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Should I leave Reception yr1/yr2 job?

(13 Posts)
avocadosarentmiddleclassed Sun 10-May-15 20:04:10

I haven't even graduated from my teaching degree yet and have been working (for the past 4 weeks) as a full time reception year 1/year2 teacher in one of the schools that I did my placement in.
I knew when I took it on I was lucky because most of my uni friends were having to go for interviews and I just got employed.
It's an outstanding school (past 3 ofsteds) the lady that handed in her notice before I started, didn't get on well at all. In fact she left it in a little bit of a mess in terms of evidence gathered for the reception children.
I am massively over whelmed and have discovered that I would much prefer a pure year group either reception or year 1.
I feel very guilty because the head has taken a bit of a risk in taking me on but as a not even NQT I am struggling with the sheer workload and managing 3 TA's each day.
There is so much that I don't understand about various assessment processes down to the nuts and bolts of delivering a lesson for 6 ability groups and 3 year groups.
Will it look bad if I hand in my notice?
I'm just feeling so out of my depth and feel I have a duty to the children to allow them to be in the hands of someone who will definitely help them progress.

BackforGood Sun 10-May-15 20:15:43

Don't hand in your notice. Go to your mentor and say

"Obviously I've just finished my teaching practices and am at the start of my NQT year, so, although I'm happy with the teaching per se, I'm obviously going to need support with all the end of year assessments and other things that will need doing that I've not yet been shown how to do yet, and I'm not clear how to start, with the previous teacher not leaving clear evidence".

It's the school's responsibility to support you.

toomuchicecream Mon 11-May-15 07:25:05

It's tough with mixed age classes. Very very tough. But don't throw in the towel yet. Go and tell your HT what you've just told us. Remember, the school is saving at least £10k a year by having an NQT rather than someone at the top of the pay scales so they have a moral duty (in my opinion) to spend some of that supporting you. So they could buddy you up with another setting to share planning and resources with. Or you could go out on visits to other schools to talk to the teachers and find out how they so it. Or your mentor could sit down with you each week to talk you through your planning. Or they could buy in external support from the LA or a consultant. Or they could give you additional ppa. They want you to succeed - they won't want the disruption of changing teacher again along with the uncertainty of the recruitment process. After your placement they could see you can so it otherwise they wouldn't have employed you, so now they have to support you to achieve the potential they saw.

Working in a small school with a mixed 1/2 class was without doubt the hardest job I've ever done. I had 8 years experience under my belt and a good support network of ex-colleagues and online friends and they were the only thing that kept me sane. After 2 years I was exhausted and am now very happy in larger school where I only have one year group. But the experience I gained there was invaluable - I reckon 5 years experience in 2. Personally I have huge doubts about whether NQTs should be employed in very small schools as the support network isn't strong enough.

Having said all that, when mixed age classes work well they are fantastic! I loved the way my two year groups worked together to support each other and the year ones were far more nature than my new class.

So don't give up yet - keep on fighting (at least until Christmas!)

avocadosarentmiddleclassed Mon 11-May-15 18:57:30

Thanks, I talked to the head about how I am feeling tonight and she said that I am too hard on myself and I need to just believe in myself.
I am so tempted wo find a job in a pure reception class.
I passed my QTS maths and lit tests but what always hangs over me is the fact that I am not that confident with number, so teaching year 2's I feel morally wrong because they need someone who is strong in that area.
That coupled with the fact that reception is really where my heart is and the work load is turning me into someone i don't recognise.
I feel sad and the head looked quite upset.
She offered me another half day non-contact as of september if i decide to stay so I would have 1.5 days non contact.
Im so confused I don't know what to do.

toomuchicecream Mon 11-May-15 19:41:50

It's not just the non contact though is it. What really helped me was a couple of visits from an LA adviser and going to see 3 other local schools to ask/watch how they did it. If you need help with what you are supposed to be doing, extra time out of class is just going to mean you have longer staring at your laptop trying to work out what to do.

