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Pressure on NQT

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by marrojo, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Hi I am new to this forum and am not a teacher but the parent of an NQT, I would just like to air my complete dissapointment in the system of induction and the pressure NQT's are put under.
    With out to much information our situation is completely demoralising for my son, he has overcome many obstacles to gain a BA Honours in Primary Education and was a young committed NQT. From the age of 12 he only wanted to Teach, he also has a keen interest in helping Special Needs. In the matter of three months his induction Headteacher has completey removed any confidence he had and placed him in a position where he has to re-valuate exactly where he wants go in his career. He has passed the first term of induction.
    I must say over the last few horrendous days this site has really opened my eyes to the system and helped with information written by James Williams. I cannot believe the number of students in this position.
    I don't understand why Headteachers/Mentors have to be bullies, what do they have to gain? The NQT's have a lot to lose, Please if you are a Headteacher or Mentor remember these students have committed to at least 3 years training at University and the majority are in debt for around £20,000.00

  2. NQT years are always tough - and it isn't only NQTs who are bullied and demeaned by Heads. If a Head is a bully, then they generally target people who have something to lose (like NQTs for instance).
    HOWEVER - not all Heads are bullies and not all jobs are horrible. If your son can make it to the end of the year and pass then he can look for another job. There are a lot of nice, supportive Headteachers out there - I hope he can find one soon.
    Good luck.
  3. Thank you for your reply, unfortunately we will not even make it to Easter we have been advised to remove him from his post before any more damage is done. Health is at risk.
  4. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I know exactly how he feels.
    He needs to find an ally in the school, for every nasty piece of work there are a number fantastic people who will say what he needs to hear. I couldn't have made it through the last school year without some wonderful members of staff an I just pray that karma sees to the others, who made me despair, in the near future.
    I hope he finds something more suited to him soon. x
  5. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    'We' have been advised? Who has advised you? The way you word your post suggests that you are making decisions for your son.
    What you should be doing is advising your son to contact his union to seek advice and support. If his health is at risk, he can be signed off sick by a doctor, instead of 'being removed' from his post (by his parents???).
    Unfortunately, there are some bullying head-teachers and mentors out there. They get away with it because young teachers are too insecure and inexperienced to speak up. However, teaching is not the only profession in which bullying exists. It's a vile and despicable human trait, and perhaps not one you expect to find in teaching - a supposedly CARING profession.
  6. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    And, by the way, I speak as a mentor who LOVES her role as a coach/mentor to NQTs and student teachers. We are not all evil bullies.
  7. Thank you for your reply I am sorry if I implied that all HT'S and mentors are bullies, that was not my intention!
    And Yes the advice we have is from the union rep, we are involved as my son is at the end of his tether!!
  8. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    I'm not usually quiet, but I thought if I just kept my head down and got on with it Id pass, it does make me wonder how things would have turned out if I'd stood my ground.
    I know how you feel in wanting to protect your son, my parent were the same but unfortunately all you can do is be there for him, and thats what he'll need most. I hope his next post will be more suited and that he doesn't let this experience put him off. x
  9. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Again, your son should be going to his doctor. If he is stressed he needs to be signed off work. This way he gets sick pay whilst also having the time to pursue action (should he so wish) against the bully.
    When you say 'union rep' what level do you mean?

  10. Eva - you contradict yourself.

    "'We' have been advised? Who has advised you? The way you word your post suggests that you are making decisions for your son."
    And then you write:<u> What you should be doing is advising your son to contact his union to seek advice and support</u>.

