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Help, Nqt In Reception Struggling


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Hi all,

 

Just looking for some help as I am starting to think I am failing my kids. I am an NQT who took over a Reception Class in January and finding it really difficult to get my head around everything. There is no Nursery so have no one to plan with and for some reason I don't have one dedicated TA but 5 different ones at different time plus 2 people on work experience. No real structure was in place when I started and I have had little time with the FS Co-ordinator to work on a planning format so I have had to experiment and still not sure it works. I have just completed a PGCE and although it was supposed to be lower primary the training on FS was only occaisional and my only teaching experience was 3 weeks in a Nursery Class. Basically I have no idea really what I am doing and no-one seems to be able to help. I don't have a dedicated outdoor area and limited resources to use but have been told I need to plan for that too but don't really know how/what to plan. I am also struggling to know what and how much I should be observing. This is more difficult as none of the TAs are FS trained and they start and finish work during class time so I have no time to explain the learning intentions of the activities I do plan and they don't know what is expected from observation either. I am not sure if this is just how NQT year is actually supposed to be but I am getting really miserable and not sure if I can do the job at all :o . Thanks for any help.

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Dear Clairelu

Firstly, welcome to the forum! You have come to the right place for support and sympathy :D

Your situation sounds dreadful :o What kind of support are you getting as an NQT? You should be having regular mentoring meetings and non-contact time. Is there anyway you could get more cohesive TA support? Have you tried asking?

If you want to attach a copy of one of your plans I am sure you will get plenty of feedback. I too followed the PGCE route into teaching (years ago!) so I understand how you're feeling about lack of FS experience at this stage of your career.

Since you have limited outdoor facilities maybe you could just plan for one area outside a day to start with? If you do a forum search there have been discussions on cheap and easy ways to improve outdoor provision.

Don't get too despondent, things will get better :D

Keep posting and we'll do all we can...

Best wishes

Fox xx

Edited by Guest
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Hi Claire welcome aboard, please do not despair. You sound as if you are in a difficult situation but we are all here! You should have NQT non contact time and some PPA time, I believe, and I think you need to make sure you have some time with your mentor or your FS co-ord to help you with school issues.

Reception classrooms are very demanding but rewarding places to be and I am not surprised if you feel that everything is busy, especially if you do not get your release time and without dedicated TA support. You can not do observations on your own---there are some very easy to read books by Vicky Hutchins if you need help with FS assessment but do remember you can not do everything at once.

DO keep talking to us!

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Hi ClaireLu!

 

Welcome to the Forum and as ASPK says, I'm sure you'll get loads of help and support. I'm not a teacher so I don't know whether I could help at all, but I'll keep thinking!

 

Try not to let it get you down (as I have been told many times on here before!) :D

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Welcome!

Everyone on the forum is so nice and helpful - we're all still learning (not least of all because 'they' keep changing things)! Anything you're unsure of, you'll get loads of support & help with if you post on here, so take a deep breath, think calming thoughts & know that you aren't alone (even if it seems like it!) You really should talk to your NQT mentor about how you're feeling, as if they're any good they should make some effort to help you. Also, what about asking to attend FS training - you'll find yourself in a room full of people who can help & I always get ideas from these events.

Good luck. Look forward to hearing how much things are improving - because they will! :)

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Hi Claire and welcome to the forum I am sure you will recieve help and support here. As many people have already said as a NQT you should be getting this from both your school and LEA :o

 

For planning many of us use adaptions of the Norfolk scheme which you might like to look at for some ideas and maybe adapt to suit your own needs.

http://www.norfolkesinet.org.uk/pages/view...asp?uniqid=2158

There are lots of other examples of planning to be found on the forum if you do a search.

Another useful post on the site is Continuous provision documents I will search and post a link :)

Good Luck and try not to worry

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Hi Clairelu, I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you're having such a rough time. Lots of us, including me, know what it feels like to feel as if you're drowning in paperwork and getting no-where fast. As everyone before me has said, this is absolutely the right place to have come to for help and support. I know that I couldn't cope without this site.

 

As usual, ASPK has come up with a great idea about posting your plans - you're guaranteed to get great, constructive feedback. Tell everyone as much as you can and everyone will pull out all the stops to help you out. Again, I'm speaking from personal experience.

 

All the best - you're not alone any more!

