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NQT and ready to quit already.

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by RedBedHead94, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I am an NQT in an academy. We are three weeks in to term and I am already feeling like I want to call it quits. I apologise if this seems like a big moan but I have no idea where else to turn to for advice.

    I started term with one piece of information - what time they wanted me to be in. I had no class lists, timetable, curriculum or even information about my NQT program. I'm sure you can appreciate that I started with high levels of anxiety because of this. It has not subsided as the term has progressed, if anything it has escalated.


    I feel very unsupported - my mentor is also new to the school and the Head of Department so she is just getting up to speed. I have not been able to speak to her properly about my feelings as our first NQT meeting happened while she was running a lunchtime detention due to her heavy timetable - How could I pour my heart out in front of the children? I suggested to her that I felt like I was 'struggling to fight fires' and her response could only be summed up as 'everyone else feels like that as well' - helpful! Other teachers have offered some support but it's only scratching the surface. I feel like a fraud waiting for my school to find out that i'm totally clueless - and I fear that rather than being supported they will just reprimand me for not trying harder.

    I am constantly anxious. I know I am not on top of my workload because of this and it is making it worse. There are countless times I have sat at home in the evening crying over school. I would go to the doctor but my school are unwilling to allow people planned time off for medical appointments - I already requested cover for two hours to see a dentist and it was denied (other members of staff told me just to 'pull sickies as they never approve leave requests.')

    I've just contacted my local NUT division for advice, and I am increasingly tempted to hand in my notice and try to find another job in another sector. I've never hated sunday nights so much in my life - even as I am writing this I feel the tears welling up. Any advice on either alleviating my situation or handing in notice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Did you never feel like this last year or when you were training?
    If you did, think how much better it became once you settled in to the new routines and the class.

    Your mentor is probably correct everyone feels like that- especially if it's a high pressure Academy. the first few weeks are settling in time for everyone- students and teachers alike.
    I would caution against handing in your notice this early. See how you feel in a months time.
     
  3. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter


    I'll give that a try (if I can cope with further panic attacks and tearfulness!) Thank you.

    I did have bouts of this during PGCE, but the workload was nowhere near as high and I had more support.

    I don't feel like I will settle in to routines - seeing as I have no idea what they are! I feel like i'm being expected to hit the ground running and be amazing and go it all alone. I've got my NQT induction meeting on Tuesday evening, I hope things will become clearer after then. I fear greatly for my mental health and home life if it doesn't.
     
  4. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    I've been where you are and I know it feels hopeless. Right now you can't see any way out and will be panicking about all sorts. The way they have treated you is appalling. So what if everyone feels that way? Not everyone else is an NQT.

    You are just beginning this whole process and you need proper support. They should NEVER have let you turn up unprepared on the first day. It's not fair on you or your classes.

    Are you in an NQT program? Try speaking to your regional NQT advisor if possible. A friend of mine had a similar experience to you and they were very helpful.

    Don't hand in your notice now, but be prepared to think about it seriously before the end of October. It's possible that relations with your school are too damaged to continue beyond Christmas. I don't know that I'd ever be able to trust a faculty that treated me so badly. You HAVE to put yourself first. Crying on Sunday nights is not right or worth it - trust me, I speak from experience. No job should be doing this to you.
     
    Elvis0 likes this.
  5. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I guess my NQT Mentor/HOD feels similarly - she started new alongside me. I guess that's why i've received sweet f/a (I'm pretty sure she's moaned at me more than she's helped) in the way of support from her. I've not even been registered for my NQT induction yet, apparently the ball starts rolling for that on Tuesday. I'll speak to the professional mentor/head of induction lady (who seems very nice but i've barely seen her) then.

    By the end of October? I've already started browsing jobs! You're right, they've treated me appalingly and I don't think the bad taste it's left will ever go away. I'll give it til the end of October for the 'fires' I am struggling to fight to be at least partially extinguished. I'll check what my giving notice rules in my contract are. Thank you!
     
  6. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    Please don't hand in your notice yet. You have worked really hard to get where you are. It is important that you talk to your mentor about how you are feeling and get the support you need. Are there other NQTs you can talk to?

    It is also really important that you look after yourself, at the risk of sounding patronising; make sure you eat properly and go to bed at a sensible time. Not looking after yourself and being exhausted won't help you. Being an NQT is tough. I knew i didn't want to stay at the school I got my first job in, and although I've had my ups and downs I have worked in some really supportive schools with wonderful staff and children (and some pretty awful ones too!).

    Seek help, look after yourself and good luck.
     
