1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Primary NQT, losing sense of identity... (rant)

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by bubbles87, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. I am increasingly wondering if other NQT's ever feel the way I'm starting to feel more and more frequently.
    I have been working at a school via an agency on long-term supply for some time now and am feeling increasingly depressed about it. I was not prepared in any way for the sheer amount of work teachers are expected to carry out.

    I have always thought and said to myself that I will never be one of these teachers who lets work take over their life - I will still go the gym, I will still socialise and I will have a very healthy work-life balance.

    It just isn't panning out like that. I find keeping up with the planning and marking challenging enough, let alone IEP's, resource making, individual targets for my 30 children, arranging the extra curricular club each week, planning for my LSA etc etc. It's endless and I'm starting to find that I'm becoming a miserable person, particularly at school.

    Over Easter I really regained a sense of self. I had time to catch up with friends, exercise and read! Now the new term has started I feel like I haven't had a break, even though it's been a 3 day week. I keep telling myself that there are only 11 teaching weeks left but when every day is a struggle, all I can think about is how long 11 weeks is actually going to feel like.

    My 3 big issues are:
    a) The sheer volume of work (it is an improving school and the head will not budge on the expectations she expects her staff to be meeting and proving)
    b) The fact that I have to repeat the same basic instructions every single day - 'keep your hands to yourself', 'cross your legs', 'write the date/your name' - it's driving me a bit loopy and I'm starting to lose my patience with the children for not remembering these basic things.
    c) Possibly my biggest concern - I'm losing a sense of who I am when I'm at school. Outside of school I am outgoing, friendly and up for anything! I have many hobbies and interests and love company. In school, I have made no friends. I find the other staff to be either too stressed to develop friendships with or simply from another world! I sit in the staffroom in silence, listening to everyone moaning about having no time/the children/their husbands and wonder what I'm even doing there!

    I don't even know basic things like where exercise books are kept and what the role of my LSA actually is in this school because things were very hurriedly explained to me when I joined and I've been left to it. In normal life I wouldn't hesitate to ask more experienced people questions! But in school I feel like everyone has more than enough on their plates and nobody is interested in any questions I might have, let alone in getting to know me.
    They are all very, very friendly with each other - they meet up at weekends and know all about each others' family lives - I'm sure that I'm talked about when I'm not there just because I'm so quiet!
    I've never experienced this before - I feel almost like I shouldn't be there - like I don't have the same rights to sit in the staffroom that they have. The teacher I'm supposed to be working alongside has proven herself to be 2-faced and we have nothing in common at all.
    I feel worthless and invisible. And I'm starting to fear/believe that this is how working as a teacher is! The workload will never be less, it'll only increase - teachers will always be stressed and there's always more and more to do...
    Sometimes I feel like giving up before I've really started just to get some genuine 'data-protection' free chit chat going in the workplace again! And being able to leave work at work and having fun in my spare time. I'm in my early 20s and just feel like I'm surely wasting my time fretting about school stuff that I think is pointless in effect!?! Does anyone else feel like this?

  2. Being an NQT is tough, I would imagine even more so as a long term supply.
    A few things though.
    This is to be expected. The HT will have a huge list of things that they have to be seen to be doing and this filters down into the expectations of the staff.
    This is pretty much part and parcel of the job!
    If these people have been working together for a very long time then that is to be expected as well. They have clearly built up a social life together from being long term colleagues. It takes time to become part of that. I developed a wonderful social life at my last school and then coming to my new school I was suddenly the new girl again and it has taken a good 18 months to start building relationships beyond just working together and bumping into each other in the staffroom. I often have to remind myself that some of the groups chit chatting have worked together for more than a decade!
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Part of your problems stem simply from being new in a school. I joined my school just over a year ago in January and it took a good year or so to build up relationships.

    Don't think about leaving the profession, just about changing school. Not all are the same.

    Teaching is very hard work. No life all week is normal, but you should be able to manage one free day at the weekend and the odd evening out. The holidays are for catching up with friends and remembering your life. The work doesn't decrease, but you will get quicker at it. You will also develop ways to decide what actually needs doing and what doesn't.

    Hang in there, it will get better and easier.

    And it is only 4 weeks until the next holiday!
  4. captain oats

    captain oats New commenter

    I just wanted to let you know that I think every NQT feels exactly the same as you do at some point.
    It is a big shock to the system because there is so much expected of you so quickly. What makes it harder is that you don't feel like you have anyone to turn to. Do you have any friends that are teachers? People you trained with perhaps?

    It might be worth getting in contact/meeting up with them to have a rant. You might find that they feel the same way you do. I remember feeling like you do in my NQT year, my turning point was one day I was feeling really low, I'd had a bad day and at the end of school I went in to my mentor's classroom and burst into tears. I let out everything that was bothering me and she made me feel 100 times better. I'm not saying that you need to break down in tears (I am a very emotional person anyway) but you need to get these things off your chest to those people that can help you.
    I'm now in my 4th year of teaching and I have to admit that the workload has actually increased for me (I did take on ICT coordinator this year so that has added to it!) but the way I manage things is totally different. Like a previous poster said, the workload doesn't change but you will get better at it. You are only an NQT after all.
  5. I am an NQT and I do find work busy and stressful but I also feel you need to make a work/life balance. There will always be something to in this job but you need know when to stop.

    I am really enjoying this year, but that doesn't mean I don't have a moan every now and again. I do hope things get better and you feel more comfortable at your school.
  6. Hey, i'm two and half days into a new job after leaving a maternity post at the end of the spring term. Im in year 2 now from year 1 and just done my first SAT ever, quite nervewracking being an NQT also. I understand how you feel, I've gone from knowing everyone in school and being able to be myself where everyone knew me etc to being the new girl again.
    I feeling very much like a very very small fish in a huge ocean at the moment and to be honest it sucks.


Share This Page