NQT juggling and dropping the balls :-((15 Posts)
I am an NQT who has just completed my first term at an outstanding primary. I found a school I loved and was so excited to be part of a young, enthusiastic team back in September. Fast forward three months, and I've never felt so low or old! I am the oldest teacher in the school by at least fifteen years (I'm only 40 so not that ancient) and the only parent. I explained to my Key Stage Leader and mentor that I had a young family and I would need to leave fairly promptly after the bell a couple of nights a week before taking the role and was assured this was fine. The other nights I stay later than everyone else and I am in by 7ish every morning but I still feel like a shirker. There have been comments made by the other staff about my leaving early and I feel rotten about it. I can't go to the pub in the evenings and socialise with the other staff as I'm a single parent and miss out on lots of discussions about planning and school life that take place there. I am feeling more and more isolated. I have been telling myself that as long as it isn't effecting my teaching it shouldn't matter but my mentor gave me my first report just before the Christmas break and I'd just scraped a C :-( I wasn't aware that there were any issues before and I just feel like I'm failing at it all, teaching and being a parent. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Can they offer any advice?
Sending you loads of well wishes and I hope you can sort it out. I am only just embarking on my teacher training with my course due to start Sept2017 but I too am in my 40's (just!) and am a single parent and am hoping and praying the schools I work in will be flexible too. I hadn't thought about missing out on the social aspect as I just find it impossible to go out now but really hope you can manage it. I would just like to pass on, as a single parent, that juggling all the responsibility and all the worry for your children alongside all the work worry is very tough so a C in your world should equal at least a B+ with people who don't have the added stress of being a single parent. All the best
Thank you lala for your kindness. I was very lucky on my PGCE working alongside fellow Mummy teachers at both my placements so I think I was a little spoilt! I think it is a little different on placement too as you're not effectively being paid so the same level of 'commitment' isn't expected. Hope you strike lucky too with yours :-) It is still an amazing job despite my current moans and groans. Enjoy every moment :-)
Absolutely not your fault that you can't go to the pub. The pub is not the place for planning. In by 7? Your school is mad and obviously the other staff are all mad too with no social life. What are the issues you need to address? Can we help with those? Deal with those but don't sell your soul! If there were problems your mentor really should have mentioned them before. Honestly, there are teachers out there who think they are only any good if they work 25 hours a day and socialise with colleagues all evening.
Your Mentor should NOT be surprising you with a poor report. Issues should be pointed out as you're going along and an action plan made to help you address them.
Your school clearly has a horrible expectation of presenteeism. It will hrind you down. See out your NQT year ... then look for a new school!
Relax over Christmas as much as you can. Being an older NQT is hard plus you're a parent. You WILL get through this. :-)
Hi. No advice sorry, but wanted to offer some support.
I'm a single mum in (very!) late 30s and starting my PGCE September 2017 as well.
I am sure you're doing much better than you think. Stick with it.
What has your mentor raised specifically? There should definitely have been no surprises at this stage.
I'm mentoring an NQT in Scotland: you get graded????!!! Assuming you're in England - that's brutal!
Fellow NQT here! I am the only full time mum in my department, so the young and childless full timers who all socialise and are around all hours have commented on my "leaving early" every day. I raised the issue with my NQT coordinator and he was very quick to remind the HOD that directed time is over at 3 and I can bugger off at 3.01 every day if I want to - just like the other part time mums!
You should be judged against the teacher standards - I don't think socialising in the pub is part of the deal.
It must be difficult with all young, childless colleagues who live for the job. Stick with it for the NQT year, raise issues with your coordinator promptly and get out of there asap, into a more diverse school!
Don't forget it'll make management look great if you get a better grade on your second report. It's not in their interests to give you a high grade first time round.
Sorry, I am a cynical old timer!
Spot on, KingThistle, nobody can possibly be good from the start, there must be progress
Staying late everyday does not make you a better teacher. I leave pretty promptly due to child care issues but my work gets done and is often finished when the kids go to bed. I would raise the grade with your mentor and ask that you are informed as soon as there is an issue because it is very unfair to surprise you with something like that. Do you have lesson observation notes? If none of these indicate problems then I would be asking how the c is justified. I would also consider getting out at the end of the year. The culture of a school is v important. I work somewhere where the head is family oriented and understands that staying late does not make you a marvel.
The gradings are new this year. Make sure you chat to your mentor about why you've been graded c and ask her what you can do to improve. Are you accessing NQT training? You should also be spending your NQT time on training, doing thinks such as observing other teachers, going to other schools. All these things will help. Good look, and keep going. It will get better.
Thanks for all your great advice. I have spoken with my mentor this week and still not quite sure why I have been given that grade :-( She seemed very vague when I asked her for a meeting to discuss. I have come to the conclusion that I just don't fit in to the school or her team. A permanent job is currently being advertised with an Easter start date at a school just around the corner from me. I did some of my training there last year and loved the school. Do I apply? My role now is only fixed term so there is no guarantee they would keep me on after July in any case. Would it be possible to finish my NQT year elsewhere or is it really frowned upon?
Definitely apply. It will look a bit odd that you are looking to move mid year but you may as well have a go. There's not always a good choice of candidates for easter starts so that will help. If they ask you don't mention the issues with the current school, just that you loved the school when you trained there and while you wouldn't normally have thought about moving before finishing your nqt year, you couldn't pass up the chance of working at that school.
Definitely apply - if you loved it there, then that is already a bonus, and chances are if you liked them, then they liked you, and they know you already, and as PP said, not many people apply for Easter starts. It's also permanent. Don't worry about moving half way through your NQT year. I moved half way through my NQT year to a school where I did some of my teacher training, and I spent 5 happy years there. I've had interviews since then, and no one has ever brought up the fact that I changed jobs 2 terms into my NQT year. Even if they did in your case, you have the cast iron reason of moving from a fixed term contract to a permanent contract.
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