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Told to quit

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by msloops, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. I've just had a meeting with my induction tutor. He observed me yesterday. He gave me a 3 for the lesson. I've had 3s all the way through and one 2.He also said that he could see that there had been progress with my action plan.
    However, he told me that he recommends that I leave the school now before the 2nd assessment, because he thinks I'll fail if I stay.
    He was very waffly about what's wrong. He finally got around to explaining that the relationship I have got with the students is one where they don't all show me respect and he thinks it's too late for me to turn that around before the end of the year.
    He even said "you can come back later today if you like to speak to me", as if I'm giong to make my mind up straight away.
    God. What a way to ruin my weekend. It's not that I even enjoy the job right now or want to stay in the school particularly, but I just think it'll be pretty much impossible for me to get another job as a teacher now.
    I don't nkow what advice I'm looking for really. I know I should speak to my union. The inductino tutor said something about how him and the union rep have known each other for years. :-S He told me to speak to the union today. Like I have to decide everything instantly. Urgh.
  2. I am thinking of quitting before the assessment is due - depending on the dole rules.
    With your union, it may be best to talk straight with the regional office, as they will be the ones dealing with an early release agreement (or so they have told me!).
    I feel for you, and wish that the profession was more supportive of new teachers :(
    All the best in whatever you decide, sorry I can't help you
  3. Thank you. I've got my union rep coming in half an hour. Everything seems to be happening really quickly.
  4. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If some pupils are not showing you due respect, is that not their failing rather than yours? Are they being called to account for their disrespectfull behaviour in the classroom?
    Schools differ widely in their intake. NQTs should not be judged on the nature of the intake but on how well they plan lessons (even if they don't manage to deliver them in full .... the decider being whether that is a routine issue for other teachers of the same cohort too) , whether they are undertaking their professional duties (marking, reports etc) and whether they themselves are meeting feasible milestones.
    If the likelihood is that an NQT who passes Induction in a less challenging school would struggle in their 2nd year (or later) at the challenging school, an NQT undertaking Induction in such an environment should not be penalised (and I'm not talking about a school in Special Measures. Most of us are aware of the horrendous challenges in many bog-standard schools).
    There is no level playing field for Induction.
    If this is your second term, OP, I don't see why you are being put under pressure to quit now. You could carry on and get whatever verdict they decide for the 2nd term (and it can't be a FAIL as that option is only available at the end of the 3rd term!) and assess your continued employment in the 3rd term. The verdicts in terms 1 and 2 are either that you are making satisfactory progress and not making it. It's still possible to get a PASS overall if you manage to meet the standards in term 3, even if you were not making satisfactory progress in terms 1 and /or 2.

