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NQT and ready to quit already.

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

  1. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    One wonders why Colleges/Training Institutes don't do more to help students as indeed one is expected to hit the ground running. You're fresh out of College and other staff presume you're so up-to-date. You've finished your training and just need to be allowed to find your own way / teaching style etc now.

    Please stick with it as I'm sure most teachers remember feeling as you are. Not just at the start of their career either. Every time one changes Schools or moves into a different position of responsibility.
  2. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I can't particularly fault my university - my university curriculum tutor did her best to give us a holistic induction to teaching, but when we spend most of the time in the placement and at the mercy of the mentors in there (and I had two sub-par placements - the first didn't really teach me anything, the second saw a personality clash with the teacher in charge of me) there's only so much she could do in the little contact time we had at uni. I passed with 5 goods and 3 minimums as well as all three assignments being 2:1 or above, and I felt totally ready to come in to NQT year and completely blow some socks off. That's obviously disappeared pretty quickly. I'll try to stick it out as long as I can. I've wanted to teach since I was 13 years old, I think that bubble bursting has contributed to my rapid decline in enthusiasm and mental health.
  3. Aperture94

    Aperture94 New commenter

    I just read your first message and it is exactly how I'm feeling right now... do you want to send me a private message for some support? I've been in the job 2 weeks and feel the same way!
    RedBedHead94 likes this.
  4. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    One of the big problems of the training courses is that student teachers don't really get sent to any schools with big behaviour issues...and the class teacher is in all lessons so behaviour issues will be minimal. Once the NQT starts in school they are on their own...a massive culture shock.

    I can't see any way around this, but it is probably the biggest area in which training does not prepare teachers for life in the classroom.
    pepper5 and (deleted member) like this.
  5. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    But if the normal class teacher gradually withdraws, then they will get that experience.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Not in my case! My second placement was at a school that later featured in the Daily Mail's 'worst 360 schools in the UK' (or something like that). Behaviour was shocking. Kids would walk out of your classroom and run around the school all day as they pleased. Most of the parents didn't engage, didn't care. So many parents were in prison, I couldn't believe it! On my first day one boy was put in the behaviour unit (on site) in the morning, but 'broke out' at lunchtime, then ran around opening classroom doors and shouting in invitations to fight people all afternoon. It would be amusing, but it isn't because nothing was done to stop him. In another incident, one of the class teachers told me she was scared of a certain Y10 boy, who was in a PRU at the time, but he came back to school and she left me alone with him - one day, while she was crying in the classroom next door about how **** her life was (seriously), he swore at me and threatened me. I could go on, but I won't, you get the idea. The key thing about these experiences though was that because the school was so badly managed, I still did not feel confident at all about dealing with this behaviour at the end of the placement. And dealing with the behaviour in that school meant doing this their way, which I did not like or agree with.

    So I think it's not exposure to very poor behaviour that's the problem, it's that every school has different behaviour, due to the parents and the students in the cohort, and has different procedures for dealing with that behaviour, and as a new member of staff, and a new teacher, you might need more time getting to grips with using the behaviour policy consistently in your new school , and finding the confidence to do so as well. NQTs need understanding and support in order to prepare them for life in the classroom, not just exposure to bad behaviour IMO.
    Elvis0 likes this.
  7. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    Sounds like you had a more useful experience, if more difficult at the time @blueskydreaming than a lot of trainees get. My placements were certainly at schools that had few behaviour issues, with the consequence that I struggled with behaviour management when in my first post.
  8. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    I agree. You need to set a sensible time not to work past (I decided 10.15 when I was training and have made it earlier over the years). Then do whatever you need to relax, warm bath, hot chocolate. I've taken up knitting as I can't do that and think about work, it helps! If I'm having a bad night I try to imagine down at the beach and picture the waves coming in and out with my breathing. Works for me.

    You also need to eat properly, Greggs doesn't count!

