A new school? Or a new career...

(7 Posts)
HidingUnderMyDuvet Mon 03-Mar-14 20:22:30

Hi all. I know there have been quite a few threads, but I'd really appreciate some advice from the Mumsnet staffroom.

I'm one year out of my NQT year, and finding it really hard. I enjoy my subject, love thinking of ways to teach it. I get involved in quite a bit at school. Sometimes I think I love my job, but most days its hell.

I think I've narrowed the hell down to two things:

1. The ever changing goal posts of new initiatives and criteria and measurements and observations and assessment and so forth... Its so depressing to go home every day feeling like I just can't do it all!

2. Behaviour management is a struggle - I find the students rude and ungrateful. I am quite a sensitive person, so I tend to take things personally. I've previously been advised that "they're only children and they don't mean it" view, but I still get quite upset when they are rude!

So my question is this... Given the two issues above, do you think I should consider trying a different school in September? or should I give up the idea of teaching altogether?

I really worry that I am just not tough enough for it - should I be able to ignore the rudeness to a certain extent? Not ignore it completey iykwim, but not take it personally? Is it even possible to learn that?

This has turned out longer than I intended, so thank you for reading this far! Any advice greatly appreciated - please ask if anything is unclear.

blackcoffee Mon 03-Mar-14 23:12:15

Try a different school! I am at same stage as you. I know my training school (GTP) was very different from the current one, and also the one I TA'd in before training.

It's so difficult. Are you secondary? IME behaviour management gets a lot easier once you've been in a school for a while, are seen as a fixture, have a reputation among the students, have taught their older siblings etc. (oh and have been in regular contact with their parents!). Moving schools means you have to be new again, with all the challenging boundaries that entails.

That said, you can't sustain a job you describe as hell, nor should you have to. It's such a tough call.

LurkingCinners Tue 04-Mar-14 06:33:24

OP, the first of your points is something all teachers face.
The changing goalposts, the ever changing rules and the paperwork...

I have decided to give my best but not to be a slave to my job. You can put in 24 hours a day and still think you should have done more.
Give yourself targets grin and stick to them.
There was a very useful post a while back where I think Philoslothy posted a long list of things she does to cope.
I stole one thing: giving myself a certain amount of time to tweak each lesson (30 min) and after that time, stop.

The second point is rather dependent on the school. Has your school got a good behaviour management system in place? One the kids know and one you can follow to the letter?
Yes it takes a while for the kids to realise you're part of the furniture and won't go away. But teaching in a school where kids get away with anything is very tough.

Don't take things personally. They aren't meant personally. Those rude and ungrateful children (probably year 9?) haven't realised you are trying to help them get an education.
I still struggle to come to terms with rude behaviour sometimes, it makes me very angry, not because I take it personally but because I spent time preparing lessons and then don't get to teach my stuff because I have to manage their appalling behaviour all the time.

But on the other hand there are lovely year 7s and 8s and post puperty years who make up for the rotten classes.

I have thought about leaving teaching quite often. I don't think I'm one of those naturals, who have built-in authority and always get "outstanding" observations. I like teaching because I like passing on the knowledge about my subject.
And I have found no alternative which I would enjoy more (yet). wink

HidingUnderMyDuvet Tue 04-Mar-14 17:41:43

Thanks for all your responses...
Iheart yes, I am secondary - Maths so not always a popular subject...

lurkingI guess the changing goal posts is something that teachers in general face. It does sometimes feel like left-hand and right-hand within the school don't know what each other are doing - is that the norm too?

I feel exactly the same about the time I spend preparing fun and engaging lessons, that are then essentially ruined by poor behaviour. And I think that's what I take personally? I feel like I'm a failure because I just can't get them to cooperate?!

HotelFromage Thu 06-Mar-14 23:13:21

Nothing to add, but I am at the same stage as you and could have written your post word for word.

I wish I had that 'natural authority'. I also wish my school had a more robust behaviour management system in place and kids didn't get away with repeated unacceptable behaviour.

blackcoffee Thu 06-Mar-14 23:44:58

hmm I am primary so I don't know if this helps, but sometimes what I think is fun and engaging leaves the children cold - and vice versa

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