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What a shame...

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by anon261, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. Hi all,

    I was just reading through the posts and was thinking that it's such a shame that so many NQT's want to leave teaching before completing their NQT year.
    I can't blame them - I've had problems too, but does this show that there is a major flaw and defect in the educational community?
    I'm not sure what the flaw is - some of my thoughts include a lack of in house support and training - NQT's being left to sink or swim? The pure mountain of work involved in the profession that isn't teaching - i.e. planning, marking etc? Or is it NQT's needing to build up their portfolios in the first couple of years - I've been told that it does get easier? Or that young people actually want a life outside of their careers and feel guilty about it because teaching is a never ending workload?
    Anyway - I posted this, not to complain about teaching, but to put some ideas out there about what is difficult about the job so that together we can start thinking of solutions - Start with a problem and find a solution! - Sometimes there's more than one!
    So NQT's who are thinking of quitting - please don't give up on 4 years worth of hard work - start thinking about what you are finding difficult and then think of some solutions! The sooner the better!
    Good luck everyone
     
  2. Hi all,

    I was just reading through the posts and was thinking that it's such a shame that so many NQT's want to leave teaching before completing their NQT year.
    I can't blame them - I've had problems too, but does this show that there is a major flaw and defect in the educational community?
    I'm not sure what the flaw is - some of my thoughts include a lack of in house support and training - NQT's being left to sink or swim? The pure mountain of work involved in the profession that isn't teaching - i.e. planning, marking etc? Or is it NQT's needing to build up their portfolios in the first couple of years - I've been told that it does get easier? Or that young people actually want a life outside of their careers and feel guilty about it because teaching is a never ending workload?
    Anyway - I posted this, not to complain about teaching, but to put some ideas out there about what is difficult about the job so that together we can start thinking of solutions - Start with a problem and find a solution! - Sometimes there's more than one!
    So NQT's who are thinking of quitting - please don't give up on 4 years worth of hard work - start thinking about what you are finding difficult and then think of some solutions! The sooner the better!
    Good luck everyone
     
  3. Been thinking the same as I have browsed this forum. Is it usually as full of unhappy first year teachers or is this year an exception? I really don't know as I wasn't looking at this forum last year.
    I think there are two major features that appear again and again on these boards.
    Firstly, the NQTs appear to be overawed by the actual demands of the job. This would suggest that the training they go through is not appropriately pitched. It would be interesting to see which route the majority of struggling NQTs took - PGCEs, SCITT, BEds etc. Also we have found that different universities offer very different quality students on placements,. We have one local university that do not seem to inform students of any sort of modern teaching methods whereas the others in the area seem to do a great job. Is this because the university providers are out of touch with what goes on in our schools?
    From first hand experience, I can say that the universities are sometimes happy to let sub-standard students continue unaware of their problems. Is this a case of them being unaware of the student's limitations or simply the pressure to pass as many students as possible?
    Secondly the support in some schools seems incredibly poor. The thread a while ago is a perfect example: NQT advised to leave because they had got an inadequate lesson. What the hell is going on there?! No offer of support, no action plan, no encouraging words...just leave because you seem hard work. So the 'problem' is passed on to another school to deal with because you can't be bothered. The bigger point is though that this is an NQT's career being messed about and that is not on. Schools have a duty to nurture a NQT through their first year (and beyond). What would have happened if we had all recieved this shocking level of non-supoport? I suspect we all can identify a guiding figure in our early years of our career - why are some schools reluctant to offer the same guidance. At the end of the day, you will not be getting a totally accomplished teacher (is anyone?) when you take on an NQT. They need nurturing.
    Another third option is the mentality of the NQTs. Just a thought but do some think that teaching is an easy option to get a job out of? I may be well off the mark here and would actually link this back to the first point about the training that they get - that should be sufficient for them to realise that it is not an easy career to choose.
    Anyway, just my thoughts...
     
  4. Silent85

    Silent85 New commenter

    I'm a NQT and I have to admit I had it easy in my PGCE year and I wasn't that stressed (I put pressure on myself so thats when I did get stressed) I was the first to get a job and the earliest ever in the university to get one so my second placement was a strange affair with me hoarding resources etc in preperation.

    Nearly a term into it and I find that the school is challenging and not because I wasn't prepared I knew what to expect except the fact that Im on top of my marking (filing the work away is a different matter) and I am sure I am not as stressed as the other teachers nqt's or not and that makes me panic lol.

    Am I alone?
     
  5. I think this year there seems to be more than previous years. It could be that NQT's are given higher expectations these days as schools really can pick the best and if they employ you, I would think this is what they expect.
     
  6. You missed out the bit where you're told "it would be better for you if you left after your second term, because, if you were to continue here and fail then you cannot qualify as a teacher". Although where you're supposed to go for that final term of NQTness is of course not specified.
     
