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To stay or go?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lovemaths321, Feb 21, 2016.

  1. lovemaths321

    lovemaths321 New commenter

    I'm half was through my NQT year and I'm coming up to the time when I need to decide if I'm going to stay at this school or go else where.

    The main reason for wanting to leave is that I find behaviour management really challenging. I'm getting lots of support - but my focus all of this year has been on development my behaviour management skills rather than my maths teaching skills. I really want to move onto somewhere where behaviour management will not be the main focus of my life - I'm thinking of FE or a selective school.

    However, I've been told that the second year at a school is easier - but do I want to go through all this stress and sleepless nights for another whole year?!

    The other main concern about leaving is that if I do it will be my 3rd school in 3 years which really can't look good on a CV; or is that a real issue given that I'm a maths teacher?

    I left my first school because of behaviour management, leaving my second school for similar reasons seems like I'm just running away. So do I stay at my current school and stick at it, or should I try FE or selective school which may not work out either?

    I'm really 50:50.

    Any thoughts welcomed!
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Yes, it does generally get easier in a second year. You will be familiar with the curriculum, studens and staff at the school.Every school is different and so having to get used to a new one will always take a time leaving you less time to concentrate on other things.
    Pupils start to view you 'as part of the furniture' and this will help your discipline.

    I'd say definitely think in term of staying for another year at least.

    Just one opinion of course.
    marlin likes this.
  3. jumpingstar

    jumpingstar New commenter

    I personally think you need to stay and address behaviour management.
    No matter where you go, if this is an issue for you it'll be an issue in every setting, regardless of catchment and you have already said that it has been an issue at different settings.

    Believe me when you have cracked the behaviour management the rest will follow. It will be impossible to concentrate on your teaching maths skills if you can't manage behaviour of the students. You will never have successful lessons so therefore maths skills will be irrelevant. Stick it out and seek lots of advice.

    I am sure if you outline the problems you are having on here lots of people will offer you advice and practical tips surrounding behaviour management.

    My key tip is always - consistency and following through on what you say. Never give in and go back on your word otherwise you will be putty in their hands. Never make threats that you can't follow through or don't mean. Also shine a light on the behaviour. Don't think about the fact simply that they are misbehaving - think about WHY they are doing it - look beyond what they are doing.

    Cracking it is a difficult job but once you have you'll realise why it is so important to establish it as soon as possible and stick at it. Good luck!

    Oh and yes it will get easier, but being a more established member of staff will help. All kids will "try it on" with someone new.. it's kind of just how it is
    Lara mfl 05 and marlin like this.
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I'm sorry that you are finding things hard . . .

    But I am also sorry that you are thinking of moving again.

    I do wonder what a school or college will think when you are applying for a job, again, after a short period in a school. They might be reluctant to even consider your application, because they could wonder if you would do the same to them - leave fast, I mean.

    A school does invest a certain amount into a new teacher - not just the recruitment costs, but the effort that goes into your early days, showing you the ropes, helping you understand the school and its ethos. To have a teacher up sticks to move on so fast is a bit disconcerting and disappointing.

    So a new school could be wary of your application, and your current school unhappy - which might come over in any reference.

    And why do you think FE would not have behaviour problems? The 16+ students there who haven't got passes in Maths and English at GCSE have to re-sit. Very unwillingly.

    Independent or selective schools also expect good classroom management from their staff, so don't think that these would be your haven of peace.

    @jumpingstar has got the answer here. You need help to crack this problem. Ask at school for support, and also go to Amazon and get a couple of books which deal with this issue. The fact that there are so many should encourage you - it shows that you are not the only one here with a problem!

    Best wishes

    Lara mfl 05 and marlin like this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I think it may depend on the kind of school you are in now.
    If it is a tough inner city school in a deprived area, then the skills needed to manage behaviour will be different to those in a selective school and you may well find it more suited to your manner. However if you are already in a fairly middle class school, with low SEND and EAL, then you may not find the difference so great.

    Are the difficulties you have so great you may not pass your NQT year? If not, then they are possibly a headache rather than serious.

    I stayed in my first school for 6 months and my second for 18 months, both as a secondary maths teacher. I then stayed in my third school for 7 years, moving on to head of maths. It isn't the end of the world to move on, but you will need to put a very positive spin on your application. Maybe make up your mind to stay next year and take your time to look around and find the right school for you.
  6. lovemaths321

    lovemaths321 New commenter

    Thank you for taking time to offer your thoughts - it's greatly appreciated.

    I think in my heart of hearts I need to stay to "crack behaviour management" - it will be good for me; and the second year will be easier, I'm sure. I just need to fight the rose tinted ideal of teaching a room full of "selective pupils"!

    I will make lower set year 10 love maths. I will I will I will!!!
    jumpingstar likes this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    One of my best days was when a boy from set 4 of 5 told me "Miss I still hate maths, but I like maths lessons now."

    I teach in an independent now, not very selective, and lots about it is easier. Keep that ideal in your mind, but do other things as well. Don't be in a rush and try to enjoy what you have until it is time to move onwards and upwards.
    joannagb likes this.
  8. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Can I just point out that 'selective' may not always equate with 'compliant bahaviour'.
    I always said it was easier to teach lower ability as they didn't get very 'creative' with their disruptive behaviour, whereas the higher ability certainly can get very 'creative' with their ideas. (Sometimes it's hard not to show a grudging admiration for their creativity! ;)I've often thought '10 out of 10 for ingenuity', whilst having to point out 'the error of their ways' to pupils and not let on to them.)
    Plus parental expectations are always high and that creates it's own expectations.
  9. Izzy121

    Izzy121 New commenter

    It will get easier, but not without work. My first school, where I spent 10 happy years, was a very rough North London comp, where some kids were challenging to say the least. My NQT year felt like surviving a war zone, the second year was...well, I'm not going to lie, marginally worse as there was less support. But by the third year I was more established in the school, I was much more familiar with the schemes of work, and slowly but surely, it got easier. I now have pretty strong behaviour management skills!

    FYI, when I did a brief stint in one of those lovely rose tinted schools, it was...dull. Just sayin ;)
  10. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    I have taught in a few grammar schools from the average to top of the table school. You will have problems everywhere, maybe less frequent but some can be very difficult to deal it. Pupils may think they are clever and they will want to push you. Some are really clever and managing them requires a completely different skill set.

    Do what you feel is right, stay for at least one more year to develop behaviour management skill and teaching skill or move this year. There aren't many jobs at state grammar at the moment but there are a lot in the independent sector. Pick your school carefully or in one year you might come back here talking about moving school again and then it won't look good on your cv.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I sympathise with you. As I have posted on here in the past, my experience was not too dissimilar to yours. I was totally out of my depth in a struggling school when i did my NQT. Struggled with behaviour. Passed the NQT and whilst the problems didn't go away, they did get better. Eventually I moved on, to a better school with less issues. In part though it had less issues as I had more experience!

    Moving on for you is difficult. Starting over is at any stage after all. You already have one move behind you. You really have to stay put. I would say at least until September 2017. It will get better with experience.
  12. joannagb

    joannagb Occasional commenter

    Definitely crack the behaviour management, everything else follows this, wherever you are - state, independent, primary, secondary, FE... You've managed a whole year here, stick it out for one more year and try to make it work - watch next year's new teachers struggle with the same thing and see how much progress you've already made. Good luck!
    jumpingstar and Lara mfl 05 like this.

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