  5. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The dole (JSA) rules are that you can be disallowed from claiming benefits for up to 26 weeks if you voluntarily gave up a job. They may pay you initially and then cease benefits if a disallowance decision is made.
    If a disallowance is decided, continue to sign on each fortnight for the NI credit and talso to safeguard arrears of JSA if your Appeal against the disallowance is accepted.
    When you first sign on, you would declare that you had resigned from your last job and would be asked why. You would state that the school advised resignation as you were being assessed as failing Induction. Your reasons will be forwarded to the school who will confirm them with the JSA people and also answer a range of questions in their questionnaire.
    The benefits Agency will be clueless about Induction and the ramifications of failing it and will likely apply a disallowance, which may be anything up to 6 months.
    You should then submit an appeal in which will have as much space as you like to explain that Induction is an obligatory probationary year in state school teaching snd that failing Induction means never being able to teach again in state schools. State that if you had stayed and been Failed, you would have been sacked by the school and been unable to apply for other teaching jobs ever again!
    Explain that you sought Union advise and had their help in negotiating an early release from your contract so that no FAIL verdict could be reached and you would be free to apply for other teaching posts in schools better suited to your teaching style.
    If you were on sick leave for stress when you took the early release, you should definitely mention health issues in your reasons for leaving as well as the implications of carrying on and ending up with a failed Induction.
    If you have a family to support, a disallowance should only apply to the personal Allowance accruing to you and benefits for a partner and children should be unaffected.
    As advised before, keep signing on! Most well argued appeals are successful and you can then be paid all the JSA that was withheld. If you sign off, they won't pay you a penny as they have no fortnightly signed declarations that you were actively looking for work and were available for work!
    When claiming JSA you are allowed 13 weeks to only look for your usual work at your usual pay. If unsuccessful in 13 weeks, you are then required to agree to apply for any job you are capable of doing, at the national minimum wage if necessary. Just agree to that! You can still confine your jobsearch and applications to teaching jobs if you can find enough vacancies and opportunities each week to meet the agreed jobsearch demands (apply for X jobs, phone/write to Y numbers of employers, look in Z newspapers exh week etc)
  6. I'm sorry to hear you're going through this.
    Firstly, I think the induction tutor should be grading you in specific areas, rather than overall. My observations - like OFSTED ones - are graded by Teaching, Learning & Progress, Behaviour, and Assessment. If you're getting 3s for, say behaviour, then you should be able to request help and training to tackle that area. If he's telling you that every area needs development, then surely it would make sense for him to say "right, let's address behaviour first..". It might seem a little late to do that, but you should be able to turn some things around between now and the end of the year.
    If he's a good menor then he should be working with you to identify targets and specific areas to work on. Has he offered you the chance to go on any courses? The money that comes with NQTs is partly to fund courses, and if behaviour management is an area to work on - for example - then you should be able to go on a course to help address that. Equally he should arrange some observations of other staff to see where this issue with relationships could be strengthened.
    Incidentally, 3 is satisfactory, and my understanding is that you can pass your NQT year with 3s. You don't mention you've had any 4s so far, and so unless you get one before July, they can't really fail you unless you're not meeting some of the core standards.
    My advice:
    - formally request some help to address the specific areas the school say you need to work on
    - with every class at the start of their next lesson, have them stood up, put on a stern face, say that you're getting a bit fed up with how some students are speaking to you, and say you're going to be tougher. Make them stand there and listen to your expectations and lay into anyone who tries to interrupt or shout out. It might not be your usual style, but it's worth trying if the alternative is failing the year.
    - Try hard to maintain a stricter approach. Maybe you could spell out the things that are sometimes being said but which are clearly inappropriate. Be tougher on them when they go against this. Tell students they're being rude and issue a sanction after a warning.
    Personally I tihnk you should try and stick it out until the end of the year, but try really hard (and show them that you're trying). He shouldn't be advising you to quit if you're getting 3s and if the school aren't giving you clear guidelines on how to improve.
    Good luck.
  7. That's what I thought, but apparently they can.
    I asked him which standards I was failing on and pointing out all my obs were satisfactory or better, but apparently it's about my relationships with students more generally and the consistency of my teaching - the kids don't respect me, and they don't think I'd be able to handle a full timetable next year so they can't pass me.
    I'm already trying really hard.
    I think now that they've made up their mind about me. Even if my relationships with classes do improve it'd take a hell of a lot to convince the school that I'm good enough.

