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Scared of losing my job

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by kstring24, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. I got an inadequate lesson observation during the first round of performance management observations this year. I was kinda expecting inadequate as I'm in a really hard school and I'm a new member of staff. I've been put on a support programme and it was outlined in an official letter that I needed to get satisfactory or above by January (I'm getting other support as well to help me through this). It was made clear that all these is done to help me as much as possible, my line manager recently went through the same and said it was really rewarding.

    However, this has made me sick with worry. I'm on a 6 month probationary period and I'm not yet on a permanent contract (I didn't actually know this until Thursday). I feel like a complete and utter failure. I came into a failing department, where for the past 3 years the teacher was in when he felt like it. I was told that I had a battle on my hands, and if I'm honest I've really struggled, but helped by the fact that behaviour all over is a problem. I've had some pretty rotten lessons recently, my confidence is rock bottom and I don't feel like I can do my job properly. I'm being told that none of this is my fault, the kids are disengaged from the subject and I need to build relationships and get them back enjoying the subject (which is music btw). Tbf, I've got clubs started, I'm feeling my way through a new BTEC course which I've never taught before and I lose my lunchtimes all week because of rehearsals. I feel like I've worked my **** off this half term.

    My classes still aren't great, I've got no confidence in myself any more. I want to deliver musical futures in January and get group performances going but I'm dreading it. I'm doing my best but the kids are still disengaged and I've only a very small percentage of the class who want to do the practical work. I've encouraged the less confident kids, but still failing to get full engagement. Normally, I could perhaps deal with this, but when it comes to being observed that equals inadequate. I was an NQT last year and got good with outstanding features in most of my observations, and now I've dipped.

    The whole situation feels so unfair, and I feel like I'm going to lose my job. I really don't think I'm going to get a satisfactory ever again. I've been told that as long as I take the support and advice given I should be fine, but how can that be if I don't get the satisfactory observation? I'm constantly being told that the behaviour of the kids isn't my fault and I have this 'battle' getting them engaged, and now I'm inadequate. I'm still on probation, so what if I don't get a satisfactory?

    I'm so confused and upset, I desperately want to talk to someone at school about this, but I went home and now my head is swimming. I'm so nervous about work on Monday again, I desperately want things to start going better through fear of losing my job. I'm probably making too much of this, but this really has been the straw that broke the camel's back. I nearly didn't go into work today and put virtually nothing into the lessons. I feel so flat and depressed.
     
  2. I got an inadequate lesson observation during the first round of performance management observations this year. I was kinda expecting inadequate as I'm in a really hard school and I'm a new member of staff. I've been put on a support programme and it was outlined in an official letter that I needed to get satisfactory or above by January (I'm getting other support as well to help me through this). It was made clear that all these is done to help me as much as possible, my line manager recently went through the same and said it was really rewarding.

    However, this has made me sick with worry. I'm on a 6 month probationary period and I'm not yet on a permanent contract (I didn't actually know this until Thursday). I feel like a complete and utter failure. I came into a failing department, where for the past 3 years the teacher was in when he felt like it. I was told that I had a battle on my hands, and if I'm honest I've really struggled, but helped by the fact that behaviour all over is a problem. I've had some pretty rotten lessons recently, my confidence is rock bottom and I don't feel like I can do my job properly. I'm being told that none of this is my fault, the kids are disengaged from the subject and I need to build relationships and get them back enjoying the subject (which is music btw). Tbf, I've got clubs started, I'm feeling my way through a new BTEC course which I've never taught before and I lose my lunchtimes all week because of rehearsals. I feel like I've worked my **** off this half term.

    My classes still aren't great, I've got no confidence in myself any more. I want to deliver musical futures in January and get group performances going but I'm dreading it. I'm doing my best but the kids are still disengaged and I've only a very small percentage of the class who want to do the practical work. I've encouraged the less confident kids, but still failing to get full engagement. Normally, I could perhaps deal with this, but when it comes to being observed that equals inadequate. I was an NQT last year and got good with outstanding features in most of my observations, and now I've dipped.

    The whole situation feels so unfair, and I feel like I'm going to lose my job. I really don't think I'm going to get a satisfactory ever again. I've been told that as long as I take the support and advice given I should be fine, but how can that be if I don't get the satisfactory observation? I'm constantly being told that the behaviour of the kids isn't my fault and I have this 'battle' getting them engaged, and now I'm inadequate. I'm still on probation, so what if I don't get a satisfactory?

    I'm so confused and upset, I desperately want to talk to someone at school about this, but I went home and now my head is swimming. I'm so nervous about work on Monday again, I desperately want things to start going better through fear of losing my job. I'm probably making too much of this, but this really has been the straw that broke the camel's back. I nearly didn't go into work today and put virtually nothing into the lessons. I feel so flat and depressed.
     
