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Struggling NQT supply - feel like a doormat, sick of being messed around!

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Geohay, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. This post will probably fit in the 'Supply' section aswell but I'd like some advise on the position of my NQT term (finished PGCE in June 2011).
    Its a bit of a long one so i'll try and keep it short and not waffle too much!
    Essentially, I started supply teaching at a school in Wales right at the beginning of term to cover a Geogaphy HOD who has been on and off ill for the past 6 months, they had never previously had a Geography supply teacher and were pleased that I was able to come in and give a bit on continuity to the department and the children (there is only 1 other Geography teacher and she is HOY 11). Things were going really well, apart from only being paid a daily supply rate and doing the job of a full time teacher - transition evening and year 11 expectation evening aswell along with losing a lot of my PPA and frees to cover other teachers - didn't feel like I could say no, but I was happy to do everything, I was enjoying teaching the Geography and getting to know my classes. I was contracted for initially a week but made it to half term with no re-appearence of the HOD. Come half term I was advised that the HOD would be back for a phased return after half term so things would change, but after half term again another doctors note appeared and I was to carry on full time Geography which was fine with me. In the mean time I was approached by the HO History to ask whether I would cover the end of a maternity leave (up until 20th Feb 2012) as she had noticed how hard I worked, I agreed thinking it would be after the Geography had finished. Also, the school had organised for me to complete my NQT term so the ball was in motion on that front too.
    The trouble started in the last few weeks;
    The HO Geog returned last week on a 4 week phased return, at which point I was doing general supply and the geography lessons when the HOD was not in (mon, fri and 2 lessons in the afternoon).
    The history cover started this week - so I thought I would be doing half and half - the Geog when the HOD wasn't in and history for the rest of the time - but I was wrong, despite requesting that I didn't want to give up the Geog until the HOD was back full time (according to Ocuppational Health this is meant to be after xmas but the school has her back full time the week before xmas) I was taken off the Geography (in the middle of assessments) and told I was to start full time history this week - I was down about it but I had no choice - I need to complete my NQT term and I don't have any other teaching work!
    I have been messed around no end recently, taken for cover on my PPA and NQT training time despite speaking to my NQT mentor and acting HOD it is still happening (therefore no time to complete training and doing ALL my planning and assessment work at home), Messed around with my timetable, getting told I'm doing Geography one minute and then doing History the next, getting told i'm to keep my year 11 form one minute and then getting it in the neck from people when i'm actually meant to be with year 8.
    On top of all this the behaviour of children in the school is challenging and all the teachers know it, I was fine with it at first had a lot of low level disruption but I was dealing with it in the advised way (mind you advice was different from different people and at times confusing and inconsistant - no concrete behaviour policy can be found!!) but as the children started to realise I was a supply teacher the behaviour deteriorated to the point where ever single day for at least 2 lessons I was on the receiving end of a tirade of abuse from not only troublesome individuals but from groups of children in classes over small things like removing a head scarf!! I am a strong character and try to be as fair as possible with reprimands for talking over me but I find the the arguments start as children constantly chat back at me, even when a more senior member of staff is with us! I bring pupils back for detention and its like a party, they dont sit down without a challenge, they wont take their coats off and refuse to do any work - I have to go and get the acting HOD to make them sit down and shut up!
