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Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by anon261, Dec 3, 2010.
That should be put in front of paragraphs.
haha yes I'm sure people are going to poke fun at what I said about the toilet! I know it sounds silly! My point was that you are on the go all the time and can't take the same comfort breaks that some people can. Perhaps more so in Nursery as we don't get break times like other stages of the school (at my school anyway). Yes I know there are other jobs out there and that they pay less but I also know many friends who get paid the same or only a little bit less than me but have a more relaxed lifestyle. I know we get long holidays but we work very hard to get there!!
I didn't see that you were in nursery - in that case snap. Just being sarcastic
I think something that would be helpful for NQTs would be to have time spent on how to cope with pressure/deal with stress. I know a lot of people feel stressed and under pressure but these issues have never been talked about either on the PGCE or on any NQT courses that I have been too.
I give up - you need to put the following without commas and spaces: the symbol for less than, the letter 'p' and the greater than symbol
I'm quite shocked at your post Lily after reading a lot of your posts on personal. Whilst there are some who seem to go into teaching as an easy option or with their eyes shut I do feel some are piled work upon. This can be high expectations, laziness of other staff, or they just keep heaping it on when they've decided you're not 'worthy' enough/your face doesn't fit and hope you'll give up. I do think a month/half term is far to early to consider throwing in the towel though.
Do you still write full (to the 2 min intervals) lesson plans for every lesson? I had to in my NQT - they ran over 3/4 pages each, and plenty of other teachers just turned up and decided what to teach just before the lesson.
I had to mark (full individual comments) 2 pieces of work per child per week. (approx 190ish pupils) was given one SOW and had to write everything else from scratch, was bullied by my HoD (who refused me the projector I sourced (FoC) to help my own dyslexia and to give pupils more visual stimuli and cut the cost of photocopying).
There were a number of days where I just never got to bed and worked through 40-50 hours straight. I think teaching as a whole can be a very cliquey environment and some NQTs are just not given the right support, they are still learning and don't know everything and shouldn't be expected to straight away either.
Yes its a hard, very hard, job but it shouldn't be as hard as it is for some NQTs. I worked long hours in industry (10-16 hour days) before teaching but nothing could have prepared me for the hours needed as a new teacher.
I too am a bit shocked at the assumption that those finding it tough are just snivelling whingers who didn't have the sense to think about what teaching involves. It smacks of the attitude senior consultants have re junior doctors working ridiculously long hours: that it's ok because "we all went through it". As for it being a well paid job, it isn't particularly well paid in the early years and once you factor in the actual hours outside of school that we do, then it's pretty dismal.
There is no way that the PGCE adequately prepares you for the intensity of full-time teaching (even allowing for the 90% timetable) - all it does it touch upon the basics and hint that this is, of course, multiplied when one has a full complement of classes. As other posters have commented, marking is barely touched upon and guidance on doing it, on placement, can be patchy. Unless its GCSE work, the chances are your marking won't be moderated so you struggle on wondering if you're marking too low/too high.
Yes, we are capable of understanding that it's going to be hard but, as can be seen on these forums, there is definitely a wide ranging level of support and guidance, depending on where you are, what subject you teach, the kids you teach and, inevitably, how confident you are as a teacher. What IS unforgivable, is that so many NQTs are, effectively, being bullied and harrassed for not being perfect from the get-go. It is constantly stressed during training that teaching is a constant learning process - that's why we have CPD - yet many schools expect NQTs to be able to be freewheeling when they should be at least mindful that we're still on stabilisers.
Thank goodness for the TES forums, where one can at least realise that others may be going through similar fears and self-doubts and hopefully can find support and advice (plus the occasional "get over it".)
I absolutely agree that the workload is unnecessarily ridiculous. The amount of time spent on box-ticking that does nothing to improve either teaching or learning is abominable. But NQTs have always had to keep copious detailed notes and plans - even I had to do that back in 1979. Take the long view - you'll never have to do it again after this year. And if they'd just leave the bloody SOW alone for two years running, and stopped introducing this initiative that everyone has to do or that new thing to write in and prove you did - people, especially NQTs need to settle, to shake down and consolidate, not be constantly anxious and on the back foot.
It does get easier. Your workload will not be this mighty again. You will find short-cuts and learn what you can afford to ignore. And if anyone thinks I'm setting myself up as Powerhouse Of The Year here, let me just say that one of the main reasons I left was that I was fed up with spending so much of my home-time doing school stuff, stuff that would have been completely unnecessary had the HT not enjoyed tweaking things annually - just small irritating things like changing us from 1 x 2hr pracs to 2 x 1hr, so all the SOW had to be rewritten - just to keep us under pressure and easier to push round.
The more Septembers you start, the easier and less time-consuming it gets, honest, unless you go and do something stupid like take on an extra responsibility. If you like it now, BB2009, apart from the drain on your time and energy, you should like it even more when you've got a couple of years under your belt. And there isn't much out there that throws an automatic payrise at you just for seeing the year out.
I agree with Jackie too.
