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Daughter in Law wants Advice

(121 Posts)
Sadiesnan Wed 23-Sep-15 21:50:41

Blimey, I don't know how to help her. She started work two and a half weeks ago as a teacher. Now she says she's depressed because it's so awful and she's going to hand her notice in.

She wants to talk about it all. Does anyone have any idea how I can help her?

janeainsworth Wed 23-Sep-15 21:58:36

If she's a newly qualified teacher she should have a mentor I think.
She should seek help from the school before doing anything as drastic as giving in her notice after 2.5 weeks.

Tresco Wed 23-Sep-15 21:59:01

There is a 24 hour helpline for teachers

Tresco Wed 23-Sep-15 22:04:54

Also, is she a member of a teaching union? If so, go to her rep for advice. If not, join one. I would never teach without being a member, for the legal advice and protection if nothing else.

Luckygirl Wed 23-Sep-15 22:06:09

I did not know that support group existed Tresco - I do hope it will help your DIL Sadiesnan.

Is it the school that is the problem? - presumably if she is a trained teacher, she knows about classroom skills etc. She does need to be supported by a professional who can really understand what the problems are. Is this her first job?

I take my hat off to teachers - it is such a challenging profession.

Tresco Wed 23-Sep-15 22:09:39

Some schools can be very toxic places for new teachers and not all head teachers are supportive or good managers. That's why she should seek external support as well as talking to senior management.

Tegan Wed 23-Sep-15 22:16:55

Poor girl. My daughter tried to leave teaching, not because of the actual teaching [which she loves] but the attitude of a lot of the teaching staff. She's now giving it another go. Hope your DIL gets some sort of help and support.

Sadiesnan Wed 23-Sep-15 22:22:14

Thanks for the replies. I've sent the link to her. I just don't want her to do anything too hasty whilst she's feeling so bad.

trisher Wed 23-Sep-15 22:26:13

Depends on what the problems that are making her depressed are. Possibilities are very wide- it could be the kids, or the staff, or the timetable, or a combination of things. You would need more details to offer any help. Also is she returning to work after a break or is she newly qualified? Has she got children and is it the pressure she can't take? Is that why she is coming to you for advice? I think she should give it a bit longer before resigning after all 2 and a half weeks isn't very long. She needs to make everyone she works with aware that she is having problems. Maybe what she really wants is a sympathetic ear she can moan to and if you provide that regularly she will feel better and start to cope.

Sadiesnan Wed 23-Sep-15 22:32:47

She's newly qualified, no children. I definitely think she needs to give it longer, but she seems very determined. She's said that she has more classes to teach than a NQT should have but no one cares about that. She also has some difficult classes. She says she doesn't care about not properly qualifying as a teacher as she never wants to set foot inside another secondary school.

merlotgran Wed 23-Sep-15 22:34:41

What is her subject?

Sadiesnan Wed 23-Sep-15 22:39:59


Anya Wed 23-Sep-15 22:40:13

Your poor DiL. Those of us with family in teaching, especially secondary schools, completely understand. She should have a mentor and a written contract.

But I think she really ought to ring the helpline. They deal with this sort of abuse all the time, ie. teachers given impossible workloads and no support, and it's a terrible situation especially for an NQT.

Young teachers are leaving the profession in droves. Is she by any chance an English Teacher?

Anya Wed 23-Sep-15 22:41:37

Crossed posts Sadiesnan

I suspected that was her subject. They are the ones with the heaviest marking load too.

annodomini Wed 23-Sep-15 22:53:21

I deeply sympathise with her plight. I have known several obnoxious classes and unsupporitve colleagues. It's outrageous that she has been thrown into the maelstrom without a mentor. She presumably has a line manager who is, or should be, responsible for the welfare of NQTs. She will be worried because she doesn't want to give colleagues the impression that she is a whinger, but every one of them has been through it too and may be more sympathetic than she expects.

Penstemmon Wed 23-Sep-15 22:58:38

That is awful! if it is a Local Authority school they may still have someone in the school support team in charge of NQTs who may be able to help. There are also often meetings for all NQTs in an area to meet as part of the induction process, she may find help and support there. Where about is the school?

It is a very tough time the first year! If she can get it sorted it would be good to do her trainee year to get her QTS. So many schools forget it is a training year! If she was near i would be happy to support.

NotTooOld Wed 23-Sep-15 23:01:32

Poor thing. She may not want to discuss her problems with colleagues (even a mentor) for fear of appearing incompetent. In any case, mentors usually have too much on their own plates to be able to give much time to an NQT. I suspect it is difficult kids who are giving her the most trouble. No doubt the school has a policy for dealing with bad behaviour. It will be something like yellow card/red card/parents informed but whatever it is she needs to find out and try and make it work for her. Teaching is really hard work, no wonder we are short of good teachers. I think all you can do is listen to her problems, just let her talk, and then try and encourage her to at least complete her first year. It will get easier for her as she becomes more experienced but in the end it may not be the career for her.

Penstemmon Wed 23-Sep-15 23:02:21

It is a legal requirement for her to have 10% of her teaching timetable as non- class based plus about a half day a week non-class based for her NQT about 1 day a week if she is teaching f/t for all the other 4 days.

Penstemmon Wed 23-Sep-15 23:03:23

What were her school based experiences like as she trained?

merlotgran Wed 23-Sep-15 23:07:56

She has only been teaching for a very short time but may already have come up against the more unsupportive colleagues within her faculty so it may not just be the fact that she's struggling with classroom management. As Anno says, her line manager should be keeping an eye on her.

It's hard to sort out who is likely to be a supportive colleague and who just wants to keep themselves in a good light - teacher's mantra for some!

There may be a teacher who is assigned to supporting all NQTs - not just the ones in his/her faculty. There is no shame in asking for help.

I hope she finds the strength to carry on. Things could change for the better before she knows it.

Envious Thu 24-Sep-15 00:12:54

I'm not surprised she's questioning her teaching. I'm sure a lot of it is still learning as your own style as you go. I've never had a job that I didn't feel like throwing in the towel the first month. Just wait till her students love her. I bet she will feel much better. Like everything time will tell. Tell here we all wish her the best.

Sadiesnan Thu 24-Sep-15 08:12:11

Thanks very much for all the helpful replies.

grannycakes Thu 24-Sep-15 08:40:52

Teacher here - try and persuade her to seek help. All teachers (both new & experienced) find the first half term hard going. The learners are new to you (and often the school) and you don't know them well enough to be able to manage all their behaviours. It's easier after the October half term

Luckygirl Thu 24-Sep-15 09:18:39

She needs support and lots of it - but, as others have said, schools are under such pressure that they do not have the time or resources to do it properly. She should not feel ashamed or incompetent for needing that support and it should have been written in to her contract: a mentor, mentoring time, professional development time.

Sounds as though there is some poor management going on here - the head should have this as a priority with a new teacher. I head up the governors' staffing committee at a small primary school and, even in that setting, staff support and development is top of my list. If I thought a member of staff was struggling and not getting the support he/she needed, I would be horrified.

downtoearth Thu 24-Sep-15 09:20:16

I am not a teacher and cannot comment from a teachers point of view,however this has crossed my mind.
Resident teenager has just left high school(now at college),the school two years ago changed to academy status,and there has been a huge turnover of staff,and battle lines drawn between principal and those who follow her,and those who don't this has caused a few unpleasant vendettas of her non desciples,this has impacted hugely on staff/pupil moral,and if your poor DIL has been thrown into something similar it must be very stressful.
My DGD was a target of this cleansing,simply because she spoke her mind...she preferred the non academy..