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Should I leave? NQT year and not getting enough support

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by gandtea, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Hello all,

    This is my first post, and not a very nice one!

    I'm in my NQT year and although I love teaching, I am finding the school that I'm in very difficult. They are an outstanding school, and pride themselves on being a great teacher training school. However, I am the only physics teacher in the school and teach 15 hours of Alevel a week (plus 3 other hours). I am meant to have a senior mentor and normal mentor, but my senior mentor left at Christmas and my normal mentor hasn't seen me for 4 weeks now. I am being observed officially nearly every week and usually get goods now, with a few satisfactories in my first half term and one inadequate by the deputy head - however this was the day after I had spent the entire evening doing the Physics Yr 12 open evening which I had been put in charge of.

    I feel that I have far too much on my plate and am not given anything like the amount of support I need. The other NQTs here seem to have a lot more support from their departments - the science dept here is terrible, with a new HOD (who's lovely, but clearly still learning the ropes) and 2 science teachers have already gone AWOL this year.

    Do you think I'm just having the standard NQT year and am being unrealistic about my expectations of what the school should provide me, or do you think I should move on and look for a new job?

    I am fed up of not having anyone to talk to about my concerns.

    Thanks

    gandtea
     
  2. Hello all,

    This is my first post, and not a very nice one!

    I'm in my NQT year and although I love teaching, I am finding the school that I'm in very difficult. They are an outstanding school, and pride themselves on being a great teacher training school. However, I am the only physics teacher in the school and teach 15 hours of Alevel a week (plus 3 other hours). I am meant to have a senior mentor and normal mentor, but my senior mentor left at Christmas and my normal mentor hasn't seen me for 4 weeks now. I am being observed officially nearly every week and usually get goods now, with a few satisfactories in my first half term and one inadequate by the deputy head - however this was the day after I had spent the entire evening doing the Physics Yr 12 open evening which I had been put in charge of.

    I feel that I have far too much on my plate and am not given anything like the amount of support I need. The other NQTs here seem to have a lot more support from their departments - the science dept here is terrible, with a new HOD (who's lovely, but clearly still learning the ropes) and 2 science teachers have already gone AWOL this year.

    Do you think I'm just having the standard NQT year and am being unrealistic about my expectations of what the school should provide me, or do you think I should move on and look for a new job?

    I am fed up of not having anyone to talk to about my concerns.

    Thanks

    gandtea
     
  3. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    why do you have two mentors?
     
  4. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    Request what you need. If the problem is that you have nobody to talk to about the subject content/delivery at A-level, ask whether it would be possible for you to have some time with an experienced physics teacher from another school (observing them, them observing you, or an afternoon to look at whatever is an issue), or find an appropriate course (try the exam boards). It will be much easier for the school to respond to a specific request, and if their response is "no", then maybe you consider looking elsewhere.
     
  5. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I agree with frustum - you need to be a bit more pro-active. Most NQTs get no more support than you're actually getting.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Much as most heads would like to make it so, sometimes things aren't perfect. Your dept has a new head and two members of staff have left, this is not ideal for any school. Add in losing the senior mentor for NQTs and it isn't going to be great. None of this is the fault of the school and cannot be predicted in advance. You could easily get a post in another school that seems perfect and the same thing happens next year.

    If your mentor hasn't seen you for a few weeks, it means everything is fine. If it wasn't then they would be all over you like a rash. I spent far more time with my NQT in the first half term than the second two put together. I also tend to pop in /s support / observe much more often when there is an issue to help with.

    Your posts suggests you teach 18 hours a week, which is not a lot, so you could use some of the time to observe elsewhere. Things you want to improve about your own teaching probably aren't specific to physics. Go and observe the class that drive you nuts in French or maths. Go and chat to NQTs or other science teachers in other schools. Get to know colleagues elsewhere in the school, maybe in the same year team. You don't have to stay within your own subject area.

    Leaving for the reasons you give, would not help you get another post.
     
  7. In response to Rowntreegirl, I think it is a very steep learning curve from training to employment. In any job that you start you still need support at the beginning. Give people a break!

    gandtea - I agree that it's probably more helpful if you specify exactly what support you need. Arrange a meeting with your mentor and explain how you're feeling. I'm sure it's perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. I still do and it's my second year!
     
  8. You're right last poster - it is a steep learning curve. But i still have the question 'what does SUPPORT mean exactly'??
     

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