  3. becky70

    becky70 New commenter

    I was in a similar situation to you a few years ago although I'm a primary teacher. I found that I kept getting inadequate grades and in the end they threatened competency procedures - unlike you I was on a permanent contract. I just walked out as I'd become too ill to face staying.
    As this message shows, I'm still alive and what's more I still teach. If the worst comes to the worst and you do lose your job then life will go on.
    In the meantime, grab all the support you can get but don't be too trusting of your SMT - make sure you get your union helping you as well. Whoever is working with you on your support programme should be giving you tips about engaging the children and making the lessons more enjoyable as these sound like the areas of difficulty.
    Good luck
     
  4. I know the job situatin isn't great right now, but i honestly think you should be looking, not because there is anything wrong woth your teaching, ( as nothing you have saud gives me any raesaon to think there is_ but because you are in a JOB that is making you so unhappy, and in the ned it is only a JOB and you should definitely NOT be spending the WEEKEND dreading going back in, the weekend is your life, and does not belong to your emploer.
    Ot sounds as if there are some nice staff there, and it sounds as if you are in a situation where you may be developing quite fast, so may be things will work out for you there, but even if they don't, it isn't a failure or a waste oftime, I've developed most as a teacher in my mosr unhappy situations, and that now stands me in good stead in happier and more rewarding work.
    Good luck. Many Many teachers go through times like this.

     
  5. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Well, here is my story as a sort of "worst case" scenario: I had an inadequate lesson observation at my school 11 months ago and like you mine was inadequate because the group I was observed with just refused to play ball, if you like, and like you "support" was put in place - it involved watching another teacher (that was IT!) - and then a second lesson with the same group happened. That was also graded inadequate, which I personally did not think was at all justified.
    Following this, I was threatened with formal capability procedings against me. I resigned in order to avoid this and got another job at the start of September, so didn't even have the problem of a gap on my CV. Ironically (it's strange how things work out) in my new role as a head of department I have had to put somebody else on a support plan and I found it difficult to do, as I remember how awful I felt when it was me. However, I have tried everything to ensure it does what it says on the ticket and the member of staff is supported properly.
    So it's possible to survive inadequate observations and even to be promoted as a result of them (which in a very roundabout way I was.) I imagine Music must be very difficult to teach when students aren't engaged and it sounds as if your school are aware of this and that they do want to help. It's just that nowadays a lot of things have to be formally ticked so that no one chases your line manager demanding to know what has happened - I think the fact they admit to having been through this themselves is a very positive sign.
    I don't know if it helps but before my second lesson observation I found some of the ringleaders in the class and threatened them with dire consequences should they breathe too loudly when I was being observed lol. They were silent in the lesson! (it still got inadequate but I don't think it was; I think there was another agenda there.)
    It's a horrific thing to go through though and I sympathise so much, take care x
     
  6. Thanks all. I think I need to go into school and talk through how I'm feeling. I want thing to get better, and I know that walking away might not necessarily help. Music jobs seem hard to come by and I remember being utterly depressed about being jobless last year.

    I have felt things gradually better recently, I just had a bad lesson last Thursday with a class I thought I'd built good relationships with and then all this came so I think I threw a bit of a wobbly. I'm just quite worried because I feel there is an expectation on me to get better within a set amount of time when I don't fully believe it will. I also think I've just allowed myself to over think the situation and get myself into a state.

    I do believe the support can help me, I just feel very low and under confident right now. I know other teachers got inadequate lesson observations, even some experienced ones, I just feel like even more of a failure because I'm fresh out my NQT year and I'm a brand new member of staff. I must have created a terrible first impression.
     
  7. Hi Kstring, so sorry to hear about this. I too got slated in my obsrevation, I know how you must feel, It is so difficult as thjis must be playing on your mind all the time. I know it's daft really but I lost sleep, I constantly worriedand I doubted my own skills and self worth.
    My second obs was delayed by a week... argh, however, went to work chin up, dignity in tact, knees knocking. The second, delayed obs went well, even though I had abandoned the lesson plan half way through as the direction of the lesson had changed and I felt I should 'go with what was working' and though 'sod it'.
    It is the most dreadful thing to go through and I think it is an absolute disgrace to make staff feel like this, staff should be supported and nurtured and if we are having a few problems, and I think everyone of us does at times, supported and helped rather than being made to feel like naughty school children ourselves. Grrr, rant over!
    You arent alone, keep your chin up. we're nearly at the end of term, try to enjoy some time for yourself. Keep us posted. Good luck. VKx
     
  8. I don't get 'it's an absolute disgrace to make staff feel like this.' She isn't being made to feel like anything. It's a school's responsibility to address inadequate teaching and the OP said that the letter and conversation made it clear that support would be given. No-one wants children taught by anything less than good teachers and noone wants to be a teacher who is anything less than good so getting support to be good seems like a better deal than just being sacked. I've been on the SLT side of this and it's just the most dreadful thing to have to put in place as you're so worried about the teacher's feelings but the children have to come first. Don't they?
     
  9. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    The poster is only in her 2nd year of teaching - she still needs support; you don't magically learn everything in your PGCE and NQT year that means you don't need support ever again. The poster is not inadequate unless her NQT grading was wrong? There are means and ways of supporting teachers without making them feel like s@@@ and undermining their self confidence, which is what is clearly happening here. From what the poster has said, she is working her butt off at school, trying to engage students in various ways through clubs etc and not just through lesson time - how many teachers actually sacrifice their lunch break to run clubs these days? Not many! I feel she needs to be given credit where credit is due and support, which is genuine and constructive, where there is due. As for you being on the SLT side of this and being worried about the teacher's feelings, I applaud you for being worried and showing concern, however, I do think it is the experience of most of the posters on this particular forum that SLT do not care about feelings, have their own agendas and think primarily of their own advancement up the greasy career pole. If I am wrong here, I am sure I will be corrected...
     

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