  7. Hi gilbert24
    I'm one of the NQTs who has posted a desperate cry for help because I'm thinking of quitting. I don't know whether the numbers finding it difficult are higher this year than normal because I didn't look at the forum last year, but I would have to say that I don't think any amount of training prepares you for the demands placed on you by schools.
    I studied for my degree with the Open University over a 5 year period whilst working as a Teaching Assistant in both primary and secondary schools to get experience. I then did my PGCE through a SCITT provider, spending two placements of 13 weeks each in a "good" and a "tough" secondary school. Evening and daytime theory sessions were also included. I came out the other end classed as outstanding. I was employed in a grammar school which therefore does not have behavioural problems and have a fantastically supportive department to work in. However, I think the subject I chose to teach - English - has a great deal to do with the fact I'm now signed off with stress. The workload of planning and marking is phenomonal and with the demands placed on you as both teacher, tutor and data analyst there are just not enough hours in the day.
    I worked for 6 years to get where I am now, and I am not a quitter. However, I think the training providers need to take into account the subject being taught much more, and fully prepare trainee teachers for the demands that are placed on them - the responsibility is the greatest pressure. Those kids are reliant upon you to get them the best grades possible. Or maybe it's the whole education system that causes the problems - so result driven?
    I don't think many people go into teaching as an "easy option" and, if they do, the first few weeks of training will soon make them realise it's not a 9-3 job with great holidays! So, although I haven't answered your question as such, I do think that the pressure schools are under is what is being fed down to teachers and NQTs in particular to rise to those demands.
     
  8. I did the GTP. I found the organisational aspects of running a class myself most difficult, in those first 3 weeks. That was the biggest shock for me. Other than that I am enjoying this year more than my training year. The GTP was so rigorous and you find yourself with large amounts of responsibility in school which does help to prepare you for your own class.
    I must admit I find it hard to imagine being able to do this job when I have a family. I imagine teachers with families have to sacrifice massive chunks of family life for their demanding and time-consuming job.
     
  9. Sheffgirl,
    I'm 8 years in and hold fairly demanding responsibility (AHT, SENCo, Numeracy, Year 6) and my wife and I have just had our first child in the summer holidays. I was very worried about being able to cope with the demands of the job and balancing it with family life.
    However (I think) I am coping alright. The key thing is to manage your time and prioritise your duties. Sometimes things just don't get done and you have to just accept that. I work for a fantastic head who is so supportive and think that is a massive factor in why I am coping. She offers to do 'little' tasks which save me a massive amount of time: marking test papers is a good example. I also work with brilliant staff who all work hard and look to help others. I don't think that I would be coping as well in a different school with different staff. My point is that it can be done - yes it's harder and some nights my poor wife is cursing the job but it can be done.
    Sorry it's off topic but just thought I could put your mind at rest!
     
  10. Reliability, responsibility and hard work for more than six hours a day are what get you the big bucks in any job. I really can't understand how anyone could be so misled as to think a job paying way more, especially after five years, with 12 weeks holiday thrown in, than most jobs open to newly qualified graduates, would not make large demands on your time and energy.
    English is a heavy-marking-load subject and I would have thought everyone knows that. If PGCE providers are not making it abundantly clear how much work is needed to maintain a professional, well-paid job, given that the students on the course clearly don't, then your gripe ought to be with them. The government's gripe ought to be with them. HTs should be making some searching enquiries!
     
  11. Cannot understand this last post from Lilyofthefield. The job "shouldn't" be this hard. Those who have the power to make things easier are letting down young teachers - and teachers of whatever age who feel they are under great and unnecessary pressure. I have very many years of industrial experience and becoming a teacher and my first couple of years is the hardest thing I have ever done - and many posts in this forum reflect this. The work is *very* hard... the hours (70-80 a week is not uncommon), the immediate responsibility, the constant pressure from children, SLT, HOD, the reliance on a mentor who may not be trained for the job or have the capability to be effective ... above all, the knowledge that one can always improve - and that your responsibility as a professional is to strive to do just that.

    I know one "shouldn't" have to work that hard. But many find that's what it takes.
     
  12. How can "everyone know that"? As a trainee, you're so focused on learning how to plan lessons, deliver lessons and behaviour management that actually marking is the last thing that you are taught. Especially GCSE classes which I wasn't allowed loose on during my placements, and certainly not with sole responsibility for marking!
    Oh, and in response to the previous post - I have a 15 year old, 12 year old and 4 year old and yes, it is bloody hard!

     
  13. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    If you can't see that all Humanities subjects demand a great deal of teachers' time on marking then clearly you don't even have any common sense. I don't teach those subjects but I could imagine how much time teachers would have to spend to read through pupils' work and mark them. Even if marking is the last thing university teaches you, you would expect marking to be part of a teacher job or do you expect someone will mark the homework for you. We had one hour to mark some coursework plus a couple of sessions on APP and AFL during the PGCE. The rest was learnt through placement and I am coping with the marking so far.
    By working in a grammar, you would expect minimal behaviour problem but also most of the kids are willing to learn, you will cover much more material in a lesson. Therefore your planning will take longer. Also, most of them will do their homework and classwork and about 50% of them will do it a very high standard, you would expect that the marking load will be a lot more than a normal school or compare to your 50%-75% PGCE timetable.I don't even have to be told about a thing like that before I start my job, it is just a bit of common sense really. The expectation and pressure of exam and result will be much, much greater in a grammar as well. Three months into my job, I already done assessment for all my KS3 classes and had one GCSE exam result hanging over my head already.If you come into the job thinking it will an easy ride because the kids (most of them) are so well-behaved and want to learn then you are in for a tough ride.

