A Mother Talks About Her Daughter's Experience As An NQT

In the post on the TES Connect forums that I've linked to below, a mother describes in detail her daughter's experiences as an NQT.

There's a lot of information in the post, and some interesting replies that talk of similar experiences. It very closely matches my experience as an NQT too. The events described can be split into a number of different concerns I have about the management at this particular school, which of course, is fairly typical of school management.

In it, she does mention that she considers the headteacher to be a bully. Here are some direct quotes from the post that I think evidence that to be the case:

"The TA's in the class were told by the head not to help my daughter with the behaviours [sic] as she had to sort it for herself."

"She even told her to spend her lunch break with the children to get to know them."

"...she told my daughter  that she should reassess whether she wished to be a teacher. Remember this is 3 weeks into the job!!"

In my opinion, ridiculous requests, personal comments and pointless activities which miss the big picture completely.

I also think there are some things that are negligent, don't uphold a duty of care and that are against all guidelines:

"...she should not have been given this class as experienced teachers had been unable to control the behaviours also."

"She gave her a list of things which she was not happy about but no support or constructive feedback."

"They never actually acknowledged that the stress was related to work."

These events to me show poor management skills, lack of regard for proper practice and legislation, and are actually all things I experienced in my own NQT year.

I think it's also worth mentioning that there are a few descriptions in this post that I think are above board. The head bursting in to observe the lesson, while stressful, is actually headteacher's perogative. I think I'd want to watch my employees working if I was running the show as well. 

Also, the mention of working hours being excessive is, while again being stressful and probably the main trigger for the clinical stress experienced, is actually nothing to do with management. Workload that can only be completed with excessive hours of work is, but there's nothing here to say the daughter didn't just chose to work that much because of worry.

That being said, it is bullying, there is a culture of it in education, particularly with brand new teachers, and here is yet another example of it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Just to let you know my daughter as I described in the post on TES has now moved on to a different graduate job out of teaching and will never go back. Her excessive workload as documented above was due to the fact that the Head wanted all teachers in school between 8am and 6pm and then as you say she worried herself so much that she over planned.However on speaking to her mentor she was given very little support about this and the mentor said "this is what teachers have to do!" Why is it that teachers constantly reinvent the wheel. If someone has planned lessons for a year group why does the next teacher have to re plan the same lessons. Surely it would be better for each school to hold plans for each year group and levels within that year. The teacher could then put her efforts into behaviours and delivery of the lesson. Crazy! It would then also provide consistency within the school planning.

The Edudicator said...

Oh hello! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

That's ace news about your daughter. I did much the same.

Yes, I think collaborating nationally on resources would make the job reasonable again, and I completely agree with you. I blogged about it here:

The Edudicator said...

Forgot to hyperlink it, sorry!

Things I Wish Were Different About Teaching: Number 8 Collaborating nationally on lesson plans and resources

Post a Comment