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NQT thinking of leaving.

Discussion in 'Primary' started by cally1980, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    I am so confused and do not know what to do, so thought I would see if any other people can offer advice or even just empathise!

    I am an NQT with one term under my belt. For the past 5 years I have been secure in the knowledge that teaching is the career for me and have gradually been working towards achieving this. I had a very successful training year and really enjoyed both placements, leaving with an outstanding and still full confident that I had chosen the right profession.

    Cut to the present - I am dreading going back to school. Gradually over the past term my confidence has been chipped away at. I am not enjoying my school at all. My class are generally pretty lovely but I find I have little say in what I am teaching, and am generally uninspired by the whole thing. Morale at the school is low and while my observations from my mentor have been a mixture of positive and constructive, all SLT input has been very negative and critical. I have been told that next term there will be continual 'drop in' observations from SLT and am dreading it all. I feel like I cannot do anything right and am a rubbish teacher... I dont see how I can come back from feeling like this?

    It does not help that I am a single parent and am finding the work-life balance non existent! My son is 7 and spends every other weekend with his dad so I effectively get 2 days a month of quality time with him. He is missing me and I am missing him, so not only am I the worlds worst teacher but I am also the worlds worst parent...

    Has anyone else considered leaving the profession altogether and then recaptured their enthusiasm? Will a change of school make much difference? Should I 'hang in there' to finish my NQT year so I have the option of returning? Will I ever get a better work-life balance or should I cut my losses?
     
  2. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    I am so confused and do not know what to do, so thought I would see if any other people can offer advice or even just empathise!

    I am an NQT with one term under my belt. For the past 5 years I have been secure in the knowledge that teaching is the career for me and have gradually been working towards achieving this. I had a very successful training year and really enjoyed both placements, leaving with an outstanding and still full confident that I had chosen the right profession.

    Cut to the present - I am dreading going back to school. Gradually over the past term my confidence has been chipped away at. I am not enjoying my school at all. My class are generally pretty lovely but I find I have little say in what I am teaching, and am generally uninspired by the whole thing. Morale at the school is low and while my observations from my mentor have been a mixture of positive and constructive, all SLT input has been very negative and critical. I have been told that next term there will be continual 'drop in' observations from SLT and am dreading it all. I feel like I cannot do anything right and am a rubbish teacher... I dont see how I can come back from feeling like this?

    It does not help that I am a single parent and am finding the work-life balance non existent! My son is 7 and spends every other weekend with his dad so I effectively get 2 days a month of quality time with him. He is missing me and I am missing him, so not only am I the worlds worst teacher but I am also the worlds worst parent...

    Has anyone else considered leaving the profession altogether and then recaptured their enthusiasm? Will a change of school make much difference? Should I 'hang in there' to finish my NQT year so I have the option of returning? Will I ever get a better work-life balance or should I cut my losses?
     
  3. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I remember reading once - possibly in a Sara Bubb article or book - that the average NQT finds the first term a demoralising experience. It talked about the initial excitement of having your own class giving way to the realities of the job along with all the challenges of being new.
    It went on to say that by Easter most NQTs felt that their lives were becoming easier, but that they hadn't quite recovered the enthusiasm they had in September. Only in the summer term did the confidence really return such that by July many already had in mind how they wanted to tackle their second year and were looking forward to it.
    I realise that this isn't the most positive of messages, but equally it indicates that you are far from alone. And for those reasons alone, I'd say it was worth trying to stick out your induction year.
     
  4. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    Thanks for the reply, it is nice to know that there could potentially be a lot of others feeling similar things right now! I might have a google to see if I can find the article :)
     
  5. I totally understand where your coming from as I am also NQT finding it really tough! A lot of what you said about how you feel is the same for me but I do not know what the answer is. Did you pass your first term?
     
  6. I'm sure others will offer you some great advice but just wanted to say that it would be a crying shame if an NQT left the profession in their first year. You have worked so hard to get where you are, with a child as well - that must have been very hard but you have managed it.
    The school you are in may be at a low point at the moment. It might be a fretting about an upcoming Ofsted or simply trying to improve the way they feel is best (not sure that drop in observations are the way but that is a different issue). My point is that is one school, there are plenty more out there for you to experience.
    The work life balance is a constant issue. Just have a browse of some of the other threads and you will see that. It is not just you.
    My advice would be to speak to your mentor or a member of the SLT about your concerns. Share your concerns and be open and honest. If it does not go your way, have a browse of the upcoming jobs in your area. Please don't give up your hard work on the back of a bad time at one school.
    Good luck.
     
