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returning to teaching whether to or not

(19 Posts)
Friedtomatoes77 Tue 30-Aug-11 19:33:36

I am just posting this on here as hoping you lovely mums and teachers might be able to help. I have two dcs one at school and a toddler. I trained as a teacher but was put off by an experience I had and left my teaching post. Looking back i can see it was not really suitable in many ways, I was expected to teach the reception children from a mixed yr/1 class in the hall, which was in a seperate building from the rest of the school. there were 20 children, no TA, and also no toilets and no furniture. So I had to send children of 4 yrs old across the playground to toilets in pairs. I now see as a mum that is really not appropriate but at the time I was a young NQT trying to prove i could 'cope'. Surely though the more senior teachers should not have put me in that position though, I feel quite cross thinking about it now. It became quite strained between myself and the other infant teachers (I didn't realise but my appointment and splitting the class happened instead of another TA being appointed which they would have preferred, also I felt it would have been better for one of them to be in the hall really as their children were older and doing eg literacy hour while they had better equipped facilities for the Yr R children) So, things got really bad when I complained to the head/deputy head (who also was my NQT mentor) and they decided to have a chat with the other Yr1 Teacher. It became worse after that with her basically pushing pact me in an angry outburst one evening...and the head deciding to advertise her position...which I applied for (hoping possibly to move rooms)...resigning from my post..but I didn't get..

So sorry for all this waffle but trying to get across it was all pretty awful, and very emotionally charged and difficult at school, with a TA also resigning and a lot of fuss, and me being asked to write down things which they had done (including the pushing incident) which had made things difficult for me..being told it was in confidence and it wasn't. It's all made me nervous about returning to teaching and as it was my last (and only) experience whether i would have to get a reference..

I have a great reference from my PGCE by the way. I wonder what to do, and please advise is this normal behaviour in schools?

BrigitBigKnickers Tue 30-Aug-11 19:46:05

Dear God No, not at all normal! Teaching 4 year olds with no toilets or furniture- what madness!

There are lots of lovely school around but be warned there is quite fierce competition for primary jobs.

Perhaps try getting some experience through voluntary work in your local primary school or supply work to ease yourself back in and gain confidence.

cat64 Tue 30-Aug-11 20:04:59

Message withdrawn

jo164 Tue 30-Aug-11 20:15:55

I went back to teaching after a few years off with my children. I sent my CV and a letter to all the local schools that I would be happy working in - and although nothing came up immediately, I was contacted and now have a lovely part time job in a very nice prep school - nursery and pre school on site! Hours can rise as my children get older. So I wouldn't let one bad school put you off completely - I have come across some horrors in the last 12 years of teaching, but if you find the right place for you, it is the perfect job when you have children!

mycatoscar Tue 30-Aug-11 20:21:46

What an awful experience you had! It is not surprising you feel the way you do. Do go to an agency and get some experience in lots of different schools.

Did you actually pass your nqt year? If not then this can be harder doing day to day supply.

Friedtomatoes77 Tue 30-Aug-11 21:59:29

Hi thanks for your replies. My status is that my local authority still has my NQT file, they say I'd be ok to teach. I haven't completed the NQT year as such as I was only taking the reception children part time, and it needs to be a year full time (I think, although the school still thought it was only the one year so I had the forms filled in e.g at end of the appropriate terms-I 'passed' these fine) I did the training before the dc's, about ten years ago was the PGCE, and at the time NQT's needed to do the induction year within 5 yrs although i think this has been waived or something.

Yes good plan, I'll maybe try and get a bit of experience volunteering in ds' school what with the other starting nursery school soon. It seems good. It is in the same local authority though so am almost wishing not, the head knows the head of the other school (as with all the ones round here)

I think to be honest I am blaming myself for what happened, i feel awful that the other teacher lost her job although it was a management issue really. I have bumped into teachers from the school and they have been very short with me, since. Oh well.

I have also been offered a bit of supply at another school very close by as my ds was at nursery there and the head got chatting to me and found I had been at that school (she liked a project they had done I was involved in and was impressed) and said when I was ready I'd be welcome to come and work there. However I felt she was misguided after the mess I'd made at the other schools and didn't want her to find out the real situation.

Oh it's silly really, I don't really know why I'm feeling responsible for it all. maybe it would have been good if I'd had another teaching experience since, or close after (like getting on a bike after you've fallen..the sooner the better) However as it was in the springtime I was pregnant, very upset and went to my doc and was signed off with 'stress' till the end of term. I was also 'homeless' at school as the hall was being painted so didn't know where I'd be teaching at all and sometimes had to take them in the playground (for the whole morning). I still remember having the group outside bless them while the yr 1's were doing their writing and the home corner, painting, all the nice bits of the class we could be using were empty...argh

mycatoscar Wed 31-Aug-11 07:11:43

Op none of this was your fault, you were a young nqt who was massively taken advantage of and not supported properly. Unfortunately many leadership teams are shortsighted and don't know how to manage or treat their staff with respect. Some volunteering at a local
Friendly school sounds perfect, I think given your training you would be snapped up and maybe it could lead to more.

