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Should I leave work because I'm no good at it now?

(17 Posts)
rainbowsockstoday Thu 30-Mar-17 14:27:54

I returned to work in January after a long break due to illness and looking after my son. I'm a teacher in a secondary school and often get put on cover so I'm not always teaching my subject.

I've loved every single day so far and it made me realise why I loved school in the first place. Today though I just want to quit. I returned because we need the money from two incomes and my son is ready to be looked after by other people now too. Quitting isn't really an option but I feel now that's what I want to do.

This afternoon I was given a group of 14/15yr old boys outside and they would not listen to me at all. No matter how many times I asked them to stop messing about and play the game they ignored me. They decided playfighting, hitting the ground with a bat and throwing grass at each other was more fun. Then a few of them found a dead bird and started kicking it about and stabbing it in the head with a stick. They thought it was hilarious and wouldn't listen to me when I told them to stop.

I fee like I'm so s**t at my job and I hate it so much. I don't want to let the school down because they've given me a really good opportunity. I used to be so good at it before I left and now I just feel a failure. I've cried all my free lesson now because it was such a bad lesson.

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bluebelltippytoes Thu 30-Mar-17 16:18:43

But it sounds like it's just this one lesson that's been hard. Everything else has been good?

Don't let this put you off. Yes, it sounds like a nightmare but I'm sure there are tactics for dealing with this type of behaviour (no idea what as I'm not a teacher!). Is there anyone you can turn to in school?

Give yourself a pat on the back for getting back to work. It's tough when you've been off for a while especially if it was illness related.

newnoo Fri 31-Mar-17 10:23:03

Is everything else in your life OK right now?

It sounds like there might be an underlying reason you are feeling wobbly and it's coming out in how you feel about yourself at school?

Also, - we all have crap days. It's normal. Perhaps this bunch of boys are particularly bad and any teacher would have trouble sorting them out. You are not a failure.

Secondary looks very very tough to me. I think you are so brave to face that every day. Do you know how many people could NOT do your job, even if they wanted to?

Do you ever credit yourself with all the amazing days you have had over the years?

What's happened that you'd now declare yourself a 'failure' today? What's happened? Have you changed do you think? Or have the children changed?

A lot of questions - but I wouldn't quit over one bad day.

Wishing you strength and courage.

rainbowsockstoday Fri 31-Mar-17 13:36:17

Things in my life are a bit stressful with many failed attempts at ttc, a mother who won't speak to me and money troubles but I was really enjoying school.

These boys thought it was funny to kick a dead seagull around and stab things into its head instead of a pe lesson (I'm not a pe teacher I was just covering a lesson because of exams). The ones not doing that we're chasing each other and ignoring me. I know I was being sensitive but I thought it was really disturbing how funny they thought kicking a dead bird about was.

I fee a failure because I should be able to handle 18 15yr old boys and not end up in tears over it. I'm constantly worried I'm not good enough at school but this sort of showed I am really struggling.

I'm so much better at being a mum than I am a teacher. Loads of the kids are lovely and some aren't quite as lovely. I just don't want to have them in a class again because they'll think they can walk all over me again.

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SorrelSoup Fri 31-Mar-17 13:43:10

Sounds depressing. You must remember to use the school's disciplinary procedure. Pick the biggest idiot and get smt to remove him. If they won't listen that doesn't mean you're a failure, it just makes him an arse. Some days we're not as strong as others. Don't tolerate their bs in future. I understand it must have felt isolating to be outside too with no backup. Keep going!

bluebelltippytoes Fri 31-Mar-17 18:47:57

That would upset me too. I hate cruelty to animals even dead ones!

Is there any way you can mug up on behaviour management? You can do this, you're probably just a bit out of practice.

AssassinatedBeauty Fri 31-Mar-17 18:50:28

I know this won't solve your problems, but I thought for insurance reasons only trained PE teachers were supposed to cover practical PE lessons?

ellanutella8 Fri 31-Mar-17 18:55:03

Not meaning to be harsh but one bad lesson shouldn't make you want to pack it all in. It was one bad lesson in a week of good enjoyable ones.

