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not enjoying NQT year

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by MsBfg, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. MsBfg

    MsBfg New commenter

    Looking for some advice - I moved to a new school for my NQT year and to a completely different environment and have struggled through the year. My NQT mentor I find very negative and critical, issues I have raised with my HOD and the DH in charge of NQT's, leaving me feeling very negative about my teaching. She rarely praises me and more often than not tells me how she would have done something, not necessarily saying what I did was wrong, just that she has a better way of doing something. Whilst I understand that she is merely trying to help make me a better teacher, it is never said in a positive or reflective manner.
    My last Obs was given a grading of Good in all the standards but she still hinted that I hadn't made as much improvement as she would have expected and questioned how much time I was spending planning my lessons. I make sure I take Friday evening off and either one day at the weekend or at the very least a half day off. I teach 15 different classes, all of whom have foreign names and I have found it a challenge to get names correct, something other staff sympathise and agree with. Recently I have had behavioural issues in some of my year 8 classes.
    I am seriously considering applying for jobs elsewhere because I a) don't get on with my mentor in a small department, and b) don't think the school is that great a school, they do not have a vision for my subject (an option subject) and have removed it from the sixth form completely, supposedly from a lack of applicants.
    Would it look bad if I moved to a new school after my NQT year in a specialist subject where teachers normally stay for long periods of time?
    How do I tell my HOD that I am looking when I may well not get anywhere? I presume I have to tell him I am applying as he will be one of my references?
    What do I do if I can't get a job, I had a lot of jobs in similar but slightly different industries prior to teaching, so my CV at first glance doesn't look that great, although I spent 6yrs in my previous job prior to teaching.
     
  2. Alf58

    Alf58 Established commenter

    Possibly you are aware that teachers are leaving the profession in droves? I advise you to do the same while you still can. The way you are being treated is widespread and indeed some would say your situation does not sound too bad compared to the horrors we read about on this forum on a regular basis. Get a job outside of teaching, it will be better for your health and for your family.
     
  3. ni k

    ni k New commenter

    I don't think it would look bad and if you're miserable get out! Life is far too short to get stuck doing something you don't enjoy.
     
  4. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Are you learning anything? Is your mentor, albeit negative, still helping you to improve?
    Are your lessons getting better? What about behaviour management and assesment?
    Are you able to see where to improve whilst in a lesson and afterwards?
    Can you tick off the teachers' standards week by week? Are you fulfillinf the criteria for QTS?

    If not, get out and go to another school.

    If so, then, whilst it is upsetting, maybe your mentor is taking the 'tough love approach'....

    If you think the ethos of the school isn't what you want, then apply elsewhere for the last term (it has happened for some posting with very positive results) , but put a positive spin on it, e.g. I had a one-year fixed term (returning to teaching), which was hard, very hard but the approach (a pseudo-GTP) was exactly what I needed and I was able to move into another job, able to tick the boxes, etc. Did I enjoy the year? Not really (and the students did make the difference as some were lovely), but it was the right approach, looking back, the best approach for ME.

    take care of yourself, but think - that NQT year is the most difficult - I have a PhD (so used to hard work, but did find the year I was treated as an NQT even harder)....honestly, try your best :eek:

    :)
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    .

    I don't think that this will be possible, as the resignation date has passed.

    If you are sure that there is no way of improving the relationship between you and your mentor, then moving on could be the solution.

    The problem with moving this year is two-fold:

    1. Your current school might well be miffed, and show it whether or not you get the job. :(

    2. The school receiving your application could wonder why you are leaving so fast.

    But you have the perfect Get-Out-Of-Jail_free card:

    The opportunity to work in a school where there is a Sixth Form offering your subject is what you have to emphasise, both when you tell people that you are applying, and when you write your application.

    Do I have to tell my Head I am applying elsewhere?

    Make sure that you thank both your Head and your mentor for their support, and explain why you think moving would be a good idea, to have the A-level opportunity.

    Who should be my referees?

    Have you found the rest of the advice articles on writing an application? Tag me @TheoGriff if not.

