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Primary NQT - Really struggling

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Oliviaframe, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Oliviaframe

    Oliviaframe New commenter

    Hi, Ill apologise now for the essay.

    I have applied for 15 or even more jobs (I have lost count) jobs, all a no - I even lied to my parents about a job saying yes, but i declined because I didn't want to work at that school, just to give them some faith in me.

    I have wanted to be a Primary School teacher all my life, but now there is a huge word in the way NO, the no comes from me, i understand that and it is my lessons which appear to be the problem, but I don't know what to do or how to make my teaching better because no one is giving me a chance.

    I was rejected from doing my final 10 week placement at home, and now I am being told by every school I go and see that it is a no, I have reflected on each interview trying to make my lesson plans better and my lessons more engaging, but to no avail

    I feel like I can not handle another rejection, and that I might do something silly... but I dont know what to do after I graduate from university, as I feel like a failure and I dont think my confidence will allow me to temp or to sub or even to get a job as a TA, because if I cant be trusted in a classroom with children then I cant be trusted in a classroom with children.

    What do I do now?
    What does one do if they cant become a teacher?
  2. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Are you still doing your training? If so it would be worth you speaking to one of your tutors about it as they will have observed you teaching and may be able to help and advise.
    Pomza and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    I don't quite understand your circumstances but you shouldn't invest so much of your self worth in a job. Teaching is not the only job or only career available and no job is worth your happiness.
    grumpydogwoman and palmtree100 like this.
  4. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    Do supply to get some experience and boost your confidence.
  5. scott1980

    scott1980 Occasional commenter

    Definitely start with supply.the rejections are hard but applying further afield may help.
  6. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    I'm not sure what this bit means.

    The daughter of someone I know was in this position about 15 years ago. She applied for a job in Spain at an English Medium school, ended up marrying a Spanish man and now has two children. She still lives there. It worked for her :).
  7. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    I hope this post was written quickly. You have written entire paragraphs using a single sentence and made other errors. Some of your post is unclear in its meaning. I make this point not to be unkind. If this is the standard of your job applications and general work (I’m not saying it is; we all make typos etc), I’m not surprised you’ve been unsuccessful.

    EDA I agree that supply can be a great first job. You get to see lots of different schools and it really hones your behaviour management.
  8. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    First off. Get yourself organised to complete your NQT year later... I don't know how things work now, I suspect you may need to do another year but you are not in the place to do this now. You are not yourself. You have got knocked already by the strange pressures of this job.
    Forget your parents. Are you doing this for them? Or for yourself?
    Do some volunteer work in a school. A solid block, every day for 3 months or so. Be honest with the school about why you need to do this. You do need to do this. You need to watch another teacher teach and have that mentoring without the pressure of being under scrutiny.. etc etc Or get a job as a classroom assistant. Get yourself in a role where you can see what the job entails and really give it some thought.
    And if you don't like it, then reconsider.
    It's not the end of the world if you don't teach.
    InkyP and 7eleven like this.
  9. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    To really learn to teach - you need to observe a teacher who can teach and then just model yourself on them until you find your own approach.
  10. 7eleven

    7eleven Senior commenter

    I quite agree and never allow my students or NQTs to miss this bit out of their weekly timetable.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Do something silly?

    Are you threatening what I fear you are threatening?

    Can't be trusted with children? That usually has a rather specific and sinister meaning. Don't say that. So you're not a super teacher from Day One? And never will be. Doesn't mean you can't work with kids as a TA.

    Part of it is that you always wanted to do this job. You saw the good bits that you wanted to see. You didn't see the paperwork and the marking and the drudgery and the bad behaviour and the meetings. It's a job. Just a job. A job that takes years to be any good at. I am amazed anyone does it these days.

    There are loads of,people who end up at destinations which were emphatically not their first choice. Broaden your horizons. No shame in that. Only in your head.
    7eleven likes this.
  12. moonpenny

    moonpenny Occasional commenter

    Hi Olivia

    It’s easy for me to say this, but I think you are giving up too early.

    Primary teaching jobs are often hard to secure, especially in certain areas of the country where there are quite a few TT institutions and lots of freshly qualified teachers.

    Often at interviews, there can be more experienced people, people who already have contact or have worked in some capacity at the school - or someone else fits in more with what the school are looking for.

    Personally, I don’t think 15 is a huge amount of rejections.

    Trying to establish contacts with schools through agency work might be a good idea or even doing voluntary work for a bit.

    Sometimes it can be who you know or being in the right place at the right time.

    Some people do come over better than others in interviews and having more experience can give an advantage in terms of showing that someone has practical understanding of the theory covered in teacher training.

    I remember attending an interview as a NQT and being made to feel like a spectacular failure by one of the governors during the feedback. It can be the nature of job interviews.

