Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/577/7229

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 April 2009

Being a new teacher - a shock to the system

A quarter of newly qualified teachers (NQTs) leave teaching within three years of starting their first job.

Jim Thomson

It is often joked that teachers "have it easy": great holidays, good pay and the chance to work with children. However, the reality couldn't be further from the truth.

Being an NQT is a shock to the system. Young teachers get a baptism of fire, facing masses of marking, buckets of planning and the sizable chore of maintaining documents for a critical and scrutinising management.

Teachers' experiences vary from school to school, but wherever they are, teachers face hours of unpaid graft every night. After the NQT year the work continues to pile on.

Young teachers, being the most inexperienced staff members, often face a bullying management in an unfamiliar and difficult job. Instead of receiving support they face "challenges", which often turn out to be extra, unpaid work.

Without the advice of colleagues and union reps, new teachers are often not aware of their rights and what is supposedly guaranteed by the workload agreements.

I am sure that many young teachers, like myself, are physically and mentally exhausted, stressed and seriously unhappy. I don't remember this being on the TV adverts.

However, young teachers do not just face problems within the school buildings.

The retail price index recently showed that despite Britain entering into recession, food prices are still rising. Teachers, like all workers, are also facing the massive gas and electricity bills which the utility companies are greedily and outrageously charging.

The banks and building societies are now frantically attempting to snatch back higher mortgage payments.

This means difficult times for classroom teachers and their families. For young teachers who are often on a wage of just over 20,000, their pay is being stretched more and more.

Young or new teachers who have mortgages, families, student debt and personal debt are now finding themselves caught between a rock and a hard place; an over-worked, stressful job, being paid an "average" wage, or the gamble of looking for a better-paid job in the private sector which will be less secure and virtually impossible to find.

It seems young or new teachers have few options. They could keep their heads down, work hard and hope recession-driven spending cuts don't lead to teacher redundancies, or they could fight back.

Young teachers need to join the NUT union and get active. And we need to fight for the union leadership to take a radical stance in difficult times.

We should be demanding that Gordon Brown secures jobs and increases education spending, without the spectre of 'the market' hanging over any new school development. We need a fighting union to put an end to backbreaking workload and peanuts pay.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 29 April 2009:

Fight for jobs!

Youth Fight for Jobs launch conference

Olympics: Defend jobs, pay and conditions


Socialist Party election campaign

European elections: Build support for a workers' alternative to Labour


Stop Press

STOP PRESS: Key union activist sacked


Socialist Party workplace news

Sacked workers protest in Newcastle


Socialist Party news and analysis

Budget 2009 - debts passed to all of us

Does the 'botch it' budget benefit young people?

It's tough at the top!

Jack Jones obituary


International socialist news and analysis

Workers' internationalism: A history of the first four socialist international organisations

Sri Lanka war: Rajapakse regime ignores Tamils' plight in renewed army offensive


NUT feature

National Union of Teachers conference: Fighting "teaching-on-the-cheap"

Hands off Lewisham Bridge school!

Being a new teacher - a shock to the system


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 April 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Teachers:

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

triangleStriking back against academies in Newham

triangleFailing academy chain strips school assets - end academisation!

triangleNewham academy strikes spread to Cumberland school

School:

triangleCapitalism v cricket

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

triangleNews in brief

trianglePlaying fields rescued from Blairites

Pay:

triangleAfter 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

triangleI'm now a 'manager' and I can barely manage!

triangleFighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/2/18

Manchester

After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

19/2/18

Walthamstow

Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999