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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. Re O.H. I'm not sure if they can force you to go, check it out with the union. My advice is that, as I said before, their real intention is to have evidence that they have tried to support you and posssibly to label you as having mental health issues.

    I'd not recommend going under these circumstances unless forced to. If you do go explain to them that you now realise that the stress was caused by bullying and harrassment - put it in writing, (don't nescessarly raise a grievance), explaining a few of the many incidents which caused you distress and how cumulatively, you now realise that your reaction i.e. the symptoms of stress were a normal reaction to the abnormal treatment in the school. Do not give an inch.

    I'd also assume that the OH person does not have a good understanding of workplace bullying and will have been given a negative impression of you either directly or in the passing. Ask at the start of any discussion to see what they have been told. When they dismiss any suggestion of wrondoing or misstreatment, explain that it is not up to them to tell you how you feel or felt and that you now understand that the problem of bullying is misunderstood. Ask them what their understanding of 'bullying in the workplace' is. I would be very surprised if they gave you an answer that impressed you.

    Re mental health - Being realistic, you probably have come close to suffering 'mental injury'. The main injury suffered by targets is Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder a symptom of which is flashbacks to things you found damaging, re-living events and panic attacks. Your aim at present is to understand and avoid injury so be aware but don't focus on this aspect.

    Where I think you are just now I think is coming to realise you have been bullied severely, you have shown some of your cards and you now should expect more devious tactics. The natural reaction at this stage is 'hypervigilance' - like a startled rabbit in some ways. The physical symptoms are heightened awareness, eyesight improves - (if you wear glasses you might find that you don't need them to see), acute hearing - everything ready for fight or flight. If you know it might happen, you can be ready for it - it might never happen. Either way - no real problem so long as you understand its normal.

    A post you should read is 'Is your boss a psychopath or a narcissist' on these forums.

    A final thing to be ready for is a 'narcissistic rage' where the bully stages a rage suggesting that no-one likes you, that you are useless and that others are complaining about you. It is intended to create terror and self doubt and make you crumble. If you are not prepared this can cause serious damage - you are now prepared. This sort of thing is usually done in private so there are no witnesses. Its an example of 'projection - the bully puts her own percieved issuses onto their target, its usually the opposite of the truth. A brilliant 'blame' technique. Again, it might never happen but between the HT and the Mentor, it might.

    Bullies are very prone to unknowingly using projection and once you understand the concept, they become easier to predict. Re the rage, its up to you and obviously depends on what you can cope with at the time. Sit quietly and listen to the abuse, if you can ask for her to write down the issues she has with your performance so you can address them (she won't) or write them down yourself. Ask her to elaborate, write things down yourself - share what happens with the union. If the union is not fully on your side yet - then education is required - print out and show them some of the posts unrelated to your own situation. They need to be totally understanding of the real situation. There will be previous targets that have become victims due to lack of knowlege, but the pattern you should now be coming to understand will ring bells.

    Get sleep and hot baths to address the 'cold extremities' look after your health. Think positive.

    Re OH, the only thing that they can do to help would be to get you another post. It is possible that that could be acceptable however there are good and bad issues associated with a move.

    Remember, the only support you need is to be allowed to work in a 'normal' as opposed to a 'Hostile' environment. The bully will not change - training makes them more devious, anger management is inappropriate as their anger is 'staged' and to suggest that its a personality clash or breakdown in relationship is a common get-out clause the use. The breakdown is real but is a similar situation to child abuse where the breakdown is caused only by the aggressor.

