Hi! I'm 23 and I've just finished my NQT year (I passed) but towards the end of the year I was having such a terrible time that I really didn't think I was going to pass and it's really making me dread going back in September. This is quite a long story but please read it and let me know if I'm being unreasonably upset! I'm a secondary school MFL teacher and my Head of Department came to observe me two weeks before the end of the year - the observation didn't go well because I didn't include a speaking activity that lesson, and when she spoke to a pupil they said that they didn't do speaking activities. The lesson feedback therefore said that I never did them, so I spoke to my HoD and explained that we did do them. I showed her evidence of this in my past powerpoints and in my previous lesson observation notes from the school's NQT mentor. She agreed to change the feedback - not before I had got really really upset about it all - so I thought this was all fine. A few days later she spoke to me about how I need to learn to take criticism, and how I can't get as upset as I did and then expect her to say that everything is fine when she fills in her forms, but I thought we were fine. The next day I had an observation from the school's NQT mentor (they were all squeezed into the end of term because we were running out of time to get them all done!) which went really well, and she mentioned how good my feedback was from my Head of Dept. I mentioned that it hadn't been good previously but that she had changed it so all was well. The day after that, I found out that my Head of Department had been speaking to some of my pupils (she had been getting them to go see her at break times) about the types of activities they do with me. I didn't know that this had been happening until the children asked me why they had been called to speak to her, so I was really upset but I didn't say anything to anyone. The day after that, my Head of Dept and the second in the dept came to my classroom at the end of the day and confronted me about having spoken to the NQT mentor about being upset over the lesson notes. Apparently she had been quite harsh with them for not being supportive of me (she has done this before because she doesn't think that they have given me as much support as they should have done, and I've been confronted about it many times before throughout the year, with them saying that I shouldn't speak to her) and so they were saying again that I shouldn't speak to her anymore, that I need to think of the department's reputation around school. I said that I was upset that my HoD had interviewed my pupils behind my back but that I hadn't spoken to anyone about that, and they said that it was normal for that to be done so I need to learn to take criticism. I was told by a friend from another department that interviewing pupils after the observation wasn't normal, but I didn't check it out by speaking to the NQT mentor because I had been told quite harshly not to speak to her anymore. I kept my head down and didn't speak to anyone until we broke up for summer. I had hoped that it would all die down over the holidays, and it may do, but I really really don't want to go back. I feel so unsupported by my department and I wish I could tell somebody that I felt too intimidated by them to speak to my mentor, but I know that if I did it would get back to them and it would make everything worse. I feel as though I need to leave this school to make it all end, it's really stressing me out and I've been losing sleep this holiday over the thought of going back. I know I've probably done something wrong here but I don't know what it is - it's obviously my first job and I don't always know what to do! Does anyone have any advice?