What a difference a school makes...

14th January 2000 at 00:00
Much of the NQT's success is not simply to do with their teaching ability: the school in which they work can help or hinder progress. Rob and Sue did equally well in their PGCE and took jobs in neighbouring inner-city schools with very needy and challenging children.

After one term of the induction year, Rob loves his job, but Sue hates it so much that she resigned at half-term. Rob gets on well with his induction tutor, an excellent model who gives useful advice. He finds planning and discussing lessons with the parallel teacher stimulates lots of ideas and focuses him on the children's learning.

The school is well-organised and he is released every Thursday morning. He enjoys going to the LEA induction programme, not least because he meets other new teachers.

Sue feels isolated in her school. She has no one to plan with since it is a one-form entry school. Half her class of 31 have special needs, but there is little extra suppot. Her teaching style is livelier than that of other staff members, and she wants to get involved in collaborative investigational work.

However, the children are used to a diet of worksheets and studying in silence. They also misbehave.

Sue's induction tutor and headteacher are friendly, but too busy for regular meetings. They plan to observe, but staff sickness means this has happened just once and she found the feedback very negative.

She feels that people only notice her weaknesses and never praise her strengths. Although enrolled on the LEA induction programme, she is rarely able to attend because the supply teacher has to cover for absent colleagues.

Sue feels a failure, has lost confidence and has no plans to find another teaching job.

Sara Bubb is induction consultant and lecturer at University of London Institute of Education. Her book on induction will be published by David Fulton in July this year


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