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NQT- hate my first term! want to quit. please help

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by 03150579, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. AND during my last obs the head said to me that the lessson was good - although she has doubts on my teaching and therefore she will observe me 3 times in the next three weeks without notifying me...and she also added..if Ofsted was coming in they'll do the same thing!!!..

    i just feel that instead of being supportive they just putting me through too much pressure....
  2. Keep on speaking to your union about what is going on and make sure you get your LA NQT advisor on board and let them deal with it. Make sure you look after yourself. Good luck in it all.
  3. Thank you... i spoke to the LA who wasn't helpful she told to me to carry on and if their was a problem then they'll get in touch with the school after christmas..but i've just told you i'm having trouble!! just finding it really hard and exhausting.. but thank you for all your advice it's made me smile!!!
  4. That's a complete cop out on the LA's part. Try the Human Resources department of your LA instead if the NQT advisor isn't helping. Another port of call could be the school governors - they have a legal duty of care to you. Meanwhile - take it one day at a time, keep smiling. A two week holiday makes everyone feel better.
  5. I really feel for you. Sounds like I am in the same boat. I am Nort West too. Have not yet spoken to LA. Doing that on Monday. Spoke to the Union but things gone worse since. Being punished for speaking to union. Union agreed a lot of stuff unacceptable and that they have had a lot of complaints from this school. Worried about a **** reference and paying the mortgage!! Good luck and I hope you reach a resolution. Write everything down with times and dates and show thid to LA if they don't thing there is a problem.
  6. yes i feel things have gone worse since the union have got involved. they also feel that things that are being said to me are unacceptable and just causing more damage. i am also the third teacher in a row bringing in the union at this school for this particular class/mentor.

    i am also worried about future references, money etc but after speaking to all you fantastic people i feel i know a lot more. i am planning on resigning/quitting ASAP and going on supply!!BUT just don't know how..i'll ask the union to do that.
  7. Human Resource department- i've never come across them..i prob sound dumb now but do they support NQT's and how do i get hold of them..should i contact the LA and ask for that department?.

    DHS22 - i feel for you as well i know how hard it is when everthing is not going well because of some ignorant big headed people in your school. and you are trying really hard and putting in everthing that you've got!! yes i'm writing everything down thanks..let me know how it goes on Monday!!

    i'm on stress leave at the moment..don't know if i'm making things worse for myself e.g. furture jobs etc.

  8. there is nothing stopping you taking the mentor aside and talking straight to them - they're not God and it's beginning to sound like a personality clash - they have a problem with you - get them to spit it out - be firm and fair - its your right and they will probably thank you for it - god knows what internal life traumas they are suffering from... think about it ....sometimes direct communication works !!!
  9. yeah will do. thank you..hopefully it'll get better!!
  10. Hi there,

    I worked with a girl last year who was in a similar position to you and she eventually left mid-way through a term and went on supply.
    She gained lots of experience on supply and became a better teacher from the experience, and then had no trouble at all in finding a school to take her on as a 'half-complete' NQT. Supply gives you the chance to see how schools can be run very differently and you may find a school that you just click with who will have a vacancy looming. I wouldn't worry at all about the reference- the right school for you would probably be understanding about the situation you have been in.

    I also had a nightmare teaching practice last term in a school that had a very different philosophy to my own. (they were always talking about ofsted). I was extremely careful when I came to apply for jobs for my NQT year as a result and it really paid off because my current school is much more relaxed and supportive etc, and can't believe some of the stories I tell them about my last placement.

    You mustn't be put off teaching as a result of one school. They are so different and you will find a niche for yourself if you leave and move on with your chin held high! I hope it works out for you.
  11. If you have clear evidence that you are not being treated as one would expect as your union to help you with a formal grievance - but make them help you do it and make sure it is not internal to the school you say the head is involved so make it go to the LA. If you take it against your mentor it might be looked at in school.

    If you really want to leave (and it sounds like your should there is no point in staying and makin yourself unwell) get your union to arrange a compromise agreement.

    You will need help with these matters, get the regional centre to help you not the local official.
  12. I would get strong union advice and under no circumstances do you leave without their guidance if it is getting so bad for you. Look after yourself and do not under any circumstance allow them to get you down as your health is very important.

    I would keep a diary of log of things that have been said both positive and negative and just basically have a tick list to discuss with your union regional person. Also if you do need at any point to talk to the head inform them that you may choose to have someone else with you at the time. If you are off with stress and it is resulting you to be in tears you will need someone their with a clear head so to speak to be your support and also keep a record of what is being said.

    Also have clear in your head what you want to happen and stick by your guns. If you great desire is to leave then do so but not without getting union advice.