 

Moose x

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Thanks for all your replies. I do keep trying to tell myself that it will get better but when you don't know what you should be doing it is difficult to know if you are improving or providing a good learning environment for the class. I do try not to worry too much but I am so miserable about it all as I feel completely lost and inadequate. I changed career to start teaching and am finding it really difficult to adapt when I am used to feel confident about work. I am also starting to resent it taking over my life and making me feel so miserable. I have been trying to sort out next week's plan for the past 5 hours but still haven't got anywhere. I have also got parent's evenings tomorrow and Thursday night which I am dreading as I really don't know what to say as I am not sure how well I know the kids and I certainly don't know what to advise the parents about help to read and write. I find it difficult as I don't understand how you can get so little training and yet are expected to function as a full class teacher and just know what to do. Should I be full of ideas of what to do and how children learn? Is it something you learn after time? What do I do in the meantime when I plan and don't know what is a good thing to do? Help I really feel like giving it all up and getting my life back at the moment. :o

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Hi and welcome!

 

As already said you should be getting support from school but clearly you are not. I would suggest you (or your mentor) arrange a visit from the LEA Early Years advisor (or whatever they are now called) to come and give you some advice and support; from that she should be able to recommend and refer you to an experienced reception teacher in a neighbouring school and she should also arrange some relevent courses for you to attend. That is their job so make use of her/him!

 

It must be very bewildering for you but please don't lose heart - you will get loads of support from this site and I hope things improve for you, I am sure you are doing better than you think :)

 

Megsmum

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I actually had my first visit from the LEA advisor this week which had the effect of panicing me and making me feel worse. It wasn't his fault as he was very nice about what I had done to the classroom but also brought up things that I hadn't done. I have also visited a local school and they visited me to have a look at my setting. I have had some training on the Profile but still feel lost as to what I am expected to do. One off visits have just had the effect of making me concentrate on what I have not done and there is never enough time to go over all the areas that I want to. I am now wondering that with all these bits of help and I still can't seem to get anything done I am maybe not cut out to do the job. I just cannot believe that I am any good and that anything I do is worthwhile. I only seem happy when I have stopped doing any work and am concentrating on something else. I know I should be trying to write a plan for the week instead of writing on this forum but just can't do it.

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Please try to bear in mind we have all felt the way you are feeling now at some point in our teaching careers. It does take time and we are all still learning. Thats the purpose of this forum to share ideas and learn from each other. Dont expect too much of yourself too soon. We are always our own worst critic.

 

What is your topic and what do you need to plan for next week?

Edited by Marion
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Hi Clairelu,

I am also an NQT in a reception class and know exactly how you feel. Try to take a deep breath, get some support from Early Years Advisors and try to networek with other teachers. You should also have a mentor who should be helping you. If you post your planning I will have a look for you. Remember it does get a bit easier. Please try not to worry.

Take care for now

Flower

x

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Well, here I am at 4.30am having given up trying to sleep and vaguely thinking about what I need to do. I am trying not to panic but have to get this sorted out soon otherwise I will have nothing to teach and nothing to give my 2 adults. I am also debating just telling my school that unless I get more practical help I will be leaving at Easter (I am on agency at the moment on a temp to perm basis). I did supply before Christmas and felt much better about doing this and got regular work as well as requests to return to schools. It feels like I have taken on a proper post too soon and need some more time to get experience and get my confidence back. I think I should have questioned the support levels more with them already having 2 other NQTs in a one form entry school. Until you start you don't really know what help you need or what you might get. At least now I know the questions to ask if I look for another position. Will it look really bad if I leave after one term? I don't think I can carry on as I am as I don't want to feel like this anymore.

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Hi Clairelu

I too came the PGCE route to teaching after a career in something else and I felt just the way you do, so I know how much it gets to you. But please try not to let it get you down. You are expecting too much of yourself, you are new to the job despite having done your PGCE. I had a bout the same amount of time in a Foundation class as you and felt completely lost when I got my own class to teach. I had a lot of help from a very patient mentor, so go talk to your one if you have one. If you haven't got one ask for one you are entitled to help!

As far as open evening is concerned you probably know more about the children than you think you do. Parents are looking for assurance that their child has settled well is happy and making progress. Talk in general terms if you don't have specifics. I found it useful to have a few notes on each child if you've got time to make them - it gives you a bit of confidence and something to refer to if your mind goes blank.

Planning is difficult when you don't feel you have a grip on anything - I agree with Marion the Norfolk plans are well worth a look and will give you an idea of what to do.

Try to take one step at a time, and give yourself a break otherwise you'll get so exhausted you'll end up ill! There is a huge amount of support on this forum so you are not on your own.

Hope this helps

Debbie

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Welcome to this site Clairelu,

Sorry to hear that you are feeling so low at the moment. When the curriculum guidance came into force I remember thinking to myself I can't do this but it IS possible.I run a pre-school so but I do have to implement the F.S.C. As others have said on here there is lots of help with with planning. The norfolk site is particulary good . Why don't you just concentrate on 2 learning goals each day on their plans and use your equipment to cover the the 4 using the Foundation stage guidance for ideas.

