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Worried I'm useless

Discussion in 'Personal' started by knickersinatwist, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. " In a recent observation, I was told that despite many good features I would not receive above Satisfactory because I needed to "smile more", and that the best part of my lesson was where I asked students to wave their arms and legs in the air to show which bits of a Level 2 Coursework assignment they had completed to an appropriate standard.
    Suffice to say, I have now begun to tune out, because apparently the things I was working hard on such as subject knowledge/content and classroom management are not so important, even though results are still being hammered as paramount. "

    What a joke!! What an absolute joke!! The system stinks!! -but the frontline teachers get the blame, of course.
    You've expressed my feelings and thoughts so well. Particularly your last sentence above.
  2. We're mostly in the same boat. A little of this is to do with the moving ground on which we work. It also has to do with the nature of teaching and teachers. We are generally an altruistic bunch who like to please and need to be valued. Sadly, many of us don't teach as well as we could because we are not trusted after our training, experience and clear dedication to the job. Instead we are berated by many, used as political points by polititions needing a quick soundbite and drowning in red tape.
    Look at the long term - how many children have you watched blossom under your tlc and generally good teaching (where most of us are?) That's what keeps us going - so when faced with a zealot with a clipboard, smile, relax and tell them what you really think if they let you down with their comments, as well as thanking those acting responsibly with a clipboard who see the world as it really is.

  3. I think you are putting yourself down too much which, if you are not careful, will make matters worse for yourself. I`m only a TA, but with over 20 years experience in the job, and in my experience the person doing the observation will already know - or should know - what a talented, caring teacher you already are.Remember, the observation is about any support you may need - and by God we all need that occasionaly - and not there to castigate you or find fault. Whether it`s a Headteacher`s observation or an Ofsted inspection I have always found them productive, even if some comments were not as brilliant as we would have liked. Even if things aren`t going your way, stay positive and give loads of encouragement to the kids. Plan ahead and accept yourself for what you are - a very good teacher.
  4. Hi

    I' m a GTP trainee and have just had my first observation by my University mentor - I can empathise with your worries. Why don't you ask a colleague to peer observe you (would be useful for them too as they can use some good points from your class to improve theirs). Sometimes we just need a bit of reassurance. As you say the kids you are struggling with are also a problem for others so it is not you.
    I hope you can put these irrational thoughts to oneside and accept you are a hardworking and conscientious teacher who is trying to do a very good job.

    Best of luck

  5. Knickers love. You have been worried about being useless for years. Now is the time stop worrying about it and accept it.
  6. Come on, was that really necessary? Not exactly supportive Fiona.
  7. I think it's the system that makes us feel inadequate. We are just 'stand ins' until the superteachers/fast track/outstanding teachers arrive. It's not what you do but what you don't do that is constanty criticised.
    Boggoff HBF There may well be lots of new posters who emphasize with the poster.

  8. Hi Joshuana
    Remember pupils are little *****, who come out with all the usual comments to wind us up
    All we do is copy, we learn loads more in X lesson, we never learn anything in this lesson,
    But bear in mind if your off they didn't learn anything because the teacher was ****!!
    They are lazy wind up merchants who haven't an original comment in their heads, worth reminding them of how boring they are, try rolling your eyes and remind them every idiot in the school yaps on the same!!!
  9. Thanks trampebill. Thanks misseviltoyou. Cheers indeed and a very Merry Christmas.
  10. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    oh dear
  11. Hello there,
    I am an NQT and I'm so glad I'm not the only one feeling like you!! I have days where I think yeah great I'm doing this!! and other days when I think I'm sure I shouldn't be doing this!
    Thank you for posting your thoughts........hopefully we will feel more confident knowing others are feeling the same.
  12. DITTO! I've gone from being a 'highly valued member of the team' to facing disciplinary procedures - the diffference ? I changed schools and don't get on with current HT!
  13. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    Just shows what nonsense it all is. Be aware that many people observing you have their own personal agenda and may give you a low grade to suit their own self esteem. Unless it is going to cause problems in your career just see it as a snapshot of one person at one time who thought that was the grade you deserved. Just say - oh OK and don't launch into why they are wrong. If they are wrong they will then launch into a long justification for their grade and you can gain comfort from listening to them trying to explain it.
  14. How do you know when enough is enough and it's time to start stacking shelves at Sainsburys? When you're told that your teaching style encourages attention seekers to call out and your lesson is lacking challenge? I work too hard to be 'not very good'.
  15. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    You know in yourself if you are doing a good job. Observation for development can be helpful but sticking label on your forehead type is not. It is just a moment in time and is probably not very typical as usually you are nervous and will have overprepared. If you reflect back on your own lessons and are doing a good enough job most of the time then that is fine. Pause to consider that the person observing may not be good at observation - it may just come with the extra money for the promotion they needed/wanted.
  16. Knickers... we ALL worry! I have the worst self-esteem in my teaching job. I've just finished my NQT year and still feel really rubbish sometimes... I feel paranoid that my Head of dept can hear me yelling at kids to be quiet and their noise through the wall. I hate having to kick any lairy lads out as I feel I'm incompetent in dealing with them.

