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NQT buzz from the TES forums

The forums have been awash with NQTs struggling with workload and behaviour issues. All seemed to be going so well in the first term, but it has gone pear-shaped in the first half of the second term. As ever, you will find support on our forums ...

- Caffeinejunkie speaks for many: "I don't know what it is about this half-term, but I feel as though nothing has gone well ... My observations are satisfactory, but my head isn't very happy with me." (

- Lillipad puts it succinctly: "This term has been appalling. The class is tired and pushing me to the limits, we seem to have had a sudden surge of hormones and the girls are bitching and the boys are fighting."

- Experienced teacher PinkRuby calms it down: "Everything goes wrong in February. The kids have lost the September gloss, we're drowning in coursework, and it feels as if we'll never get everything done. After Easter, there's light at the end of the tunnel and, by May, we're chilled. This time next year, it'll be the same - it's not just you!"

- But for some NQTs, things have got so bad they are thinking of leaving: "I am not sure whether I want to teach. I am working in a challenging secondary, the kids rule the school and middle management seem powerless," says catface.

- Forum users stepped in and managed to turn the situation around. Maths_caz says: "It sounds like you're in the wrong school for you. Not that you are in the wrong." And over the next few days, things improve for catface: "I've managed to pick myself up a bit since last week. Comments from my Year 10 class today thanking me for a great lesson means I've managed to raise a smile."

- For anyone facing what seem to be insurmountable behaviour problems, our NQT expert James Williams advises: "My quick tip would be to focus on changing one aspect of their behaviour and not try to change everything at once. Think what would make the biggest difference - change that, then think about tackling other issues."

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