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NQT woes

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by rsc12, Oct 1, 2020.

  1. rsc12

    rsc12 New commenter

    Hi everyone, I see that people on here are wonderfully supportive so thought I would get some advice.

    I feel like I am a terrible NQT.

    I started at the beginning of September (secondary) and although my classes (aside from one with huge behaviour issues) seem to be going ok, I feel like I should still be training, I am woefully unprepared for my NQT year in my opinion. I feel as though I am using too much discussion, not enough in books, not enough differentiation, behaviour management is poor, and I am struggling with the admin of it all. I never learnt how to mark year 11 books and although my HOD is very supportive I haven't had chance to learn yet and I feel as though I'm letting down all of my classes and the school. It seems that every time I think I'm on top of something, something new pops up that I haven't considered (such as unscheduled book looks) and I find myself panicking all over again.

    I'm not sure what I want from this, maybe someone to tell me that they've been there and made it through! I'm desperate to be observed because even if it's terrible it's the not knowing if I'm doing the right things that is the issue for me- I would rather have a horrible observation and know for definite!
  2. JJ83

    JJ83 Occasional commenter

    Good Morning
    EVERYONE Has been there in some way or another!! That's what your NQT Year is for among other things!!
    Marking is different in every school so don't worry about not knowing how to do it
    Behaviour wise - hopefully your school has a robust BFL strategy - if so make sure you are using it consistently in all lessons
    I guarantee that if you are teaching and assessing and no one is telling you that you are not doing a good job then you are most likely doing a great one!
    Best of luck
  3. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Been there, done that! Good teachers are always reviewing their work to see if they can improve. So you are in good company.
    sooooexcited likes this.
  4. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Talk to your line managers.

    There is so much to learn when you first start teaching, no one expects you to know it all right at the beginning. Tell them what are the areas that are concerning you, and and ask them which you should prioritise at this point. Ask them to come in and observe, there might be things they can spot which are a higher priority than anything you have thought of. They should be pleased that you are openly, and professionally, wanting to keep on the right tracks.

    But beware: Covid is putting immense strain on everybody, and it might be that you are not high up the SLT's list of priorities right now. They are possibly dealing with many other 'emergencies' which are cropping up on a day-to-day basis. Best for you to raise your flag early, so that they are aware that you want guidance, and your development is steered correctly.

    While all this is going on, concentrate on your classes, your teaching, their learning etc. Behaviour management is a long-term issue, it can't usually be fixed overnight. It would help you if you knew how the class with 'huge' issues are with other people or how they were last year. They might be everyone's nightmare class. Work to make small improvements in your highest priority areas (eg differentiation, marking) so that if anyone has a criticism, at least you can say 'I've done this and that, what should I do next?'

    And I wouldn't think about any observation being 'horrible'. It should give you some guidance ref how you should be managing, changing etc. Approach it professionally, even though you are not long in the profession, accept advice professionally, and act upon it.

    Just asking for help here shows that you have a professional attitude, but it is your managers' jobs to help you, given the specific circumstances of your school.

    Good luck.
    lisa lou30 likes this.
  5. harvey964

    harvey964 New commenter

    I feel the same as you, I'm in a school where the behaviour is shocking, there is about 8 new members of staff in the department this year so there is very high staff turnover. I have cried 3 times at this school (not in front of the children) and feel like quitting. It is SO draining, it is like I am expected to behave as an experienced teacher and I can't. You aren't alone
  6. rsc12

    rsc12 New commenter

    Thanks for all the advice everyone, I spoke to my HOD (also my mentor) yesterday and asked for her help in marking my year 11 books. The behaviour issues in one of my classes are throughout the school to the point where you name some of the pupils to other teachers and they say 'ah yes, you have that pupil' and their head of year told me he has a long list of (trainee and experienced) teachers of that class that need him to do 'pop ins' to monitor their behaviour. I've decided to approach the ringleaders individually in class as a sort of divide and conquer and I have managed to get two of them on side so far. It's reassuring to know that I seem to be on the right track and I've reorganised my marking schedule so once that's up to date my next focus is on differentiation!
    Skeoch likes this.
  7. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Well done. Just right. "Problems are opportunities in working clothes."
  8. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Being an NQT is like learning to drive and then actually doing it!
    Everyone has been there and it is a struggle to adapt.
    It's too early to give up - talk to your mentor and stick on in there!!!

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