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Can't cope anymore

(18 Posts)
CreativeBee Sun 07-Feb-16 00:39:15

I feel like I'm having a serious meltdown. I can't focus and that might have something to do with the fact I can't stop crying. I'm a NQT completing this March and I have a few problems at school at the moment. Firstly our HT mentioned at the start of this year (January) that if anyone is planning on leaving to let her know. I was hoping to stay on at the school I am at and nothing was mentioned if contracts would be renewed so I asked for a meeting (I'm on fixed contract, I've been there since last January). In the meeting I was told that I would have to reapply but there may not be a job as the deputy may be taking over my class and in fact it is her class that I am in at the moment (I know this is not true as she was not teaching in year 4 and when I took over I took over from a teacher who was leaving). I was also then told that if I wanted to leave in March that wouldn't be a problem (I had never said I wanted to leave). Life has been made extremely difficult and when I've raised issues I've been told I'm being confrontational and I should be careful how I speak to people (I brought it to their attention that they had made a slight mistake in assessment, but I was extremely subtle and never even said mistake, just asked for clarification). I'm now always spoken to rudely and put down in meetings in front of others and other colleagues have seen this but everyone lives in fear of saying anything. I've been bombarded with inputing several test scores on to different formats and told the previous ones are no good and that's why they need to go on another format. (I've seen union rules on this and I know it's not expected of us as teachers, once maybe but not same data over and over). I get told not to change things but then asked why it's not been done! We had Maths and English book scrutiny this week and I was asked to see the HT. I've been told that non of the children in my maths or English sets have made any progress and my class is being taken over by my parallel teacher on Monday with me taking the HA sets. I was also told today that my class will be taken over by the deputy in March. As I am contracted till August I was given the option to either go into a year 1 class or teach SEN in an intervention room. My other option is to leave in March. I was also told that my head will give me a good reference because if she was to observe me she wouldn't be able to fault my teaching and she made it clear that I am a good teacher!!! I feel deflated and undervalued, how is it possible to be a good teacher but the children not make any progress? I have decided that I will take the offer of teaching year 1 in the afternoons and doing interventions in the mornings but I feel that it's clear that I'm not wanted, I come home crying because the workload is just unmanageable and more gets thrown at me all the time. The other NQTs have said they're staying on and not been told their jobs will be re advertised so I assume it's just me then. I just don't know what to do, I've asked for some guidance on where I went wrong and how is it possible to be a good teacher but not show any progress but I haven't had a straight answer and nothing to work with. I don't want to get the union involved as I want to leave in July with my reputation intact and at least a good reference. I just feel like I'm going mad and I feel so depressed that I've let a group of children down. I thought I was getting the hang of it and now I'm not so sure. I feel so inadequate.

mysteryknickers Sun 07-Feb-16 00:44:32

I am sorry you are in this situation.
Is it possible this has nothing to do with your teaching but more to do with budgets?

Rosa89 Sun 07-Feb-16 00:51:45

Hi Creativebee,
I'm sure someone will be along soon with some good advice but I wanted to let you know that you shouldn't be so hard on yourself especially when it sounds like you've been trying your best.
It doesn't sound like you've been treated very fairly and your decision to leave in July is a good one. No one should work somewhere that they feel undervalued and quite frankly bullied.
If you feel teaching year 1/SEN will make the rest of your time easier then I would do that and prepare for interviews at new schools in the summer term.
Best of luck flowers

CreativeBee Sun 07-Feb-16 00:52:44

My husband keeps telling me this (he has also added that I'm too naive). I just can't believe someone would knock someone's confidence and not be honest. I would have understood and accepted the financial pressures school is facing but being told I've let these children down, I can't cope with sad

Snazarooney Sun 07-Feb-16 00:55:53

I am sorry this is happening to you. You're an NQT and they're supposed to support you. Who is your mentor?

I agree that you should take the option of doing interventions, whilst you look for another job at a school where you will be valued.

CreativeBee Sun 07-Feb-16 01:05:21

My mentor has just been promoted to acting DH. I feel so alone and I learnt very quickly that you don't talk to others in work as it gets twisted to suit others x

Rosa89 Sun 07-Feb-16 01:15:08

Not all schools are like this and most decent head teachers/mentors would try and be as supportive as possible towards nqts. Sadly, it seems they are trying to find a way for you to leave without it really looking like its their doing.
Concentrate on getting through the rest of the year and hold onto the belief that their is a better place out there for you.

