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NQT Support

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by anon2047, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    I seem to do nothing but post at the moment but I am struggling at the school I am at.
    I started after Christmas in a very challenging school and despite all the 'talk' about being given support have yet to see any. I am very proactive and do not need my hand holding, yet feel that I am constantly under pressure and being judged. Already I have been in trouble for things that really were not my fault.
    I have sought support on here in a bid to carry on and am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this school is simply not for me.
    Regarding my entitlement to mentor meetings, I have yet to have one and when I asked to go on some courses was told that I couldn't.
    I do not know if I can hang on until Easter but will give it a try.
    As for professional development, I don't appear to have any apart from my own learning experiences that I record. I was told not to collect evidence for my core standards - something which I find suspicious.
    I had a very tough second placement in my PGCE year and just want the chance to be able to teach and know that support is there if I need it.
    Am I asking too much and being ungrateful?
  2. You should be getting some sort of support, yes, and I think that you should find out who has overall responsibility for NQT induction in your school (if no such person exists, then find out who on SLT has CPD as one of their responsibilities) ... but James is best placed to comment on that.
    With regards to the above, however, depending on what exactly you mean by "collect evidence", this is pretty much true. I simply have to write what I've done to show how I meet each of the core standards. My professional word is taken as enough evidence to prove it - together with what my mentor sees when she observes me. If she felt I was feeding her a pack of lies, then perhaps I'd have to provide some sort of evidence akin to the ITT years, but I don't see that happening!
    Good luck!
  3. Hi,
    Thank you for the fast reply!
    It was the above named person who said I could not have any training.
    With regard to the standards, I foresee them telling me I haven't met them which is why I am trying to cover my back as I only get one chance to pass my NQT year.
    NQT support varies so much between schools, it must be lovely to be in a nice school. I also think that you should be guaranteed a 1 year placement after ITT so that you can complete your NQT year.
    Thanks again
  4. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    You haven't been told that you can't have training, just that you can't go on a course. We have several NQTs in school this year and 'ours' in the English dept has been on courses. The woman in the Science dept hasn't though, and so it can vary between and within fschools. As a department, we are being told that courses are now a rare luxury so we've sent our NQT on courses that one of us could have done, to give her a break and give her the opportunity to network. The NQT mentor in our school is very good, but in my last school he was harder to find than SLT at break time. If you are feeling vulnerable, try to bond with people in your department, but also in other departments. Work out who you can trust, who has influence and sound them out about the school and NQT support. If your mentor is experienced, ask for a timetable of support for this term - what you can expect and when. So long as you ask nicely, it will be aeen as you being organised rather than pushy. If your mentor is new to the job, you will need to be even more proactive. Most mentors want you to pass but, unfortunately, some take on the responsibility and don't manage it very well. Are there other NQTs in the school?
  5. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    You legally don't have to collect evidence but definately do! Your other comment about being in trouble - how so? Keep a log of what you are asked to do and how & when you respond (Professional Relationships/Listening to feedback) if things start getting hairy you need to have your own back.
    I don't mean to panic you but be prepared just in case x
  6. Thank you for the replies.
    During my PGCE I was told that there was a specific amount of money that was given to schools to allow me to go on courses... So what are they doing with the money?
    There isn't anyone I can talk to.
    Thanks, that is the plan! I do feel quite let down though, I really want to teach and I have to say I thought it would be a more positive experience!
    Thanks for the advice!

  7. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    There is a ring fenced sum to support your induction, but how that is used isn't entirely up to you.

    It can be used to send you on a course, but it also gets used to allow your mentor to have cover while observing you or for you to have cover to observe a colleague. Essentially - it's for you and your mentor to work out your needs and for the school to decide if they'll cover it and they have that money to help out if needed.

    There's your mentor, your head of induction and the head of induction at your LEA. You can also contact your old PGCE course tutor.

