Help me stay in teaching(20 Posts)
I'm in my first year of teaching and I'm really struggling.
The workload is ridiculous. I work all day, every day. My family life is suffering and I barely see my children.
The students are not that great either. They don't respect teachers and have no interest in learning my subject. Sometimes I stand in front of them and feel invisible.
But becoming a teacher was my dream - so what do I do now?
You press on! You can do it. Try to prioritise tasks and find out which things you can get away with not doing. It gets easier I promise. Nothing is as hard as the first year.
Have you got a tutor or a mentor you can talk to? Is there anything in particular you are struggling with?
It took about three years for me to get the kids to listen!
Some still don't
NQT year can be awful and the autumn term is a killer.
Meadowdaisies is right. Things are always easier after Christmas.
They are worse in the winter because they can't go outside after school to run the crazy off. Also near a full moon and if it's windy, double crazy. The job will squeeze every ounce of your soul, and management will always expect more.
But, as time goes on, you will speed up. You will also get hard, so they know you won't put up with their shit.
But there is a life outside teaching. Give it at least another year if you can. If you don't think you can manage it, leave. To teach nowadays it has to be a vocation.
Stick out the first year. Maybe a second. But by year 3 if you don't LOVE it, drop it like a hot coal and try something else. The pay drop won't be that bad at that point and you'll have a couple of years experience which will be enough to get you back into it if you want to. I wish I had changed tack after 3 years, i can't afford to now as the pay drop for me to start a different career would be massive and I've got family obligations, mortgage etc.
Any other job you get that isn't minimum wage will be just as hard.
Try to see as many other teachers teaching as you can but remember a lot of their presence comes from being established and yours will too. I still work every evening sun to Thurs even after 15 years and neglect my own children but try make the weekends and holidays worth it.
@cdtaylornats really?? I'm a late entrant to teaching and my previous career paid much better than teaching (can't do it any more for health reasons) but it was nowhere near as stressful and nothing like the amount of hours.
A family member works similar hours and stress - they are a GP and earn about 10 times what I do.
Finish your NQT op and have a think - could you go part time? Your own children matter as much as other people's children.
Thank you (almost) all for all the kind words and advice.
I guess what I find most disheartening is the rudeness and bad attitude of some children. Those talking over me, rolling their eyes, constantly answering back and challenging my instructions... I guess I find their behaviour intimidating and I don't know how to deal with that.
Behaviour management is so hard, constant conflict, constant battles.
I taught FE for a year and it drove me out of the job in the end. There were just too many students, who were quite frankly, disrespectful little shits who took great delight in acting out and ruining lectures for those students who did want to learn.
If I'd had a classroom full of the respectful, nice students, I would still be teaching now. No question. I loved that aspect of the job and even the late nights marking and planning would have been worth it.
I tried my bloody hardest to stay on top of the bad behaviour, but when it's 5 against one, with very little in the way of sanctions and consequences then it's just a losing battle.
I don't know how things differ in secondary in terms of dealing with bad behaviour but in FE, getting sent out of the class or to the programme head for a talking to just wasn't enough, they didn't care! In my opinion several of them should have been kicked off the course because the were there only to be disruptive, but of course that never happens.
Teaching staff have to bend over backwards, cajoling and encouraging and passing students at any cost - no one must fail! I mean, what kind of life lesson is that? You can be rude, disrespectful, lazy and have zero motivation, but you WILL pass the course.
I'm sorry you are in this position at such an early stage, much like I was. I agree that if you can, give it another year. Easier said than done I know.
I think starting out when you already have a family must be very hard. It gets easier, and then sometimes it gets harder again, but although I’ve had enough of my job now I still remember my first year of teaching as being the worst.
And cdtaylor if you live in Scotland you are welcome to come and shadow me for a day for some on the job experience! Then make up your mind.
I just don't understand how kids think they can behave like this and be rude towards their teacher? And why should my classroom be a circus and I - a performing seal? Just so that they can be bothered to do work? They should care about their education, it's THEIR future, not mine!
Schools often give NQTs difficult classes to start with. Rudeness is often because for many children they struggle to understand and rudeness makes them feel better. I'm not justifying it, but that is often how it goes.
They should ideally care about their education, but they are 13/14/15 and Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram are more alluring Don't take it personally.
And, focus on the lovely ones. Most children behave well, but in a class of thirty the five annoying ones are the ones we often "take home." Don't be afraid to regularly say "I am noticing everybody who is quietly waiting for me to teach. Thank you. I really appreciate your manners/patience."
It takes a couple of years but now I’m there (ten years in but after five felt far more with it).
It’s hard to start with - so so hard. But with confidence and experience things get easier.
A couple of things I do to save my own sanity and actually believe that what I'm doing is worthwhile:
Thank the kids who are listening. Write their names on the 'good side' of the board under a massive smiley face. If any passing SLT members drop in, show them.
Last job on a Friday before I go home is email 5 parents of kids who have been brill that week. Spread a little love, make some kids' weekend - I've even had a few nice replies back late on a Friday and that's made my weekend.
Run a little 30 min lunchtime club. It's a chance to get to know nice kids who like your subject without the aggro of the haters/naughties.
Book an ICT suite/laptops every few weeks, give them a research task and give yourself a break.
Give your class a blast of youtubed upbeat pop music as they arrive or leave. Puts everyone in a good mood.
Have a gab to your cleaner at the end of the day.
Stick with it. This time of year is the pits. The summer term is lovely!
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