    You are telling this lady who is looking for advice for her son <u>what to do</u>. Your approach is rude and there is kinder ways of going about giving advice. The lady is clearly concerned about her son's health. Your comment about other professions dealing with bullying is irrelevent, and I am pretty sure that Marrojo knows that bullying happens elsewhere in the work place.
    <u>If his health is at risk, he can be signed off sick by a doctor, instead of 'being removed' from his post (by his parents???). - Who are you to make assumptions when you know nothing about how they have been advised?</u>
    I understand that you may be a LOVING MENTOR who cares for her NQT's/students, but I do not think that the post was a personal attack on ALL mentors and Headteachers. Marrojo is just a concerned parent who is worried about her son's welfare.
    Telling someone what to do AND <u>assuming</u> that it was 'the parents' that advised their son without ANY concrete evidence is ridiculous.
  11. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    No I don't.
    a) I asked where their advise was coming from. I didn't assume anything.
    b) I said that union advice was best, if they hadn't sought it already.
    c) The words 'we have been told to remove him from his post' such that the parents are making the decision to intervene. If the OP had written, 'Our son had been advise to step down from his post' this would be different, but the OP's wording implied they were the ones removing their son from his post on advice. This sounds like very bad advice, if this is the case.
    d) Do a search on this forum and find the advice I've offered. I put a lot of time and effort into supporting and advising NQTs and student teachers on the relevant forums. My advice is nearly always in line with the advice given by James Williams, the resident NQT/Induction advisor.
    e) My post clearly has a tone of urgency, which is appropriate to the situation, since it sounds very much like the OP's son's situation is urgent.
    f) I never suggested that it was. I merely sought to point out that NQTs, parents of NQTs and prospective NQTs should have faith that many mentors love the job the do and get a real buzz out of being supportive and helping a new teacher to get established.
    g) My comment isn't irrelevant. The OP's son may leave his current position and seek employment in another post or even in another profession. He may come across bullying there. If teaching is what he wants to do, I'd hate to think that he allowed a bully to chase him out of a career he could love. I merely wanted the OP to consider that, given some time off work to recover (on sick leave, not through resignation) he might be better placed to challenge the bully, supported by his union, doctor and other professionals.
    h) You are the one being ridiculous. This is an internet forum where the reader is completely free to agree/disagree and act/not act upon any advice given to them. If the OP didn't wish to hear opinions, then they wouldn't have written on this forum. Since the OP is not a teacher themselves, posting on a teachers' forum clearly showed (to me anyway) a desire to converse with teachers - otherwise they may have chosen to post only on a parents' forum. Furthermore, I haven't assumed anything, it sounds very much, from the OP's post, that her son is so unwell that someone else (his parents?) are having to make decisions.

    Now, with all that said, I would like to renew my advice that the OP encourages her son to see his GP with a view to taking sick leave on the grounds of stress (or another diagnosis as appropriate). This may be the best course of action which both allows her son to recover and for the school to recognise that something is wrong. Bullies have a nasty way of getting away with things when the victim simply moves on (although this is very very justified as I completely understand anyone just wanting to put things behind them and start afresh!).
    Best of luck to the OP, whatever your son decides. My advice is rarely sugar-coated, but it comes from quite a few years of experience of teaching and leadership in schools, and from a desire to help.
  12. Eva, you wrote ' what you should be doing' - telling the OP what to do. As if what she is doing now is not right for her son, and that you know better, even though you know very little.
    <u>'The way you word your post suggests that you are making decisions for your son."</u>
    I think that is assuming, especially when further down you write about the guy being removed from teaching "by his parents????" - That is clear assumption.
    In relation to your D point, again it is of no relevance that you post all the time here, and give advice. There is a difference between offering advice and sticking to the point, and coming to your own conclusions just because the post 'suggests' to you that the parents are involved.
    Just because you have years experience of teaching and leadership does not make you an expert, and telling a parent who is worried about their child what they should be doing is unacceptable.

