Does it sound like I may not be cut out to be a teacher after all?(94 Posts)
So just to recap at the end of my first full term of teaching my y3 class
1. Assessments show that my class have not made the progress that they should have
2. My behaviour is poor and I find myself shouting to be heard - children don't listen to me
3. My planning is improving a lot, but because of behaviour, never get half of the work on the plan actually done
4. Our singing of our class song in the Christmas show has been judged as 'requiring improvement'
Head is happy with my progress this term because I have improved, (imagine how shite I was to start with!) but I feel like I am doing really badly.
I feel that if I had a TA or at least someone to be with me in class, I would have someone to check in with, but am on my own most of the time so feel like I am not really learning how to improve.
Other NQT's in the school are from Schools Direct and trained in the school so at least they have observed the required standard of teaching.
UGH!!! I sometime imagine how my mentor defends me to our head - I think the only thing I actually have going for me is that parents like me, and I get on well with everyone in the school.
Does it sound like I should rethink this whole teaching idea?
Do you enjoy your job? Do you think the assessment is fair?
Stick with it. Things can only get better. The first year (or two) is difficult.
The assessments are true at least, and actually show where the children are, their end of Y2 assessments were rather high.
I do enjoy it most of the time, I really like my class, but feel because I spend so long actually getting them settled and working, I never really pack the lesson with enough learning. I feel like my inability to control the 'naughty' ones, means that I am selling the other short I guess.
I also feel that a term in and I feel like there is still so much to learn and so much I don't know.
What does your mentor think? Are they able to arrange for you to attend some extra training on topics which might be beneficial?
I spend so long actually getting them settled and working
They need to be on a task from the moment they walk in the room. It can be revision from last week, or a short assessment piece that they don't know is an assessment piece, but you need to get them cracking on from the moment they walk in.
And the naughty ones, what is your behaviour management process in school? Can you get these ones separated from their fan clubs? Have you observed another teacher teaching these ones?
Do you feel like you're getting the support that you deserve? If not, what would you like and can you ask for it. There is no shame in saying 'I need help'.
Y3 is notoriously difficult for assessment because y2 and y3 expectations are so different, especially if you're in a junior school as Y2 teachers can elevate results. I also think the whole singing thing is a bit silly. It's just a Christmas song.
Do you enjoy it? Teaching is a relentless and thankless job that you have to love.
Keep going until Feb half term. When the days start getting lighter, everyone's mood lifts and it gets easier.
Teaching since 1990 and still ask myself that question every day. I rally myself with the thought I am ‘a reflective practitioner’ and that every one is swimming like mad to stay afloat. So much pressure on new entrants to hit the deck running when in reality the craft of teaching takes a couple of years to bed in and lifetime to become an art.
Sorry OP I don't have any advice, but if you don't mind I shall lurk and see what advice you get, because these are the exact issues I have and am unsure how to improve, but would def need to if I was to go into school teaching. (At the moment I teach extra curricular type classes abroad without much TT and am floundering a little.)
Mentor has suggested filming my class so we can review my behaviour management, when she is in the class of course it doesn't happen. I feel like a wildebeest being brought down by a pack of hyenas!
As for them being on task, that would be the ideal, but not the reality. I try to get then sat on the carpet and quiet before I start the lesson and it takes so long to get them quiet. I use the behaviour chart, but then I get lots of complaints like 'it wasn't just me' or 'why are you always picking on me'. They tie me up in knots and they are only 7 fgs!
Everyone is a bit crap when they start. If you are struggling with behaviour, ask to observe other teachers and see how they deal with it. Do they have an agreed signal for quiet? How do they deal with kids who are not quiet after the signal? Shouting to be heard isn't sustainable on your voice (this is a major tool of your trade and needs to be protected) so find something else (I'm not primary, but things like clap and response? Hands up? I dunno, a favourite at secondary is just 3-2-1 quiet).
You're an NQT, you're allowed to ask for help. Forget about what the other NQTs are doing and focus on improving your practice. Have you read any books on behaviour management in primary?
