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NQT with issues

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by pendtoni, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. pendtoni

    pendtoni New commenter

    Hi all,

    I left my NQT year in Feb 2018; a mix of not being able to transition into my NQT year from my PGCE and having full support from the school I was at. I graded good with outstanding in my PGCE and just couldn't do it with my own class come the first term. I lived on own and I just couldn't cope in a school I didn't feel supported/judged in. Since then I'd been doing supply from April to gain more experience and confidence again.

    Unfortunately, I'd been mostly cover supervising in high schools rather than supply teaching in primary schools. I was only able to get a hand full of primary supply teaching days (poor agency choices at the start of summer term vs 2 decent ones at the end of the summer term). Therefore I didn't get a good chance of regaining confidence and get as much experience in a primary setting as I'd hoped.

    I wasn't able to secure a role for September despite applying for 20+ roles that were within my travel distance. I'd 3 failed interviews with one interview ending with and I quote "You ticked all the boxes but with our school targets we can't support you in your NQT year"; a major blow in my hopes and confidence.

    I was able to get regular primary supply Oct/Nov 18 in a few schools that were really decent and one I really hoped would have me as their 'personal' supply teacher. I was able to gain a little confidence back with that despite still being really rusty. Weirdly I did best in Nursery. Come December however I was offered from an agency a full time role starting Jan this year willing to do my 2 outstanding NQT terms. I couldn't turn it down as I thought I was in a better position personally and especially for the security the role would bring.

    I supplied there for 2 weeks before Christmas and got a little handover for a class held by another NQT who was struggling massively with the class. I started this week but it's been such a poor week. Behaviour has been nuts, I'm all over the place, I feel so unprepared and still lacking so so much confidence. I just keep getting flashbacks of my time as an NQT in my first school. I went home (now living with my girlfriend) after the first day who said she's never seen me so down and anxious. I'm already thinking of leaving again in order to protect myself and the school. They are supportive and have told me it'll get better because they've not had the consistency and I understand that. Am I stupid, stubborn, naive?

    I feel desperate now in three regards. One, money. Two, I need/want to get my NQT year done, just have a job, and do something else after the NQT is done. Finally, three, desperate to get away to stop feeling so stressed and unloving about teaching despite guilt I feel about the work I put in to become one in the first place. Three stems from ll the above and seeing other friends earning so much more in better/happier jobs.

    I honestly don't know what to do. Can any one shed some light for me here?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Talk to your mentor about your fears. Mostly they will be because of previous poor experiences, not because of current ones.
    Talk to anyone relevant at school about problems and ask for help with anything and everything.
    You are an NQT, it's supposed to be tricky. Worry not and simply ask for help.

    Oh and find things outside school to take your mind off it.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Take your time.

    The classes are going to be difficult because that’s how they are with new teachers. And if they have had lots of supply teachers they will be very unsettled. Sounds like your school understands that.

    Don’t measure your success against anyone else’s. They may earn more, they may be happier - but they won’t change anyone’s lives.

    Sometimes I hate this job. I hate the hours, I hate the stress, I hate a lot of the children I’m stuck with. But I may persuade one of them to take a course that may open an all important door for them. No other job gives you that. The fact we can do that amid funding cuts, collapsing support services and- well - hating every second of it - that’s what makes teachers heroes.
    mothorchid likes this.
  4. pendtoni

    pendtoni New commenter

    Hi and thanks for the reply.

    In short I asked for help and we came up with a plan. I've implemented the plan but to no avail as the behaviour and my own struggles with it and my lessons persist.

    I've decided that by the end of my NQT I'm quitting teaching to do something else. I nearly cried in front of my class today, which was a proper low point for me as I've never been that close before. Some support staff spoke to be after school today and said leave today and start again tomorrow, but I've been doing that for 4 weeks now since starting the role with the added bonus today of being told to f off and go die. I've done as much bribery as possible, followed the behaviour policy and spoken to parents and pupils about behaviour. Help is given to me by the school but it's not doing anything for the class. If I could leave now I would but I'd feel guilty for leaving the good school team and feel like a failure for leaving the NQT a 2nd time. I'm not sure what else I can do as I've taken challenging behaviour training recently to combat this and I hate going into school each day now. I'm a pessimistic person like but this experience is kicking it into sheer overdrive.

    I've told my mentor how I'm feeling and she's observing me on Thursday to see my struggles, it's not a scrutiny but a general observation. I know she'll see my downturn in the teaching due to my hit confidence. I'm trying to keep positive but as soon as one poor thing happens it just festers and I'm not for staying in the profession after the NQT.
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I'm so sorry you are having such a long, drawn-out and difficult NQT year. Four weeks isn't long to turn a class around after the time they have had, and you do have support from your mentor. Hang in there. It may change. And if it doesn't, well, you will have done the NQT year and you can hold your head high.
    Good luck.
  6. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Every experienced teacher I know would spend the first month of a mid year new post fighting like the blazes to establish presence, routines and getting to grips with new school systems and probably most of all, learning the nuances of the kids.
    However, we’ve the experience to know that things settle down and the long term stuff will kick in after a bit. So be patient and consistent. Don’t mix it up or do things different or take time off or start changing it all about. Stay consistent, persistent and patient and around post Easter you will be astonished at the difference.

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