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to desperately want to leave my job (on verge of walking out) because of this?

(190 Posts)
woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:07:13


I do hang around here, mainly on the weight loss chat boards, but I've had to name-change due to the content.

I am a teacher and I am hugely struggling with one of my classes, to the extent that I am going home crying whenever I have them (three times a week.)

It is a GCSE class. For some reason they have no respect for me and treat me like i'm a big joke. It's very hard to put into words - constant smirks, shaking with laughter, covering mouths, looking away (as clearly looking at me would be so hilarious they just wouldn't be able to cope.) Shouting across the room, then when I follow the school system arguments ensue - "OH MY GOD, I was only TELLING x that I wanted to lend his pen off him!" then discussions with other students about the unfairness of it "She just gave me DETENTION for asking x to lend his pen!" which leads, sometimes, to arguments from others - "You're being unfair!" I do follow the system we have (two warnings/detention) but we can only remove a child in extreme cases and I'd have to go out, phone for help and fill in a referral form and to be honest it's difficult (impossible, really) to do that with four/five kids.

Have contacted home, to no avail. It worked temporarily - most things have a temporary effect - but while I can deal with the more obvious disruption (shouting out) it is the more insidious forms of behaviour that are really upsetting me just now - the constant laughing at me, the mocking of my voice, the accusations that I don't teach them well.

I have them twice tomorrow - I hate Wednesdays.

I will have them this year and next unless they all leave or I do and I just don't know, I have had the most awful year and came close to just walking out Monday. I cannot cope with it any more. Please help me sad

FortyDoorsToNowhere Tue 10-Dec-13 21:10:24

I would say speak to the headteacher.

don't let these small group of teenager force you out of a career which i suspected you loved before this.

5Foot5 Tue 10-Dec-13 21:11:52

Is it just this class? Do you have other classes to teach and how does it go with them. How long have you been teaching? is there a senior member of staff you could talk to?

Sorry no answers just lots of questions to try to get a clearer picture.

IceNoSlice Tue 10-Dec-13 21:13:32

Is there any kind of support you can access? Confidential helpline? Union? A supportive colleague? It sounds very lonely. sad

Lariflete Tue 10-Dec-13 21:13:56

Only thing I can think of is speaking to the head, but other than that I have nothing to suggest, but I was in a similar situation at my place of work and just rode it out. Just wanted to do a bit of virtual hand holding, til more helpful posters arrive.

Writerwannabe83 Tue 10-Dec-13 21:14:39

Oh Woodland - the situation sounds so desperate.

I know what it's like to be at that breaking point (although in another profession) and I know how soul destroying it can be.

It got to the point where I would park my car in the morning and almost find it physically impossible to walk into work. I'd then go home and cry my heart out to my husband because I felt like I just couldn't cope anymore. I was inconsolable. He told me to just hand my notice in because he knew I either had to leave or I was going to crack.

I didn't hand my notice in but I did decide to look for another job. It may have seemed drastic to some but I'd really hit my breaking point. Thankfully I found another job but I did take a cut in hours and a drop in pay of about £400 a month. I discussed with my husband if we could afford that but he knew I had to get out my current job. It took 2 months before I could start my new job and work was still difficult in that time but it made it easier knowing I was soon going to be out of it.

I miss aspects of my old job, including the pay, but I know I made the right decision. I'm like a different person now and am in a job that I enjoy going to and enjoy doing.

People spend such a huge percentage of their time at work that it is so important it is somewhere you want to be. Reading your post made me feel genuinely sad for you because I know exactly how you feel. It is a horrible, horrible way to live.

Have you looked at changing jobs?
Do you want to stay in teaching or would you opt for something completely different??

JanetAndRoy Tue 10-Dec-13 21:16:00

The Teacher Support Network has a 24/7 support phoneline.

woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:16:12

Thanks. I think speaking to the head would exacerbate the problem as it would be "my fault" then - it is ALWAYS the way it goes. (Have already been told off for poor classroom management with them.) I'm in my tenth year teaching and it is just this class, yes.

BohemianGirl Tue 10-Dec-13 21:16:21

What does your HOD and line SLT suggest? Have you had up to date CPD to deal with this? What does your Union say?

MammaTJ Tue 10-Dec-13 21:18:08

In any job, if you are struggling with a certain aspect of it, you are expected to go to your line manager, so head of department, head of year, head of school! Which would be best?

You need help and support with this, to deal with these teenagers.

<thrown into guilt at what we did to one particular teacher and wondering if we made her feel the same as these are you>

Actually, shit we probably did! We didn't mean to, but she was easy prey and no punishments resulted in what we did. which was one start a gutteral sound in the back of the throat, then another, then another, but she could never pinpoint who it was

Get this sorted now, you are not doing yourself or them any favours by allowing this to continue.

woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:18:32

The union wouldn't be any help. Involving others would just turn it around onto me (this has already happened, but don't really want to go into any detail.)

Thank you for the teaching support line links but I don't think I can face talking about it on the phone, it would just make me cry so much and I'm already in pieces at the thought of two fucking hours being treated like dog shit (sorry for language.)

It's horrible; I wish I could leave teaching but am a bit trapped.

paxtecum Tue 10-Dec-13 21:18:48

Fairy: I do remember that one of the teachers at my school had a nervous breakdown. This happened nearly 50 years ago, we used to mock her because she had a problem with spelling when writing on the blackboard.

Of course, I felt quite ashamed about it not long after.

Hopefully some teachers will give you good advice.
Is the union any help with these matters?

Please don't have a breakdown over it, take evasive action first.

