The thing about the NQT year is, you just get used to things, you feel like you’re getting the hang of things, slowly getting a work life balance and then WOOOOSH! The rug is literally pulled from under you. This happened today.
With only two weeks left to the half term, I had my last observation. I have my class for next year, I’m excited to still be working with my TA who I love and my class next year is a brand new one with all new mod cons. I just had to get through my last observation. And I failed. Well to put it bluntly by my mentor, ‘that lesson was a bit wobbly…. no, actually, it would have failed.’
‘Can I do it again?’
‘No, I’ve just told Miss X (Headmistress) how… how it needs more work and you’re going to be observed weekly from September. And we’ll need to see all your short term planning by Monday mornings. But the good news is that you’ve passed.’
I asked her why/ how/ what? Panic rising inside me, but more than anything, just a really big feeling of sh*tness. It feels sh*t to be told that you’re just not good enough. It feels low to be told ‘you’re just not where you should be.’ And there’s only so many times you can hear ‘if Ofsted saw that… if Ofsted looked at that….if Ofsted were here today.’ You know what? Ofsted can p*ss off.
My results are good. They speak for themselves. I had all children making progress, only four didn’t pass their SATS. I am in school at 7.30am every morning and leave at 6pm. I work at weekends. I plan for 5 sets of differentiated work per lesson, I have numerous interventions in place, I try to be ‘sparkly’ and ‘shiny’ for each lesson and I mark books on time and do displays. I have had no sleep properly since September, I have had no real social life (or sex life, to put it bluntly) since last summer. And to then be told that I’m just not ‘getting there’ and that this change can only come from me, it’s what I ‘have to work on’ is just devastating. I. Don’t. know. What. Else. I. Am. Supposed. To. Do.
Maybe, just maybe I am not a very good teacher? I need to face the facts that, in all honesty, maybe I’m just not a good teacher and that I will most likely always ‘require improvement’. I’ve seen the outstanding teachers at my school- and I don’t want to be them. One is going through a divorce with her husband of 2 years because she is never there for him and doesn’t have time for anything that isn’t school related and another one looks like she is ill, has had a mental breakdown and resents her job. That’s what I’m really scared of- that thus job will break me. It will batter all confidence and enthusiasm out of me until I am one of ‘those’ teachers who hate thier jobs and the children and the curriculum and the lessons and the life!
Phew. It actually feels good to get it off my chest. I am going to have a hot bath, get a really nice outfit ready to wear to work and have a good night’s sleep, not thinking about anything. And yes, I cried in school today, but I think crying for the first time in July with two weeks to go during my NQT year is outstanding.