    If you are staying then you though it will hard is basically cover every avenue. I know it sounds corny but just saying to yourself I am a good teacher and I do make an impact with the children.

    I was an NQT many years ago and had an obnoxious teacher in one of the other classes in the group ( 3 form entry). In context yes she had been teaching for 8 years at the point of my NQT year and never been anywhere else etc and also did reading recovery in the afternoon. She seemed to think it was her job to make me feel like rubbish so one day I just looked her in the eye and said 'I am as qualified as you just not as experienced, when I have taught the same things for 8 years and still make mistakes then you can make helpful suggestions but until that point can you please stop it'. i turned around and walked out, sobbed all the way home on the tube like a wreck but God did it make me feel better as no one was going to get the better of me ever again. Keep strong, I know it will be hard but keep strong.
  13. A few points to consider.

    Bullying comes in many forms and they don't teach you about it properly anywhere. Adult bullying is in many ways different from child bullying and the stakes are higher. You must take some time to learn all you can about it. It is a major issue for all teachers as all will be involved at some time or other in their careers. Many assume that they will never need to know any more than the basics - How wrong they are!

    The first misconception to clear up is that, in general, the targets of bullies have something the bully percieves that they themselves havn't. This could be anything - good looks, popular with the kids, very competent, nice, a good family life, clever children - anything. With educated adults,'Only the best are bullied' is almost always true. How lucky are you, what do you have that they haven't?

    The paradox is that if you were rubbish, then this same 'mentor' would probably be tellying you that you were doing well (because in reality you would not be in any way pervieved by them as a threat)they might even unsuspectingly use you to put a better NQT or experienced teacher down).

    They often respond to situations with the opposite reaction to that which is appropriate and expected, they react against what would be socially normal - antisocial. The unsuspecting target expects people in authority (your mentor), to be honest, professional and therefore 'fair' and are, at best, initially confused but after repeated encounters, a pattern emerges and the result,as you have found can be devistating.

    An example of antisocial behaviour is :- you do something well, they are not impressed; you make a mess of something (as we all do here and there) and they compliment you but often in a sneering sort of way. You think you have done well, they think the opposite and nitt-pick or focus on trivia when a good mentor, or any 'normal' observer would be happy, show encouragement and only if they thought it was appropriate suggest/agree things that might be improved.

    This is only the tip of the iceberg. Bullying involves anything that makes the target 'feel bad' or causes them distress. When called to account, all bullies lie or divert blame, no matter how senior they are. Often, if you try to negotiate with them, they will come round and say what you want to hear, but in reality, they see your attempt to negotiate / befriend or whatever as a sign of weakness. Their future actions will be to continue to bully. Their actions do not follow their words. Be warned. Expect the unexpected.

    All bullying tactics are intended to 'invalidate' the target, to destroy their confidence, reduce their self esteem and to cause them distress. Often the target does not even realise they are being bullied. They know things aren't quite right and often the symptoms of stress (sore joints, loss of appetite, skin complaints, can't sleep etc etc) are not linked by the target to the oppression at work. Physical & mental injury (as opposed to illness) cause performance to suffer and the bully wins. The target is either 'under her (as in teaching it is often a her) control' or if the target 'fights back' they can be destroyed by devious indirect retalliation.

    Bullies rarely work alone. They always have their allies, usually either less able co-dependents who they favour in return for narcissistic supply or senior members of staff who they 'court with compliments' for favour. They often manipulate others to isolate their target and use 'negative impression management' to disarm their targets well before the serious bullying starts. If the target complains, then the person they look to for support (the union rep or more senior manager/teacher) has, unknown to the target, probably heard bad things (lies, innuendo rumor) about you and not nescessarly from the bully directly. It will often be done 'in the passing' or by manipulating an unsuspecting other or others. The worst bullies, are experts at their trade. They feel good by making their targets feel bad. They have a compulsion to control and almost always they do things for personal gain.

    To normal unskilled observers, bullies are often seen as caring and charismatic. They create an air of respectibility, they might go to church, they might make a big show for senior managers to demonstrate how popular they are (There is usually a polarisation of views in their departments, some can only say good things while others, 'privately and only very cautiously' will tell tales of damage she has done to them or their friends in the past. Polarisation is a tell-tale sign that their is 'A bully in sight' (this is also the title of an essential book which I strongly suggest you get and read). They will have people who can say what caring people they are but the reality is that they are excellent actors and manipulators.

    A strategic manager, usually two levels above them and often with a similar mindset to them thinks (or possibly knows their true nature) that they are honest and good at their job. Its unbelievable but more often than not, true. (They are far enough appart in the management tree that they can both gain from mutual support at the expense of everyone else without the more senior being threatened for position.

