was offered the 'opportunity' to mentor a student in my second year of teaching.

    I refused. Point blank.

    Like @KelRilon I don't see myself as a manager. I too believe in trusting others to do their jobs and I don't see it as my role to stick my oar in where it's not needed or wanted.

    In my opinion, for what it's worth, the education system has it the wrong way round. Being a classroom teacher should be a vocation to aspire to, rather than the first rung on a career ladder.

    After all....who on earth wants to be a headteacher for the best part of 30 years!?
    MelanieSLB and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I think that 10 years is a little OTT, It is not really possible to put a level of time to it, but i think 3-4 years gives you the experience you need to mentor someone. The other advantage is that your teaching is probably still in line with ideas coming from training providers as well; generalisations here though, i know. I agree that however good you are, that first couple of years is about you honing your skills.
    Landofla likes this.
  16. MelanieSLB

    MelanieSLB New commenter

    Do you honestly believe that 3 years is enough to master the skills necessary for a 40-odd years career?
    10 years is not OTT, it's what guarantees that you have seen a wide range of problems and have had time to find solutions for them!

    Agreed, whitestag, teaching should be an aspiration in and of itself.
    rachelpaula008 likes this.
  17. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    How can it be argued that just because you have been teaching for 10 years you are suitable to mentor.

    Not true. Point blank.

    You either have the qualities or you don't, in my opinion.
    Godmeister likes this.
  18. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Erm.... Yes I do 'honestly believe' it @MelanieSLB just because you don't think it true does not make it wrong.....

    To mentor someone you need to be a good, established teacher, not an all knowing individual. After about 4 years I think it is possible. Not after one or two as the op suggested.

    If ten years, why not 15, 20 or whatever. What if after ten years I have not experienced every little thing? Should I rule myself out? It can't work like that realistically.
  19. anon9092

    anon9092 New commenter

    Exactly... I don't choose to look young. I wear mature clothes, just have a young appearance. I do do a lot for the department already so I guess learning and growing my craft is important. There just seems to be a rush of recently qualified teachers itching to climb the ladder and I don't want to seem like I am straggling behind.
  20. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    There's a similar rush of people (and we see them on TES forums frequently) telling us how they're out of their depth and/or being taken through capability - and amongst them are people with responsibilities.

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