    Noone ever knows quite what to expect in interviews - I’ve had friendly ones, unfriendly ones , ones where I wanted to run for the hills .....and one where I was told they were worried I wasn’t serious about the job because I wasn’t married but was living in sin.( I think that was a lucky escape.....the school was in the middle of nowhere in an industrial wasteland and was reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse movie)

    I was not a naturally effervescent interviewee but I have now got much better in interviews and have gone on to secure 6 different teaching jobs and about 4 non teaching jobs.

    So don’t give up - lots of people go through this when looking for jobs.

    Good luck and my key piece of advice is to over prepare so you have thought of answers to as many potential questions as possible and try to think before hand of practical examples.
    Pomza likes this.
  13. tank_123

    tank_123 New commenter

    You'll be fine this happened to me years ago . I went on supply and got to pick and choose schools and found one i'Fit' in and stayed for years was best thing I did. I was primary trained and there was always loss of work in primary and still is on supply. You re cheaper so schools will take a risk as you're young and they can still shape you .
    Pomza likes this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    You sound far too bright to waste your life in our education system

    Why not go abroad and teach?
    Better weather
    Better food
    Different culture
    Gain some life experience and teaching experience
    No Ofsted rubbish

    You won't be having to fabricate data
    You won't be having performance-related pay
    Your hours will be loads better
    You will be appreciated

    I wish I'd not come back!
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You have only applied for 15 jobs and have clearly had interviews.
    This is not a failure at all.
    I belong to a FB group of potential SLT people and some have had way more interviews than that for SLT posts. No one is suggesting experienced teachers are failures. That's just how life goes sometimes.
    I assume no one has told you that you can't be trusted with children, just that your lesson wasn't as near to what they wanted than someone else's.

    From Easter until mid June is the prime time for vacancies and applications. We are barely even there yet, so don't give up. There is heaps more time.
    Pomza likes this.
  16. slab28

    slab28 New commenter

    Sorry to hear that things are so difficult at the moment. I found it impossible to get a teaching job at first--lots of rejection (I lost count, but it was well over 15) and so much discouragement. My mentor on my PGCE was extremely critical and frequently asked me if I even wanted to be teaching, which was completely demoralizing to hear as a trainee who was desperately trying her best. I figured that teaching wasn't for me and that I just wasn't good enough, so I instead got a job at a charity that assigned me to work in a school. After a year as a staff member at that school, they asked me if I wanted to teach instead. I did. And now, just a few years later, I'm feeling great about teaching and I think my school is feeling great about my teaching, too. I think I was a much better teacher having taken that time off from teaching, even though it was not a voluntary time off from teaching.

    I suppose my point is, keep trying. However, if nothing in teaching works out, there's still plenty of other options. And a no to teaching now does not mean a no forever. It's completely fine to take a break, develop some new skills, gain some perspective, and come back even stronger a year (or more) later. Or, you might find something else that you're even more excited about.
  17. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    Do not feel like a failure. Probably the ONLY area where I have seen schools get it right is they often advertise for teachers with at least two years experience.

    I never got this when starting as a teacher but when I remember just how utterly hopeless I was in particulary the first year or so, it does make sense.

    And we were all rubbish or should I say 'teacher challenged' at the start. As has been mentioned above, you tend to look around and see who is delivering the goods rather than talking the same theoretical rubbish from student days and adapt their methods into your own style, which does indeed take 1-2 years to come out.

    When it does and you become you, it's a nice feeling. Just promise me that when this happens and if you one day become a manager, you do not lecture negatively and make life hard for the NQTs going through what you are now.

    Sadly, a huge majority do. The British disease, I call it.
  18. chelsea2

    chelsea2 Star commenter

    Yes - 15 rejections is nothing. When I began teaching (1980) there were too many teachers & jobs were hard to come by. I had temporary appointments for two years, during which time I applied for literally dozens of jobs. The first permanent job I got, there had been 360 applications!!!

    Similarly when I (many years later) applied for headships. I had many, many interviews and had almost given up when I eventually secured a post.

    I know today's climate is very different, but hang in there and keep applying.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  19. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    I started applying for teaching jobs in 1999. I applied for 50 jobs, got 5 interviews, and actually only got my first job because I came second in the interview but someone else in the department also left a week later.

    Keep trying.
  20. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    It might be worth asking someone from wherever you have trained to help you with this. Your application is fine, because you get interviews, you appear to be falling down on the day. You could ask advice from your tutors when you write a lesson to be delivered at the school, perhaps? It may be worth remembering that you can always comment on your own lesson in an interview and say "I wasn't happy, I need to do X or Y to improve it." This shows an awareness of how you can improve - you can't be expected to be the finished article yet, and being self-reflective is good. What about interview technique? Could your tutors help you there?
    There are shortages in schools at the moment, and the peak time for applications is coming up. Keep trying.
    cassandramark2 likes this.

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