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Nqt awful first week/incidents : Advice needed

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by SarahR2013, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. nqt in early years and I have had an awful first week. Teaching is going well, behaviour is good and the children are responding well to me but I have had two incidents happen. The first was a child picked up by a family member at home time, I had so much going on at the time that when the brother came to pick her up 10 minutes later and when asked who picked up the child by the senior team I completely forgot despite having had a conversation with this family member and ensuring he was safe. Hence having to explain myself to the head and sending lots of people into a panic.

    Next more serious incident was yesterday, a child in my class slipped past me at the door and I did not see them. The child then ran through a gate which was not manned by anyone, then through a main gate where he hid behind an adult hence the person on the front gate did not see him go past. He ran out into the public pavement/road to his mum who understandably brought him back to my class in anger. I once again had to meet with the head and explain myself and that I did not see the child go past me. I was not told he had a history of running off.

    I am frustrated and embarrassed that I continue to mess up with children, I know that others were at fault in the second incident but was made to feel like it was all me, especially as he did run out of my classroom in the first place. The parent is now being very awkward and telling other parents that someone tried to abduct her child. I am stressed and dreading Monday and the staff meeting in which my mistake will be made public to all the staff. I feel like people especially the head think I am incompetent and I worry that I have a massive red mark next to my name despite things going very well in my classroom. I feel so panicked that I will mess up again as I feel that if I do then my last chance will have gone and there may be more serious consequences for me. Am stressed and dreading every day atm. Any advice would be great.

  2. lilac25

    lilac25 New commenter

    Hi, sorry to hear this has happened in your first week, What we do in reception is to sit all of the class on the carpet, the teacher then stands outside and the ta stands by the door then the teacher calls the name of the child and the ta makes sure that the child goes. It is literally one by one, we have learnt the hard way. Some people did complain that it took too long, we just say it is to keep the children safe. Is this an option where you are?
  3. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Oh dear, how unfortunate to have had two incidents like this in the first week. Rather than getting into a panic about it, try to look at each incident in a positive way: you have had two learning experiences about handling home time in a busy classroom. What can you take from each incident about how to make home time safer?

    From the first incident, you might like to consider having a list where you, as you hand children over, you make a note of who has collected each one. In the business of the end of the day, it's very easy to forget who collected whom. You could also use this list to make a note of anything you need to say to a parent/guardian, accident form to be signed, etc.

    From the second incident, you need to review how you were standing by the door that made it possible for a child to slip past unnoticed. Do you have another adult (eg. TA) available at home time, or is it just you? You need to think about how to ensure this does not happen again, because the parent is justifiably angry that her child was able to leave the school unsupervised. Had you even realised the child was missing? A checklist as suggested above would make sure that, if this ever happened again, you would know a child was missing and had not been collected.
  4. Yes we have a system for the morning, but my TA was late and did not arrive until 9 so I was on my own. I also have my door wide open in the morning and I stand by it but this is something which I am no longer going to do. I will shut the door and open to let children in that way no child can run out. The school is now putting someone on the gate to ensure that is properly protected also. I also now have a list of approved adults at my door for the end of each day to ensure children go home with correct people, though that was not the issue, the issue was me forgetting who the person was which was stupid. I just have a lot anxiety and feel my confidence is pretty non existent right now.
  5. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    The school was pretty remiss here, in my opinion - you are not only new to the school, but also an NQT! You don't know all the procedures (theory is very different to application) and for you to be blamed solely for the second incident shows that the school is trying to find a scape-goat.

    Great advice from the two posters above and you know it will not happen again. In my case, I started a new school this week and was late to almost everything the first day (!); after apologising, I went back to my classroom and during my free period, made a huge A3 poster of the morning times and due to the fact that we have different timings for afternoons (same on two days; same on the other three days), I made two A3 posters of those timings, which I put right next to the board, so the children and I both see it (I am secondary, but my form group is mixed year 7 and 8) and it worked a treat! Do what the others said with lists, etc., and then if any criticism further, say something like 'thank you for your comments, I believe I have resolved this issue' and show how. I think the children are probably too young to be helpers, e.g. I nominated one child on Thursday and one on Friday to 'remind me' so we didn't run over in registration, etc.

    Remember - your TA was late in relation to the first instance

    Remember - there was no one on the gate in relation to the second instance

    If you are mentioned in the staff briefing, raise your hand or if possible, make a comment about having taken steps to resolve and would welcome any assistance from the more experienced teachers at your school (therefore, showing you are proactive and reminding them that you are new and an NQT)

    try to enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    best wishes

    ps. if the child in the second instance of running away, why weren't you told beforehand?
  6. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    Interesting that the parent was 'justifiably angry'-when I was at school and a boy did this (running off out the class) once, the mum was so ashamed and came to the teacher saying how sorry she was, she had brought him up properly and he'd never done this before. The school didn't exactly use the phrase in their response but they made it clear that they weren't pleased with her parenting skills and the other parents said she'd better get her act together and control her child. Still remember-she would have been too ashamed to complain to the other mums. Just saying-interesting how things change...
    disconic likes this.
  7. ck1ng

    ck1ng New commenter


    I wouldn't stress too much. The majority of the British school system has a nasty habit of expecting teachers to be robots. When I was supply teaching, I nearly always couldn't remember who I'd spoken to 10 minutes ago because there is literally so much nonsense to deal with all at once!

    It sounds as if there are heaps of positives going on: your teaching and the children etc. so don't panic. If you aren't getting enough support, make sure you tell SLT. Ultimately it is their responsibility to make you feel comfortable and safe.

    Hope the ensuing weeks get a little easier. I know they did for me :)
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Great posts and advice from everyone. The child concerned should be reprimanded by his parents in view of his history of running off and not following instructions.
  9. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I'm an experienced teacher and one of my Reception kids slipped out when he saw his childminder and neither the TA nor myself, who were talking with two separate parents actually in the doorway, saw him, so he must really have sidled out. The childminder didn't alert either of us she was taking him. I rang the childminder as soon as we realised he wasn't in school and asked if she had him. When she said she had, I told her sternly to remind him not to slip out without speaking to a member of classroom staff, meaning it for her benefit as well really, and she apologised. The parents have not come to me and complained but had they, I would have explained the situation and told them just how unimpressed I am that the childminder thinks it's okay to take a child from the class without telling an adult. All adults need to adhere to the rules so we're singing from the same songsheet and the children need to see we're doing this so they follow the rules too.

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