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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. Weezy18

    Weezy18 New commenter

    I'm sorry to hear that you are having such a hard time. I am a mentor for an NQT (in their second term) in my school and we are doing all we can to help this NQT as there are areas that are conerning us. We have organised a weekly meeting to go over anything that has arisen in the previous week and have got a consultant in from the LA to support the NQT. We have arranged visits to other schools and have gone as Key Stage so that we are are working together, so that the NQT does not feel isolated. Our NQT is aware of the concerns and has expressed relief that we are doing other things to help. I really hope you get through this - I had an awful NQT year but I managed to get through it, don't let it ruin your desire to be a teacher! - I realise that is easier said than done tho.

  2. Depends which way you look at. I could say dig in and try to get through it. However, the job is extremely demanding. I have been teaching for 9 years, it's got much worse.Expectations are unreasonable. The Unions are too weak, we take so much **** i can't believe it. Anyway, if your personal situation allows it supply is a great option, i'm doing it. I have learnt loads i love meeting new people seeing how they do things without the pressures. You'll grow in confidence too. There's plenty of work. Life is too short, don't suffer. Take care, i wish you luck.
  3. The union will be scared - The mentor is posssibly in the same union. They (the full time officials) know that the LEA's / councils play dirty - see my other posts - they know the normal prognosis is that the innocent get damaged if things run the normal course. Further, it is highly likely that neither your local member nor the full time official understands the psychology of the bully and without knowing that there is always an uncertainty and even they can (wrongly) assume some blame to you.

    The reality is that adult bullying is similar to child and domestic abuse. There is an imbalance in power. The aggressor is wholly at fault and tells lies, the victim always tells the truth. The aggressor puts the blame on their prey to silence them and tries to convince them that 'they asked for it because of the way they acted'. In both cases there is often an element of 'grooming' prior to the abuse to find 'hot buttons' that they can press to control. With you it may be a tendancy towards perfection that they can use to abuse by setting tasks where they can always find fault no matter what you do. -- The old double bind, catch 22 -- set you up to fail.

    H.R. departments are under pressure (bullied themselves) to 'toe the line' and harrass the innocent to wear them down (even though you know you are right and she is so wrong and that justice must prevail, it is very unlikely that the grievance route alone will do anything). H.R. know that the bully, if called to account will contrive explanations or simply deny any claimed wrongdoing on her part. Its all done privately in kangaroo courts. She will tell lies with conviction, supporters will be called to her defense and convinently inexperienced investigators will fail to look at evidence presented to them. They will say that they will do their own investigation and ask for evidence later. They will not ask and if you force it on them they will still ignore it. The corruption can go to the highest levels. Again I have dealt with this subject elsewhere. By playing a different game, gathering evidence for a future PfHA action - These claims will start to roll out shortly, and once that happens, councils will start to take action - remember 6 years, unlimited damages (though its much better to survive with the evidence as an insurance policy and to tell the tale and help others by providing knowlege like this). You must focus on survival, holding your head high, remembering you are good. She will not change her ways, her mind is 'wired to bully'. You must engineer things so you get out on your terms, older and wiser.

    Another book to get right now from amazon is 'Nasty People' - it gives good defence tactics and explains how you can become less suscepitible to similar - 'evil' people in the future.

    Finally, if you look like getting the bully into a corner her next tactic is to play the 'pity' card. She will develop an 'illness' get a sick line , then go off till you get worn down. At the end of it all, she returns to her old post, 'got away with it again' she privately gives you the 'chimpanzee' narcissistic smile and either continyes to bully you if you have any fight left then within a few days (its as quick as that) moves onto her next target. The more they get off with it, the more they abuse and the bigger risks they take. Eventually, the employer gives her an excellent reference, and she moves onto a different school in a higher position to abuse at a higher level.