    So, currently I'm sat at home ill, spent this weekend in bed with flu symptoms and struggled back in to start teaching history yesterday morning. I had a PPA first and needed to speak to the HO history to ask about the content of 2 of the lessons and to find resources for the rest of the day turned out she was off school and I had been used (in my PPA) to cover her year 10 lesson. I then registered my year 11 form as I had been informed to do so, at the end of which the lady who organises cover bursts into my classroom, complains about having to walk up the stairs to find me (the telephone is not in my new history classroom as it was in my geog classroom) and practically has a go at me saying I was meant to be with year 8 apparently she informed me of this on Thursday - news to me!! So I note down where I need to be Tuesday and carry on. I get to the lesson I am meant to be covering and no work has been set, I then ask the boys in the room to quieten down and I get challenged 'it wasn't me, who are you etc...- this is as soon as I walk through to the door! I raise my voice to allow myself to be heard over them and I lose my voice and my chest tightens (I suffered from this over the weekend but thought it had gone!). By this point I feel like utter ****, i've been treated like a doormat and bump into the HOY11 in the corridor whilst trying to hear someone on the end of the telephone and have a little break down, to which she sends me home!!
    I'm sorry this is so long but I think writing it down has actually helped organise it in my head, your probably bored by now!
    The actual purpose of this post is to see if I can leave with my 1 term NQT signed off?
    I want to leave, I don't have the energy to cope with it anymore, I'm stressing myself out with the workload and making myself ill , which stressed me out even more as I feel like i'm letting people down! I want to keep going to christmas but dont want to spend Decemeber ill.
    I would like to leave with my NQT term signed off as I believe I have worked hard enough for it, I've had one observation, observed other teachers, on an online behaviour management course, been on a literacy course etc... I've done a continous 10 weeks of Geography and apparently the History counts despite it saying in the NQT document that I shouldn't be expected to teach outside my ITT subject. To top it off I really dont like history, I have not done it since I was 13 and am also expected to teach gcse short course RE again not particularly liking the subject (i'm a scientific geographer witha degree in Geology not a humanities buff!!)
    I'm off today (tues), the strike is tomorrow and I should be going back Thursday but I don't want to but feel I have no choice, I need my NQT term signed off. i have applied for a maternity cover in another school starting January so fingers crossed but if I don't get it I will be going back to working in an office, I love teaching but when I can actually teach, I hate crowd control and babysitting which is what I have been doing for the past month. I'm a little messed up as you can tell but i'm usually very strong and level headed!
    If you have any advice it would be appreciated, I know I should grin and bear it until christmas but I dont know If I have the energy to be challenged everyday by teenagers for the next 2 weeks. I know I should be telling my union but I don't know who or what to tell!
    desperate :-(
     