    Good luck!
    Lara mfl 05 and blueskydreaming like this.
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    But despite that experience, I also struggled with behaviour management during my NQT year last year. I was actually scared, when I started my NQT year, that my new students would respond in the same way as at placement 2 when I removed from the classroom, so I ended up not wanting to follow the behaviour policy right up to the point where I had to ask them to leave. It was like some kind of post traumatic thing!
  10. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Academies - they're so well organised and such fun to teach in aren't they !
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    And I thought I had some horrible days. I have been in challenging schools - some pretty difficult, but not like the one you describe above. Shocking is all I can say.
  12. NotSoWiseOne123

    NotSoWiseOne123 New commenter

    I am an NQT. I have had some very serious life issues crop up and combined with the immense strains of teaching I am not coping well. You are not alone, and also like yourself I had dreams of teaching for a long time and the realisation that it is simply not for me left me fighting that feeling from about Term 4 of my PGCE (my training was right through to the end of Term 6 too). Your wellbeing ultimately comes first, the qualification will never go away if you decide to return.

    While I would have liked to have seen the whole year out, I can see this is not going to happen and need to preserve my health over and above anything else. If the mere suggestion of 'giving it time' fills you with dread and you are in tears at the very thought of staying any longer then consider walking away - the PGCE is heavy and you would not be the only one completing it and deciding not to do the NQT year straight away. You could find anything, I have seen jobs for early years practitioners in hospitals and teachers needed to assist healthcare professionals. Lots of people say the charity sector is an appealing alternative for teachers too. Whilst those nearest and dearest to you want to see you achieve your dream, only you know if it is still your dream or whether the reality is not what you hoped.
    sabrinakat and blueskydreaming like this.
  13. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, of course the OP wants to quit. I am surprised that there are any teachers at all in the UK's pathetic excuse for an educational system. Therefore my advice for the OP is to start looking for a job in an international school as soon as possible. There are heaps of international schools all around the world and teaching in one of them is a lot more fun than teaching in the UK, I can tell you. Having been a teacher in the UK, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Romania, the UAE, Qatar and now China, I would recommend teaching overseas to any young(ish) teacher who is fed up with VAT on just about everything, OFSTED, rude and lazy students, the latest loopy government initiative in education, student debts, lousy weather, crazy house prices, stupid paperwork, ineffective SLTs, Council Tax. more pointless meetings, et cetera, et cetera, ad infinitum!
  14. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Please make sure you are in a union. The NUT offers a free subscription to NQT members and organises training events free of charge.
    In the worst case scenario of the school pushing you before you jump, you need union support. They can't help after the event of you are not registered.
    Join a union.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    "Make sure that you join a union" - that is just another way of saying, "Teaching in the UK is a load of #*@+!"
  16. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Do you have insurance for theft? Fire? Life? Car? Same thing really ;)
    First Snowdrop likes this.
  17. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    To the OP:

    Why not look into an independent school - smaller classes, better behaviour (not always perfect, though), etc?

    Biggest hugs!
  18. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, of course joining a union might be helpful and perhaps in some situations a union really could give you some practical support. However, membership of a union will not solve all or even most of the problems encountered by young teachers in the UK. Leaving the UK and teaching in an international school, on the other hand, will be a much more radical and effective way of solving your difficulties. Instead of rude and lazy students in the UK, you could be teaching polite and hard-working Chinese students. You will not have to pay rent and Council Tax if you teach overseas!
  19. Elvis0

    Elvis0 New commenter

    I agree with @Billie73. Mental health is paramount.

    I am an NQT too and suffer many many difficulties in my current school. Looking for a new school for term 2 now ;). Give it your best shot, but if it feels wrong till October, look for another school.

    There is no reason telling NQT's to "Stick to it". Workload is one thing. Feeling your are being sucked out of energy and ending up sick is different.
  20. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, Elvis0, if your mental health is of paramount importance to you, then why are you teaching in the UK? If you were a vegetarian, would you go and work in an abbattoir?

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