    Positive actions - read other a19pb stuff, get the books, don't rush into anything. Possibly get your union rep to read this and my other stuff. What happens is, like i think has happened with you just now, the penny drops, they come over fully to your side and can provide excellent moral support if nothing else. -- P.S. Don't use the school email system except when you want management (often the bully) to read the content of the communication. Share what you can when you can but only with people you trust. Bullies use 'plants' ans will try to set you up, especially as it seems she knows you are on to her at some level.

    Finally Finally - The head has a 'duty of care'. There will be a 'Dignity at Work' policy which you should have (the policy is intended to protect the employer in reality. The spirit and intention will be good but in practice it will not be adhered to. In that policy, i think it will say that they must investigate all reported cases of bullying and harassment. If the person is very strong and prepared to inform the head in writing / email. than that would be a good bit of evidence for your file especially when he takes no effective action.

    The paper trail is most important. Watch minutes of meetings and ask for clarification, in a public place when you are given unreasonable tasks or criticism. Avoud being too perfect - know that you are allowed to challenge unreasonable requests, avoid being alone with either her or management, visit your doctor and get it on record that you are suffering stress symptoms due to bullying at work. I'd avoid the drugs but i'm not an expert on that area. You also need to get people at home or close friends to understand this stuff as you will require constant re-validation.

  4. Sorry, I meant to say, your target is to get away from the environment created by the bully. She will have made the conditions 'toxic' damaging in some way all the people around her by causing mistrust (many will not even know they are damaged and that she is the cause).

    Even if she were to go (unlikely in the short term) she will leave behind damaged individuals who would still wrongly blame you. There is a mass education programme required - the establishment will not do it as the 'status quo' suits them fine - using underhand techniques, people have risen to senior positions - they cannot 'unmask' themselves and they can manipulate the 'good' people at senior levels. A little 'evil' can go a very ling way!
  5. i'm back at school next week so i'll see what they have to say to me..and if things are not looking good i'll have to get in contact with the LA and union again... i'll try getting hold of the two books that you suggested and look at all your advice on this site..hopefully i'll have alot more knowledge when i speak to people now.
  6. Don't let the b**tards grind you down. Keep a personal record of lack of support. There is a lot of good advice on these threads - see a union official, talk to the LEA.
    You cannot be condemned for trying your best. You sound like a GOOD teacher to me - conscientious, you CARE about your job.
  7. thanks. yes i'm a keeping a log and i've always wanted to be a teacher and these people are making it really hard for me to get through my NQT year. like a19pb said they creating a toxic environment which isn't helping at all.

    do you have 5 years to complete NQT year or 4 terms from the day you start teaching/supply?
  8. I sympathise with you. I am a very experience teacher and was bullied out of a job. Now i am stronger for it. Everyone says I am an excellent teacher and work almost full time on supply as well as beig asked for longer placements. If you can't go back,go on supply. All the other advice is good. There are good schools out there with supportive staff.
  9. I think we've 'spoken' on another thread, but reading this and I can't believ how exactly the same our situations are, even to the 3 observations in 1 week part. Eerily similar.
  10. I didn't think they were allowed to do three observations in one week?! We have guidelines for the amount of observations from our LEA?
    Poor you - I hope things are getting better?
  11. I can't believe what a rough time you're having. I'm in my NQT year too, secondary & luckily I have an extremely supportive HoD and faculty team. Plus I've had a couple of really good observations.

    Despite this I still get very stressed & worried & this week have been very tearful as I've been tired & feeling like there is not enough time to do everything! I've now caught and awful bug and am very worried about missing school this week cos all the lessons I had planned require me to be there & I don't know how to make them into cover lessons :(

    Incidentley, how on earth can theyhave a go at you for leaving school at anytime once the bell has gone? It is upto YOU when you leave as long as you're getting the work done they have no right to interfere.

    Difficult to know what to advise - I know you must be worried about future job prospects but I would think that life is too short and anything could happen tomorrow so nothing is worth making you feel that miserable. Check out the financial implications esp if you have a mortgage or dependents & if it's ok just do whatever it takes to make you happy.