    (And there's us, of course..)
  8. Jaime,
    If this is your real name I would suggest you find a pseudonym.
    If you re-post this and put 'Dear James' James will also give you the benefit of your guidance.
    Firstly, have a gentle chat with other NQTs about what they are getting at the school.
    Secondly, have a chat - sooner rather than later- with your LEA NQT contact. They will have expectations of what an NQT ought to be getting in terms of training and support.
    Finally, have a chat with your regional contact for your Union. And do as another poster suggested - keep records and evidence. I'd also suggest you use your personal email at home only especially if there is any sensitive material.
    This sounds rather stressful for you at the moment.
    Should you not be getting any training either in your school or arranged by the LEA I would query teh benefit of your current position as an NQT one. This first year of training is so important.
    Should it be teh case you decide it is better to leave now is a good time as there are jobs coming up now and at Easter.
    Good luck
  9. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Unless I'm mixing up this OP with another, she has only been in post since the beginning of this term. It is always a disadvantage starting at any time other than September, and it may be that staff in school are just being a bit slow at sorting things out because it's such a busy term with exam classes. While it's not a good idea to let things slide and you should ensure that you are being treated fairly, it's a bit soon to start worrying about not being out on courses. You need a few weeks to get your classes the way you want them and that's more of a priority, I think in the first half term. It may be that your mentor and others are trying to give you some time to find your feet and doesn't want to put too much pressure on while you're establishing yourself. Of course, it may be that the school are not supporting you as they should but it is very early days.
  10. HI,
    It isn't my real name don't worry and thank you for your advice!
    I really hope this is the case, going out on a course would be a nice break from the school to be honest. I know it is very early days but I do feel like can't teach at all due to the behaviour of the classes as a whole at the moment.
    I do feel under pressure, but hopefully as you say, it is early days. I really hoped I would get a good NQT placement as my PGCE placements were really tough as well even though i did quite well. I just can't get over the feeling that i am being set up to fail somehow.
    Thanks Gloria, apologies if all I seem to be doing is whingeing at the moment!

  11. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Well, you are whinging a bit, but it is hard work starting this term! When you have difficult classes, it's tempting to think an away day is the answer but, at this stage, you need to be in front of them every lesson to wear down the ringleaders. Perhaps you could arrange some observations? It's often helpful to see how other teachers deal with 'characters', especially if they're like you. If you're a softly spoken woman weighing in at eight stone, try to watch someone similar and see how they do it. Also, ask someone, anyone, to observe you and ask for one or two easy to fix ideas. I know, for example, that when I started teaching, I used to race through explanations, keen to get them working because I thought they would get fidgety if I tried to hold the whole class's attention for too long. I hadn't realised how fast I was talking until it was pointed out to me. As said, keep notes on what you do and what you're told and seek advice from different people if nothing changes but try not to panic too soon. Also, try to find good things about the school. Nicer groups, staffroom banter and so on get us all through hard times. If you feel that you have the time and energy, get involved with the school play, DofE, sports clubs, revision workshops etc. Children react differently to you if they've been on trips with you or if they've worked with you out of lessons. At the moment, they may be seeing you as a supply teacher. If you can find ways to establish yourself, that will change. Not suggesting you take on too much, but lending a hand with something you're interested in, looks good on your application forms in the future and helps with relationships.
  12. Great words of advice as usual!
    Thanks, although i'm worried if I ask for observations they will think I can't control the class - but I suppose at least it shows I am addressing my concerns.
    Hopefully I will have some more positive news to report in a couple of weeks....
    Thanks again

  13. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Yes, maybe some people will think the worst if you ask for help but I think it's better to ask now, at the beginning, rather than battle on not getting anywhere and then have formal observations. There will be some people who will judge harshly, but most of us remember how we felt at the beginning. Just pick a difficult time - beginning of lesson, half way through or whatever and get some feedback on how you deal with x or y. Just an idea, and, of course, it will be most helpful if it's someone you trust and someone who has good classroom control.
  14. Well, I have stuck to a strategy if work isn't done etc, and am still having problems. Thus time it is the SMT team changing my decisions...Not really sure what I can do about that?

