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What does a probationary teacher mean?

(8 Posts)
letsgetloud Wed 06-Jul-11 15:39:20

I presumed it is someone who has her degree but now has to do a year or two teaching a class in order to qualify. Her placement so to speak.

My dd2's class got a NQT as her primary 1 teacher last year and now she is getting a probationary teacher in primary 2 in August.

Her teacher last year was/is great and Dd2 did very well. I am just worried that my daughter maybe overlooked or not stimulated enough, basically not taught very well because she has a probationary teacher.

Could anyone explain what should happen with this teacher. Should she be supervised by another teacher, occasionally, never, rarely?

Any advice will be greatly welcomed.

MsInterpret Wed 06-Jul-11 19:04:09

Probationary teacher is a term used in Scotland to mean the first year after qualifying; the equivalent of NQT in England.

They are equally qualified, the only difference AFAIK being that an NQT has a permanent position, whereas the different system in Scotland means that a probationary teacher's contract is also probationary. In England the teacher applies for a job as an NQT; in Scotland the position is 'allocated' and then they have to apply for a position the following year - perhaps at the same school, perhaps not.

Hope that helps.

tenderheart Fri 08-Jul-11 09:05:13

I am sure the probationer teacher will be great! I was a probationer 5 years ago and I was wonderful smile

Seriously, almost all the probationers we have had in our school over the years have been fantastic. Hard working, fresh ideas, team players. On the other hand we have some older, "experienced" teachers who couldn't give a flying wotsit.

Over the year she will be very closely monitored and supported. She will have some observations to make sure she is working well. Remember the NQT your DD had this year would have just been a probationer the year before and would have still been learning lots on the job and you had no concerns with her. Try not to worry and give the probationer a chance, I am sure she will be fine!

MsInterpret Fri 08-Jul-11 10:08:47

I really think probationer is the same as NQT. Just different terms. Agree with the other points you made about enthusiasm and hard work tenderheart.

letsgetloud Fri 08-Jul-11 10:54:46

Thanks for replying.

I agree that very experienced teachers may not be great teachers etc. Dd1 had a teacher about due for retirement for a week this year, and it was the only week of her school life so far that she didn't want to go to school!!

I do feel however, that more experience does increase the teachers ability to do the job. I have never taught but any job I have had I have definately improved at, the more experience I gained.

This is the second year my daughter has had a newly qualified teacher and think I just feel a bit peeved. I took my turn with dd2 and would like the school to explain why it is her class yet again.

I know that some teachers are rubbish and some are great (just like in every walk of life) but would have liked my child to get a teacher with a good reputation and have another class take the chance with a NQT.

I really don't believe that any teacher, nurse, social worker etc. is as good on the job in their first year as they are in their 4th or 5th. Sorry Tenderheart, I am sure you were fantastic though. grin

Also, alot of the children in dd2's class have parents as teachers and think that possibly the head teacher thought, that this class was then the easiest/best class to be placed with a nqt.

bluerodeo Fri 08-Jul-11 11:13:14

agree, my daughters both had NQTs 2 years in a row. am a teacher myself and appreciate the need for them to start their career somewhere but they could mix it up a bit with the other classes in the yeargroup

tenderheart Fri 08-Jul-11 11:23:01

So did your child have a probationer last year as well? I get confused because in my authority we call the teachers who have completed their probation year as NQTs!

You could try raising your concerns with the school but I doubt the head will change the teachers at this late stage. It may well be that your child's class is deemed "easy" if it is smallish, with less differentiation needed, not so many behaviour issues etc. If some other parents are teachers maybe you could chat to them about your concerns? Do rest assured though that they are not just going to plop her in there and let her get on with it! She will have a supporter who she will meet with regularly and remember she will be teaching only 0.7 of the time, so there should be another teacher working with your daughter for about a day and half.

Hope it all goes well!

letsgetloud Fri 08-Jul-11 12:34:43

Thanks tenderheart.

Your above post has really explained how the probationary thing works. I have been back in Scotland just a year so was a bit confused with the Scottish system.

Last year dd2 had a teacher who had completed her probationary year the year before (at a different school). So in my eyes dd2 had a newly qualified teacher then last year, in p1.

Now going into p2 she has a probationary teacher.

Think her class has a couple of boys who are harder to control than the rest but the class on the whole is good. Dd2 is a people pleaser and I am worried she will just fade into the background. I know this could happen with any teacher but feel more chance of it happening with an inexperienced one.

Thanks for the suggestion of speaking to other parents about it. I have spoken to one other parent who is my friend but she does not seem concerned. Will speak to a couple of the parents who are teachers.

Good to hear about another teacher for the day and a half. I wasn't sure what happened there. I think the teacher will be the principal teacher who everyone loves including the kids so it will probably be all fine.

Thanks again tenderheart. I will speak to a couple of parents and then possibly raise it with the school.(After the holidays) Although as you say the head will not change the decision now. Still I feel it will be good to make her aware that I am concerned about the situation.

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