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Any other mature NQTs?

(7 Posts)
rosabud Tue 21-May-13 08:20:31

Coming to the end of my NQT year, although I have been working part-time so it is not completed. I am on a temporary contract which finishes in July, and I think I have reached the decision not to carry on next year. I am passing everything, I get good feedback BUT 1) the workload seems never ending, even though I am part-time, and it is having a negative impact on my own children (I am a single parent), 2) classroom management is improving but has been an enormous uphill struggle (I suppose I look back on my own school days with rose-tinted specs and today's youngsters' attitudes to adults and learning seem very different) and 3) I am a hard-worker but I never quite feel that I really know exactly what I am doing - when I have voiced this to experienced teachers, they just laugh and say "oh that's teaching!"

Anyway, I am letting it go but I feel intensely sad about it. I wondered if anyone else has felt this way? Or perhaps there are other mature NQTs out there for whom it has really worked out?

cornypedicure Tue 21-May-13 08:26:00

What a shame after all your hard work - maybe a new school would be more supportive?
what year are you in?

saadia Tue 21-May-13 17:58:02

I feel much the same as you rosabud as a mature NQT. I have found lots of things, particularly behaviour management really hard going and I also feel as though I'm just muddling through, but the class children are happy and making progress and that is what I keep reminding myself. I will keep going for September and can understand why you feel sad about giving up but I also don't think I can do this for much longer if it affects my own dc too much.

ninah Tue 21-May-13 18:27:07

I am a mature NQT and single parent, too. I had a temp full time contract which has just been extended to a perm job share. I love my job but get really frustrated with the school system at times. I never switch off. Was hoping 0.6 would give me a bit of life back!
I do think this is a time of year when you are likely to be tired and cheesed off, anyway. All my colleagues are, even the very experienced ones. See how you feel after half term. Since your contract finishes this summer you have the chance to explore alternatives - other schools, supply, even other jobs. You don't have to decide anything now!

mumandboys123 Tue 21-May-13 18:36:04

mature PGCE-er here with a permanent job lined up for September and my NQT year. Also a single parent. Also not sure how on earth I'm going to manage! School is OK - it's my placement school so at least I'm not starting from scratch. Behaviour is the worst issue, I agree. I suspect it will get easier - and there is clearly a need to be consistent all the time with it. I find the follow-up - such as phone calls home - difficult to fit in so I'm always threatening but not quite following through. Ho hum.

rosabud Tue 21-May-13 19:19:25

Thanks for your thoughtful replies. I'm in secondary. My NQT year has been in 2 schools covering maternity leave (September to Easter in one school and now in another school for one term.) The first school was, err....."challenging" in capitals! The other staff were very friendly but it was not as supportive as it could have been. Or maybe they tried very hard to be supportive but I just wasn't enjoying it and couldn't get to grips with the behaviour management. First I wasn't positive enough, then I wasn't stern enough.......oh it just went on and on, really! My resources and lesson planning were being praised and used by other teachers so I knew that was all right but I felt everyone was getting fed up with the fact that the behaviour management was really getting me down. In the end, I stopped asking for help, just put my head down and did the best I could and got through it by counting the days down to the end. The school I have been in since Easter is still a bit challenging but I feel the department have been supportive. Of course, it's a busy time of year for everyone with the Year 11s being prepared for exams etc, and I am only part-time and only there for a term so I can hardly expect people to be thinking much about me.

I think it is just me. The planning takes me ages - well, so does the marking, actually! Eventually I do plan some good things but the fear that I won't have something prepared in time also seems to be with me permanently. Being part-time has helped, as the PGCE was extremely full on but, even when I am having a day out with the kids or whatever, it's all still there in my mind, all waiting to be done, and I can't help worrying about it.

I think, for some reason, it just isn't for me.

I am going to apply for some TA jobs which have been advertised in my local area. Do you think it will be frowned on that I haven't stuck at teaching?

partystress Sat 25-May-13 11:35:05

I am primary, completed NQT in the year I turned 50. I completely identify with everything you describe about teaching. If you are conscientious and used to a work environment in which you know when you have achieved/done a good job, it is hard to switch off because there is always so much more you could do. Although I find it hard to imagine how teachers worked in the days before the Internet, it is also a kind of curse because you know there is the possibility that the perfect image/clip/example is out there, if only you look a bit harder. And what 'good' looks like is constantly changing, and depends on who you are talking to/is observing you. I did a lot of high pressure jobs before teaching, but it is way harder than anything I did before.

BUT three years in, it is getting a bit easier. I pace myself better, don't expect everything to be perfect. I still work stupid hours most weeks, and go to sleep and wake up with school on my mind, but it is no longer an all-consuming anxiety. I know that certain times of the year will be intense and I will be exhausted and I won't feel I am doing right by my own family. However, my 'easy' half term is coming up and I will have chance to do things with my own DCs after school and at the weekend. From what I read on here, secondary teaching, once you are established, seems to offer a better chance of a balanced lifestyle. TA jobs are under threat from spending cuts, but the baby boom means that even if they increase class sizes, teachers will still be needed. In your position, I would complete induction, do at least a term post NQT and then decide. Good luck whatever you do decide - you sound lovely and I hope the right school is out thee, whatever role you choose.

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