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NQT, thinking of quitting, advice needed

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by bibury, Feb 5, 2020.

  1. bibury

    bibury New commenter

    Hi, there. Apologies for the much repeated topic.

    I'm an NQT, Modern Foreign Languages, and started in September in a secondary school. In December my assignment evaluation was at risk and still today, after my 3rd formal observation so far, I cannot understand if I am making any progress.

    My huge struggle is behaviour management, I find it very difficult to set 'tone' in my voice (my voice is usually soft) to make me heard by students. I teach nine classes, seven of them are all lower set with SEN and learning problems. My self-confidence has dropped to such a degree that I have panic attacks, insomnia, and palpitations. The students are too chatty, verbally aggressive and disrespectful. All the strategies to manage them are not working. I'm thinking of quitting because their behaviour is emotionally too much for me. I have stopped having a life, I spend the whole week (weekend included) planning and with very little time to rest. All of this is having an impact on my health.

    I have read and heard stories from others I know who teach have had very similar experiences. We are told as teachers that it's our responsibility to engage the students, and punitive measures today appear to be often in current teaching practices. But, the truth is, sometimes, children esp. in lower sets will do everything and anything to disrupt a lesson they are wholly uninterested in.

    I should finish the term and then consider if concluding my NQT year and giving the profession another chance in a new school, or change career directly. Any advice is more than welcome.
     
    Keep_hope_alive likes this.
  2. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    The trouble is that, having got off to a bad start with behaviour management in these classes, you would have to be super good at behaviour management to pull the students back into line. I really think it's worth putting this school experience behind you and seeking another school in which to try again. It is having a big impact on you emotionally and I'd suggest you speak to your head about early release from your contract; you might not even have to finish the term. Definitely speak to your head or mentor about your struggles and take it from there. Best of luck.
     
  3. surfblue33

    surfblue33 New commenter

    Not a good situation. I find that working through weekends has a major impact on my mental well being, so I'm not surprised that you're feeling like this. You need to have at least one day off completely. Do something that is good for you and your well being. Spend time with people that love and care about you. No matter how well planned your lessons are, if you're not in a good frame of mind you can not deliver them as they should be nor will you be in the frame of mind to deal with disruptive behaviour.

    Have you asked other colleagues to come in and informally observe you? They will be able to give you advise on where you might be too soft and how you can tweak things. Sometimes the really small tweaks can have a major impact on behaviour and learning. I've done that with one of my particularly horrendous classes and we are getting better. Recent test data with them has shown that they have all improved their outcomes (apart from 2). The behaviour is better but not there yet, however positive reinforcement is starting to really help too.

    Speak to your mentor first of all. Perhaps support strategies can be put in place to get you through this tough spot. Practise with your voice. However, I have found that shouting does not really work. If I need to get the attention of my pupils, I stand at the front and wait for them to be quiet. This took quite some time at the beginning but they quickly learned to be quiet when they had to make up that lost time during break and after school.

    Good luck and I hope everything works out for the best for you.
     

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