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Thinking of ditching my career, help, teachers' POV be useful. Long.

(29 Posts)
ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 19:37:30

Have namechanged incase I am recognised.

I am a primary school teacher and did really well at college and reasonably well in all previous posts. Now I am really struggling and feel like giving it up.

I have a part-time post and take a mixed age class for 2 days a week. There are a group of boys in the class who show no respect for me and are making my life miserable. I cannot maintain the pace of my lessons because of them and constantly have to battle to hold their attention, deal with shouting out etc. My colleague says they are not like that with her although she does admit they are not perfect either. I dread whole class times and lessons like drama where they continually disrupt the lesson.

I am feeling so anxious about the whole situation - totally frazzled at the end of the day and spend my days off worrying about the whole thing.

Is there anyway to regain lost respect?
If I walk away will I regret it and feel like a failure? (I know you can't tell me the answer here but want to know what you think)

I will be back shortly after DCs' bedtimes.

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 19:38:34

Not too long actually grin

yellowvan Mon 21-Sep-09 19:49:45

It IS hard, really, really hard to job share. (guessing you are primary). I also have had same scenario in the past, luckily only on short contract, but you NEVER get the response from chn that a full timer gets cos you just can't build up the relationships/stay completely in the loop. It is not your fault.

FWIW I do day to day supply now and I love it, and have plenty of work for the two days per wk i want to make myself available- might be an option for you?

What is your job share partner like? Do you have good communication and consistency of approach? Is there a whole school behaviour policy that gets backed up by SMT? How supportive/ continuous is your TA? How long have you been at the school? it might just be a case of "establishing" yourself and "Don't smile til Xmas". Good induction, good SMT and communication (between partner and you) are key I reckon. Good Luck

yellowvan Mon 21-Sep-09 19:55:38

Ignore any "theyre not like that for me" stuff from colleagues- not helpful, and prob not even true. If it is spilling into the rest of your life, you won't regret regainng that and walking away (experience- horrific Y4/5's had me in daily tears for half a term + v. useless SMT and NO consistent bhvr policies)

spula Mon 21-Sep-09 20:17:06

Stop worrying bout pace etc. We are 2 weeks into the term, and without the respect you won't get anywhere academically with them. You don't say how old the children are, but getting their peers on your side is always good. If they boys don't have an audience they won't bother performing. Go back to basics of 'how we want our class to be' etc. Sometimes when your feeling frazzled as well you forget to focus on the successes of your day - there will be many smile. Hard to give specific activities unless we know the age of the class

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 20:51:20

Hi, thanks for your comments.
To answer some questions the children are ranging from 5 to 8 years. The oldest boys are definitely needing a change and are the big fish in the small pond but they are having to stay in this room for another year because of numbers.
I am not new, been there a while. Very small staff. (no SMT)
I really am panicking that things are so bad that they can't be reigned back in. I feel like they have come to think 'Oh it is Mrs CTA today, we can behave how we like' sad
Using sanctions is tricky because I am not there every day and colleague is always keen for them to earn back any lost time so it has little impact.
Something else I was going to write down but it has gone...!

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 20:55:59

I remembered what is was. I am made to feel - and it is unintentional - like the behaviour problems are all my fault - and I do accept that some of the blame must lie with me. But I need consistency and support in eliminating the problem - not to be made to feel bad and inadequate. What I am trying to say is my colleague wears her lack of problems as a badge of honour and it makes me feel terrible hence why I think I should just bale out and try something else.

mumofboy Mon 21-Sep-09 21:03:07

That sounds like an impossible class! What is that, yrR-yr3?

I absolutely agree with the previous poster, we are in week 3 - forget about the curriculum and concentrate on the behaviour. I find stopping the whole class and making them sit in silence doing nothing for a minute (or more if need be) helps regain the focus. It helps you too because you're not getting cross or shouting or repeating yourself continuously. Let them know they will have to do it at some point, if not now, then in their play time etc. etc.

It sounds to me like the school has got serious issues, what an age range in one class! I'd plan my escape if I were you.

Good luck, give yourself a break - it's still early days.

spula Mon 21-Sep-09 21:06:35

So, you need rewards that can be done within the day, and fairly immediate sanctions - though remember the basic rule that it's always best to catch them being good grin Earn pebbles/marbles in a jar and when individuals are being good they can earn one. When they earn a reasonable amount (30? 50?) they can have a class reward in your time that you all decide on. Set a personal challenge for those boys that you want them to earn a certain amount of those themselves as the oldest and most 'responsible'!! Pregnancy stopping my brain from fully flowing so will prob come back with other ideas... or then again brain may give up completely blush Compliments wall where you all write good things bout eachother, how many compliments can they earn in 2 days... rambling now... sorry!

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 21:07:44

Yes it is a big spread, and the workload was awful for the first few weeks. But it would be manageable if I could feel more on top of the behaviour...

spula Mon 21-Sep-09 21:10:05

If jobshare thinks she is so bloody perfect ask to observe her behaviour management techniques... you will either genuinely gain skills and strategies, or realise life isn't so perfect her end of the week...!! Worth serious consideration as you are also highlighting your proactive stance in resolving the matter.

yellowvan Mon 21-Sep-09 21:11:04

I think your colleague sounds awful- I know exactly the type. I wish you could get her support in following through sanctions. She is undermining you imo. Does she appease them all the time? if so, it sounds like youre the only one doing any actual teaching, no wonder its hard.