  7. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    As you have a new HOD I will give your department the benefit of the doubt - perhaps the new HOD can get things under control and bring order to your small part of the school. Give her some time to see what happens there. If she does not bring order then I would say that once the NQT year is complete you need to move on to a school that is more compatible with your way of working (i.e. having SOW, communicating with colleagues, supporting each other, doing handovers and sharing ideas and resources, etc.).

    What worries me about your post is what you say about support - it is not acceptable to have your mentor meeting take place with students present. You need to politely but firmly ask for your weekly or fortnightly meetings to take place at the same time, with just you and your mentor in private. You also need to make a note (date, time, what happened) of all of these things that are happening, such as any time you ask for help or support and it is denied, or any time your meetings take place in public forums, as you may need this later.

    If things do not improve you can phone the named person in the NQT team at your local council. They can support and advise you, and try to ensure that you are being given the statutory induction. You can also speak to your union.

    I had the NQT year from hell last year, which resulted in my resigning part way through. I am now completing the NQT year at another school where I feel so much more supported (touch wood), so please don't consider leaving teaching because of this one school.

    FYI: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...ion_guidance_for_newly_qualified_teachers.pdf
     
  8. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I don't even think I could hold on to pass the NQT year. She claims it was 'just that one time' as we don't have any frees at the same times- my meeting now has to be one day a week after school (not fun seeing as we have after school sessions three days out of the week anyway - apparently it means we get to go for summer break a week earlier..)

    I will try to get the information about my NQT team at the council tomorrow. I joined NUT as soon as I was able - I treasure unionisation as only a historian can! It's not just this one school I don't think: I think a lot of schools are becoming like this, and I just want my life back. I want to see my partner. I don't want to take endless work home with me anymore. I want some semblance of order and sanity back!
     
  9. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I've emailed my HOD and let her know taht i'm struggling, without going too far in to it. Hopefully now i've spelled it out for her she might be able to offer some help. What's the protocol for hysterical tears in the HOD's classroom at the beginning of a four period day?
     
  10. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately it's highly unlikely that you'll have a decent work-life balance in your NQT year and as a result it's going to be difficult to see your partner as much as you'd like.

    As for the hysterical tears, usually it was a tissue and an awkward pat on the back for me.
     
  11. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    The last sentence made me laugh! I hate crying in front of anyone - even my poor neglected partner! I'm used to acting like a hard nut that just takes everything in her stride.. I guess I should get used to the fact i'm a massive wimp.

    I don't mind it being a bit heavy work-wise, PGCE was workload heavy but I definitely wasn't crying every day. Something has to give - I feel as though I could be compared to a chocolate teapot at present.
     
  12. Billie73

    Billie73 Occasional commenter

    I felt the same and if it helps I've come out of the other side stronger. I don't teach anymore but I do tutor which is partly why I use these forums. The other reason is to stop myself accidentally thinking I might want to teach again!

    You're right, a workload is fine as long as you feel you can manage it and that you're doing at least an OK job. When it's seemingly never ending and you feel like you're useless it's almost impossible to find motivation.

    Talk to others on your NQT course when you go and see what their schools are like. If you like the sound of it keep an eye out for jobs in those schools. You've definitely had a rough start but it might not be as bad somewhere else.
     
  13. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    There are some other NQTs but I don't know who they are and haven't had time to meet them! There's a lovely lady doing the assessment only PGCE but I can't talk to her that much - she looks to the rest of us for advice and she's so good already that I don't want to put her off!

    I've just emailed my mentor so hopefully she can help - I think she was hoping I was a little more self sufficient than I am (I wish I was too - I hate feeling like a burden.)

    I'd love to sleep but I spend so long fretting and panicking that I have to work long in to the night and I'm not really hungry enough to eat properly which is always a sign that i'm stressed - I've lost 2kg in just over two weeks despite practically living in greggs.

    I will try to get some help. If they don't come forward with it then clearly I need to find the emergency ejector seat button.
     
  14. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    I hope things work out, I'm sorry.
     
  15. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    Thank you. Whatever happens will be for the best. When one door closes... so on and so forth!
     
  16. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Stop working, and listen to some rain sounds on YouTube to help you relax. Or sea sounds. Or river sounds.
     
  17. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter



    This is what I'm listening to...
     
  18. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter


    That sounds heavenly. What do I do about all the stuff I need to do to prevent getting railroaded though?
     
  19. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    You can't do anything if you're exhausted and anxious.

    Do the essentials. No more at the moment, or you won't make it to half term. Your health is your wealth, as they say.

    Go to bed now.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter


    ...Yes mum. ;)

    I'll make sure I'm set for tomorrow and try to get some sleep. Thank you. :)
     
    blueskydreaming likes this.

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