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Stories from other people who almost failed NQT.

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by blueridinghood92, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. blueridinghood92

    blueridinghood92 New commenter

    tldr: two terms banked, two schools, worried about going back looking for anecdotes form others.

    I had a bad experience at my first school, I banked two terms of my NQT but was graded with little progress on my second one. Because I was working at an academy, I had the opportunity to suspend my NQT but remain in my role as a teacher. Then I found a new school to teach at that I thought would be much better, but unfortunately I did even worse at the next school. I think this is because during my last summer term at my first school I was given no support, no help. They graded me a poor teacher and then left me in my classroom alone for a whole term with little to no feedback. Suddenly I had to make 3 terms of progress in one term, in a totally different environment with a different culture of teaching.

    What I'm really looking for is stories from other people who were struggling, took time, and recovered enough to finish their NQT. I'm currently working in supply and I love it, I would happily do it for the rest of my life - but I need to complete that last term really, and the idea of going back into school full time just fills me with fear.
  2. surfblue33

    surfblue33 New commenter

    Not quite on point but here it goes...
    Bite the bullet and do that last term. After that you’re free to go back to supply. I sympathise with you as my training year was really tough so I did supply for one year to give me time to breathe. Loved it and I was busy but in a good way. I dreaded going back full time to do my NQT year as I thought it would be as bad as my training year, but it wasn’t. If I can do it, anyone can.
    blueridinghood92 and peter12171 like this.
  3. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Hi, you’re doing just fine, I would say. I did two terms of supply between PGCE and NQT.

    All the things you mention I had in one way or another in my NQT year. A confusing change from a PGCE at one of the top schools in the country, then an NQT at a coasting rural school which was given a downgraded Ofsted, one week after I arrived, and a confusing change of mentor halfway through the ensuing year. I was dragged along, like a confused thing washed along on a tidal wave, surrounded by staff too scaredfor their own jobs and a school turned upside down in one day. My mentor had no response when I said I was being observed too much (several times a week). I failed my second term but passed my first and third.

    Tell your agency that you need to bank one more NQT term in a long term contract. Refuse any contracts until you have it in writing. Push to make sure you will get this done.

    My last word? Good teachers are not as good in a poor school. There is a huge amount more work to do.
    Since this extremely unstable and confusing start, I have since been described as an exceptional teacher by my previous employer. you will be too!
  4. shinynewteacher

    shinynewteacher New commenter

    Have they given you pointers to improve on? You need to be made aware of your targets so you know how to address them.
  5. wallflowers22

    wallflowers22 New commenter


    Firstly read this old thread... that was my husband’s NQT experience... https://community.tes.com/threads/dear-james-yet-more-induction-worries.692407/#post-8480299

    Off the back of that he got a job in a school with a 70 mile round trip commute that we also agonised over (there’s a thread for that too!)

    He’s now completing his 6th year in the long commute school and has had a wonderful 6 years personally and professionally, for the last two years have been the Phase Lead for Key Stage 2 and has indeed this last two days had an interview for AHT (in another school) from his first application.

    So please do not lose heart. I dread to think what would’ve happened if that original head had succeeded in making him leave the profession as he is truly a great teacher and I’m sure you are too!
  6. wallflowers22

    wallflowers22 New commenter

    P.S we wait with baited breath for the interview result!
  7. blueridinghood92

    blueridinghood92 New commenter

    Can I just say thank you to everyone for reaching out with feedback. I really appreciate it.

    To give more context, in my first school I was advised to focus on differentiation and modelling (something I struggled with in particular because my handwriting was being criticised) but in particular I was struggling with a particular student in my class who wouldn't work independently and was barely at a nursery level. Because of the nature of the academy I was expected to teach the whole class (of year ones) in a very formal structured manner and enforce a whole class approach generally. The leadership was aware that I desperately needed support with the class (particularly with that one student) but were unable to find money in the school budget to provide for more support. At one point my mother (who is a former teacher) was offering to come in for me and support because she was so worried about my health.

    Moving forwards into the new school I was trying to incorperate the changes from my last place, but I was also expected to offer continuous provision which I had never worked with, neither in my training or in my previous school, and in trying to adapt to this (the class was mixed year 1/2) I felt very overwhelmed by choice. There were lots of improvements in my new school, a brilliant TA and supportive teachers, but as it was a small school there were so many more choices I needed to make regularly and I really struggled with behaviour management. I think I experienced a breakdown there within my first few weeks where I just felt so overwhelmed by how much there was to do I found it really hard to effect changes in my day to day teaching. I was essentially told by my head that I was doing nothing right, there were no redeeming features to my lessons. I was repeatedly asked if I really thought teaching was for me, which made me feel absolutely terrible and like a total failure. There was also some conflict in the fact I was working at a catholic school and trying to hide the fact that my partner is a woman.

    I do believe I am capable of change, but I am really scared for my mental health about stepping back into teaching and falling flat again. For me, supply teaching has been amazing. I love getting to try different things out, talk to other teachers about best practise, I've spent time as a TA also with really experienced teachers who felt more like mentors than anything else. I honestly think I could be happy forever working in supply, but I am really scared about going into a full time teaching role again and feeling overwhelmed by it again.

    I also think I would benefit from working in a year 3 or 4 class, but I don't want to be too picky. I really appreciate reading other peoples stories of overcoming difficulties though, because it makes me feel less like I'm the problem and more like I'm a symptom of an overwhelmed system.

    I hope this works to add more context to my post for those who asked.
  8. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    You'll get there, you just have to keep going. I had a tough nqt year too. You can get through your nqt year, you've done the hardest terms. You need to think carefully about what you want from your next school and find a school that suits you.
  9. ajc89

    ajc89 Occasional commenter

    Personally, I think you can be picky. I’ve done a lot of supply covering the whole of primary including nursery, I’ve taught single form and mixed ages, and did my nqt in 3 different schools in 3 different year groups....and going from UKS2 to LKS1... so I know what I don’t want to do, so I am being picky. But that is just me.
    It is hard to find a school that is right for you I think when all you get a feel for what it is like is through the tour and/or interview and what the website says... Helps if you know someone that may have worked/knows of the schools you are interested in. Saying that, I did a lot of supply in my 2nd school for nqt and really liked it even though I ended up struggling due to the year group I was in (UKS2) and it was a year group I thought I’d always prefer! And I was lucky enough that when I went to my 3rd school to complete it, I didn’t have to start it straight away until I was comfortable and settled. And it was in a year group I thought I’d never like but stayed in it for 2 years!
    Things will work it’s self out for you, keep going
  10. hankay

    hankay New commenter

    I would agree with ajc89. But it isn't being picky, it's having standards!

    This is your life and a career that you will be doing for the forseeable future - if not life-long. So it is best to ensure that you will atleast be happy and comfortable, and that the environments you are working in actually enable you to develop professionally. I finished my PGCE this year and I fully intend to go into FE and avoid secondary at all costs. Simply because I know that my strengths and my own education would not be useful in a secondary setting. Some may say that I am not in a position to be "picky", but when I know that I would not be happy in those environments, why should I have to begrudgingly take those roles?

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