DitheringDiva Sun 07-Feb-16 09:12:36

I worked in a school like this for 18 months - where everyone was terrified of saying anything, and the walls had ears. If anyone was heard saying anything even slightly negative about the school, or heard questioning anything, then they were hauled up before a deputy head and asked to explain themselves - they usually came away whimpering wrecks, and rarely repeated what had happened in there. The Head ran the school like a dictatorship, although was always very careful to make it look like he was the good cop, and his deputies were the bad cops. I wished I'd left after the first term of working there. My strong advice is to do what you've decided to do already, and leave when your contract finishes in July. Until then, do your job to the best of your ability, keep your head down, do not question anything, even if something has blatantly been done wrong, and apply for LOTS of jobs, to make sure you have something to go to in September. Don't leave at Easter unless you have a job to go. While your still at the school, the Head will write you a good reference because she wants rid.

CreativeBee Sun 07-Feb-16 10:03:49

You all sound like experienced teachers so I would like to ask A) is it possible to be a good teacher but children not make progress?
B) should this not have been caught earlier on? (I've been in the same year group since last January)
C) what do you think the real reason is to move me out?
D) last but not least, the class I had was a class with SEN children who had behavioural issues and some were very low ability. (My parallel 'experienced' teacher taught the upper ability set) I'm sure I've read that NQTs should not routinely have to teach classes or children with especially challenging discipline problems. So why on earth was I set to fail?

Finola1step Sun 07-Feb-16 10:16:54

I can see you are in the eye of the storm right now. But I'm going to be blunt. This situation probably has nothing to do with you personally. The new budget kicks in from the beginning of April. They, like many schools, have to cut back somewhere. They are behaving dreadfully, but they need someone to go and they are looking at you.

Play this to your advantage. Protect your reference at all costs. Meet with the Head and discuss passing your NQT year and your reference. This is your only concern right now.

Yes, it I possible to be a damn good teacher and for a group of children to make little progress. Put these issues to one side and focus on your exit plan.

CreativeBee Sun 07-Feb-16 10:29:08

I've already been told that I'll pass my NQT year but how do you go on about protecting a reference? Although I've been told I will get a good reference, when I've left and an employer asks for a reference they could change their minds couldn't they?

DitheringDiva Sun 07-Feb-16 10:43:15

Protect your reference by not questioning anything while you're there and getting a job before you leave - it's difficult to protect it if you leave with no job to go to.

Also, it is possible to be a good teacher and for a group of low ability pupils to make little progress. I'm secondary, and we have pupils coming to us who can barely read and write - now it can't be because they've had rubbish teachers for the last 7 years! Especially so when other pupils come from the same primary school who are reading way above their reading age. I would only be worried if your middle/high ability pupils weren't making progress. It is also possible for a top set group to make excellent progress with a rubbish teacher.

You are over-analysing the whole thing, as I did when it happened in my last school - I was pushed out, as was a number of other teachers, and I still cannot square in my mind why they decided to pick on me, or any of the teachers who went before me. The only explanation I have is partly budgets and partly a psychotic boss who enjoyed having someone has her 'target' - and she always had to have someone in her sights, and she was only happy when she'd forced them to leave, and then she'd move onto someone else.

But it's all conjecture, and there's no point in trying to look for an explanation. All you can do is get another job as soon as possible, and don't look back.

Snazarooney Sun 07-Feb-16 13:34:50

They will give you a good reference because you haven't done anything wrong. If they did you could show it to an employment lawyer and then they'd be in trouble (financially which is all they seem to care about.)

Are you in a union?

Keep your head down and ride it out. Get a lovely new job for September and never look back!

Tillyscoutsmum Sun 07-Feb-16 16:12:03

No advice as such OP - just lots of sympathy. It sounds utterly shit sad I'm also a primary NQT on a 12 month contract. I don't know yet whether I'll be able to stay on (I did replace a member of SLT who has had a year out of class but I know she wants to go back in next year).

My school are great and any feedback I've had has been really positive. I do however know that my HA Numeracy set has made progress but a lot of my LA literacy set haven't.

I had a hideous placement school when training that sounds a lot like yours. Just horribly back stabby. It's vile sad

bumbleclat Sun 07-Feb-16 22:12:55

It sounds like the most horrendous management ever.
Find a lovely new school and leave these horrors for dust, you deserve so much more from your NQT year than this.

CreativeBee Mon 08-Feb-16 22:00:08

I just wanted to say thank you all for your support. I've felt like I've been going mad, actually questioning myself and my ability to teach. I think I will most probably continue to question my teaching but will see if it is different in another setting and environment. As they say One man's trash is another man's treasure. Maybe I'm not suited to this particular school but it doesn't necessarily mean I'm not going to be good enough anywhere else. Thank you all again x

HopefulHattie Fri 19-Feb-16 13:07:35

CreativeBee. You are not going mad. IT IS NOT YOU! They are weak and too inadequate to manage the situation properly, so they are trying to bully you out.

Find a school that appreciates you and go with your head held high before they destroy your confidence. xxx

Pud2 Fri 19-Feb-16 17:11:10

Keep your head down and resign in May. SEN intervention will be less stressful with less marking etc. Good luck.

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