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Not completing NQT year

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by NoseyMo, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. NoseyMo

    NoseyMo New commenter

    Hi, like many others I have come here looking for support and advice.

    The TL;DR is that I am an NQT currently signed off with depression.

    The longer version:
    I am currently employed by the school where I did my first PGCE placement, and have the same mentor as I did during that time. She is also the reason I got the job in the first place.
    At the beginning of the school year I was so happy and excited, loved teaching, etc etc. Passed my first term's observation with flying colours. However, from about Christmas onwards things started going downhill.
    Whilst my classes were generally improving in behaviour, within the same week I was told to give out less consequences but also not to let kids get away with things. This marked the beginning of the mixed messages and goalpost-moving.
    3/4 of my classes are low ability with incredibly poor behaviour schoolwide, and I was getting in trouble because they weren't meeting their targets.
    I'd constantly be learning walked, and then have the feedback given to me at random times. It got to the point where I'd turn and walk the other way if I saw my mentor in the corridor because I never knew when I was going to be criticised.
    As my mood began to fall, so did my grip on organisation so my books were a shambles and not marked even nearly regularly enough. I was asked if my books were up to date yet almost every day.
    I had been doing my planning within my PowerPoint for the most part by this point as I knew my classes well and knew who I was differentiating for and how, and lesson obvs all indicated good lessons were being delivered. However, my mentor decided in about February that she now wanted to plans for every lesson that week each Monday morning, and taught me how to use her planning grid. I showed her my lessons the next Monday and all seemed well. However, within a fortnight she came in to visit me during a lesson (because I'd been avoiding being seen by anyone and break and lunch) to tell me that I was now required to translate all of these to the school's official and much lengthier lesson planning sheet, and wanted to see them all on Monday morning. This was during last lesson on a Thursday.

    Those of you who are still reading, congratulations!

    The other science NQT and I had started going to the local shop at lunch times to get snacks and some fresh air, as we were both struggling to keep up at this point.
    Then we were individually taken aside and informed that we shouldn't be leaving the school building at any point during the day, and that it had been 'Noticed' by SLT. Further to this, we were both told we shouldn't be discussing anything with each other or other members of staff in case we were seen as being 'negative'. this was not the first time we had been warned off discussing problems.

    I could go on, but basically I was crying when I got home every day.

    The situation now: I have been off work since 24th of March, and have a meeting with the school and my union Rep on the 24th of April. As it stands I'm not sure I even want to return to teaching, but am not in the right mindset to be making these decisions. I have the full support of my GP to remain off until everything is resolved.
    I have a couple of main questions:
    1. I am contracted since 11th July 2016, how many days full pay do I get? My school is an academy trust.
    2. I have one NQT assessment online, and we had completed the other one but the school has not submitted it so it looks like I only have the one term passed. What happens with my QTS status if I leave this school and they don't submit the second term?
    3. What can I expect from this meeting? How honest should I be? The school is very much the type to rally round and deny everything and I have no hard evidence.

    Thank you so much if you even read this, it feels so good to get it off my chest!
  2. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Just sending you lots of love and sympathy, this is such a familiar story, teaching is a job where there is no possibility of ever being good enough, or having done enough work.

    It isn't you its them.

    I've seen two NQTs fall to pieces this year- it isn't worth it.

    And some of the "instructions" you have been given are actually illegal, as I'm sure your union rep can confirm, No one can tell you to stay on the premises at lunch time, and no one can tell you not to talk to your colleague.

    Not that being illegal stops people issuing such stupid instructions all the time.

    I have no official legal advice or anything, just want to say, keep it all in perspective. Its only a job, and hopefully one you will soon be putting far behind you, as you move on to better things.

    In the mean time, just make sure your have other things in your life, pets, friends, relationships, hobbies, what ever makes you happy, and prioritise these. They are worth so much more than a "teaching career" - that most poisonous of chalices!

    Pomz likes this.
  3. NoseyMo

    NoseyMo New commenter

    No, my union rep wasn't best pleased and were having a meeting with the area NQT coordinator to discuss after the school meeting. I just blindly went along with it as I didn't know any better.

    Thank you for your quick reply, I don't feel like I was just screaming into the void now! Xxxx
  4. lrw22

    lrw22 Senior commenter

    1. Get advice from your union
    2. Keep in touch with your GP and don't be afraid to ask them for more help if you feel you need it
    3. Take good care of yourself. Eat,sleep and exercise well and take time to do things you enjoy
    4. Consider the possibility that despite your initial feelings it may be that this isn't the school for you. Don't forget that this doesn't mean teaching isn't the career for you.
    NoseyMo likes this.
  5. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    School can insist on all teachers using whichever planning template it likes, regardless of how pointless and rubbish it is.

    Schools has no business telling you what to do at lunchtime or what you can talk about and with whom. This is ludicrous.

    Get better and then get a job at a better school, where you can feel good about teaching again...

    I have seen several posters on here who changed schools part-way through their NQT year and are now much happier.
    NoseyMo likes this.
  6. rustyfeathers

    rustyfeathers Occasional commenter

    Yup - am one of them! I went into supply, finished my NQT year and although the plan was to either leave working in education or take on another, non-teaching role, I've been working with an amazing agency since 2012 (bar a year and a long term in an SEN school before cuts (grr) led to redundancies of all non-core subject leads) and have some wonderful relationships built up with local schools, including several longer term posts. It's not for everyone, but there are options besides staying at a hellish school or leaving the profession entirely.
    NoseyMo likes this.

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