  2. This post will probably fit in the 'Supply' section aswell but I'd like some advise on the position of my NQT term (finished PGCE in June 2011).
    Its a bit of a long one so i'll try and keep it short and not waffle too much!
    Essentially, I started supply teaching at a school in Wales right at the beginning of term to cover a Geogaphy HOD who has been on and off ill for the past 6 months, they had never previously had a Geography supply teacher and were pleased that I was able to come in and give a bit on continuity to the department and the children (there is only 1 other Geography teacher and she is HOY 11). Things were going really well, apart from only being paid a daily supply rate and doing the job of a full time teacher - transition evening and year 11 expectation evening aswell along with losing a lot of my PPA and frees to cover other teachers - didn't feel like I could say no, but I was happy to do everything, I was enjoying teaching the Geography and getting to know my classes. I was contracted for initially a week but made it to half term with no re-appearence of the HOD. Come half term I was advised that the HOD would be back for a phased return after half term so things would change, but after half term again another doctors note appeared and I was to carry on full time Geography which was fine with me. In the mean time I was approached by the HO History to ask whether I would cover the end of a maternity leave (up until 20th Feb 2012) as she had noticed how hard I worked, I agreed thinking it would be after the Geography had finished. Also, the school had organised for me to complete my NQT term so the ball was in motion on that front too.
    The trouble started in the last few weeks;
    The HO Geog returned last week on a 4 week phased return, at which point I was doing general supply and the geography lessons when the HOD was not in (mon, fri and 2 lessons in the afternoon).
    The history cover started this week - so I thought I would be doing half and half - the Geog when the HOD wasn't in and history for the rest of the time - but I was wrong, despite requesting that I didn't want to give up the Geog until the HOD was back full time (according to Ocuppational Health this is meant to be after xmas but the school has her back full time the week before xmas) I was taken off the Geography (in the middle of assessments) and told I was to start full time history this week - I was down about it but I had no choice - I need to complete my NQT term and I don't have any other teaching work!
    I have been messed around no end recently, taken for cover on my PPA and NQT training time despite speaking to my NQT mentor and acting HOD it is still happening (therefore no time to complete training and doing ALL my planning and assessment work at home), Messed around with my timetable, getting told I'm doing Geography one minute and then doing History the next, getting told i'm to keep my year 11 form one minute and then getting it in the neck from people when i'm actually meant to be with year 8.
    On top of all this the behaviour of children in the school is challenging and all the teachers know it, I was fine with it at first had a lot of low level disruption but I was dealing with it in the advised way (mind you advice was different from different people and at times confusing and inconsistant - no concrete behaviour policy can be found!!) but as the children started to realise I was a supply teacher the behaviour deteriorated to the point where ever single day for at least 2 lessons I was on the receiving end of a tirade of abuse from not only troublesome individuals but from groups of children in classes over small things like removing a head scarf!! I am a strong character and try to be as fair as possible with reprimands for talking over me but I find the the arguments start as children constantly chat back at me, even when a more senior member of staff is with us! I bring pupils back for detention and its like a party, they dont sit down without a challenge, they wont take their coats off and refuse to do any work - I have to go and get the acting HOD to make them sit down and shut up!
    So, currently I'm sat at home ill, spent this weekend in bed with flu symptoms and struggled back in to start teaching history yesterday morning. I had a PPA first and needed to speak to the HO history to ask about the content of 2 of the lessons and to find resources for the rest of the day turned out she was off school and I had been used (in my PPA) to cover her year 10 lesson. I then registered my year 11 form as I had been informed to do so, at the end of which the lady who organises cover bursts into my classroom, complains about having to walk up the stairs to find me (the telephone is not in my new history classroom as it was in my geog classroom) and practically has a go at me saying I was meant to be with year 8 apparently she informed me of this on Thursday - news to me!! So I note down where I need to be Tuesday and carry on. I get to the lesson I am meant to be covering and no work has been set, I then ask the boys in the room to quieten down and I get challenged 'it wasn't me, who are you etc...- this is as soon as I walk through to the door! I raise my voice to allow myself to be heard over them and I lose my voice and my chest tightens (I suffered from this over the weekend but thought it had gone!). By this point I feel like utter ****, i've been treated like a doormat and bump into the HOY11 in the corridor whilst trying to hear someone on the end of the telephone and have a little break down, to which she sends me home!!
    I'm sorry this is so long but I think writing it down has actually helped organise it in my head, your probably bored by now!
    The actual purpose of this post is to see if I can leave with my 1 term NQT signed off?
    I want to leave, I don't have the energy to cope with it anymore, I'm stressing myself out with the workload and making myself ill , which stressed me out even more as I feel like i'm letting people down! I want to keep going to christmas but dont want to spend Decemeber ill.
    I would like to leave with my NQT term signed off as I believe I have worked hard enough for it, I've had one observation, observed other teachers, on an online behaviour management course, been on a literacy course etc... I've done a continous 10 weeks of Geography and apparently the History counts despite it saying in the NQT document that I shouldn't be expected to teach outside my ITT subject. To top it off I really dont like history, I have not done it since I was 13 and am also expected to teach gcse short course RE again not particularly liking the subject (i'm a scientific geographer witha degree in Geology not a humanities buff!!)
    I'm off today (tues), the strike is tomorrow and I should be going back Thursday but I don't want to but feel I have no choice, I need my NQT term signed off. i have applied for a maternity cover in another school starting January so fingers crossed but if I don't get it I will be going back to working in an office, I love teaching but when I can actually teach, I hate crowd control and babysitting which is what I have been doing for the past month. I'm a little messed up as you can tell but i'm usually very strong and level headed!
    If you have any advice it would be appreciated, I know I should grin and bear it until christmas but I dont know If I have the energy to be challenged everyday by teenagers for the next 2 weeks. I know I should be telling my union but I don't know who or what to tell!
    desperate :-(
     
