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Discussion in 'Primary' started by claire810, Mar 10, 2012.
Not a clue what to advise - but bounce back - keep positive and plan where to go next. x
I'm trying! x
Wish I'd been smart enough to do an English degree instead of messing around with SPS. Could see myself making more of a go of teaching a subject I'm in love with across a whole set of year groups. Have found a learning mentor job advertised and would be perfectly happy with the 25% pay cut - with a long-term view to breaking into secondary teaching - and am going to go along to the open evening next week and see what they say about my chances... Really trying to stay positive and look for options but feels tricky when I know my reference is going to read like Rose West would be a better candidate!!!
Thanks again for replying x
Have you spoken to the teacher support network? I phoned them when I was going through a difficult time at school. I wasn't expecting much help as my union had been useless but they really helped me to see things from a different angle and stand up for myself.
Are you likely to fail your NQT? If so would you consider leaving and doing mentoring or TA work until you get your confidence back? You could then try to complete your NQT another time.
It's obvious you're still passionate about education and Primary teaching is hard, trying to keep so many 'plates spinning all at the same time.'
Would you be able to consider doing TA/HLTA type roles in the short term? Financially I know that may be difficult, but could give you a respite in which to build up your confidence again. then you could consider future options.
The first year of teaching is so often difficult, for many different reasons and I've had colleagues who have had difficult times go on to become good teachers.
What about a pastoral role at Secondary level? I don't know whether you'd need a Sec qualification for this though.
Sorry haven't more answers. I would say your main priority at present to get yourself fully fit and on a better emotional level, when it will be easier to make decisions and see things rationally. Try not to focus so much on the negative (and believe me I <u>do</u> understand that is hard), get help from your GP, friends, counselling whatever and do at least one positive thing for yourself each day.
You've had a really unfortunate start to your teaching career.
Please consider looking at applying for a job at another school before you dismiss yourself as a poor teacher. The school environment makes a huge difference. You have had trouble with this HT and long absence because of your injury. If you were somewhere with a more supportive network and in good health yourself everything could be so much different.
Do you remember how excited you were when you got this job? Take a deep breath and remember that passion you had back in October. It is not long to Easter. Take time to do some of the things that you enjoy and try to get yourself into a happier frame of mind for the summer term. These short days of winter are depressing - perhaps the warmer, longer days of summer might make the world seem a brighter place.
I just wanted to post that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I now work outside of teaching and I'm back to the happy person I was before!
I think you could do a few things to make sure this doesn't make you feel lower and lower.
1. Go to your doctors and explain how you are feeling and that you would like some counselling to help you get through this tricky time.
2. Pay for private counselling if you can afford it. It would probably be quicker.
3. Make sure you do something nice for yourself everyday...a spa afternoon at the weekend, a bath with candles, watch a film, read part of a book etc.
4. As much as possible remain tough. Remember a caution on your record and a broken bone are things in the past. Show your HT you can do it. Act confident, polite and friendly with them even if at the back of your mind you are quaking and thinking lots of lovely swear words. Act confident even if you don't feel it.
5. Search for jobs EVERY DAY. You will find something else.
6. Contact teacher support network.
Good luck with everything.
I rarely reply to postings but your (Orginal poster) message made me feel so sad for you.
All the replies so far have given you some really good advice. I agree that a different school could be a very different place for you.
You, perhaps, also need to remember that during your NQT year the school has a responsibility to you. What support are you receiving? Who is your NQT mentor? You should not be left feeling this low- there must be someone who can help you with advice and support for the areas you feel you are struggling with- a year/phase leader/ fellow colleague/assistant head or deputy? The school does have a duty of care for you.
Meanwhile, you passed your PGCE so you must have many qualities- try to remember any positive comments made by others!
Try to enjoy your class and smile a lot- you can trick yourself and others into thinking that you are more confident than you feel.
Lots of luck- let us know how it goes.
No idea what you could do instead, a great many teachers have that dilemma and so stick with teaching! But I would definitely try a different school before you give up entirely.
Your HT may well think you are the devil incarnate, but this means they are also likely to give you a reference that gets you out of their hair. So get looking for a better and nicer school and then get applying.
You are clearly not a hopeless teacher, your posts here make that obvious, so have a good look around at other schools before turning your back on teaching.
My first HT questioned whether I should really be teaching. It made me question myself too. She obviously couldn't see potential in me and yours seems to be going down the same route. I was helped by the fact my mentor was fantastic and separated the personal barbs from the things I could do something about. Luckily the HT left my school after a year and I began to thrive. I'm now a deputy. One person can do such damage to your self-confidence but it is possible to get it back again. You sound really dedicated so give it a go in a different school. You might still decide then that it isn't right for you but at least you'll know you've given it your best shot.
