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Resigning / Changing Schools during NQT year

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by btl168444, May 31, 2019.


Is it me or the school?

  1. It's both

    1 vote(s)
  2. It's you

    0 vote(s)
  3. It's the school

    3 vote(s)
  4. That's the wrong question / It's not important

    1 vote(s)
  5. It's neither

    0 vote(s)
  1. btl168444

    btl168444 New commenter


    Basically, I've had a tough time at my induction school. I want to run through a list of things that seem off, but I genuinely am not sure if it's me that's the problem or the school? Is changing schools too drastic? Any tips on how to change schools and still survive financially in-between?

    Starting in September, the HoD and my mentor both told me that one of my classes had been allocated to me by mistake. This group was apparently known to be a tricky one and the plan was to put one of the most experienced teachers on the job, someone who had literally decades of experience. The thing is, I had been really clear with the school that my biggest weakness was behaviour management, but from the get-go I had to deal with this seriously challenging class.

    So I was given support - and yet, here is where it gets kind of weird - I have been told many, many times about the amount of support I've been getting. I feel like I should apologise for getting so much support! But I don't *actually* feel like I've been supported? It's completely bizarre. I mean, I'm looking at the last observation feedback my mentor did - and not only am I failing about six of the standards, but there's this long description of all the support I've got. And I kind of agree, there has been a great deal of support, and yet it somehow has not been very...*supportive*. It's almost like it's used to put further emphasis on my own failings - like: how can someone mess this up so bad when they've been given so much support?

    And then it gets even weirder! I felt like I needed to pin down what exactly my mentor wanted to see in regards to marking, so I took a look at some of his student's books. I wasn't trying to be sneaky about it, I just grabbed a few of his books and took a look. And I literally could not find the evidence of the kind of amount of marking he wanted me to do. It was crazy! I was thinking, where is it? What does this mean? I thought about it for a while and decided that it was probably something like, he expects me to do loads of marking because I'm still learning, but he knows how to cut corners when he needs to. I don't know.

    Lastly, my mentor keeps telling me that by-and-large, students at my school are well-behaved and want to learn. And if they do not behave it is because my lessons need to be better. I agree! But at the same time, I swear that *not* every, not even most of the students fit his description. A lot of them are pretty rude, as you might expect from the average teenager. A lot of them are pretty lazy, as you might also expect. But I find myself stuck in a situation where the emphasis on my own failings feels so huge that I almost can't believe the evidence of my own eyes any more - are the kids really badly behaved, or is it just me?

    Wow, I didn't mean mean to write so much ---- I just feel so confused, and scared, I want some advice but I hope what I've written gives a sense of my situation. Do I sound like I just need to knuckle down and stop complaining or does it seem like I really need to find another school? I've only got one term left :/

    Leave, or Remain?
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Support = Sounds like they are box ticking, rather than looking at what would actually help you. Can you articulate what you want/need instead? You shouldn't apologise for their inability to support you - perhaps they lack empathy, memory or experience.

    Marking = Ask him to show you some examples. You don't need to tell him you looked in his books, just ask him face-to-face to show you. If he can't do it, it speaks volumes. You should not be expected to do more/better marking than a more experienced teacher. He's the mentor so he should model, and if he can't do it he shouldn't expect you to either.

    Behaviour = It's relative. It may be so normal to him, and so much better than a previous school he's worked at, that he thinks it's wonderful. Or perhaps as long as no one throws chairs about he turns a blind eye to laziness. Sounds lazy himself to be honest - he has poor expectations of his students' attitudes and efforts. I would say that bottom and top set kids in particular need to lesson to be pitched and paced right, otherwise they'll struggle and go off on a tangent, or get bored, but you can't expect to be perfect as an NQT - this is stuff you'll develop over time.

    Are you on track to pass the year or not? If on track to pass, I'd say do whatever you can to get through it, spend summer recovering, then consider options in September. If not on track, leave as soon as possible and find somewhere better.

    I left part way through my NQT year due to a toxic school and a mentor who was incapable of assessing or supporting me. I lucked out, and ended up in an amazing school doing a maternity cover, where I completed the induction. It was scary, but it all worked out in the end. If I can do it, you can too.
  3. btl168444

    btl168444 New commenter

    Hey - thank you so much, that was a huge relief reading that. I was putting off checking this post because I thought it would just be people saying it sounds like I'm a **** teacher!

    Yeah, ok - I think I need to find another place then. I've been told I'm not on-track to pass but been offered an extension --- but asking around the school it seems like this is like something he has put other people through - making their lives a nightmare, offering an extension and then just about passing them.

    I'm going to get out!

    Thank you!
    blueskydreaming likes this.
  4. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Speak to the designated NQT induction person at your LA. They will be able to advise you and potentially support with a move to another school.
    blueskydreaming likes this.

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