    Happy times.
  2. Buy or borrow a small hand held dictaphone. Keep it in your pocket and every time you interact with the bully and her cronies, slip your hand into your pocket and turn it on. As soon as its over, record the time and date. If there is any sneaky showdown with no witnesses to back you up, you will at least have what she said on record (later transcribe all your records with dates etc but do not delete the tape recordings .File/ catalogue them in chronological order as backup. You can keep this under-cover tactic hidden to collect evidence for a later confrontation so when she denies your accusations you can produce the evidence. Alternatively, if you are brave enough, you can accidently-on- purpose expose your tactic and then lead her to believe you have already been recording her for ages and have a large cache of evidence already collected and ready to use, but you must look smug and totally confident if you want to try this...don't say one thing but let your demeanour expose you as bluffing. She will S**t herself believe me. Explain to her that you have ample evidence of her misconduct and that unless her behaviour changes radically with immediate effect, you will have no choice but to use the evidence you have collected to defend yourself.
  3. I am an NQT and also feel like leaving. My school is awful and my HOD has little time for me, we rarely see each other and only speak when needed to. I find myself dreading the next day when I goto bed at night. I almost gave in my notice at half term but stuck at it in the hope things would get better. Instead I am finding the problems are getting worse and the behaviour in the school is a whole school issue and not an individuals.
    I am in two minds about giving in my notice next week as their are no jobs to apply for so would result in me doing supply work. I am worried that schools would not be sympathetic with the situation and view me as a quitter. I am a passionate teacher, I love teaching and doing what I do, I just want to work in a place where I am supported, respected and not undermind!!!
  4. I would like to encourage you to maintain a positive attitude. Make sure that you are confident that you are doing your best according to the core standards. Keep a record of key incidents. If you are satisfied that you have done all you can to be effective and you are not getting the support you need then arrange (with guidance from LA NQT adviser/ union rep)to leave on your own terms. Supply is often a good way to prove yourself to a school while you check it out. You may well find it to be a good route to your next NQT position.
  5. 03150579 - on a separate note, in at least three separate posts you have erroneously used 'their', rather than 'there' - it's probably worth being clear on the difference, as it would be disastrous to pass this on to pupils...
  6. the union have suggested that i should hand in my resignation letter. the head had also agreed to release me!! i'm going to apply to a supply agency now, hope everything goes well!!
  7. I am in my NQT as well.I'm finding it really tough as well but I am lucky enough to have a great supportive department.

    Your head and mentor actually sound like bullies. My advice to you is probably to leave, if they are going to carry on being horrible until the summer then unfortunately there's a chance they might fail you even though you should pass. Obviously they might be fine but if I was in your shoes I don't know if I would want to risk it.

    Is there anyone in your school who could perhaps unofficially observe in one of their free lessons? They could then write a good reference for you.

    What ever you do decide remember that that sort of behaviour in schools is not every where and you will find a school that are fully supportive. Ring your union for advice, if anything they can log your concerns and maybe explain to another school if you decide to leave why you havn't got a reference from the head. Your union can be your evidence for how long it has been going on.

    Hope it works out for you, good luck.
  8. yes, i asked the head if another member could come in and observe, and she replied by saying "no, as they are not trained to observe others", which i found extremely unprofessional, because to me it sounded like my lessons are good but she doesn't want anybody else saying that!! she also said that i would consider it after christmas..

    i also don't trust her, that actually she will pass me in the summer that is the reason i am getting an early release, which means i will have to do the three terms all over again.

    i am going to get in contact with the supply, how do i approach them, i mean what do i say about the school.
  9. You will be well out of there. If your head doesn't trust anyone else to observe you, there is a major problem! Certainly in secondary, peer observation is regarded as good practice and there isn't a great deal of 'training' needed unless it's for mentoring or performance management, in which case the school usually has a proforma.
    Are you reasonably confident about getting supply where you live? If you're not sure, will you be OK financially? Supply seems to have dwindled everywhere. I can't imagine any agency would need a whole load of information to guess why you've chosen to leave, so don't worry about that. Do look for advertised jobs. Remember that you won't be competing against the next lot of NQTs at the moment, and there might be a maternity leave available, which would give you more continuity.
    There are so many signs that your school is not being supportive. The main one for me is to wonder why they've not changed your mentor. After all, these people appointed you, so it's hard to see why they don't want to help you to succeed.
  10. Well done on handing in your notice and securing release. I hope you feel better!!!! Might be doing the same tomorrow myself. All the very best for the future!

  11. i hope it all works out for you. best of luck.. remember to get your union involved..they are very supportive. let me know how it goes...

    i've also asked the union to ask if the head will agree on giving a reference...will let you know what the head say's to that!!
  12. houserabbit- i was thinking to do supply because i thought that would be a good idea for schools to know you as a teacher and not be put of by the reference. although i will carry on applying for jobs!! don't know what's the right option really?? confused!!
  13. You are at the sharp end. You now know that what's been happening is much more widespread than you imagined and that, had the penny dropped earlier you probably would have handled things differently.