All staff can then see what they are aiming for during the day and can observe and record how each child achieves that goal.

Have a good day and at the end of the day try and congratulate yourself on what you HAVE achieved.

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Hi there, I came to teaching through the Graduate Teaching Programme and had no training in early years at all and I passed my NQT year last december. It's so daunting coming to reception with no idea, I was lucky that I had a very helpful TA and my mentor was superb.

 

I think the way we do things in our school is more structured than in others, but it works for us and for the children and we find we gain a lot from them. What topic are you working on at the moment? we are currently doing food, and in previous terms have done Senses, Ourselves, Christmas and celebrations and next term minibeasts and animals.

 

I am happy to send you our medium and weekly plans if they are of any use?

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Hi all,

 

Just looking for some help as I am starting to think I am failing my kids.  I am an NQT who took over a Reception Class in January and finding it really difficult to get my head around everything.  There is no Nursery so have no one to plan with and for some reason I don't have one dedicated TA but 5 different ones at different time plus 2 people on work experience.  No real structure was in place when I started and I have had little time with the FS Co-ordinator to work on a planning format so I have had to experiment and still not sure it works.  I have just completed a PGCE and although it was supposed to be lower primary the training on FS was only occaisional and my only teaching experience was 3 weeks in a Nursery Class.  Basically I have no idea really what I am doing and no-one seems to be able to help.  I don't have a dedicated outdoor area and limited resources to use but have been told I need to plan for that too but don't really know how/what to plan.  I am also struggling to know what and how much I should be observing.  This is more difficult as none of the TAs are FS trained and they start and finish work during class time so I have no time to explain the learning intentions of the activities I do plan and they don't know what is expected from observation either.  I am not sure if this is just how NQT year is actually supposed to be but I am getting really miserable and not sure if I can do the job at all  :o .  Thanks for any help.

51197[/snapback]

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Well, here I am at 4.30am having given up trying to sleep and vaguely thinking about what I need to do.  I am trying not to panic but have to get this sorted out soon otherwise I will have nothing to teach and nothing to give my 2 adults.  I am also debating just telling my school that unless I get more practical help I will be leaving at Easter (I am on agency at the moment on a temp to perm basis).  I did supply before Christmas and felt much better about doing this and got regular work as well as requests to return to schools.  It feels like I have taken on a proper post too soon and need some more time to get experience and get my confidence back.  I think I should have questioned the support levels more with them already having 2 other NQTs in a one form entry school.  Until you start you don't really know what help you need or what you might get.  At least now I know the questions to ask if I look for another position.  Will it look really bad if I leave after one term?  I don't think I can carry on as I am as I don't want to feel like this anymore.

51230[/snapback]

 

First and foremost you have to believe that there is only so much you could have done in the short time you've had your class. So whatever the LEA guy told you hadn't been done, you take on board and you know where to go from here: none of us are Wonderwomen (although some try and others claim to be :o ), so concentrate on getting on top of things bit by bit.

The parents of your children should also understand that you are still getting to know them. Hopefully your parents evening has gone well. Even if you haven't got assessments to refer back to, you work with these children on a day-to-day basis so I'm sure you know them better than you think.

As far as leaving goes, you need to look at this 2 ways. Yes, if you leave you could gain experience elsewhere through supply teaching. BUT, if you do this when you're on such a low, I'm worried that your confidence will fail you. So, if you can bear it, I would personally suggest you try and stick it out until things improve (if they don't improve you can always leave at the end of the year) and then make the decision over whether or not to stay in a school where there is such a lack of support. When I was halfway through my training (I did the GTP route) I was in a reception class and hit rock bottom; so much so I too considered giving it up, thinking I obviously wasn't cut out for the job. I think reception classes are notoriously stressful, so as an NQT you're bound to find it hard. For me, things improved (luckily) and I left that class on a high, which is what you need to do if you can. You really need to stress to your school how you are feeling and ask for help: people to observe you and look through your plans with you & point you in the right direction.

Last of all, as has already been suggested, it would be helpful for us if you could post any planning on here, or at least outline what you are doing. We are only too happy to help. Are you happy with the way you plan at the moment (by that I mean the actual format the plans take, rather than the content); this may depend on whether you inherited a format or whether you are using your own. People will gladly show examples of their planning. If it's content you are after, all you need to do is let us know your topic, or the area you're having difficulty with & the suggestions will come rolling in.

 

Keep your chin up. Keep posting. You will get through this! :)

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