NQT desperately seeking advice from experienced teachers

(32 Posts)
nqtatwitsend Sat 20-Oct-12 12:27:21

I hope that someone out there can help me... I really don't know where to turn.

I am a mature NQT. I worked for over 10 years before re-training. I enjoyed the PGCE year and performed well. I left college confident that, with experience and support, I could become a good teacher. Four months on that confidence has gone and I am seriously considering resigning (if not leaving the profession altogether).

I am working in a very good state school that has completely turned around over the past 10 years. On paper it is an outstanding (and indeed amazing) school. However, almost since the first day, I have known that the school is not right for me. The final straw came yesterday when I witnessed a senior leader ranting at a large group of children for over 20 minutes (none of these children were being punished) during this time he told them that they were:
- 'worthless human beings'
- that being at XXX school was a privilege not a right
- that they were lucky they lived in a democracy because if he had his way there would be a lot of children who would be kicked out immediately
- that he could look at some of them in the eye and guarantee they'd be in prison in 5 years time

When I told a colleague how shocked I was at this she told me that I would get used to it and if couldn't get used to it then I wouldn't last long. The thing is, I don't want to get used to the culture of this school.

My question is this: Should I stick it out for the year in order to finish the NQT year or should I follow my gut instinct and resign in the hope of starting another NQT year in a different school in September?

[FYI: financially I'm reasonably secure and could do contracting/freelance work to bridge the gap]

WofflingOn Sat 20-Oct-12 12:35:48

Stick out the year, it will cause you huge problems to move and will not look good on your CV. You need to stick with your ethics, question what's going on at the appropriate time with your mentor, line manager and SLT and expect reasoned answers. You do not have to get used to the culture, you could be the voice of reason and implement changes that benefit the children you come into contact with rather than running away.
This is the reality in many schools, you can make a difference however small if you have the strength and sneakiness to do so.

I'm not a teacher but my friend has remained unemployed after not completing his NQT year. Stick the year out and then find another job. Is there any chance you can make a difference to the kids by counteracting the message they are hearing?

Gimblinginthewabe Sat 20-Oct-12 12:40:13

I would stick it out, resigning might be a red flag to future employers if they think you might resign if you don't like how they do things. Moving on after NQT would not be thought twice of as you "want to widen your experience".

Gimblinginthewabe Sat 20-Oct-12 12:40:44

ps. i'm not experienced, i'm an NQT too.

WofflingOn Sat 20-Oct-12 12:47:06

I'm an experienced teacher, and have been an NQT mentor several times.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 20-Oct-12 12:48:10

See your NQT year out. I am an NQT mentor.

nqtatwitsend Sat 20-Oct-12 12:54:57

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the advice which I know is the right advice. I wish one of you ladies was my NQT mentor rather than the one I have who has not once in 6 weeks asked me how I'm getting on sad
Luckily at my ripe old age I do not take it personally and instead make it my business to be as polite, professional and friendly as possible.

nkf Sat 20-Oct-12 13:00:59

Finish the NQT year and then find another school.Even better, stick it out for two years and then find another school. Looks better.

nkf Sat 20-Oct-12 13:01:46

Actually, just the NQT year will be fine.

Engelsemama Sat 20-Oct-12 13:05:08

Finish your NQT.

I spent quite a lot of my NQT year bawling in my car on the way home from school. I considered quitting teaching but 10 years on, different school, different country (which would have been very difficult if I wasn't fully qualified) I love this job and couldn't imagine doing anything else.

nqtatwitsend Sat 20-Oct-12 13:06:41

So, one more question...
I always knew that the NQT year would be tough in terms of the workload/classroom management etc. and it is tough - I am working longer hours than I've ever worked.
If I do stick out the NQT year and move to another school in September can I expect the first year at the new school to be as demanding as this NQT year will be?

WofflingOn Sat 20-Oct-12 13:09:52

Oh.
Yes, you will also lose your entitlement to 10% non-contact as an NQT and probably be expected to take on a curriculum role or a club or both. It doesn't get easier.

elliepac Sat 20-Oct-12 13:11:26

Speaking as an experienced teacher, an NQT mentor and as someone who has had responsibility for sifting through job applications and deciding who to interview I would make sure you stick it out. Just do what you do in your classroom and ignore the rest of it. Treat the pupils with respect and don't get involved in the other politics. The pupils will love you for it if they are not treated the same way elsewhere.

If I have a lot of job applications for one post, you leaving you first post so quickly would raise question for me and if I had plenty of other options I probably wouldn't select you for interview. Harsh but the reality of the situation.

Stick it out, qualify and move on at the end of this year. Good luck. And as far as your NQT mentor is concerned, I would be speaking to whoever is in charge of NqT's as a whole about this. No matter how good an nqt you are, all new staff need support, encouragement and reassurance and the fact that you are not receiving it is completely out order.

elliepac Sat 20-Oct-12 13:15:24

x-posts. The second year can be as tough as the first. You don't say whether you are secondary or primary. If secondary and you stay in the same school, you will be able to re-use a lot of planning resources etc but the loss of the extra 10% will make a difference. If you move to a new school and they have different schemes of work it will probably be harder as you might have to start again. However, hopefully you will also be happier and more confident in your abilities which will ease the situation.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 20-Oct-12 13:17:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 20-Oct-12 13:19:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nqtatwitsend Sat 20-Oct-12 13:29:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nqtatwitsend Sat 20-Oct-12 13:35:21

I have asked for that post to be removed (just in case the school can be identified) although I think that there are several schools in London fitting the description!
Thanks again for all your support.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 20-Oct-12 13:38:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NonnoMum Sat 20-Oct-12 13:52:44

There's often a mad old charmer in a kind of deputy role in the school. It might be that the rest of senior management is looking for a more enlightened staff, and, perhaps, if you raised your professional concerns in an appropriate manner (in Line Management meetings/NQT sessions) it might mark you out as someone who is going forward in the school??

Just a thought...

Dominodonkey Sat 20-Oct-12 19:04:30

So you think that a member of smt wasted 20 minutes of his time talking to students who had nothing wrong and abusing them? I am
99% sure you are mistaken.

In terms of your mentor, that is completely unacceptable. You should be having weekly meetings and lots of moral support. Speak to the senior mentor.

missmapp Sat 20-Oct-12 19:13:43

I'm in my 17th yr of teaching and working harder than ever BUT I am much happier and more confident than in the early years.

1 week til half term !!

tethersend Sat 20-Oct-12 19:39:31

I would say that the second year is far easier than the NQT year, particularly if you change schools; the increased contact time can be offset by supportive colleagues, happy students and increased confidence in your own abilities.

I am also in London and know many schools; feel free to PM me if you like smile

(am also really nosey and want to know what school it is grin)

tethersend Sat 20-Oct-12 19:41:36

Also, don't underestimate the value of having a year's planning under your belt. After a year, you will have a fair idea of lessons/schemes which work well.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now