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 21:16:03

I don't think she is trying to undermine me, she is trying to help in ways. ( but not working LOL)
I think observing her would be a good idea actually. I am not convinced that she has to deal with the crap they dish up to me sad Then again I worry that I am losing perspective (sp? tired!) on the whole thing.

yellowvan Mon 21-Sep-09 21:22:07

Do you do Thur/Fri? That is always harder I think, picking up someone elses unfinished work.
Observe her then plan strategies together. Missing golden time/playtime or whatever. She has to back you up or she is NOT helping. She needs to realize youre a team.

spula Mon 21-Sep-09 21:22:54

If we are honest I think we all like to think we are perfect and that we can manage our darlings better than anyone else (human nature!!) but good teachers also have children's wellbeing at the heart of what they do and I would genuinely want to help my jobshare so that the kids were having a great week, not just a few days.
You seem pretty down bout this so you really need a day when you just do nice, fun activities (not getting bogged down with curriculum etc) and remeber why you do the job, and celebrate the bits you are good at. Only then will you really be able to see a way through it.

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 21:24:10

I do one of those days grin. I am going to speak to her. Hoping things will settle down.
Thanks for comments, it has helped to talk it through.

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 21:26:17

"celebrate the bits you are good at" - good idea, but my confidence is so low that I'm not sure what those bits are anymore sad. I really down and under pressure with things at home too. It is all piling up.

bethylou Mon 21-Sep-09 21:26:40

When I started teaching (full-time before becoming a mum), I was given the class from hell in a large primary school. No idea why they decided to give me that class as the ed psych had been working 1:1 with three of the boys in the previous year (and I never saw her again once I got them, or for any other children in the next 4 years either!)

After beating myself up about the difficulties, I became aware that the previous teacher had let the boys hole-punch/trim paper all day to keep them quiet, while I was trying to engage them in actual learning!

The whole experience nearly made me leave the profession before I really got going, especially due to the lack of support from the Head (who said he'd come out in an hour when one of the boys was lobbing tennis balls at me from the garage roof during PE!!)
I stuck to my guns, got support from other staff and earned the respect of everyone in the process by the end of the year.

I drank a lot of red wine and gained some weight but I am still proud that I managed to see the year through. A year later, one had been excluded permanently and another ended up in a school for pupils with Autism. A teacher of 30 years had retired and she only had two of them in her class!

I'm not trying to boast, but to say that I totally know how you feel and that if I had a family at the time I probably wouldn't have/couldn't have carried on. Get support from as many sources (in and out of school) as you can; remember that you have taught successfully before (I'm guessing) and that it is the support that currently seems to be lacking, not your skills. Drink red wine too, or be kind to yourself in whichever way you need to in order to get through this difficult time. I look forward to hearing how you get on and would totally understand if you made a different decision to the one I did. Good luck!

cornsillk Mon 21-Sep-09 21:27:53

Job shares are hard. I've met plenty of teachers like your colleague who suggest that children play up only for certain members of staff - unhelpful and unprofessional. Often the teacher without the 'problem' simply allows or turns a blind eye to poor behaviour. I would start with setting firm boundaries immediately with zero tolerance and get the Head's backing. Have you got a copy of 'Getting the Buggers to Behave?' Phone their parents and get them onside.

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 21:30:42

No I haven't got that book, will have a look on Amazon.
Mmm red wine sounds good! Thanks for taking time to post.

spula Mon 21-Sep-09 21:31:44

Teachers are good at lists... make one of all the things you USED to be good at, then spend your next working days seeing if it at all possible that you may STILL be good at them (espec if you didn't have the hassle of a life to deal with, and if you were surrounded by supportive staff) It's worth a try... wink

ConsiderTheArmchair Mon 21-Sep-09 21:34:42

smile Will give it a go.

jennifersofia Mon 21-Sep-09 21:45:09

Hi, I job share too, and I feel for you! It is very hard to get any enthusiasm up when you are dreading going in.
I think observing your job share colleague is a good idea, not only so you can see her approach, but also so the children feel that you are both a team, and work together. Maybe even team teach a bit - that way they can feel that there are not so many chinks in the armour.
Also, is there anyone at your school that you respect that you can go to for help? I have felt guilty in the past asking for help (I have been teaching for x years, I shouldn't be needing support...) but when I have got over that hump and asked, it has been tremendously helpful - even just as a 'problem shared'. I have had people teach a lesson, while I observe, had people observe me and then we discuss where things need to change, etc.(I know - an optional observation sounds mad! But it really did help.)
Another thing that I find helpful is finding the time to work in having fun with the children, to help with bonding together. Fun story time, crafty afternoon, rewarding with a joke session, etc. Feels a bit more human, and less, 'me and them'.
Good luck.

jennifersofia Mon 21-Sep-09 21:45:57

Hi, I job share too, and I feel for you! It is very hard to get any enthusiasm up when you are dreading going in.
I think observing your job share colleague is a good idea, not only so you can see her approach, but also so the children feel that you are both a team, and work together. Maybe even team teach a bit - that way they can feel that there are not so many chinks in the armour.
Also, is there anyone at your school that you respect that you can go to for help? I have felt guilty in the past asking for help (I have been teaching for x years, I shouldn't be needing support...) but when I have got over that hump and asked, it has been tremendously helpful - even just as a 'problem shared'. I have had people teach a lesson, while I observe, had people observe me and then we discuss where things need to change, etc.(I know - an optional observation sounds mad! But it really did help.)
Another thing that I find helpful is finding the time to work in having fun with the children, to help with bonding together. Fun story time, crafty afternoon, rewarding with a joke session, etc. Feels a bit more human, and less, 'me and them'.
Good luck.

jennifersofia Mon 21-Sep-09 21:46:34

oh dear - sorry about that!

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