    Good luck x
  12. My heart goes out to you and your miserable situation. I can identify with your current situation as two years ago I had experienced bullying and harrasment from my manager. I work in the care industry and unfortunately, it took me some time before I realised I needed to leave before all of my self-esteem and decision-making skills were eroded.What helped was that a senior member of staff sent out copies of the companies Bullying and Harassment policy.Everyone had to sign that they had read the policy (as with all such documents)which included guidance on identifying key signs of a person being bullied or harassed.My manager had many personal issues that were causal of her abusive behaviour and I personally needed to complain officially. Unfortunately, I had become ill as a result of my stress and really did not have the energy. Since I have left, I have a great job with
    more responsibility and have the full support of my line manager and team. My advice to you would be to
    put your mental and physical health as a priority. Everything else can wait. I appreciate bills have to be paid and maybe supply teaching is the answer. I just wanted to let you know that you have lots of exciting opportunties and experiences ahead of you ...you need to step out of this bad time and move on if you feel that the situation will never be resolved. I really, really hope that you can find some freedom of thought over the Xmas break...many best wishes and a much happier New Year! PS I am accessing this website for my daughter who is taking a first interview to begin her teacher training at University,, Needless to say..I won't mentioned this forum just now. :0/
  13. yes, definitely health comes first...i think i'm going to ring the union and LA and say i wana get out of their ASAP. i hope this decision doesn't affect my future jobs. but like everybody is saying their are people who will understand the situation you've been through and actually see you as a good teacher instead of looking at a **** reference. thanks!!!
  14. I refer to my previous post, suggesting you contact Human Resources. Yes, this is a department in your Local Authority. Each school has an allocated HR advisor, and you can telephone them in confidence. It may also be that your school 'buys into' a counselling service, which should be totally confidential and which you can access without anyone in your school knowing. Use the service as a sounding board. You'd need to know whether or not the school buys in, of course, but your school admin or HT could tell you that. I wouldn't worry about them knowing you might want to contact a counsellor anyway - they need to take your worries and concerns seriously. Only a couple of more weeks til the end of term - keep on going!
  15. i'll get in contact with them tomorrow or ASAP. thank you
  16. Good on you. I always bang on with my POV because there are so many people who say you shoud stay. I'm not telling you what I think you should do but offering another opinion, and I think if you decide to go, good on you. The school will have to deal with the situation they have caused, the children may suffer but in the long term the sooner the issues in the school are noted and dealt with by LEA the sooner ALL the children will get the education they're entitledto, not just those who are being 'included' though inclusion. And, most importantly of all, given one person can rarely change a situation all on their tod, you'll be doing what you can to say you're not happy with this, and you won't put up with it. You shouldn't have to feel this way, and believe me it's not like this everywhere.

    I'd sincerely recommend supply as a way of finding a new job as you can try before you buy. I didn't accept a job I was pretty much offered as I'd worked there on supply and knew it was going the same route as my old school. I've never looked back and have not cried a single sunday since leaving.

    I#'d also big it up, be completely honest to whoever you speak to, don't try for the stiff upper lip, tell them you're feeling how you're feeling, and what goes on there. They'll help you if they're like mine, which I really hope they are.

    6 months on from leaving my old school I have a life, during the week as well as at weekends, a class I love, a school who appreciate the work I do, children who are learning and I am happy to go in each day. It couldn't be more different. if you did want to mail, try tesdoraemon@hotmail.com

    good luck, let us know how you do.
  17. From your pos1 10 --

    'DURING MY LESSON feedback, the mentor is commenting on stupid stuff, like displays not mounted properly, playdough cutters are not clean enough.etc.. after i raised the issue with teh head that this shouldn't be mentioned in the lesson feedback i feel things have gone worse.
    basically they making it hard for me and i feel i'm being interrogated all the time..i'm being watched all the time and being pulled inside the office for making any small mistake! last week i was taken into the office for leaving school at 4, and the painting area had a few paint splats on (she described the classroom as a disgrace)i should be spending more time "cleaning" the place and making sure that the environemnt is spotless. which i do that was the first time i went home at 4 in ages. ---'

    All this stuff is trivia - The general rule for bullying is that if an independant onlooker were to assess the situation, would they consider the actions reasonable.

