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Not Coping - 2nd year of teaching

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by shetland75, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Although I've read many of the posts on here, this is the first time I've posted. I've been struggling with the workload in teaching for a while and usually reading about other people in the same position eases my sense of worthlessness. I somehow passed my NQT year last year, but since that have been almost consistently underperforming as a teacher. I love my school and love my job but I seem to be just rubbish at it!
    We had an OFSTED recently and I was the only teacher on staff who received an unsatisfactory. I've had so much support from my SLT this year, but I still don't seem to have improved much. Despite this, everyone is painfully nice to me and saying that I've come along really well.
    Although I'm a lot more confident now than I was at the beginning of this year, I find myself yet again considering a career change, and once again hating the idea since I love what I do!
    I've had another chat with my HT regarding my teaching competence. I think she feels that I'm not putting the work in, when the truth is that I rarely take a day completely work free.
    She's more than happy to put the support I need in place, but I just don't know what is going wrong!
    On the Forums here I found lots of posts similar to mine that are dated over three year ago or posted by NQTs, but none that are current. Does that mean I'm the only teacher left who is constantly feeling frazzled and frustrated?
    I don't even know what I'm asking on here...perhaps it's just to know that someone (anyone) out there is feeling the same?
    Just reading through this again, I've realised that it sounds very self-pitying, so thanks for taking the time to read my bellyachin'!
  2. Teaching is a hard and relentless job but it does get easier. The poster is right, this is not the right time of year to be thinking about this. Everyone is tired. Just try and get through the remaining 3-4 weeks and then make sure you have rest for TWO full weeks without thinking at all about school. This will give you the chance to gain back some energy. Then use the holidays to tackle a couple of key things that are getting you down or that you need to improve (ICT resources, assessment tasks, etc.). When I was a classroom teacher there were always a list of things that had I got round to doing then my life would have been much easier. Organisation and good time management and sticking to it is the key. As a Headteacher I can see those who are putting the work in and those that don't. I can also see those who stay until 6pm but never seem to improve.
    When you say that you do not seem to have improved much, try to identify what it is that you need to improve and what is stopping you? It is confidence, subject knowledge, behaviour of the children, lack of organisation or preparation? If it's subject knowledge, do some reading and get prepared. If it's behaviour, try and set up a new system in your classroom to manage this.
    The unfortunate thing about teaching is that the marking and planning comes at the end of a tiring day or week. You need to set yourself some achieveable goals for the time between the end of the school day and when you go home and try not to get involved in conversations with people or get sidetracked (easier said than done) with other things.
    You do not say (unless I missed it) if you are primary or secondary.
  3. becky70

    becky70 Occasional commenter

    I think teaching can be tough at any stage and I went through a period similar to the one you describe a few years ago - by which time I had been teaching for about 10 years! My school were not prepared to support me and I had to leave but I have come through it and I still teach.
    Your school are prepared to support you so make the most of it. Ask for specific advice about what to improve. Workload can vary a lot from school to school - I think you've been given great advice from the people who posted on here but I would also ask for advice on cutting down your workload from someone senior/experienced at your school. I've always found I've taught less effectively if I worked above a certain number of hours - I think you just lose your enthusiasm and spark.
  4. I went through a similar phas in my second year of teaching in 1980. Like you I was supported by the SMT and eventually developed into a confident and competent teacher. The massive positive to your situation is the support of the SMT. Without this support you would be toast, they obviously see some potential in you. Stick at it, you are far from unique, and would be surprised to find most colleagues are riddled with self doubt.
    I retire in three weeks after a solid, if unspectacular, career and envy your position. Things will undoubtably get better soon.
    Incidentally, I'm up early because of indigestion from a homemade cake baked by a grateful Year 10 student. You've got that delight to come!
  5. Thank you all for the advice. I have already purchased a copy of The Lazy Teacher's Handbook and I'm planning to implement some of the strategies I found in there for next year. The advice and support on here is fantastic and I'm feeling a lot more positive about picking up what I've got and making something with it.

    Thanks again.

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