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NQT needs advice. School not treating me right?

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by CherryFranklin, Apr 28, 2020.

  1. CherryFranklin

    CherryFranklin New commenter

    Hi, I'm currently an NQT in a secondary school in Kent, UK. I started my NQT year late because I had trouble getting my QTS number once I had passed schools direct.

    I feel like the school I am currently working at and taking my NQT year as it not treating me fairly and I would like some opinions and advice on the matter.

    I have had two mentors this year, one which basically ditched me because I missed one of our meetings (because I was observing another class which I told her about and she forgot). I had my second mentor quite late into the year (around the beginning of term 4). I have only had a handful of observations this year and even fewer written feedback. No one has gone through the paperwork I need to fill out with me, and when asked for a meeting on it I was told 'don't worry about paperwork, it will take care of itself'. I have no idea how to fill out half the paperwork I need.

    On all of my assessments so far this year I have been graded a D. I have done everything asked of me to the best of my ability. I know I have some areas of weakness which I am addressing but I absolutely do not think I am 'making limited progress towards the teaching standards'.

    I have asked for why I have been graded a D several times and I get told 'we have used advice from such and such'. So even though I have had very few observations, they still have enough evidence and opinions to grade me a D. They won't tell me specifically why I am at a grade D.

    Here's the kicker, no one ever so much as mentions to me that I'm not working to standard. The first time I find out is from the assessments on Kent Teach. I feel like I should at least have been warned that my work is not up to snuff, or have a meeting discussing my teaching and what can be done to improve. Nobody tells me anything.

    I know it sound like I'm just sore about being graded so low, but I honestly feel like I am being treated wrongly and that they higher ups have just decided that they don't like me and are trying to get rid of me. Please can I get some advice on what to do? Many thanks x
  2. ChocolateChunk

    ChocolateChunk New commenter

    I can only provide a piece of advice based on your version of the story; I am not at all implying that you are selling your own narrative by highlighting the lack of your support that you feel like you are experiencing.
    Some schools may not be great in terms of support but what you are experiencing may not be a bitter set of teachers but rather lazy or incompetent individuals too. It is very hard to gauge as we don't know them. And bear in mind that some teachers tend to be poor with praise as they have their own way of teaching which is the best, and anything that does not conform to it is not good enough.
    I do have a few questions though:
    - how did your first mentor change in the first place if you don't mind me asking? That left you to your own device for three terms which is quite a lot. September to February are always difficult in my opinion for various reasons: getting new students to settle, stress of fitting all the content for exam classes etc.
    - how often did you meet with your second mentor before the lockdown? how long for? It is worth checking with other members of the forum, but I seem to recall that Kent Teach asks for a subject mentor and the NQT mentor that supervises all NQTs in your establishment. Have you contacted the latter too? If not, you may contact them and ask for guidance. I would strongly advice you on being careful with the wording as you don't want to antagonise your subject mentor - in that first email at least.
    - do you have a record of all this? Emails, hard copies of observations?
    - what are your areas of weakness? You may get some help too in here with what you are struggling with.
  3. flossy2702

    flossy2702 New commenter

    I am also facing similar issues. My term 1 report was great. Term 2 I had 2 weeks off due to
    Stress and my school refuse to comment on my progress and graded me a D due to my “prolonged absence”
    Now I’ve been told I must complete term 3 in another school as cannot do it in my current school as my contract ends July.
  4. CherryFranklin

    CherryFranklin New commenter

    I didn't officially start my NQT training until October, as I was self funding my PGCE course, which caused the university to withhold my QTS number until it was paid. I had a conversation with people at the school and we agreed that the school would pay the remaining fees and I would pay them back out of my salary. We also had a new head who needed to wait for something to clear before he would register me (this is what I was told by the teacher responsible for ITT). I had about 3 or 4 meetings with my first mentor (the head of department) before she said I would be getting a new mentor because I missed a meeting (because I was in an observation elsewhere, which I told her about). So now I have someone from outside the school. My new mentor has been better, as we actually have a meeting every week and regular observations and feedback sessions.
    I do have records as I make sure to confirm everything and put all my questions and worries into writing.
    My main weakness is behaviour management. The students I work with are very challenging and the school is in an impoverished area. I am taking steps to improve this by taking extra CPD and asking my mentor to focus on it when I'm being observed.

    Thank you for your reply.

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