    I hope everything works out for you Marrijo and your son. Good luck
  13. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Do you understand the use of punctuation in creating intonation? The use of question marks here was clearly expressing uncertainty about who was making decisions. I was enquiring whether it was the parents decision or the son's (i.e. was the son so ill that his parents had to intervene?).
    I think it is YOU who has made many woeful assumptions.
    An expert is defined as some who has a high degree of skill or knowledge in a certain subject. Whilst I wouldn't consider myself to be omniscient, I would certainly consider myself experienced enough to offer suggestions to someone who doesn't have insider knowledge of teaching. The OP is, of course, welcome to ignore any suggestions I make.
    The use of the modal verb 'should' here merely serves to emphasise the urgency of the situation. If I had said they SHOULD shove their son off the nearest bridge, or SHOULD drive to the school and slap the headteacher, I'd understand your outrage. Since I advised getting a doctor's advice, I hardly see the need for such meodramatics.
  14. Don't be too hard on Eva, mornamoo1! The advice was sound and well meant even if it appears to have been offered in the wrong way! I'd also like to add that I've read countless posts by Eva to people in similar situations to that described by the OP and Eva has never been anything other than supportive!
    That said, I do agree that you were being a bit harsh, Eva when you suggested that maybe the parents were being overinvolved or making decisions for the son. As mornamoo said, we don't know the full story. It may well be that the son did make the decision on the union's advice and naturally discussed it with his parents as I do with mine. That doesn't mean that the parents necessarily made the decisions for him, just that they're giving him extra support at the moment by accompanying to various meetings, for example (that's how I read the post-I didn't read it as saying that the parents and union rep got together and decided to remove him from teaching).
    Also, it may well be the case that the man in question is in a similar (but far worse) state that was in during my first NQT post. I'd got to the point where I cried over everything and felt sick (I previously cried only on rare occasions), so was in no state to have a rational conversation with management (the cause of my distress for one thing) about the terms of my resignation or handing over etc during my notice period (which included the holidays-I worked in an FE college). As embarassed and ashamed as I was to have my mother storming in because I was being messed around (as well as her because she'd dropped me into work especially-I can't drive), I also realised that it was one of those times when it was good to have someone else stand up for me for a change (because I was unable to do so myself)! As a result of this, my employers stopped messing me around and let me go home very speedily. I think that the OP is referring to such a time!
    OP as a former mistreated NQT and VERY stressed out Psychology HoD, I totally agree with you and would like to reassure you that my PGCE student is getting far better treatment from me and my colleagues than I ever received during my first years of teaching.
    May I also assure you that as the others said, there are better places out there and that your son can continue his career if he wishes to. I nearly gave up teaching after the experience previously described but found another place where I was better treated and my 'health improved'. I'm not totally happy in my current place but every place I've been in since then has been paradise in comparison and I feel that I've achieved something!

    My thoughts are with you and your son!
    I hope he feels better soon and finds a workplace where he can be happy (be it in teaching or not)!
  15. Thank you to those of you that have offered kind words. My original post did not fully explain my sons situation as it is not my place to do so, I am glad to hear that those of you who have been through this situation have now moved on and developed good careers, this has given us hope that he may do the same.
    ps09lh glad to hear I'm not the only crazy mother out there!!
  16. LOL! Not at all! Btw, you're not crazy just annoyed and right! ;-)
  17. As a struggling NQT (having a **** time, and in a similar situation to your son), I think it's time for a big "thank you!" to supportive parents such as yourself! I come home moaning, whinging and in tears some days, and wouldn't have made it without the support of my mom and dad, who I'm sure feel like they are going through the NQT year as well!
  18. I did a PGCE and I have also worked as a cover supervisor in several schools.
    After what I have seen and felt, I decided not to appy for teaching jobs and went back to my old job in industry. Maybe it's the schools I have been placed/worked in, but my goodness I have never seen a more stressed out, clapped-out bunch of human beings in my entire life as those crashed out in those staff rooms. The kids can be great, wonderful. Nothing beats that feeling of a lesson gone well, and teachers generally are good altruistic people. But come on, something is wrong. The working day is ludicrous: no slack time, five lessons a day, meetings, scampering from duty to photocopier between lessons, bullying HoD and SLT, and then three hours a night marking, prep time and endless assessment. I would have thought your unions would have fought for a normal working day by 2011. Teaching is tough. Too tough me thinks. Take a look at the depression
    and suicide rates in the teaching profession.
    I feel sorry for teachers, yet admire them also. They've worked hard for A-levels, a Degree, a PGCE, and the reward? A super-fast treadmill. It seems that Every Child Matters But No Teacher Does.

    Good luck to your son.

  19. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    The pay off is the 13 weeks' holiday per year. Yes, yes, most teaching complete at least some work during the holidays, but the holidays are the major bonus of working like a lunatic during term-time.
    That said, perhaps the profession would be better served by reducing the holidays, and having teachers stick to a solid 9 til 5 working day like many others do. 'Tools' down at 5pm, no work goes home, the weekend is the weekend (not a time for catching up on marking) and holidays are cut down to, say, 6 weeks per year. Maybe teachers would be better off, but I doubt it.
    Teaching could fill 24 hours per day if you let it. There ARE ways to do this job and maintain a life.
  20. Full on ludicrous days are not exclusive to teachers. The difference is, as Eva said, we get a lot of holidays to make up for it.

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