  7. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Have you been on an nqt induction course yet? Are you still in touch with uni friends? I bet if you talk to fellow NQTs you will find that many feel the same way. Make time to be with friends on hhe weekends you don't have your sin. Make sure that you do something for you in this time. Guilt is the default setting of working mums, it will get better and in the summer you'll have tons of time together.
     
  8. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    Excuse typos. Although a weekend without sin sounds tedious, I actually meant a weekend without your son.
     
  9. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    My mentor wrote my NQT report but SLT called her in and told her that they did not agree with what she had written and decided that they would write it. I did not realise it was pass/fail and so assume I passed.
     
  10. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    Thanks for the words of advice, it all helps x
     
  11. First term is not a pass or fail. It is simply a case of being on course to meet the standards by the end of year or not. If not, school should be putting something in place to support the NQT.
     
  12. You poor thing. Things would be a lot better if you had a supportive school. I just left a horrendous school which made me so depressed. You are a good parent, and plenty of parents feel exactly the same as you. At least you can make up for it in the holidays! I would see this year out if you can and try and change schools. Have you talked to a member of SMT about how you feel? Usually there's someone on there that's approachable. Or how about Key stage leader?
     
  13. I reckon you are doing a lot better than your giving your self credit for. It can not be easy when your struggling to find time to spend with your son. It sounds like you have got a tough SLT but that you will be ok.

    Did you have an end of term assessment meeting? Have you had the written feedback yet?

    What is your class like? Does the school have lots of problems?

    You deff are not alone in feeling this way...I am very worried but I have every reason to be.
     
  14. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    It seems a bit odd that slt rewrote your report. If you're in an la school you will have an advisor responsible for nqts, they will have introduced themselves at your la induction course. I would contact them, or ask your mentor to do so on your behalf.
     
  15. I was told it was pass/fail for each 'old' term but that you can fail your last term.
     
  16. I meant that you can not fail your last term other wise you will fail your NQT year
     
  17. I am currently in my fourth year of teaching and I feel this way on a bi-termly basis. Every time I feel like it I sit and cry to my boyfriend that I hate the job, have too much to do and that I'm not cut out to do it. He gently reminds me I feel like this every so often and I'll likely get through it. I respond with a dramatic "you don't know what I mean, its different this term, I need to get out"...A few weeks down the line I love the job again!
    Teaching is HARD, there's no getting round it and i can only imagine what its like having the stress of a child to raise as well. My feeling is that it will get better - try to at least get through your NQT year and see how you feel after that. Maybe a change of school at the end of the year would be advisable.
     
  18. Cally, try not to worry. The thing about teaching is it's so changeable. One minute you think everything is going great, but it can change in a day on 'one' person's opinion.
    SMT are often struggling in the water themselves, and make snap decisions on the back of what other people (usually the local borough, or advisors, or OFSTED) are telling them they need to do.
    Obviously this is super frustrating, and it must be really hard when it's affecting you and your son. I'm in my 2nd year of teaching (NQT last year) and am lucky enough to have a 15 month old son. What has the past 2 years taught me? Teaching is great...yes. Teaching is hard as hell sometimes.....yes. But these are not the most important things, having someone else who depends on you whether you do your planning or not, whether you differentiate effectively or not, that little man needs you and needs to spend time with you.
    I've asked all the same questions as you are asking now, and been in a similar position last year. I think you should try to complete this year, as then you will be in a postion to make your own decisions.
    Your NQT year is tough, as other people have control of your destiny, however to fail your NQT year is quite a feat and cannot happen without you realising, and having access to support. If your school feel the need to have drop-ins, then I would try and just accept this for a while. I know this is hard, and makes you feel horrible but I'm sure the SMT will find some other task to occupy them after s while. School agendas change all the time, try not to worry and keep going
     
  19. I understand how you are feeling. I have 2 under 5's at home and have also just completed my first term. I had some highs and also some horrendous lows but I had a good cry and got through the awful bits. I find the best way to bring myself up is to have some fun with my class. 20 minutes of games in the hall for a treat or some really fun drama has a fantastic dual effect of producing smiles and laughter from the class and then reminds me why I wanted to do this! I am taking each day as it comes and the rollercoaster may never stop but I hope I will get better at riding it!
    It is really tough doing this with kids. I really appreciated the holidays with them and am sticking with this as I have put blood, sweat and tears into getting here. Don't let school politics put you off. Let's get through our first year and then see how you feel in July.
    Good luck and all the best xx
     
  20. Stick it out, if only for your NQT year. At least then you can go back if home life allows you the time. You've worked very hard to get where you are. The pressures are horrendous but it does get better. Good luck.
     

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