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NQT might lose her job - HELP

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by chess_knight, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. I have been informed that there's a chance my NQT contract will be terminated. I don't really want to go into details about it here, but I was just wondering what advice people would have if the worse comes to the worst and I end up unemployed.
    I have found my NQT year unbelieveably difficult. I was getting consistent 1s and 2s on my PGCE, and left as "good with outstanding features". Now I am struggling to reach satisfactory and my observations tend to be graded inadequate. I am doing everything I can to take the advice I am given, but it doesn't seem to be paying off. I took time off before Christmas with depression (something I have suffered from for years), and I've not been able to get back on my feet properly. If I had a load of savings behind me, I would have handed in my notice a while ago, because I really am struggling. However, I've had to keep going.
    I am very, very worried that I will be dismissed - I cannot afford to be unemployed and I'm not sure what options will be open to me. It's hardly the best environment to be released into, especially with a dismissal next to my name! I have spoken to my local NUT advisor, and he suggested supply teaching, though with the caveat that that's hardly a reliable source of work.
    Any advice for a panicked NQT?
  2. My NQT year didn't start off too well; I ended up leaving the first school I worked at after one term. That school was not willing to provide me with a good reference. I took the supply teaching option and it did me the world of good; I built my confidence and was able to see lots of types of schools and decide where I would really like to work. I quite quickly got a full time job after proving myself and have been a sucessful HoD for several years now. Don't give up. Try supply teaching, it can really help to clarify things. It has big challenges, but benefits as well. Good luck.
  3. Thanks, IrritableCommie. I think supply teaching might be the best way to go, especially as my confidence has started to hit rock-bottom and I seriously doubt I'll get a decent reference from this school.
  4. Well, just try and remember that you clearly can do it otherwise you wouldn't have got those grades on PGCE. Performance as teachers depends so much on state of mind at the time, the school you're in, whether you can talk to people there etc. Although you need a thick skin as a supply teacher, it can actually be remarkably unstressful; being able to walk away at the end of the day and not go back if you don't want to is a good feeling after having been unhappy and tied to a place. Don't know how much work there is out there at the moment, but if you're willing to be flexible in terms of location and type of school then I reckon you should be able to find enough. Supply teachers who go the extra mile really stand out too, so it is a good opportunity to make a positive impression without too much expecation on you! All the best.
    btravers556 likes this.
  5. Chess_knight, I'm sorry about this. Have you called your union? They can offer great practical advice along with advice on your legal standing. Can I also suggest you talk to someone. Talking will help you understand what you need and what you want. The Teacher Support Line is great for this (http://teachersupport.info/). Best of luck for your future.
  6. I have been in touch with my union - they have been very helpful. I called the TSN when I heard that my contract might be terminated.
    I am considering going into supply teaching, or possibly applying for LSA / HLTA posts. I worked as a TA before I did my PGCE and I enjoyed it. I have wondered about going into primary teaching, and this would be a way to gain experience.
  7. I have read similar things a few times on here when people are struggling in secondary. Primary teaching may be your calling, however, don't assume that it is any easier than secondary. I have only met a few teachers who have made the transition successfully - I have met many more who could not cope with the change. primary teaching is very different to secondary teaching. You need to be mother, father, doctor, role model, psychologist, and teacher (and at all subjects). I would suggest doing some voluntary work to see if that move would be right for you.
  8. Alie

    Alie New commenter

    The issue with transitioning from student to NQT is that the standards you are accountable to are different. You also go from being supported to being completely on your own and this is very difficult indeed. What is it that you are falling down on? Have you observed other people teach? Have you recorded your own teaching to see if you pick up on what the observer is saying? It could be you need a fresh start somewhere else, not every school is for every teacher which is why visits are encouraged before interviews. Don't make a rash decision, talk to your mentor and see if you can reach an agreed way forward.
  9. Oh, I absolutely don't think it will be easier. My family have all worked in primary education, and I was a TA at a KS2-3 school so I know how difficult it can be. I just feel that my skill set and the way I work with classes may be more suitable for primary than secondary.

    I have found quite a few LSA / TA jobs in Primary that I am going to apply for, as well as a few supply posts, so I'll try and dip my toe in the water, so to speak.
  10. This might be a good way to carry on working in a school environment. You could settle into a new role and at a later date consider completing your NQT year.
    Schools are often pleased to have a teacher in a TA role although full time HLTA posts are very rare. You would also have to consider the salary drop.
    Hope you manage to find something and that whatever you do brings you happiness.
  11. Oh, how horrible for you.
    I had a really rubbish start to my teaching career. I found it difficult to get a job for the September I qualified and ended up starting my NQT year in the January. It was the first year that the NQT year had been "brought back" and the kind of mentoring that should be on offer nowadays just wasn't there for me.
    The class I had were in need of a teacher because they were so awful in terms of behaviour that their previous teacher had walked out and subsequently left teaching. Great. Blissfully unaware with my rose-tinted spectacles on, I started work in the classroom with the children on the 3rd of January.
    Needless to say, it didn't go the way I might have hoped. It was a temporary contract which wasn't renewed due to pupil numbers. I moved to another school to finish my NQT year (and recover!!!). I have been teaching full-time now for 12 years (save for a part-time stint when I had my first child), and I'm now working as part of the SMT in a large infant school.
    I'm currently acting as mentor and coach for an NQT in our school. As well as regular observations of her lessons with constructive feedback, we identify strengths and weaknesses and have an action plan. Part of this involves observation of other teachers, paired observations (where I go in with her and point out good practice), and demonstration lessons.
    Have you got a mentor? In the county where I work, all NQT mentors receive training for the role and there is 1 person who co-ordinates all of this. Perhaps you could contact them? All NQT's in our county receive plenty of induction training - if you have this, perhaps you could speak to someone there?
    Try and think about what it was that made you want to teach in the first place. If you got through your training and secured your first teaching post, then you're doing something right. It sounds to me as though you're in the wrong school. Check the local vacancies list.
    Good luck with whatever happens. I'm sure that you're a great teacher just waiting for the right school to bring out the best in you.

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