It seems that the same smelly stuff from the SLT in school has appeared and its reminants are on the 2nd/3rd page of this thread from so-called experienced teachers.
Do you not believe they're experienced? Why not?
Please tell me what I said that was in any respect thoughtless. As I indicated earlier, just because someone wants others merely to agree with them doesn't mean that they should, or that this is the best response for them.
I can see a great deal in your posts that displays a fair amount of rudeness, however.
The lack of objectivity I refer to is the need for some posters to find themselves bathed in a warm syrup of sympathy and justification - or rather, other people to demand it for them. It should be possible for an adult professional to take a step back and look realistically at the situation and the impact and impression it makes on their co-workers and employers. If their co-workers' and bosses' expectations of them are unrealistic, as they seem to be in some cases, then of course they have cause for complaint.
But the speed with which you and certain others are prepared to slag off posters who don't feel any demand on themselves to pat heads and say there there where they don't think it's appropriate, suggests that you have spent too many years in an education system that has bent over backwards to support and encourage and inflate self-esteem (often to excess and without regard for the pupils' personal emotional growth) just to keep bums on seats and hit targets. It does come as a surprise to learn that once you are in paid work, you are on your own and subject to demands you are expected to meet out of your own time and energy, and for which you will be penalised for not meeting.
The government thinks it's done enough by giving you an 80% timetable, some INSET and a mentor. Your HT is paying you to do a job of work in line with the contract you signed. If somewhere along the line those expectations have failed to produce a member of staff who can actually do the job without falling ill, then a look at the expectations might be in order. But that is not to make a blanket assumption that there is necessarily something wrong with them, and it is not (yet) forbidden to point that out, just because someone doesn't like the sound of it.
Excellent points, Bobby Carrot.
Yes I agree with what you write mostly Lily, that indeed we are contracted to work but in SUITABLE environments and not ones where even new teachers in a school (never mind the NQT's) are given induction and are welcomed. In most schools I don't see this as being a problem and that most employees get on with it.
There is no doubt that schools are incredibly busy places, but I do feel that the way things are done and said especially to newcomers of any background needs more thought. Yes the expectations of the job are clear on any 'duties of postholder' document when applying for the post. Sometimes though there are additional responsibilities that are not warranted and more importantly untimely.
meant to be <u>are NOT given</u>
I must say, I am bitterly disappointed at how this debate has turned out.
The aim was not to moan or whinge or imply that people don't take the profession seriously enough. The aim was to HELP people who might be struggling so much that they feel they want to leave the profession.
I think it important to be able to leave your own thoughts and feelings out of posts and actually listen to where an NQT might be struggling in order to pass on some advice.
The advice may or may not help in certain situations, but taking baby steps and trying one thing at a time might help some NQTs to at least complete their induction.
I appologise to any NQT who has read these posts, hoping they might get something out of it.
What a waste of time.
And you call yourselves professionals? You should be ashamed of yourselves.
Why should anybody be ashamed of holding an opinion and discussing it?
I am currently a NQT and just finished my first term. I have not found it too bad but I completed the GTP programme. I think this definately adequately prepared me for this year and my school clearly agree - there are 5 NQTs, 2 from the GTP route and 3 from PGCSE route. The 3 NQTs who completed the PGCE have to hand their lesson plans in a week in advance to be checked whereas the 2 GTP's do not! Im not saying its fair or not as that is the system, the point being, schools clearly think higher of some routes than others.
"I think it important to be able to leave your own thoughts and feelings out of posts and actually listen to where an NQT might be struggling in order to pass on some advice."
OK, this makes no sense...
public interest.' - this is one of the definitions of 'forum', which is what this is. How can people be expected to leave out their own thoughts and feelings? Then it wouldn't be a forum, it would be a 'shoulder to cry on'.
I have to say I agree with most of what lily, middlemarch and pinkflipflop have said and feel that people should go into teaching with their eyes far more wide open - perhaps this lies in the recruitment process and there should be a minimum age or a minimum amount of experience required.
This IS a relatively well-paid profession - as a middle manager with a team of direct reports of around 10 you can easily be paid £45K. That's good! Of course you're not going to start on that salary...we are public sector after all.
And we DO get 13 weeks of holiday. All these people who say we work in the holidays irritate me somewhat. Yes, during most of the shorter holidays I work for some of the time, but it is on average 10 hours per week at most. And during the summer break I would say I do 20 hours absolutely tops out of 6 weeks or so. Plus, I don't have to get out of bed at 6.30 and leave the house during those weeks. I can enjoy a leisurely breakfast with my daughter and can choose when to do my work. Most employees of this country get around 20 days of annual leave. And they don't DEFINITELY get Christmas off to spend travelling and seeing loved ones.
Yes, we work hard during term-time - we're not the only ones. Many people I know who are not teachers are salaried and work 50-60 hour weeks regularly.
Middlemarch, pinkflipflop and lily are professionals who have done/are doing this difficult, stressful, time-consuming job but they are acknowledging that you shouldn't need your hand held every minute of every day to do it.
It's hard, it's rewarding and it's well-rewarded.