    Its really heavy stuff and coming to terms with it causes the target to go through several predictable stages of. By making yourself aware of what is the normal reaction to the bullying (which is an abnormal action) then its much less scary and damaging in the longer term. Further, to help get through this experience, you must be able to recognise bullying in all its forms & learn to predict the intention behind the bully's actions.

    Some realities - Even people who know what is happening are unlikely to support you as they have vested interest or take the view that its not their business (they are aware of the toxic environment, some are knowingly or unknowling used by the bully but can't quite get the bigger picture).

    The bully will always try to put the blame on you, will muster support and depending on how you react, try to make you 'squirm'. Public humiliation, but often only you understand the intention.

    Do not 'fight back' or 'show your cards' before you have done a lot of reading and understanding. By 'fighting back' you up the anti - If the bully realises that you know her motives and tactics, she will move to devious indirect but more serious bullying.

    Start taking notes of things that happen, try to get witnesses though this is sometimes not possible. If possible create a paper trail - ask for written feedback (that's reasonable), clarifing issues, don't accept 'i'll get back to you, I'm very busy' Do it there and then or set a timescale. Take photographs of work that is 'unsatisfactory' if possible use email to clarify your understanding of her percieved shortcomings with you. Possibly prime either an external mentor or the head teacher that you are being told that your work is not up to scratch by this mentor and that no matter what you do you cannot seem to please. Act dumb if you have to. Copy them on your emails.

    Bullies withold praise so that the consciencious try harder in an attempt to gain their favour. In doing so they are 'controlled'. Bullies 'build you up' then just when you think you have it right, they 'knock you down'. How can normal people do that?, Do they have no conscience? Can't they empathise? Surely they must consider how others feel? -- The answer's are, they can do what they do because they understand about conscience but have none, they can feign empathy when required but cannot empathise and they know exactly how their targets feel. They are experts at normal reaction and behaviour but they do not follow the rules.

    At this stage, i'd avoid starting a grievance as the internal proceedures are a farce and are abusive. There might come a time when it comes appropriate but again there is a lot to learn first. The management use 'dirty tricks', the bully gets off with it again, you lose is almost always the result with internal proceedures.

    The only remedy which has a realistic chance of success is the Protection from Harassment Act which makes the employer vicariously liable for distress and anxiety caused by another employee. The timescale for this is 6 years so i'd suggest you collect all the evidence you can just now, hope you don't need to go down that road but so you know the option is always there.

    Councils will try to destroy you rather than lose a 'bullying' case. The PfHA is external ans the only bit of law that can be used effectively.

    I'd strongly suggest that you do a search on my other responses ('a19pb' on 'all forums''') and look at the 'speakers corner' blog and responses for 'are we really that bad'.

    Pace yourself, believe in yourself, do not believe what others say unconditionally - It may be said wit sincerity bet be total lies intended to damage.

    I could go on - but that'll do for now.

    Drink water - eat - divert your attention and sleep - do exercise - rest, find out about the symptoms of stress - expect them but work through them - Stress is a normal reaction to bullying.
  14. miiiss- if this school is thinking of extending my term then what does that mean in terms of applying for new jobs?
  15. I forgot to say as well that my heart goes out to you. What gives another human being the right to be so so horrid????
  16. Do read through a19pb's post (32) in detail. It's very long, but there is someone very wise who understands exactly how it goes.
    There are lots of us out here who feel desperately concerned for your situation. It is hard to know why people become NQT mentors when they clearly don't want to help. You're getting lots of good advice here, so I'll just wish you lots of luck and a change in your fortunes soon.
  17. a19pb- thank you soo much for all your advice- to tell you the truth i do feel that i'm being bullied and so does the union. what you have said about bullying and examples of bullying it feels like your describing people from my school...seriously...
  18. coastertoaster - thank you... i've tried saying that to her but she is a very negative character. because i complained against her to the head, matters have gone a lot worse. other teachers think she is a bully too. one teacher decided to talk to the head about it because she couldn't see me upset but she was told that it's not her business and she should stay out of it. but sometimes it good to have supportive people with you but not at this school..
  19. FrenchFancy55

    FrenchFancy55 New commenter

    I know its easy to say, but try to be strong and stick it out as you clearly love teaching. I used to be an NQT mentor and I do understand how hard it can be but if you know you are doing everything as you should eg planning, keeping appropriate files, good management and the children are learning, then your SMT don't have any reason to complain. Try to keep positive. Good luck!
  20. yes, i feel i am doing everything good.. but stil i feel mentor is nit-picking and a bully... just think i'll be better of somewhere else..but i just don't want to go without doing something..i want things to be sorted and LA and union to help me on this because their can be another NQT like myself in the same postion if nothing is being done...

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