    I really want to leave at Easter, and may have a supply position to go to however I do not want a bad reference. ny suggestions?

  15. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    When you say 'supply position', do you mean a fixed term post? There's never much supply in Secondary for the summer term. Think positively - you've only taught for a few days! It will get better. After Easter, things are always easier unless you don't have any exam classes. So long as nobody is suggesting you may not pass induction, you have everything to lose if you leave and possibly nothing to gain. Of course, if it's desperate and making you ill,leaving may be the best option. Otherwise, I still think you should give it a fair chance. And half a term isn't that!
  16. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Hi Jaime, I am a NQT and started at October half term. I have only met with my NQT mentor once (after my initial class observation) since October and he tells me this is because I am part time (I work 4 days a week).
    However my local council have just sent me a form to complete so that they can assess how well my school are providing for my NQT needs. The form says that I should have the opportunity to meet with my mentor once a week and asks if this is the case. I checked with my mentor and he said it doesn't apply as I am part time and when I asked to meet again as it has been 3 months with only one meeting, he stated he was too busy.
    I have been told that there is no need to keep physical evidence like for the PGCE and just to record what evidence I 'could' produce. Most other NQTs I speak to at other schools say the same thing so don't worry about that part Jaime.
    Like you, I am not receiving much support and when I leave my post at Easter I don't even know if I'll have anything to say I have completed one term's induction. On the training side, my school have weekly training sessions which are provided for PGCE and NQT's together on different topics-does your school offer anything like that? I am guilty to some extent as I do not attend as they are on my day off in the evenings and I live a long way from the school and struggle driving in the dark.
  17. Hi
    NQT support, what's that? I started my schol in September, I have had no mentor meetings and only been observed by my mentor once since I started. I know my mentor is extremely busy with other things and have mentioned to the NQT guy and my HoD that I've only been observed once and they said I should have been observed more but have done nothing about it. I'm exhausted, behind on my marking (to a frightening degree), all assessments have been done but class books haven't. I've been observed by Hod for a few minutes and got satisfactory and by a someone else with lots of experience and got good but I would like help to cope. I'm so stressed and have never despaired so much about a job. I seem to spend all my time working although lately I have had some evenings off in the week and a day off a weekend but feel guilty the whole time and am getting really angry about that. I'm unmotivated because I'm so stressed, all lessons are planned fully but this takes up time I could mark in. I have no idea what to do, although this term is easier than last as I no longer have responsibility for an extra class on top of my original tt. I'm so tired.

  18. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    It's how it is. When 11s an13s go, it's a manageable job. With them, it's hard work and this term. Keep on top of the planning and force yourself to mark, as and when you can. You have got your priorities right get the assessments marked. Try to set some easy or self marked work for each groups and juggle. It's what we all do. File your planning and resources carefully so that you can reuse some of them. You'll be so much better next year.
  19. Hi, Thanks again for all of the advice!
    I know I haven't been there very long but I suppose the positive is that I am still actually there! In terms of support, none existent but thinking on the positive side I am, trying, to teach these kids something...I just hope that I can hold on.
    No the other position would be on a supply basis but is a lovely school with excellent support - no guarantees of anything else whatsoever. not sure how I would explain it on my leaving form though.
    Thanks again for taking the time to reply, am i sounding a bit more positive? I'm not as ill as I was!
  20. Hi,
    I said I would update so here it it.... After reading all your wonderful words of wisdon and advice, I am starting to see a change in my classes, still very very difficult but I think things could be turning - unfortunately half term is now upon us which means they may lapse when we go back!
    I still want to leave though and wondered how I could reasonably explain leaving at Easter with nothing else to go to to future employers as I really don't think I can last until July.
    Thanks sooo much for your advice and support!


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