As for the head who offered you supply work, I would be surprised if she knew nothing about what happened at your first school so I wouldn't worry about that. In any event you did nothing wrong anyway. If she is willing to give you some supply then I would go for it when you feel ready.

I would also try to get confirmation of your qts status too - because you may be asked about your experience etc if you interview for anything.

mrz Wed 31-Aug-11 07:50:07

Sorry to hear about your experience but I agree with the advice to get into school for some experience as a volunteer. If I understand rightly you haven't taught since this point 10 years ago? and to be honest there have been so many changes in that time schools are going to be looking for someone up to speed.

When you say you were employed PT do you mean so many days per week? 0.6 type ... if so your NQT will take longer to complete

For example, an NQT, contracted to work a FTE of 0.6 in a maintained school with a 195 day academic year would need to be employed for a period of 325 days (195 ÷ 0.6 = 315) to complete the induction period.

IndigoBell Wed 31-Aug-11 12:57:50

Or perhaps start off as a TA and see if you still want to teach after that?

(If of course you could get a job as a TA....)

But yes, volunteering in a school is something you can do right away to help you make your decision.....

Friedtomatoes77 Wed 31-Aug-11 22:28:28

Hi thanks you have made me feel better! Yes I will try some volunteering mycatscar and mrz, it's 6 yrs since the job but to be honest I didn't find the PGCE hugely valuable, I seemed to get placed in schools where the teacher needed some support, with behaviour for example, or to help with the it will be good for my confidence to both meet nice supportive teachers and to get more experience actually observing/helping. It was an 0.4 contract so I'd still need to complete that though, I'll get in touch with the NQT person at the council I think for advice (the school were filling in the forms as if it was the induction year on a full time contract)

And yes Indigo a TA is also an option I didn't realise but the nearby head told me it is possible to do supply as a TA..well I guess they'd need it like teachers but that might be an option. many thanks again.

mrz Thu 01-Sep-11 16:50:32

I know lots of people who say that their PGCE didn't prepare them for teaching Friedtomatoes77 you are definitely not alone

PotteringAlong Thu 01-Sep-11 16:58:56

I definitely think you need to check the requirements for the NQT things because, to the best of my knowledge, if you haven't completed your NQT year within 5 years of starting it you would have to retrain.

You also need to consider that you will be up against people who have trained this year and so will be more au fait with current trends etc. So work experience is definitely the way to go.

Contact an agency re: supply or look at TA jobs. Have you considered applying for a cover supervisor role?

rainbowinthesky Fri 02-Sep-11 06:29:01

Wow, you were seriously let down as an NQT.
I completed my training 10 years ago and have always worked in this time. I have to say there has been countless changes in this time, things that have come and gone and things that stayed. I know someone who had 3 years out and found it really hard to get a job as she was competing against current workers and schools felt she was too out of touch having spent 3 years out.
I guess you wont know till you ask but I wouldnt be surprised if you were expected to retrain (not that that really teaches you to teach as others say.) I guess you could be really lucky and get some sort of training on the job but competition is fierce.

Friedtomatoes77 Fri 02-Sep-11 18:17:20

Hi again thanks it had to be completed within 5 yrs of starting but I hear that has now been waived or can be extended in cases..was looking at a return to teaching course but there isn't one around here (strange as two colleges nearby offering training). I know a mum at school who has recently been offered supply there despite being off for years bringing up her family so it can be done. However she had volunteered for them for a while so had a familiarity with the school so I'll look at doing that. At least I'm a bit more aware of getting to know a school before jumping in.

Friedtomatoes77 Fri 02-Sep-11 18:20:51

Just noticed (in case any others in same position) this about no deadline for induction..see
see "Is there a deadline to start and finish induction?"

JackyJax Sun 04-Sep-11 10:27:20

Very interesting post and I really feel for you. When I was an NQT I taught in 13 different classrooms during the week! I swear I spent most of my life carrying around an enormous back pack with books, class supplies, etc, etc and running full pelt to my classes.

The bell would go, I'd hurry the kids out of the classroom then take off like a hare. It was ridiculous. I was late for every lesson (except for those after break times) and it was very , very stressful. Also as I was a NQT I wasn't allowed keys so often I'd arrive (late and panting with huge sweat stain on my back) to be greeted by 30 truculent teenagers and a locked door. After complaining, the number of classrooms I taught in was reduced to 6- still very stressful but not as bad.

However, I left and went to another school on a temporary contract and then onto another school on a permanent contract where I stayed for 8 years. So what I wanted to say was please don't let this first- ghastly and ridiculous- experience tarnish your view of teaching.

Next time you'll know what to watch out for and you really will be ok. Much luck.

PS I work at a school now where I have my own classroom and walk calmly to my classes!

Friedtomatoes77 Sun 04-Sep-11 12:51:11

Hi thanks Jacky, that helps, it is easy when it's been a few years past to just remember it and think 'that's what teaching is like!'. Sometimes no-one seems to consider what is happening and there is this feeling you need to prove yourself, rushing around like you say. Thanks for your reply.

sqweegiebeckenheim Sun 04-Sep-11 14:38:29

a little light reading for you!

Friedtomatoes77 Mon 05-Sep-11 15:12:57

Thanks sqweegie!

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