  8. Forgot to say- thanks for the responses:)
  9. I know! I reckon I could've passed in a less challenging school.
    Yes - I could do that. What they're saying is, if I leave now before completing the 2nd assessment then I will have 2 terms to go on my NQT induction, so will have more time and more chance to pass in my next school.
    They say they have lots of positive things to put in a reference. I am just worried that I'll never get another job. But it's better than failing I guess.
    I'm just so disappointed in myself. I thought I could turn it around. I thought I had turned it around to a certain extent. Obviously not.
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Union advice needed most definitely and NOT the union rep in school who is friends with your mentor!
    It sounds to me a s though they are holding out the 'carrot' of a positive reference if you go now. You need the Union (at regional level) to witness and record that undertaking of a positive reference and help you decide whether to leave before term 2 is over or not.
    I think the school should have to explain why they don't think they can support you in improving from satisfactory assessments and why they don't feel able topass you if you continue to be satisfactory!
    Has an LA Induction advisor been brought in to observe you and discuss your case with your mentors? If not, why not?
    Have the school devised an Action Plan (last term and this one)? If not, why not?
    The Union should be asking the above questions on your behalf.
    Don't make any hasty decisions! It's not even mid- March yet.
  11. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Write down every word you can remember and see/call your union rep for advice immediately.
    There is more than a full term left; he has absolutely no right to say that you won't be able to improve by the end of the year. The fact that you've had 3s and 2s indicate there isn't any suggestion that you are failing. If the kids had no respect for you, how on earth you you be able to get a 3 or a 2 for behaviour?
    Get advice ASAP.
  12. Thanks. The local union rep came to see me today. He gave me the advice that it's up to the school to decide whether to pass or fail me and he seemed to agree with the induction mentor that there's a big risk of me failing if I stay.
    They're not judging my progress just on lesson observations. He even gave me a 1 on the 'behaviour for learning' element in an observation before half term, and behaviour is one of my targets for the action plan, but they're not judging it on that. They seem to think that I'm ok when being observed but not consistent the rest of the time. Perhaps they think the kids are only behaving in a half decent way during observations because of the presence of the observer.
    I asked which of the core standards I wasn't meeting and what evidence they were using to base their judgements on, and he seemed to say that there weren't any particular standards that I wasn't meeting. it wasn't that there was a specific hole in standards I wasn't meeting that I could address. Also he didn't really say exactly what the evidence was that he was using. He said that I have improved my planning and teaching. Yet generally they think the relationships I've got with my classes are not there.
    Even before the christmas holiday he'd started to say he thought it might be too difficult for me to reinvent myself and improve relationships with the kids. I think he formed his impression very early on.
  13. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    You can't fail your 2nd assessment only the final one. He HAS to tell you which standards you're not meeting otherwise you can't fix it. Join a different union if you're not getting the right support/advice you should be getting (I wish I had)
    Regarding JSA you can get benefits if you resign due to extenuation circumstances (failing a term and ending all future prospects of teaching fits this)
    PM me if you need to x
  14. I can completely sympathise with what you are going through. I haven't had my mentor see me with some classes however I do have a couple which I feel don't respect me - one of which I am being observed with next week.
    Part of me thinks that it would be great to move onto a new school and set boundaries from the beginning as I feel I have made mistakes, however there should be more support for new teachers I feel and I also feel that there are quite a few people out there who seem to forget how difficult it was when they started... and to a certain extent behaviour was maybe better 10-20 years ago (I say maybe!).
    I think that I will stick at it where I am until the end, you just have to come in stricter and eventually win them over. As for staying where I am, well I'm not sure... I have been betrayed to a certain extent...by being lumped with over half a timetable filled with bottom sets and the rest of the time with what other teachers call 'problem classes!'.
  15. Yes, go girl, go!

    Best of luck
  16. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Good for you!!! Get 'em shown!
    Remember to keep records of everything. Makwe them work REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to fail you...I'll bet they can't manage it.
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Whever they are observing you and give you satisfactory grades or higher, put the observer on the spot in the de-brief asking them "So was the behaviour management in the lesson/ planning/ lesson delivery and pace etc a cause for concern?"
    Record your questions and their answers.
  18. Sorry just picked this up.
    Ok, you do not pass or fail term one or two - the pass or fail happens at the end of term three. Trying to foprce you out could be seen as constructive dismissal - even if you resign 'of your own free will' and you could launch an action against the school which could be very damaging. If they have not followed the statutory procedures with you as defined in the NQT guidance then they gain could be in trouble.
    You MUST contact the union HQ for specific advice on this you are being run out of the school for what ever reaosn. So far there is no indication that you are nor meeting the standards yet they threaten a 'fail' - and the school does not make such a decision.
    If you leave there must be a proper negotiated exit strategy that does NOT disadvantage you in any way. Seek expert guidnace from your union HQ after all that's why you pay your dues and do not automatically accept the local rep if you feel that he/she may not be totally independent or on your side.
  19. Thanks James!
    I know and they know that I can't fail until the end - what they are saying is that I won't be able to pass in July, so they want me to leave now, ostensibly to give me 2 full terms elsewhere to establish myself and meet all the standards.
    Is the burden of proof not on me to show I have met all the standards, rather than them having to show I haven't? Who makes this decision? The LA NQT contact is confident that I have received enough support (even though they haven't spoken to me) so I think they will most likely accept the school's judgement of me.
  20. that happened to me before so i took his advice and moved to another local secondry school and i got full marks so i do need to thank my tutor

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