    Best wishes

    .
     
  6. DrJay

    DrJay Occasional commenter

    If I were you:

    1. I would carefully go through TheoGriff's advice on this site;
    2. Work on my CV and emphasise my strengths and capabilities;
    3. Stay on to successfully complete my NQT there;
    4. Carefully research and selectively apply to schools; and,
    5. Let my mentor know I'm seeking a new position so I can widen and deepen my teaching experience.

    For your sanity, find another school rather than allowing someone make you quit teaching altogether if that is what you really wanted to do. I did precisely the above listed things and would be starting the new academic year in my dream school. In my own experience of being a PGCE student, and subsequently an NQT, a number of experienced teachers seemingly have forgotten what it feels like being a trainee teacher and an NQT - something akin to learning to drive and developing driving skills and competencies shortly after passing your practical driving test. Put a positive spin on those criticisms, be your best, work harder, and remember it's barely four months to the end of this academic year. Good luck.
     
  7. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Apologies, I should have been more precise, eg. try to complete your final term elsewhere, if possible. @TheoGriff, clarified. :)
     
  8. TheGentleman

    TheGentleman Occasional commenter

    So unhelpful. The poster wants guidance and support, not poison and negativity. Go grind your axe elsewhere.
     
    123lalala456 likes this.
  9. MsBfg

    MsBfg New commenter

    Thanks for the feedback, I should have mentioned that I fully intend to complete my NQT year at my current school and my induction tutor has at no point expressed concerns, or suggested I am failing. In fact she has almost been the exact opposite to my NQT mentor and did have to explain to my mentor that I am still training!! I was so relieved she had picked up on the fact that my mentor was treating me as though I was an experienced teacher who wasn't any good!

    In response to Sabrinakat:

    Are you learning anything? Is your mentor, albeit negative, still helping you to improve? My HOD has been brilliant, he is always able to pick out the positives and suggest ways to target the negatives, my mentor tends to focus on the negatives, almost glossing over the positives, and always tries to get me to say how I will improve - for instance, one target has been using AfL to progress the LA on and asked me what I was going to do! The way I see it, if its a target, the mentor should be helping me to achieve it.

    Are your lessons getting better? What about behaviour management and assessment? Yes me lessons are getting better, BM is an ongoing issue with some of my classes,

    Are you able to see where to improve whilst in a lesson and afterwards? Sometimes, one of the problems I had in my last school (a high achieving school with high ability pupils) was not pushing on fast enough. Here it is the exact opposite, they are low level and I am moving them on too quickly, leaving pupils behind as they aren't ready to move on. I'm teaching mixed ability which I've never done before and find it very hard to ensure everyone is making "rapid and sustained" progress.

    Can you tick off the teachers' standards week by week? Are you fulfilling the criteria for QTS? On this, I have no idea. I think I am, but then my mentor says I'm not. This is why I asked another person to sit in on the observation last time who then said I was doing well, highlighting some small areas (easily rectified) that I could improve on, which I feel I have.

    There is one job I am particularly interested in which I will apply for, it's in the same area as where I trained so I'm hoping that will be a positive for me :)
     
    sabrinakat likes this.
  10. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Oh, am glad that you have such a supportive HOD, even if the mentor isn't - that can make a world of difference! In my first school (one-term temporary), my HOD was fabulous and in my current school (permanent, cross fingers), my HOD is also great - the year in-between (one year fixed term) was very hard and I felt like quitting almost every day.

    As for behavioural management, it takes time (sigh), but use whatever support the school offers, e.g. in a year 9 class in my current school, two girls were very disruptive at times - I went to the middle school year leader, she spoke to them and I made sure to mention to the parents at parents' night that I was very disappointed in their behaviour. Since then, they have been much better and everyone in the class is making excellent progress. However, I'm at an independent, so we have much better parental support than perhaps many state schools.....it can be so soul-destroying at times with behaviour 'management' {one year 8 class at my last school, I had help from my HOD and another teacher (not at the same time) and that helped]....

    good luck!
     

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