Oh Lilybett, how unhappy you sound. I wish I had the answer! All I can say is I asked myself the very same thing many times during my PGCE and first year of teaching... to the extent that my then boyfriend (now husband) said "oh no, not that again... of course you're not quitting, you've only just started!!". A different school may well give you perspective, and I agree that the school has a responsibility to support and encourage you, which they certainly seem to be neglecting. Try to talk to your mentor if you feel you can. Some teachers and Heads seem to have very poor memories, of how completely overwhelming the job is and how miserable it can make you feel. I went from a successful career outside of teaching to feeling utterly inadequate and incompetent as a new teacher.
I agree with the previous posters, that you should try to stick it out to the end of the year. After all, you're over half way there (3 weeks till Easter?!). I'd be inclined to look for another teaching job. Then at least you can say you gave it every chance to be the right career for you. I've come to realise that for most of us, teaching is something we grow into. There are very few natural born teachers. For some reason I thought I'd be really good at teaching, and although I'm still not an amazing teacher, after five years I know that I'm doing much better now than I did in my first few years. I really pity the poor kids I taught in my first year! But they got through it, and so did I.
Regarding references, I'm pretty sure your Head can get into a lot of trouble for giving you a poor reference - she would need to be factually correct. When you pass your NQT year, which I'm sure you will, there is little she can say to deny your competence. Your sick leave was justified (my TA's had 12 weeks off with a broken wrist) so shouldn't figure, and as you say, you're getting involved with extra curricular activities. I would consider warning future employers about your caution. My friend was in the same position when applying for an MoD job and found it easier to explain in person rather than leave it for the prospective employer to find out cold.
Everything seems bad right now because you're tired, stressed and miserable. It's a downward spiral that you need to get yourself out of somehow. Take a day off tomorrow and do something you enjoy, something that makes you happy and takes you away from teaching. Tell yourself it won't always be like this, you won't always feel so rotten. And if you continue to feel desperate, please see your GP. You don't need to suffer.
I picked up a year 5 class (3 days a week) at easter last year as the school was going to fail the incumbant NQT.
I had a long chat with her and told her to go and work for my agency who had picked me up from a very low point and built me up by listening to what I wanted and givning me supply that i could cope with.
she did this, they subsequenty found her long term supply in another school that i still do supply in. Not my favourite school, but it suited her and she continued there until the half term just gone. She loved it there and passed her NQT as a result. I love it at the scholl that did not suit her and have a permanent contract from september.
Horses for Courses!
Consider leaving before they fail you, and trying again elsewhere, you cannot be in a worse place, so see if you can find a better one
all the best, hope it works out for you.
Why do you feel you are not a good teacher?
It takes time to learn how to really teach.
You are conscientious and have the kids best interests at heart and that counts for a lot
I too went through the mill when I was a student and NQT! I actually quit the PGCE but was enticed back by a great tutor and lovely placement school! I then went on to work in a fabulous school but just as a long term supply. They boosted my confidence no end and so I got a job elsewhere. I had a terrible NQT year though! I cried an awful lot but managed, somehow, to get through! Try to ride the terrible storm you are in. Do whatever you can to make your life easier. Ask for help with lesson ideas on here, look at the resources section or look at Primary Resources.co.uk. Look for new jobs, TheoGriff is massively helpful on the jobseekers forum. You'll be fine, even though you probably can't see that at the moment. xx
Thank you all for the kind replies.
In the light of day, I still feel that I'm a **** teacher but I also recognise that I get absolutely no support from my school - quite the reverse. Every day brings a new kick in the teeth and it's very hard to be motivated when you're in a place that isn't interested in developing you because you'll be out at the end of the year, and where one or two people can't even be bothered to be polite! I just keep in mind how much I care about my class, how none of this is their fault, and the fact that even though HT is going to make it hard for me to find a new post, she will not be able to see me fail my NQT year as I'll only have completed 1 term here (hopefully).
I think I'm a bit of an awkward *** and I haven't just fitted into every school I've worked out. Of 4 placements, 1 was fine, 2 were amazing and I did come out with really good reports and 1 was awful and I failed. How can you know what schools you'll fit into? Baffling.
Siiiiiigh. Thanks again. I almost can't believe this is the same school that I fell in love with and was beyond giddy to be appointed to. I know things do usually work out okay but until I know I've got something for September and can move on from this, I always feel like I have a knot in my stomach and my mind constantly races and every time a colleague ignores me or pulls a face when they think I can't see, I feel like weeping like one of my little Y3s!!!!
Hi again Lilybett,
Just wondering... I know you feel c**p but maybe you might be feeling sensitive and maybe the colleagues you feel are ignoring you aren't , maybe they are busy and stressed themselves? Obviously you could be right,but equally when you feel awful, it is easy to read more into interactions than is actually there!