  3. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    It does sound like they are treating you very unfairly. Is the History contract which ends in February still paid on daily supply rates? I don't know much but I am sure you should have protected PPA and NQT time especially now you will be completing some work towards your NQT year.
    You are in a good position where you can leave with very little notice so keep applying for posts elsewhere as you need to be in a more supportive environment, especially as a NQT.
    Find out who the union rep is for your school or if there isn't one then go on your union's website and find out who you need to contact. Explain the situation to them and find out about your rights. If If it is easier, keep a diary of things you're not happy with e.g. losing your PPA/NQT time etc. so that you have points to discuss with the rep.
     
  4. The main thing to establish is that you have been registered for induction from the start of September with trhe LA, if you came on supply and the school expected the person back after half term, they may not have been able to register you as they wouldnbot have known that you would be there for 1 full term in length. If you have been registered then you should have been observed within the first 4 - 6 weeks and then at some point this half term. If you are on induction then PPA and NQT time is a LEGAL requirement and they cannot be taken for cover UNLESS you are not employed onn induction, but as a daily supply in which case there is no real PPA and supply. So to get your first term 'signed off' there should be a meeting with your mentor and the appopriate paperwork from the LA completed and signed by the mentor/Headteacher and you.
    You can check directly with the LA if you have been registered as a NQT on induction and I suggest that you do this ASAP. If you have not been registered, then time spent cannot be backdated and you will have lost the time spent up until now.
    James
     
  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Even if you have been registered as an NQT on Induction since September, you cannot get the Induction term signed off and 'banked' if you leave the post now. You have to serve the entire term to complete the first Induction term.
    If you leave, no-one will be filling in the Induction paperwork and you'll be back to square one with Induction.
    It sounds dire at the school and they have clearly been taking advantage of you. If you return, your next observation will be in the History department and no allowances will be made for you teaching a non-specialist subject. Given the stress you are under you might find that you are deemed not to be making satisfactory progress towards meeting the standards.
    Classroom management is the likely category causing concern (we've all been there on supply with the reluctant hat/coat/ scarf removing! IT's simply a time-wasting tactic and I still don't have the answer of how to stop it despite yearas on supply).
    Basically, do you wnat to return and possibly end up with an 'unsatisfactory' on Induction paperwork to be handed to your next school or do you want a fresh start somewhere else where you'll know to insist on your legal Induction entitlements?
    Take care and good luck!
     
  6. Further developments -
    My NQT induction was back dated by the LA, I started in September and had been undertaking various training opportunities so the NQT co-ordinator contacted the LA at half term with a list of the training already undertaken and stated that I would be remaining at the school until at least christmas (if not longer - they have offered me until the 20th February). So I am registered with the LA and the GTCW as undertaking my induction with the school.
    My first observation was with a tough basic skills class and I think I was satisfactory (I havn't had any follow up yet as I missed my meeting with my mentor due to illness last week) but she said there were no major problems just bringing more visual resources into my lessons to engage pupils more and keeping an eye on the timing of activities. My next observation is tomorrow morning, teaching the domesday book to a top set year 7, I got to choose this class and I have no behaviour management issues with them so in theory it should go much better - i'm not worried about failing the term, I have worked very hard, I have put 100% into everything and have donen plenty of training - if they do choose to give me unsatisfactory then I will be on to the LA and my union - based on the amount of work i've had to set up myself and the lack of support when it comes to losing PPA time and being messed around etc...
    I returned to the school on Thursday and everything was still a mess. I registered year 8 this time as instructed to do on Monday and then was queried by the HO11 later in the say asking why i didn't register year 11!! I can't win - no one knows what I'm meant to be doing!!
    To top it off, the Geography teacher(who has been on sick leave for a while) who I initially replaced has made it to school twice this week byut not taught a lesson!! She went home sick both days - so my previous geog classes had cover supervisors and other supply teachers all week!! It breaks my heart that the Geography is suffering, i'm passionate about Geography and the children arn't getting the best Geography education!
    Anyway, planning to make it to christmas and then decide after then, don't want to burn any bridges and still have fingers crossed for a maternity geog job i have just applied for!
     
  7. Glad to hear you sounding so much more positive. Well done for getting yourself together to apply for the maternity post. Hopefully this is at another school?
    It woul d be good still to get your diary done, more especially should you be continuing at your current school.
    Best of Luck.
     

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