    Further, its about what you felt at the time that's important not the other's intention - You should record your 'feelings' as that will help you understand the reason for the distress. In isolation, the odd trivial comment is not a problem - its the 'pattern of unreasonable behaviour' that must be your focus not any individual incidents.

    Your HT should acknowledge that to comment on trivia is unreasonable behaviour for a mentor to a NQT - their whole perspective should be positive and any critisism, constructive and tactful. You are not in the army being taught how to objectify your enemy and rely on your boss to do your thinking. You do not blindly follow instructions to the letter, you are entitled to use uour initiative and there should be plenty of scope for you to try and fail on your own terms. Making mistakes teaches us much more than blindly following instructions. Its called innovation - its what good teachers do.

    Consider emailing the HT informing him of how you felt at particular times & your concerns re the cumulative effect on your health. Copy someone outside if possible, as well as your union rep. - its best to have people outside his influence for your records. Don't go to any meeting re this without your rep.

    Remember, he and others will have been given a vague or direct negative impression of you. (the bully often suggests to others that you have said something bad and untrue about the person the bully is talking to - the person will never question you but a bad feeling will be create. They will react differently to you and you will have no idea why. - Now you know why. It might be worth broaching the subject cautiously with selected individuals. Its difficult I know.

    The bully 'pulling the strings' has no concience & cannot empathise. Others will exhibit bullying behaviour as it is condoned by more seniors. Many think the favour they are being shown is because of their efforts rather than to attack the target.

    A final thought - open your mind to consider if some of the complaints about you or your performance haven't been 'planted' by the bully. A typical scenario is then she, 'miss efficient' spots them, and uses them for a bit of public humilliation. I was thinking about your 'squint wall display', but the scope for this is enormous if you simply 'don't care' and like seeing better people squirm.

    A final final thought, it might be worth asking her if you could observe her doing something imaginative with her or your class, checking out her wall displays, and inspecting how well she cleans her playdoh -- Only half joking but a camera comparing like with like might be useful evidence to have. I don't mean fight 'fire with fire' but more insurance. You need the paper trail!

    Remember don't think you can negotiate with either bully. As I said before, they see that as weakness and their actions do not follow their words. They cannot be trusted, their reputations are at stake and they will always contrive answers and manipulate to suit changing situations.

    They hold the trump cards and act together, you must be careful how you show and play yours. There is a lot to learn, take a breath and always wemember that you are not at fault in any way. Don't give an inch - remain professional and watch your back. Hypervigilance (not paranoia) is a natural response about this stage. (i.e. the bully knows that you are complaining and you now realise that she may increase covert pressure). Go with the flow - survive - regain your energy - get out the environment when you can. Don't bust gut to be perfect - that's probably what she wants so she can find fault - she knows that, till now, you have taken things personnally - go against your instinct when she critisises unfairly - don't accept blame, simply ask her to repeat it in a public place so others (not her co dependants) can witness. She could back off as she will not like to be seen to critisize unfairly in public.

  18. i'll Definitely let you guys know!!! YOU are the people who have brought my confidence back in dealing with the situation!!
  19. If you do decide to walk - take some time to gather what evidence you can if you can and get advice on the wording as to why you are leaving. Ask your union rep to find out about the (vicarious)liability of the council under the PfHA. It gives you the option of fighting in the future.

    All schools are not bad. There is a future.
  20. I am an NQT and have had similar experiences to you. I am also on the verge of failing my first term but have decided to stick at it.

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