1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

Where did half term go??

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by Harb17, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. As a struggling NQT my half term seems to have disappeared working for half the week, though I did allow myself a little time off. I found it hard to relax and am not looking forward to returning on Monday at all. I struggle a lot with dicipline and my work - life balance is not good. I have a baby due in June andfear that I won't get to spend much time with him in this job.
    I started in January and people keep telling me it gets better, but when? Also can someone tell me what should have been done about my induction because I have had nothing on that front. Also what IS your mentor supposed to do.
    The more I think about it the more I think I'll ride out the NQT year and rethink myoptions but as someone who came into teaching after a lengthy career in industry do I have any options? What can I do?
    Any thoughts welcome
     
  2. As a struggling NQT my half term seems to have disappeared working for half the week, though I did allow myself a little time off. I found it hard to relax and am not looking forward to returning on Monday at all. I struggle a lot with dicipline and my work - life balance is not good. I have a baby due in June andfear that I won't get to spend much time with him in this job.
    I started in January and people keep telling me it gets better, but when? Also can someone tell me what should have been done about my induction because I have had nothing on that front. Also what IS your mentor supposed to do.
    The more I think about it the more I think I'll ride out the NQT year and rethink myoptions but as someone who came into teaching after a lengthy career in industry do I have any options? What can I do?
    Any thoughts welcome
     
  3. It doesn't get easier, you just learn how to manage it all in a different way.
    As for induction, your school should have registered you with the LA for NQT induction and you should have meetings with your mentor. Check whether your LA expects an NQT file or not, as this varies massively from area to area. You should have your 10% PPA time and then a further 10% NQT time.
    I know it doesn't help, but we all get the Sunday night blues....especially after the holidays.
     
  4. Hi,
    I'm an NQT who started in September. I found the first term exhausting! Not just teaching but getting to know a new school and its staff, pupils and routines/procedures. Now I've got to grips with all that a bit, it's getting easier. I have also allowed myself to accept the fact that not every lesson needs to be all-singing, all-dancing, and that every pupil's book does not have to be marked in depth for every lesson. Having said that, I still spend a lot of time planning and preparing resources, but I'm sure that gets easier over time. I'm already quicker at planning, and next year I'll have a bank of plans and resources to draw on!
    Induction seems to be different things to different people. I have an every-day mentor who I go to with questions and who cathces up with me about once a week just to make sure I'm OK. I also get together more formally with the Headteacher about once a fortnight, but that's usually led by him rather than me so I sometimes leave feeling those meetings feeling that I didn't actually get to say anything. My every-day mentor is great, though. I'm always popping my head round her classroom door to ask what are sometimes the stupidest questions, and she's so lovely and helpful. She often knows if I've had a bad day, and she'll come and ask me if I'm OK, she's really encouraging and positive and she's an excellent listener. She copes with my tears on occasion and always points out my strengths, whereas the headteacher tends to focus on areas for development. She's invaluable, really.
    I've been asking continually for CPD opportunities as part of my NQT year: watching other people teach, meeting with subject specialists, going out and finding out about how other practitioners do things... and that's JUST starting to happen. I wish I'd been a bit firmer at the beginning and made it clear that I really want to use my NQT time to develop as a practitioner rather than spend it in a dusty photocopy room. In terms of induction into the school itself, I dodn't really get anything. In a small school, there are still some people whose names I don't know and people tend to assume that I know where eveything is and who all the parents are: I think it just takes time. I've not had things like a health and safety tour of the school or even a fire drill since I've been there, so in some things I still feel unsure. My TA is great, though, and I'm always asking her about how things are done, where things are kept etc.
    I came at this after a career elsewhere too, but I did spend some time as a TA after my children were born so I'm not completely new to the system. It's very different from industry, but much, much more rewarding. My children are at secondary school now though. I'm not sure how I'd cope with a new baby as well!
    Maybe you could complete your NQT year and then do supply, which would give you the choice of when you work and the joy of teaching with a bit less of the every-day classroom organisation stress? Or maybe you could find out about local museums and education centres?
    Whatever you choose, it does get easier. I'm half way through my NQT year now and things are so much better now than they were in September. It's also gone really quickly so, if you did decide just to ride the year out and then move on, it will be gone before you know it.
    Good luck!


     
  5. Thanks for your most comprehensive reply Elizabeth. It seems to me that induction does mean different things to different people and at different schools. I feel that I have been forgotten here but this term I am determined to develop as a practioner as you put it and make these CPD opportunities happen. I have no idea what induction involves and by the sound of it your mentor is very proactive! As I said I have had no induction and just two conversations as such with my mentor when I felt I was struggling. All she did was observe me with a difficult class who of course behaved well the lesson she was there and then went back to being awful. I am lucky however in that there are other members of staff who are supportive and they make a difference at times.I would however appreciate regular meeting with my mentor where I can at guage my progress, build targets etc with someone who has meaningful experience to help me. At the moment each day is a struggle and I have no other life than this job which I am not enjoying.
    It seems to me that the teaching profession is very chaotic and unstructured and I am rapidly being put off it.
     
  6. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Please don't judge the entire profession by your experience in your current school. My first school was chaotic in many ways, my second micromanaged to the point of being a nightmare. My current school is fabulous.

    Seriously, change schools before you change career.
     
  7. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    Seriously, change schools before you change career.

    That really sums it up for me - I really, really enjoyed my training and placements last year but since becoming an NQT I have struggled with the balance of the 'extra' and feel like the fun has been sucked out of everything - which has affected my enthusiasm and so performance. When I speak to NQT friends elsewhere they just don't feel the same. This led me to a bit of a Christmas melt down where I was ready to throw in the towel but I spoke to my old head about it and she urged me to carry on, finish the year and then try somewhere else before I give it in all together.
     
  8. I think that schools are very different to industry, with different expectations, different ways of working and very different challenges.
    My GTP school was quite chaotic but very happy - nobody seemed to know what was happening from one minute to the next and I found that very different from organised, routine-based office jobs. My NQT school appears to be micromanaged very tightly, but actually is again subject to people not knowing what is happening (unless you are SMT!) and is actually quite chaotic in many ways. If you've spent years in industry being organised and on the ball, that's odd at first. I'm getting used to it, and trying hard not to be frustrated when things change at the last minute or when curve balls are thrown at you. I'm almost coming to understand that this is one of the joys of being in schools!
    I think it all just takes some time to adjust to, and like some posters have said, maybe finding another school rather than another career?

     
  9. I agree re. spending half the week working - and then being unwell for the other half!! I was feeling very positive about going back after Christmas, but seem to have found this last half term quite difficult, and haven't quite been able to figure out why tbh.
    I echo others re. changing schools though, especially if others at your school feel the same. If they don't, then ask your mentor about it and what ways they find to get through everything in the time they have. I find that more established teachers have some ways of managing their time etc that just 'come naturally' - obviously they don't, but they've been doing them so long that they've forgotten they had to learn them in the first place!!

     

Share This Page