There are loads of books on being a trainee teacher on Amazon maybe you could see what other people find useful and have a read.
Bertie feel free to lurk, even better come and sit next to me and we can learn together!
Thanks everyone for your support and suggestions though - much appreciated!
The only support I would love, would be an experienced TA who could help me out and give me advice! OR I would love to spend two or three week observing my partner teacher and learning from her. Neither of which are going to happen!
You’re being too hard on yourself! I was shite at the job until about three years in
I love your metaphor about the hyenas!
Have you got carpet places? Move the chatty ones away from each other and the wigglers at the front. I move them around quite a lot in the first term while I'm getting to know them.
The chatty ones are spread out, but of course they just call across the carpet at each other, or burp, or look at each other! I'd rather they were all sat together (in another class) so I could at least get on with teaching the others!
I am not a teacher but I have been into a few schools that use a bell to great effect.
When they are talking over you how about ringing a bell?
Ringing the bell would be a signal they all have to be quiet and listen. If they aren't quiet when the bell stops they miss playtime?
The fact you are posting for help means you care. If you care you'll make a great teacher - stick with it.
If those “naughty ones” weren’t there, others would rise up in their place.
What do you do when you see them burping each other etc? It sounds like you need to start nailing a few of the main protagonists and showing the whole class you’re serious about behaviour. Does the behaviour policy include things like removal to other classes/missing activities they like etc?
I really hope this doesn’t sound patronising OP, but do you use praise?
Honestly, I find it’s the biggest motivator. A fake sounding ‘a HUGE well done to everybody who is looking this way quietly!’ does seem to have the magic touch when quietening down a class of fusspots.
I know purple it's so glamorous being naughty!
Yes there is a 'two strikes and your out' policy, but I feel I can't send them out until there is work for them to take with them. They need to get the carpet bit before they can go really, or they just get further behind!
I do really but it's almost cooler to be naughty now in a way. I will try to do more though.
I am really conscious of the fact that i need to get them back to the 'good' side or that could be their entire primary education buggered!
Okay, I'll be a pupil with you! I often feel a bit of a fraud posting here as I'm not a qualified teacher, but it's something I'm thinking about for the future so always useful to pick up tips and of course realistic info about workload etc.
I mostly have teeny classes and I struggle with them TBH I did have one actual school class once and there were only 11 of them but they absolutely did the wildebeest hyena thing. I obviously need to develop some kind of skills in taking control but just have no idea where to start.
I have had some success with "making an example" of DC performing behaviours I want the others to emulate by awarding the behaving DC a sticker and then when the others inevitably pipe up "That's not fair, I want one!" explaining what they have to do to get one.
Plus routines, so they know what to expect and setting out on a theme from the start, seems to capture the energy before it's lost to you and whizzing around causing trouble instead. But this only works for me about half the time.
I find this age the most challenging. Older ones can be more sensible and younger ones tend to get into playing type stuff much more readily.
Yes there is a 'two strikes and your out' policy, but I feel I can't send them out until there is work for them to take with them.
What I’ve done is keep an emergency pack of stuff that’s there ready to go. It doesn’t matter if it’s exactly the same as the task everyone else is doing-it just needs to be meaningful work. Mine used to go out for 15minutes and come back.
It sounds like you’re letting them get away with too much so the way they’re behaving has become normal. I’d reestablish your class rules straight after Christmas and be prepared to follow them through every time, straight away when the behaviour happens.
If you really can’t send them out, is there anywhere you can move them so they’re away from the rest of the class but still able to listen?
To be honest that’s why when settling a fussy class I just give verbal praise Bertie. I used to try lollipops in my first year teaching but I had too many kids trying to bargain with me (“I’ll take my coat off if you give me a lolly!”) and also I kept eating them when stressed
They need to get the carpet bit before they can go really, or they just get further behind!
Don’t forget, if they’re busy disrupting your lesson, they’re not listening to the carpet input. They won’t be falling behind. Yours miles better getting them sorted in terms of their behaviour then explaining the task/material when they’re actually ready to hear it.
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