Feel sad/frustrated about it. Make a plan to manage it better next time. Then forget about it!

rainbowsockstoday Fri 31-Mar-17 22:32:21

I have low confidence levels and feel like I shouldn't be back teaching. I love school though. It's not an easy school being secondary and it's changed a lot in the last few years since I left. I've usually got good behaviour management and classroom management is fine. They were just outside and it's a lot harder when you don't have the on call system or a way to get another teacher. I couldn't just leave them all outside alone whilst I got someone.

The head of pastoral did question why I was outside with BOYS pe and then took over. I didn't know there was a legal thing though. Obviously I wasn't the one who did their register in the changing rooms I can't hold my breath that long.

I was back in my own subject the following lesson so had a metaphorical cuddle from Dickens. Plus I'm calmer now about it. I know I was being sensitive but things like that are very upsetting to me because it's not something I have experienced before. I can't imagine why anyone would find kicking a dead creature hilarious. No one else seems to think it's odd though and say "boys will be boys" with a wry smile.

School aren't bothered at all and my mum said it's good experience for when MY dc does things like that in the future. I honestly think if my son did anything like that I'd be devastated and wonder where I went wrong. DH has already said if DC did something like that he wouldn't see the light of day for a month.

Am I being very over sensitive about a dead bird and some teenage boys?

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1AnnoyingOrange Fri 31-Mar-17 22:39:37

Secondary school teaching appears hard work. Very worthwhile but very hard. Give yourself a break.

I think it was just one bad lesson. Plan what you will do next time. Can you talk it through with another teacher who knows them so you know what they do and where you lost control of them?

rainbowsockstoday Fri 31-Mar-17 23:08:32

@1annoyingorange I have spoken to another teacher and she says they're just a horrible group of boys. Their normal pe teacher hates them too. I'm not taking it personally from the boys I'm just doubting myself. It knocked me sick what they did. I can deal with them being immature and cheeky but that was too much for me.

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SorrelSoup Sat 01-Apr-17 08:15:30

Sounds like you've just forgotten your strategies. If they were doing that, the bird, the play fighting, I'd have brought them in to get changed and given them dts. You're in control and have the power. I think you'll get your groove back. Seems like you were a bit set up being given the lesson in the first place. Now you know the situation with that class you'll be ready for next time or to say no.

SorrelSoup Sat 01-Apr-17 08:20:55

Also can you report to their tutor?

rainbowsockstoday Sat 01-Apr-17 09:00:26

@sorrelsoup I tried to stop them and send them back in and they told me to "f**k off" I went through the C system in place (1=warning, 2=final warning, 3= detention, 4-=removal) and they laughed and said "make me go inside I dare ya" because they know full well that I can't do anything. 15yr old boys grow big sometimes and against a 5ft2 girl they know they have the control because that's how they are brought up.

Their Tutor is HoP and he said it's not worth doing anything because the parents don't care and won't do anything either. He said they're just from families where it's acceptable and normal. They've been excluded before but just see it as a holiday.

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lljkk Sat 01-Apr-17 09:12:14

I'm sympathetic b/c I'm easily discouraged, too. And I think anyone who can enjoy teaching, ever, is amazing. Plus, you know teenagers are fun. Just not ALL teenagers or any teenager all of the time.

You really mustn't let the toerag moments get you down. What were the sanctions at your disposal? At least excluded they can't annoy your colleagues for a few days, so it is an achievement of sorts. You can't fix them, but you can impose boundaries. You know they're crying out for boundaries much as they might scoff at them.

A lot of jobs, sometimes you just have to play a part & not feel the love when you do it. That's okay. Wake your real self up for the good moments.

SorrelSoup Sat 01-Apr-17 09:20:34

I've worked in a few rough comps and the staff have never had that attitude. Ok they might know it's hopeless but they would still follow all sanctions and support teachers. It's not worth it?? They're not year 11 and leaving.

rainbowsockstoday Sun 02-Apr-17 08:13:49

@sorrelsoup they have a lot of transient students in the school so I think the senior staff are just so used to it. Plus they have exams at the moment because they're yr10 and our school splits the exams over two years as subjects like the sciences are now modular. It's also a STEM school so we have a higher intake of boys no matter how hard we try to get girls interested.

My HoD called me to say she's willing to make sure I don't have certain boys in my classes if I have to cover other subjects. I'm not their English teacher so that's fine. However their English teacher has taken the attitude of "I'm just going to keep them contained for this hour" rather than teaching and she leaves in the summer so I fee sorry for whoever has them next year.

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