    My Head of dept can be quite pedantic too and she's had to "pull me up" on several things which to me always feels like criticism. It isn't, but my in low in confidence state of mind she might as well be saying "you're ****" cuz it's how I feel sometimes.

    She's even turned round and said "you're a great practitioner with loads to give and no one is perfect in this profession" but being the perfectionist type that wants to be liked and I do live for my job, I feel terrible when it goes wrong. Especially when it's a lesosn I've spend AGES planning.

    I wish I could help you, but it'd be the case of pot calling the kettle black cuz I'm the worst for feeling like a terrible teacher. I just thought sharing my thoughts with u wud make you feel that you're not alone.

    Hope this helps
    Sharon xx
  17. Please, please check you spellings before you write on a forum. It doesn't look good when you write here for hear and no for know! Don't mean to be critical but it's little things like that that give other people bad impressions of us. .. and you're not a bad teacher just because a few children are disruptive. Try keeping them in at playtime to finish the work they were supposed to do in class and you'll soon find they start behaving for you! Good luck.
  18. I'm writing a feature about Imposter Syndrome within the teaching profession.
    If you'd like to share your experiences (anonymously or otherwise), please get in touch.
    Kind regards, Hannah
    (Writer, TES Magazine; hannah.frankel@tes.co.uk)
  19. Awww..isn't that sad?
    Teachers work extremely hard. It's far from an easy job, and it seems that 'criticism' (sometimes known as appraisal) is part and parcel of that job.
    It's hard enough and challenging enough without observers sticking the boot in...as others have mentioned, often with their own agenda.
    I think we instinctively know when we are getting it right and when a lesson goes well. With experience we also learn how to tweak lessons and go off at tangents if necessary..because no matter how well planned, some lessons just don't take off. I know this after decades of experience and feel very sorry for young teachers feeling the pressure to get it 'right' all the time, or face criticism.
    Constructive criticism is good and can be useful...but when that criticism seems like a slap in the face there is only so much 'trying' you can do before it affects your self-esteem and physical and mental well-being.
    I wouldn't be a young teacher today for all the tea in China. Please reflect and appreciate that some criticism is helpful. However you also need to understand that the pressure to perform doesn't ever really go away. It is wise to think about moving on sometimes. Try another school before you give up, but if you are still working hard to no effect, then get the NQT year out of the way and seriously think about getting out. Remember, you have to go into school every day, and most of us know or have known colleagues, often experienced ones, who have been off long term with 'stress' or related illnesses. It happens too often to too many people to just be a coincidence.
    Teaching is a tough job, and when it's going well it can be completely satisfying and rewarding, but please, don't let it destroy you. If the shelves at Sainsburys seem like a good option more and more frequently, they probably are.

  20. Oh well put. *applause*
    My feelings exactly. I remember life long before the introduction of the NC, and teaching then truly was a satisfying and rewarding career. I loathed my job and what it did to my well-being when I eventually gave up. My experienced colleagues - all superb teachers and subject specialists - were also doubting themselves. This was the plan, devised by bureaucrats, and it worked.
    Newly qualified and young teachers know no different and they feel the stresses and strains and think, even after giving it their all, that they are failing or 'useless'. It's very sad.

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