Who is your mentor? Can you get help from them or go back to your college? You love your class- that's who you spend most time with. Your mentor HAS to support you. I was a mentor once and was grilled by someone or other from NQT at county level, checking that I was supporting enough, filling the forms out enough etc. There is, somewhere out there someone who supervises all NQT stuff- can you get on to them?
Meanwhile...3 weeks till the hols!
Def stick it out and give yourself longer. You say you are good at the theory so its the practice that you are developing. def don't compare yourself to other people that may be getting Outstanding. There are quite a few threads on here of teachers who received Outstanding in their NQT year only to really struggle for the next few years often shocking them! Your school environment makes a HUGE difference and its obvious that your head has decided they dont want you so they are not nurturing you. Come on you know the theory! We all need positive strokes to support our development , we all need scaffolding so that we move through the Zone of Proximal Development etc etc Apply this to your experience this year not just your class as you to are a learner. It takes ages to become a master of this art called teaching. Your passion really stands out. I have two friends who trained as teachers because they couldn't think of anything else to do. They have no real passion. They are considered ok and by their own admission do an ok job. You may be doing what you consider a 'poor' job now but your passion is something so valuable in teaching. Let the kids know this passion and care and they will forgive you your mistakes. So what if you received a caution, that just means you have some life experience and in areas of social deprivation being able to relate, understand and empathize with children goes a long way, this is given by life experience. You are not the only one struggling but keep talking and demanding support. Its your right! Its your education!
It is so lovely that everyone here has been supportive of you. But don't take this the wrong way, maybe you need to step back and re-evaluate. You are presumably young enough to retrain if you are an NQT. It's all well and good saying to try another school etc. but there is the possibility that teaching is just not quite right for you. Do you want to be trapped in the profession in ten years with a family to support and no way out? One of my colleagues plans beautiful lessons and her delivery is good but she has no behaviour management at all or any sense of time keeping and every one of her classes falls into chaos. She often talks about how she wishes she has realized earlier and got out of teaching and had done something else.
From what I've seen of your posts on here, it could possibly be said that you lack some of the knowledge that would be expected of you by the "higher ups".
But it seems to me that precisely by coming on here to fill those gaps in your training, you're demonstrating commitment and self-reflection. You strike me also as a compassionate and enthusiastic teacher, again from what I've seen on TES.
So by all means, step back and re-evaluate... but don't give up!
I totally accept there are gaps in my knowledge and judgment.Not looking for people to tell me I'm fab when I'm clearly not or my HT would be looking to keep me!
I think I'm going to try again for September and hope that it is largely where I am that's causing these huge problems. I lack confidence in every sense, but especially professionally. I was like this on one placement - it was going really wrong and it just made me feel paralysed and somehow I lumbered from mistake to mistake and everything seemed to spiral downwards, whatever I tried. Then I repeated the placement in a different school where my confidence got built up and suddenly I was 'in a good place' and making good judgment calls and taking risks and they were paying off and everything was great. Wish I could put my finger on what went so well so I could go after it again.
I told my mentor at the weekend that I've been feeling stressed and asked for a meeting (this would be our first one!) but no joy yet. But an LSA did discover me crying in my cupboard during PPA today. She's very kind and promised not to tell anyone
Thank you again for all the replies, it's really kind xx
You are in the wrong school, not the wrong job.
This is clear from the fact that you had a great placement on your teacher training and from your clear enthusiasm for the role which you felt before you started training.
I worked in a school for 5 years, working as a TA whilst I did my degree part time and then I did my GTP year there too. I loved it. I then went to a different school for my NQT year and absolutely hated it. Maybe not every day but I did hate it. I thought it was me - that I was rubbish at my job, that I didn't have what it takes, that I just couldn't hack it. I looked into lots of other career options (including accountancy - which I'm so glad I didn't take up!). However, I decided to try another year in another school before making a permanent career change decision.
Changing schools was the best thing I did. I was so desperate for a change I moved from mainstream primary to a special school and I absolutely love it. I'm sure I did the same things in my new school with regard to planning, teaching and behaviour management - but here they seemed to work again. I had the support of great teaching assistants and found some fab colleagues. I am now in my 5th year of teaching and am so glad I stuck it out. If I had stayed in my NQT year school though I would not have stayed in teaching. I'm not saying the school was particularly bad but it had its issues and it just was not right for me.
Try to sort out something for September, hang in there for the rest of this year if you can and just look on it as valuable learning experience. Once you've found another job and have a way out, it will seem much easier as you can think things like 'Well at least that's the last time I'll have to do easter cards here' - perhaps not the best example but I hope you get my point.
Try teaching somewhere else before you decide teaching is not for you. If necessary, keep looking until you find the right place. You may even want to consider supply work (though I think I would hate that personally) so you can try out different schools first. I really hope you get sorted.