All NQTs go through periods of extreme doubt and questioning why they are doing it. Only you can say if your current feelings are a wobble or deeper routed. Personally, I don't like being beaten and would set myself a time limit to get on top of it. But if, deep inside, you know this isn't for you then better to make the decision before it breaks you. Good luck with the decision.

guilianna Mon 11-May-15 20:32:38

That's a bloody tough mixed class and your HT is probably worried about recruiting for it. Make your decision on what's right for you, not the school. Although if you haven't been looking there isn't a lot of time to get something for Sept. Maybe do as PP suggested and give it your best shot til Xmas? bear in mind that the new R coming up will be relatively 'needier' as they change a lot over the course of the year at this age .... On the bright side after this nothing will daunt you! I did my NQT year in a mixed N/R class of 40 - only 2 year groups there, but I get you! Good luck x

Teacuptravells Mon 11-May-15 20:39:34

Wow. I am a teacher (secondary) with some experience but having an infant aged daughter I cant even imagine how difficult this must be. My yr1 girl is very able and I wouldnt want her in a freeflow reception environment, I cant imagine the gap between new reception kids that need help toileting and able yr 2 kids. Our infant school has lots of teachers for all 3 years so tons of experience. You are teaching the equivalent of an infant school in one go! Its certainly not what I'd choose for an nqt role (or to be fair what Id want my daughter in!)

I have no idea how youd back out of it though and presumably its too late to find other work for september.

avocadosarentmiddleclassed Mon 11-May-15 23:44:40

Really is it hard or is it just me?
It's reassuring to know that people can see the position Im in, is it too late to apply for September now?

toomuchicecream Tue 12-May-15 07:27:30

No it's not just you - mixed age is incredibly hard. I found that to meet the needs of a 1/2 mix I was planing 27 morning lessons a week (for 15 slots on the timetable) and only delivering 12 of those lessons myself. Plans written for someone else to deliver always have to be more detailed than plans for me because the TA/HLTA delivering to the year group I wasn't with is not a mind reader. I'm very proud of the quality of education my class got and the progress they made, but it very nearly broke me. And that was as an experienced teacher.

It's not too late to apply for September. But be very very wary of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire - at east you know what you are up against where you are now. It sounds like you've got supportive people around you who want you to succeed, and that counts for an awful lot. And there are lots of advantages to mixed age too - I miss my year 2s on a daily basis! I don't know much about reception (although I'm learning very fast) but I'm happy to chat if you'd like to - pm me. And as a primary Maths specialist, I'm happy to talk through your year 2 Maths if it helps.

toomuchicecream Tue 12-May-15 07:29:01

Don't forget - being an NQT everywhere is hard, so don't expect to be working any less if you move elsewhere - not for the first year anyway.

ltk Tue 12-May-15 07:40:00

I am going to advise finding another job for September. Do not set yourself up for failure in your NQT year. There are lots of pure reception jobs out there.

DriftingOff Tue 12-May-15 07:53:59

You need to get a move on if you do decide to get another job. You'll need to hand your notice in by May half term to be able to leave your current school at the end of the academic year. So you've only got a week and half to apply for jobs, have an interview and get selected.

avocadosarentmiddleclassed Wed 13-May-15 07:41:00

The thing is I've seen a nursery teacher job in a local academy but I don't know much about academies and worry because a friend of mine worked for the secondary school part of said academy and they were quite corporate and teachers weren't allowed full summer holidays without going into school.
If I go for an interview and don't want it/get it, my HT will be a bit peeved that I'm only at her school because I waited too late to find a job and I need her to be on my side as she will be my NQT mentor.
It's such a tough decision. All NQT years will be hard too and who is to say another school would be better.
I just feel so adrenalised all the time and I don't know how sustainable it is on a health level.
Thank you all so much for your advice.

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