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When to give up

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by RavenGirl758, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. RavenGirl758

    RavenGirl758 New commenter

    I don't think teaching is for me. I pretty much work at least 10hrs a school day and lots of time at home and I still get rated D with basic errors such as constistency with behaviour management and planning

    Theres talk of a support plan but I feel my mentor is frustrated with me. I don't know what to do, this job was all I wanted but I am no good at it.

    When is it time to throw in the towel? I've already broken down crying twice this week. Plus I only just passed my PGCE.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I would say that if you still do want to teach, then don't give up just yet just because your 'rating' is not good (by the way, they should not be rating you because it is not hepful).

    It might take you longer than your peers on the PGCE/NQT induction before everything clicks into place, or it might be that you need to be in a different school or setting (rural, SEN, FE etc.), or maybe you need to build up more confidence through doing supply or short term roles.

    Take some time over Christmas to relax. You don't need to make any decisions yet, and you shouldn't make big decisions when you're exhausted and stressed anyway.
    sabrinakat, pepper5 and galerider123 like this.
  3. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    We've all been there regarding inconsistency setting our own standards and I positively cringe when I think of some of the absolutely dreadful lessons I did at the start of my 30+ year teaching career. However, expertise comes with experience. Learn from what goes badly as well as what goes well. Before you jack it in ask your self what you feel when you're in front of the class? Do you feel good when a bit of a lesson goes well? Could you see yourself actually enjoying the job if you had strategies to deal with the issues you identify? If you actually like the teaching, and most of us do, focus on those areas of practice that need improving and always keep in mind those children who don't say a lot but genuinely want to learn and look to you to facilitate that.

    The actual teaching does get easier as you develop the skills and experience to cope with the day to day stuff. Once you have a couple of years experience under your belt in the same school you become accepted by the students as being part of the place whereas as a new teacher in a school you are fair game on the students' turf. If teaching is what you really want to do stick with it but it will not be easy.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    I suspect for most people behaviour management and planning are the two things they struggle with most initially. They were for me. It seemed like every time I was observed, there was some other niggly thing to add to the list of things I could 'improve on'. The PGCE is meant to prepare you for teaching, but the reality is often more challenging. Try to think of the things you are picked up for as opportunities to improve, rather than weaknesses. Easier said than done, but with time things will start to improve. Some people take longer than others, but at some point things start to click. The important thing is not to lose sight of those things that you do well, and if managing class behaviour and planning are the only two you've been picked up for, then the list of things you do well is probably longer. :)
    blueskydreaming and pepper5 like this.
  5. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    The first term is always difficult and if you can get through it then the Spring term is usually better.
    Do not make rash decisions with careers- you need to consider the options.
    The bid question you need to ask yourself is what else can I do. Professional jobs usually require training so you need to consider whether you can start again in a new direction. The prospects.ac website has a useful resource on careers beyond the classroom. Do check if your university careers service offers alumni services or use the National Careers facility to talk to someone about your specific options.
  6. dsl5c

    dsl5c New commenter

    Christmas is a good time to take a break, and to try and recharge first and foremost.

    One thing that would help maybe is to focus on what you really enjoy or what you like most about your current job. E.g. what made a lesson you remember fondly go so well?

    It may well be that they reflect deeper strengths in your teaching profile that aren't being given full expression in your current job. Or that, with a bit or tweaking, could come more to the fore in your present role.

    If you decide that, after all, teaching really is for you, then it may well be that you require a slightly different context than being a class teacher. E.g. would special needs suit you more? FE? Tertiary?
    There are other routes to go down.
  7. AudyR

    AudyR New commenter

    Like everyone else has said, don't give up, you might need a change but hang in there. I did my first 2 terms in a school and was "not making satisfactory progress", so I left before I failed. My next school felt that I had too much progress to make in the one term I had left, so they agreed to release me. At this point I felt completely deflated and thought I'd never teach again and I didn't for 3 years. Due to different circumstances, I decided to get back into teaching and complete my induction. I started doing supply, we helped build my confidence and the time to see if the school was suitable for me. I'm now in a great school that is very supportive and my induction has been extended to allow me the time to progress. I have good days and bad days, but as my mentor keeps reminding me, it's a marathon not a sprint.
    annarg and pepper5 like this.
  8. bg31rr

    bg31rr New commenter

    I wouldn't give up yet. Is your mentor providing you with suggestions on how to improve?