    I totally agree with Lilyofthefield on this, the main thing that let trainee and NQTs down is that some don't have a realistic view about the training, the university, the job, the school, the kids, their colleagues, mentor, SLT etc.
    I know I sound really bitchy but having read through so many posts complaining about schools, mentors, HOD, SLT etc, I just wonder if the other people (the schools, mentors etc) had a chance to defence themselves, would people in the forum still be sympathy with all the posters. Just my 2p worth.
     
  14. The poster complaining about the English marking load worked as a TA! Did s/he really think that teachers knock off at 3.30 and spend the rest of the day with their feet up just because s/he did? When do you think the marking gets done?
    I get the impression that posters think this forum should be a hugfest of sympathy and poor-you, it's the job that's at fault. Well those teachers who've been doing it for years, decades in my case, though gratefully not since 2007, are all working just as hard, if not harder. And the reason they can do that is down to realistic expectations of a hard day's work for a damn good salary, and by doing it. Scuttling off for a month because it all turned out to be a lot more graft than you expected will not help you get used to it. You get used to it by doing it.
    A little bit more research into a career area you intend to work in would be in order all round. People seem to think the level of weariness should never exceed a four hour stint in a bar or cafe or whatever your last between-lectures joblet was. Wakey wakey.
     
  15. I agree with much of what you say but never wrote it because I seemed to be alone in this opinion! I stand by the thought that schools have a responsibility to ensure good support is provided but I totally agree with your comment:
    So many posters on here have waved the white flag so early on. Is this indicative or them as people or a lack of decent, thorough training? Interesting to know whether the NQTs finding it harder are 'quick route' teachers (PGCE etc) or the longer BEd or whatever it is nowadays.
     
  16. I am an NQT and I am thinking of leaving when I finish my NQT year. I am doing well at my school but I just don't know if I want to do this for the long term. I love working with children and I love planning my lessons it's just that I don't feel that I have enough time to do both well! We get such little time to plan and prepare and then there's all the other paper work as well for SEN, EAL and other things such as doing displays. Like I said, I enjoy all of these things it's just that I don't have enough time and I end up doing work in my own time at the weekends. I don't really see why teachers should have to accept this.>
    I feel panicked all the time about getting things done and I have had to give up all of my hobbies because I can't commit to them. This has really got me down! I also think that teaching is just so exhausting and your PGCE doesn't prepare for this. Even if, like me, you do expect it to be exhausting it doesn't make it any less so. Maybe I just get more tired than other people but I have to go to bed at 9.30pm (I get up at 6am) to make sure I feel refreshed! I teach in a nursery class so we spend all day with very active young children and only have 30 minutes lunch. I just feel shattered! So this is another reason I don;t think I can teach after my NQT year is done. I would like a slightly slower paced job where I am allowed to go to the toilet or have a cup of tea if I want one! >
    I think the expectations are too high on NQTs and although we get the same 10% plus another 10% it really does depend on the school as to how they dish this out. I personally think that if it was given as a full day out of the class room then it would ease the pressure. You can be much more efficient this way.

    At the minute i really want to quite but I will see out the NQT year. There are a couple of reasons why I might stay on after this. One is that I do love helping children to learn! And the other is that, yes, quite frankly I would be worried about finding another job!! I have no idea what else I can do and I have already spent a fortune and run up huge debts to get myself qualified as a teacher!
     
  17. shoot! Sorry for the lack of paragraphs! I did try to add them! I thought doing > helped but maybe not!
     
  18. There are plenty of jobs where you can have a social life, go to the toilet when you want to/have a cup of tea when you want etc and where the workload is easier. They don't however come with the same pay as teaching or the long holidays!
     
  19. My sister works in advertising as a junior for a high pressure company. Like me she worked hard to get there. She gets in at 8am and gets home at 7.30pm after only a short 20 minute commute both ways. She gets 5 weeks holidays and less pay than a full time teacher. I feel quite silly when I moan about my hours to her. Luckily she can go to the toilet whenver she wants so I suppose that is a bonus.
     
  20. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    BB - you need to put in front of paragraphs.

    I've been teaching for years and still find it exhausting. First day of term, I'm shattered just because of the noise and the electricity crated by hundreds of hormone-fuelled teenagers. Planning, marking and the other routine and ad-hoc tasks get easier and you become more accomplished at dealing with the stress of it all but it is still hard work.

    However, if you enjoy it and you like school life, it can get better and better. I teach English and hate marking with a passion - if there was less of it, I might feel better about it. Behaviour management becomes easier because you learn the tricks that work for you but it can be draining with challenging children and groups that don't gel.

    I'm not really ninety but I'll probably sound it when I say that I think the readiness to go sick is more widespread than NQTs. In the past, I think it was less acceptable to take time off, especially in a school where you knew your colleagues would be covering for you. In teaching, it's a disaster. Rather than giving you a chance to recharge, it often throws you out of the loop, makes colleagues resentful and weakens relationships with pupils.
     

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