    If you have local moral support, my inclination would be for you to 'fight on'. I'd expect while you are in the school, your HT will see you as a problem as she has presumably known for some time that you were being bullied out or more likely least down by the mentor - she will deny all knowlege of issues - thats why it is improtant if you do stay that you create a paper trail. It is highly probable that they have 'things' on each other from past exploits and both are scared to stop supporting the other.

    I'd suggest applying for / securing another job before you put in your notice. Often the HT will give an excellent report to help you get out to solve the problem without losing face. To end up unemployed and to fail to get work could also be damaging to your confidence. Its the old Catch 22 again.

    To walk, plays right into their hands and they will probably continue to badmouth you after leaving. At present, you have a rights, it seems stupid to dump them. Do not accept at face value anything she says - it is clear neither can be trusted. A 'normal' person would not tollerate others treating you the way your mentor has.

    Before you walk, go off sick if you need to, get and read the books I suggested (another excellent insight is given by 'the sociopath next door' - its not on bullying directly but gives an excellent insight to the workings of your mentor's and possibly your heads mind. When you know how they tick and the ease and conviction with how they can lie then it becomes easier for you to disregard everything that they say nad not take their bullying tactics to heart - I.e. you can learn not to take things personally. If they actually want rid of you, it might be to make room for one of their own.

    Obviously its up to you and it depends on what you can cope with. No-oneon this forum is going to judge you. I'm just good at logical thinking and know that knowlege is power especially when dealing with sociopaths / narcissists which is clearly highly likely to be the case.

  14. I do not want to appear harsh 03150579, but I do feel you need to 'cut bait' and make a decision.

    EITHER - get on with it and get out,
    OR - get on with it, play your SMT at their own game, grit your teeth and get your NQT year done.

    Many of us have had miserable NQT years, it seems to be the standard 'rite of passage'. We can sympathise/empathise with you, and we're all supportive (including me).
    In the end the only person who can resolve this issue is you. You need to make a choice, and then take steps to move towards that goal. Your stress and depression will reduce if/when you do this, as you will feel in control of the situation. Paradoxically this will also help you deal with the bullying issue as well, as your control will reduce the impact of others' behaviour.

    Personally I would get out. No job is worth your health. Go do supply, and look for another NQT post while you are doing supply.
    Do anything - BUT make a conscious choice - yours, not someone else's! You need to regain control and b****r the moral high ground, or sorting out anyone else's problems, or bringing the bullies to book - do what's right for you, and do it soon.

    Oh, and BTW, I would sort out the there/their/they're issue - makes for confusing reading.

    All the best,

  15. that is what i am doing..i'm getting out!!!
  16. Good for you. I hope it works out for you and I'm pretty sure when the uncertainty wears off and you begin to find your feet again in teaching you'll never look back. I haven't.
  17. dont quit! i sympathize with you...I was in a similiar position bout 7 years ago and had to leave my post after one term of hell!
    The head said she would give me a stinking reference and make sure i didnt get another job! 7 years and two very successfull ofsteds later im in a school where im happy and fulfilled and once more loving teaching.
    Chin up, get out of the school, move on and begin loving ya job once more

    good luck
  18. yes, my head has also agreed to give a fair reference!! don't know if the head will, but that's what she's saying at the moment
  19. dont give up. I cant believe that fellow professionals are being so horrid and negative towards you.Life is hard enough being an NQT, you really are doing everything for the first time....Its meant to be a learning process adn they whould be supporting you. Take the other advice, speak to you LEA advisor, union rep etc and remember why you trained to be a teacher. Having a hard time from staff is not easy and you have to be a strong person to put up with it, if they trat you like this how do they treat the children?
    ona more practical level, when you go back, ask if you can , as part of your NQT release time, go to other schools and see how they do it, ask to team teach with a sympathetic collegue, ask the moaner to teacher you class and for you to observe, im not saying any of them will be better than you, but it may just help. Do not lie awake worrying about it, get more sleep, take time for yourself, unhappy teachers teach unhappy children. For your class you are the most important person between 9- 3.30,when thingsare bad remember that. Try to get some support from people around you, and if all else fails and you do decide to move on, remember , as a school they have failed you, you have not failed, you are already a qaulified teacher. they have failed to meet your professional development needs and i hope they lie awake one cold dark night and feel bad. Take care and enjoy your holiday, look after yourself and make sure you are as well and healthy as possibel when u go back to work.
  20. sorry just read my message, loads of typos, just got back from school play. must try harder!even old teachers have bad days!

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