    My advice is as follows, it works for me most of the time so feel free to adapt.

    Firstly, being tired and stressed won't be helping with the consistency of behaviour management. It will make you easily frustrated and you will be less able to control your reactions. No one can sustain 10 hr days for an extended period of time, so please use Christmas to relax. Maybe work for 1 or 2 days and create medium term plans, gather lesson ideas, plan out the frameworks of lessons, change seating plans etc. Only do this if it will make you feel better. I prefer working a day or two in the hols as it makes me feel more prepared going back.

    With planning, what are the issues? There is lots of advice around for good planning, look around and see what suits you. If you are expected to produce detailed lesson plans for every lesson then that is very unusual for an NQT.
  9. RavenGirl758

    RavenGirl758 New commenter

    I thought I replied to this earlier! Sorry for disappearing but thank you for your comments they have all been read thoughtfully!

    I spent the first week of this holiday doing nothing school related but then had anxiety dreams so planning and some marking has occured. Mostly I'm feeling better and considering my options. My first report was ticked off as making progress so I need to consider that moreso than anything else! The school have been so supportive which made me think it was me.

    If I wanted to consider FE or tertiary, where may I find advice on how to gain appropriate experience? I have also heard that I may be more suited for primary students as well but I know jobs in that area are scarce and there are plenty of primary trained staff applying for them!

    The issue with planning was whether it was a variety of tasks to keep the students engaged rather than lesson plans needing to be complete. I've also been told to work smarter but struggling to find how!

    Hope everyone had a good Christmas :)
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. bg31rr

    bg31rr New commenter

    Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better.

    If you message me an email address I can send over a variety of tasks/feedback strategies I like to use? Maybe build up a bank of resources/ideas, take them into school to show willing and then trial one or two at a time.
  11. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

    Your job options for FE or post 16 largely depend upon the subject you teach. Maths and English are obviously key subject areas particularly for re-sits and generally there are fewer options for humanities teachers than those in science or technology. Most people make the transition once induction is behind them and they can offer a couple of years experience of teaching and delivering courses. If you are interested in primary then get involved in Yr 7 and transition activities but remember that you would need to teach a much wider range of subjects than in secondary
  12. Chicken_madras

    Chicken_madras Occasional commenter

    [QUOTE="RavenGirl758, post: 12347279, member:

    The issue with planning was whether it was a variety of tasks to keep the students engaged rather than lesson plans needing to be complete. I've also been told to work smarter but struggling to find how!

    Hope everyone had a good Christmas :)[/QUOTE]

    Hi hope you have had a good Christmas. I felt like I was drowning last year in my NQT year as was working so many hours. I realised I would not be able to maintain this and so looked for a solution. I joined the fit2teach group on Facebook and downloaded the free app and have not looked back. Once I found out where I was going wrong it enabled me to make some changes such as staying at school until 5:30 but not taking any work home. I now work far less at home than I used to. The app is not for everyone but I found it useful.
  13. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    The PGCE and NQT years are the hardest ones in teaching. You're learning how to teach, finding out about the curriculum and the resources available etc. On top of this, you're completing coursework and feel constantly under the spotlight being observed and assessed. As you gain more experience, planning becomes less time consuming and teaching gets easier. If teaching is what you really want to do, keep in mind that you've already survived 3/4 of the most difficult first couple of years. It's hard I know, but try to make sure you have time each day to relax and do something you want to do. Time for exercise and getting away from the job are the things that'll keep you sane.

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