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I work at one of the schools I trained at and everyone expects me to be five years ahead of where I should be. I took over a Year 8 class and my form group last year when I was unqualified and everyone thinks I should be able to cope with anything. I've had to put up with a full day of teaching and dealing with a drug-fuelled kid having a swearing outburst in my Year 10 lesson. Then, as I'm leaving school today thinking that I coped well considering, my head of year tells me in an "it's your fault" tone that there were too many students out of my lesson this afternoon.

AAARGHHHH!!!!!

* Where do you think you should be, if not a bit ahead of yourself? You're a newly qualified teacher but you've convinced everyone that you're competent - you were given responsibility last year and coped well enough with that to be offered a job. The downside is that your colleagues may feel that it's no longer appropriate to treat you with kid gloves and you're getting the kind of directness they would offer a more seasoned teacher. If what you're really saying is that you want the kind of support and attention that is your due as an NQT, then say that to your mentor. The wheel that doesn't squeak rarely gets the oil.

HARRY DODDS

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