JanetAndRoy Tue 10-Dec-13 21:18:59

I found them really helpful when I has issues whilst teaching.
I knew the day had come to get out of the profession when I considered crashing my car into a tree on the way to work to avoid having to go in. I think the only reason I didn't was because my DC were in the car with me.

woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:20:16

Mamma, I'm not trying to make you feel awful but yeah I've had that - kids shouting something unpleasant (I won't say what) when my back is turned in a stupid voice, so I don't know who it is. And yes, it has made me feel completely shit and worthless as a teacher and a human.

However this is more a general confidence crisis thing - have had a terrible year and this class is the mouldy icing on Miss Havisham's wedding cake.

HamletsSister Tue 10-Dec-13 21:25:52

I can probably offer some practical, classroom management based solutions but is that what you want? If you are stressed and struggling, management have a responsibility to support you and to help, however they can. This might mean swapping classes with someone else, team teaching, extra training, someone sitting outside classes, parental involvement - any of these things.

I think you have to ask, in writing, copied to your union, for help and then see what is forthcoming.

But, if you want help, I am sure we can all come up with ways to help day to day.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 10-Dec-13 21:26:20

"You're being unfair!" I do follow the system we have (two warnings/detention) but we can only remove a child in extreme cases and I'd have to go out, phone for help and fill in a referral form and to be honest it's difficult (impossible, really) to do that with four/five kids.

I really think you need to follow through with this - if you don't get them removed because it is difficult, that doesn't send the perpatrators a very good message.

Thanks. I think speaking to the head would exacerbate the problem as it would be "my fault" then - it is ALWAYS the way it goes. (Have already been told off for poor classroom management with them.) I'm in my tenth year teaching and it is just this class, yes.

You are hardly an NQT. I am not impressed by the lack of support from your managers.

Rather than leaving teaching altogether could you look for another teaching job, or maybe private tutoring?

woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:28:18

HamletsSister, thank you, but the union won't help and asking for support will just be a fast track to capability. That's why I'm seriously thinking of leaving as my options are - put up with it (leading me to a nervous breakdown!) or demand support, which will involve management coming in, undermining me and thus exacerbating the problems and pulling my lessons to shreds.

I'm not sure which is worse.

IceNoSlice Tue 10-Dec-13 21:30:17

Please consider phoning the helpline. I had a lot of support from a confidential counselling helpline linked to my profession.

Yes, you might cry. But that isn't always a bad thing. And you can let it all out, perhaps get a different perspective and it might help you find more strength for tomorrow. Good luck OP.

woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:31:07

ItsAll - thanks.

The problem is that to get someone removed I have to ring down - there isn't a phone in the classroom, so I have to step out of the classroom and it then just gets chaotic. I'm not removing children because of laziness (I know that's not what you're saying!) - but it's the actual practicalities. I have removed children before, and I'll do so again, but removing one child means me leaving the classroom which can in turn mean the others bubble over with madness.

Plus, I don't feel safe leaving the 'nice' children as the difficult ones in there are mean, not just to me but to the other kids!

It's just so hard.

Chottie Tue 10-Dec-13 21:32:45

Dear OP, I can hear the despair in your post. Please don't let this group of difficult teenagers railroad your career.

Can you split up the 'troublemakers' so they are not all sitting together? Could some of them be moved into a different class / set so you don't have to teach them all?

Good luck, I'll be thinking of you tomorrow x.

ilovecolinfirth Tue 10-Dec-13 21:34:49

Oh no! Poor you! It is the school's responsibility to support you, and if they're not, THEY are not doing their job properly. Firstly, although it feels like it, I doubt every child in that class are the worst offenders. Pick out the main culprits, have them removed, and focus on getting the others back on side.

You've survived (!!!) teaching for 10 years, don't let one class get you down.

woodlandfairycreature Tue 10-Dec-13 21:35:43

They're all sat apart. It doesn't seem to make much difference. I can't really move anybody either.

Sorry if I sound negative at all - it's just there aren't really many (any?) options, and I just can't spend another day being made to feel so awful, I hate tomorrow. It blights my entire weekend.

ilovecolinfirth Tue 10-Dec-13 21:36:05

Remove children before the lesson starts. You have every right to due to previous behaviour.

ilovesooty Tue 10-Dec-13 21:37:53

asking for support will just be a fast track to capability

Unfortunately yiu are right. You know your HT and SMT. Sadly it may be just this class now but you know that once other classes get wind of this it will spread. And this situation is being replicated up and down the land.

Can you pinpoint in any way how/why it might have started? How long have you been at this school?

The low level disruption is the most insidious and upsetting as it's the hardest to deal with. Is there a ringleader you can isolate and concentrate on?

Having been there (and I was a strong and capable teacher previously) my heart goes out to you.

I turned my back on a profession I loved. Remember that nothing is more important than your health.

MissMiniTheMinx Tue 10-Dec-13 21:38:04

Oh dear poor you, teenagers can be very rude and arrogant, its probably not person but must feel very hurtful and undermining. I think you need to speak to the head or whoever manages that year. Its not in your interests and therefore not in theirs to allow this to continue. Its not a reflection on you. I used to work with people and a couple of them really didn't like me and me them, I had to speak to manager and it was agreed that someone else should deal with them, whilst on other occasions I was sent in to deal with difficult cases where the client had been rude/violent or threatening towards staff, because I was experienced, thick skinned and quite confident. So try not to take it personally, it only takes one or two people, or one incident to set a train in motion that effects the whole dynamic of a group, for this sort of situation to be reached. Its certainly not a failure on your part.

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