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School has left me starting NQT year with no info - panicking!

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by RedBedHead94, Aug 29, 2016.

  1. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    So I start my NQT role on September 1st - with the kids coming in on the same day! I am completely consumed by anxiety about starting.

    I went in for an 'induction day' in July where I met my HOD (who is starting new alongside me) and some of the other teachers. I was told I wouldn't get my timetable, system login, ID card, class lists, exam board specs - anything at all- until the first day of term. The new HOD told me if she could get hold of info before this time she would pass it on. I was told to plan 'getting to know you' lessons just in case.

    I've heard nothing all holiday. I've emailed the school three times asking for information and have heard nothing back. I don't even know what time I need to be in on the first day! What should I do?
  2. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    Get in early, prepare some icebreaker lessons/class rules etc and do your best.
    pepper5 and RedBedHead94 like this.
  3. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I can't get in, no-one is there, I don't even know what classroom is mine. I've got a few things prepared.
  4. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Isn't even a day before aka INSET? If not, please don't panic.

    Plan activities 'to get to know'. For primary, go to wilko and get craft items, eg. you could paper cut out figures they colour in (and you learn names); download creative colouring templates as an another ice-breaker, use plain paper with students writing their names vertically, taking the each letter as the beginning of an adjective that describes them, etc.

    Secondary is different, but again, think in 3s - starter (hi, I'm the teacher and I teach x....what do you think of x?), main topic and finish up with a internet search of something they find interesting about the subject.

    Take it class by class, hour by hour. You can do it!

    Good luck!
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Along time ago after living abroad I applied for a temporary contract ( September - December ) was interviewed and got the post. A few days later the HOF rocked up to my house with a few text books ( 'try starting on page X ' ) and the news that I would also be teaching Drama ( I was a linguist ). Plus ça change !
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    You are going to have to wing it... You can look up the exam board specs online if you know which ones they are using that is. Otherwise look back on your ITT lessons and select some good ones. You can focus on generic learning skills getting them used to note taking or independent study,
    However this does not bode well and you need to ensure that you will get the support and information to help.
    Go online for information to parents to see if there is anything there
  7. Findlotte

    Findlotte Established commenter

    Get in early on Thursday. There will always be someone there earlier than the rest - site staff are usually there from 6am. Principal? Other teachers also wanting a head-start?
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. secretsiren

    secretsiren Star commenter

    Ok, deep breath. This is not an ideal situation to be in and it's really very poor of the school to leave you in this limbo - at the very least they should have let you have a class list/s and a timetable plus your classroom number. However, they are clearly not on the ball so you need to up your game accordingly.

    Firstly, get in at a reasonable time (sometime between 7.45 and 8.15am?) as there are bound to be people there at that time. Ask around and see if you can find out which is your room. If you can, pop into IT and ask about a log in etc. If you can access the system you may be able to access and print off your own timetable. If not, again - ask.

    In the meantime plan lessons which do not require resources you can't supply yourself. Don't rely on having a projector or glue sticks if you don't know which is your room or where anything is. Do a generic lesson. I would suggest something like:
    - intro (Hello, I am XYZ and I will be teaching you for XYZ for the next year. I'd like to know a little bit about you by the end of today's lesson as well as finding out a bit about what you can do.)
    - starter activity (depending on your key stage and subject, this could be an 'introduce yourself in five adjectives' or 'make a face that shows how you feel about this subject/school' or even a 'draw a self-portrait'). Keep it simple.
    - next, get the children doing something. Get them to write you a letter about themselves that contains all the information you need to know. You can use this as a guide to how well they write, how well they follow instructions...you can tailor it to your subject/key stage by giving pointers to primary age children (show them a letter about yourself and then they could use the same sentence starters) or about favourite music if you teach music etc. Give them 10 or so minutes to do this.
    - they could then read their letters aloud in a group and try to remember what each person before them has said...

    You could also play games such as 'I am in this class and I am...' and finish with a descriptive word about themselves.
    pepper5 likes this.
  9. gemmamarie08

    gemmamarie08 New commenter

    :)How did it go today OP? I hope you managed to have a good day and get all of the information you need
  10. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    I eventually got a vague outline of the first two days. Got there, no exercise books, no SOWs ready because my HOD was new and had been given nothing to go on either. Now in week two, already been observed (nicely constructive feedback at least) with still not the foggiest what i'm doing, suffering regular teary bouts and anxiety attacks, ready to pack it in and get an office job.

    So I guess that means its going as it should? Thanks for all your suggestions people!
    pepper5 likes this.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Well done for getting constructive feedback. That is a good sign indeed that the school is pleased with your work.

    Hang in there - you have almost completed tww weeks. In a mere four weeks you will be on half term and can catch up.

    Hang in there if you can. Take one day at a time and even one class at a time.
  12. snail_friendly

    snail_friendly Occasional commenter

    Remember, NQT year is super stressful but you will soon find your stride!

    What subject do you teach?
  13. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    Thank you - I really hope I do. Fed up with feeling constantly teary and anxious :(

    I 'teach' (muddle through) History!
  14. snail_friendly

    snail_friendly Occasional commenter

    I'm certain you do better than muddle through :)

    Has it got any better?
  15. Urbanfaerie

    Urbanfaerie Occasional commenter

    I had a VERY similar experience, and ended up temporarily leaving the teaching profession because of it.
    Not every school is like that!
    Hopefully once you've settled in a bit you'll be okay, but if the lack of support continues to be an issue perhaps look at moving on?
  16. RedBedHead94

    RedBedHead94 Established commenter

    Kind of... from other members of staff as opposed to my mentor though. Shall keep an eye on the situation! If I leave then I will leave with a clear conscience.
  17. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    OK having read this and your other posting I need to ask the hard questions.
    Did you come in with unrealistic expectations?
    Are the problems all about the school and classes or the actual pressure of teaching-Do you want to continue in this school?
    You need to consider if the issues are to do with the circumstances of the school- if so then get out... you may be better picking up some temporary supply until you find your feet in the classroom. This often provides a broader experience of different school and classes. Many NQTs have done this.
    If not, if you do feel you can make a go of the classes and the school then you need to give it time to stabilise. We are after all just at the start of term. and with all the changes things need to settle down. If you do not feel sufficiently supported by the school then talk with the Appropriate Body to raise your concerns.

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