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Should I stay or should I go?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sciencemathsguy, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. sciencemathsguy

    sciencemathsguy New commenter

    Background: This is my 2nd year in my secondary school. I was NQT last year in this same school so I dont have a lot of experience. It is a mixed comprehensive in a socially deprived area. lots of SEN, lots of PP, low income families in the North West.

    I wake up and dread going into school every day. The behaviour is shocking and it drains me daily. Kids literally will just tell me to [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions] or most of the time just refuse to do anything I ask. Kids kick my door and run off, or when asked to leave they will usually stand in the room and refuse to leave and cause a scene ruining the whole lesson. Theres literally no respect for adults and they just ignore all teachers completely unless its the head and even though most of them ignore him. The behaviour policy is failing. Kids are getting 5-10 detentions a week and no escalation. The school prides itself on being the only school in the area that hasnt permanantly excluded anyone in years but the kids know this and they run rampant with little consequence. We pick up all the exclusions from other schools. The pros are that the marking policy is lax and their isnt much pressure to get results because everyone knows the behaviour is so challenging. The supply teachers called in on cover never last long which is a big red flag. some have even just walked out mid lesson and never returned.

    My dilemma... are all schools filled with challenges just disguised in other ways? If i go somewhere where behaviour is better am I going to get stressed about other things like marking or meeting targets? I really feel I should look elsewhere for a job but I'm scared of that age old problem thinking the grass is greener elsewhere. All I know is that I cant take much more of being told to [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions] all the time.

    Look forward to your replies and advice
    agathamorse likes this.
  2. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    That's shocking that your HOD isn't supporting you. All schools have their challenges, but this sounds like a very intimidating environment to be. I suppose, it depends on your personality. Would you be ok with this, long term? I'd find it very physically exhausting.

    On a positive though, I had a similar experience, and it taught me so much.

    How long has the school been like this? Doesn't sound like it's changing.

    Short term: I'd ask for as much help on behaviour management as possible. Definitely ask to go on a course or similar. There is a huge collective wealth of experience here too.

    Perhaps, getting to know the students - their hobbies, etc, so you can ask about them. You may need to prioritise bonding with them over teaching your subject for a session or two, at least. You need to teach respect now, before you can teach your subject. You need to get them to like you too, and you need to like them. But, if they're like this across the school, this may be much harder.

    Long term: i would definitely move. I'd opt for more marking over that. I'd start looking for other jobs, you won't be blamed for leaving a school like that. Good luck.
    agathamorse and curlcurlcurl like this.
  3. curlcurlcurl

    curlcurlcurl Occasional commenter

    I think you’ve answered your own question here. There will definitely be different challenges in different schools. Behaviour, engagement, apathy, SLT pressure, student progress, ensuring a high percentage of grade 7-9.

    Every school will have its challenges, not every school will make you feel this way about working there and the behaviour you describe is not something you should have to simply put up with. I’d look elsewhere, how much greener could the grass be on the side you’re currently working in?
    strawbs and agathamorse like this.
  4. pink_reindeer

    pink_reindeer Occasional commenter

    Me too.

    I'm sorry that you're having such a terrible time, sciencemathsguy. I feel very depressed when I think about the attitudes and lack of respect teenagers have for their teachers and for their elders, in general. I mean, I know it's not all teenagers, I shouldn't generalise. It's becoming harder to find respectful, polite students. I'm currently a day to day supply teacher so I see a few different places. There are two schools (I've been to three secondary schools) that I said I won't go back to, and this is mainly down to pupils' behaviour.
    Mermaid7 and agathamorse like this.
  5. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    This sounds like such hard work! Teaching is hard work, of course, but much of what you describe is unnecessary struggle. Ask to go on a course. And look around for other jobs. Once you arrive in a more sensible school, you will keep control with the flicker of an eyebrow, because of this experience.
    Take care of yourself and don't let it get you down too much. There is a world elsewhere...
    curlcurlcurl and agathamorse like this.
  6. bg31rr

    bg31rr New commenter

    Not all schools are like that. The comment about your concerns over tighter marking guidelines/expectations of results confuses me slightly. Good schools (imo) will always have high expectations of results. These won't necessarily be manifested as incredibly stringent, soul destroying marking policies or immense pressure on teachers but if you're going to be put off a school by the idea that it has higher expectations then I feel you're restricting yourself to schools with low expectations of both achievement and behaviour.

    Obviously in some schools, these high expectations are enforced in ways that are not ideal for teachers or students but this can be tested out at interview.
  7. sciencemathsguy

    sciencemathsguy New commenter

    Thank you all for the replies. Knowing that most of the replies are confirming the same thing as my gut instinct is reassuring. Regarding HoD, he is new to the school this year so is also navigating difficult transition. The department lost 4/7 teachers 2years ago when i was hired. Last year another 4 teachers left again. Some new some old. Says it all really. Ive only been here a year and im the second longest serving member in the department of 7 teachers. Thanks everyone
    agathamorse likes this.

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