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Am I Unreasonable To Expect a 'Thank You'?

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Findoutafterthebreak, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. So, I'm a HOD in a busy KS3 -5 comp. I love my job and will put the hours in because it's a great job even if day to day annoyances (SLT annd their bonkers schemes!) can get in the way!
    The Dept I inherited 2 years ago long to recycle as much of their 'old stuff' as poss Despite this, the school has heavily invested in a fab VLE, SMART boards in every classrooms, laptop to take home etc and yet the Dept I lead just refuse to engage.
    This year I really thought I had it sussed. Spent ages in the hols delivering stationery etc to desks and got up at the crack of dawn on Sept 1st to print hard copies of set lists, timetables, results etc - (all these are freely available electronically, and from home, through the school's VLE and I do send regular updates on how to access info.)
    The Dept achieved pleasing results this summer and I have taken pains to thank them for their hard work.
    Perhaps this is a back to school 'wobble', but am I out of order in thinking I might too have received a 'Thank You'?
     
  2. So, I'm a HOD in a busy KS3 -5 comp. I love my job and will put the hours in because it's a great job even if day to day annoyances (SLT annd their bonkers schemes!) can get in the way!
    The Dept I inherited 2 years ago long to recycle as much of their 'old stuff' as poss Despite this, the school has heavily invested in a fab VLE, SMART boards in every classrooms, laptop to take home etc and yet the Dept I lead just refuse to engage.
    This year I really thought I had it sussed. Spent ages in the hols delivering stationery etc to desks and got up at the crack of dawn on Sept 1st to print hard copies of set lists, timetables, results etc - (all these are freely available electronically, and from home, through the school's VLE and I do send regular updates on how to access info.)
    The Dept achieved pleasing results this summer and I have taken pains to thank them for their hard work.
    Perhaps this is a back to school 'wobble', but am I out of order in thinking I might too have received a 'Thank You'?
     
  3. Well done.
    Sometimes though, in the rush to analysis those who have done less well, the ones who have achieved get overlooked. It happened last year, our History department got lots of A* and A's but very little praise even though the effort to achieve those results was intense. I on the other than had some poorer than expected (by SLT) results and have spent the whole year proving to all and sundry that it wasn't me or my department - we were the dumping ground for those who dididn't get their first, second or even third choice options.
    I hope the pressure is off me now and I can go back to being ignored, just getting on with the job.
     
  4. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I think what findout means is that the department is ungrateful, rather than SLT. I'm afraid I can't offer very much help. It makes my blood boil when people are obstructive and will not even think of doing something that they ask of pupils every day: make an effort, push yourself out of your comfort zone, learn things that you don't like etc. You could get your own back by making the departmental target for PM "to use technology in order to raise achievement" and declare that all memos should now be sent via email, though that will hardly gain you allies. If the school has invested heavily in ICT then perhaps your headteacher can become "bad cop" by insisting on those changes from the top, and you just become the messenger.
    I wouldn't do things for them too much. By all means, make the office look nice and get biscuits for the departmental meetings, but when it comes down to printing set lists etc, each to their own. If anyone complains that they no longer get given set lists, explain that it is not your responsability and whilst you're happy to show them how to get access to it via sims, you're not going to do it for them, much the same as you wouldn't plan their seating plans or lessons.
    Sorry it's a rubbish start for you. Might I just point out that women (I'm guessing you're female, sorry if I got it wrong) tend to expect others to react in the same way that we would, i.e. "I'd say "thanks" in this situation so I'm expecting you to do so..." Think of it as the way children react - they rarely say thank you unprompted (how many kids have done it on the way out from a bus after a great trip?) and unfortunately, your colleagues might have got in the habit of expecting everything too.
    Here's to a better week next week! [​IMG]
     
  5. Thanks Noemie. You're right! It is the Dept that frustrate me most (tho SLT have their moments) and I am female!
    Last year I was off sick on a Monday on a few occasions and hence there was no milk for the tea - goodness me, the fall out! On one occasion I was in hospital - admitted as an emergency!!! and still I got complaints on my return. (Before you say it, I do have a GSOH, but these WERE complaints!)
    To me the logical thing would have been to pop out to the shop or ask our lovely canteen ladies but, did they heck! I think you're right with the suggestion that I tend to expect others to react in the way I would. This is my way forward I guess - think what I'd do and then steel myself for the opposite!
    Feel a bit rubbish whinging as was only just telling chris_martin how much I love my job on another thread. No doubt it is the stress of the first few days and all will be well when I am in my own room actually teaching :)
     
  6. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    What a rubbish team! No wonder you're feeling that way [​IMG] Do you actually pay for the milk yourself then? That's really not on! If the school doesn't pay for it, then it should be a "everyone gets it in turn" kinda approach. I'm sorry, but I'd be really tempted to spell it out to my team and explain exactly what in their attitude you are no longer going to tolerate, the whole atmosphere sounds dreadful. If you don't, they're just going to suck the life out of you. In the same way that I explain to my pupils at the start of each year that I expect a positive, "yes we can" attitude (I teach languages!) I'd say the same to my team. Probably not going to have any effect but at least it will be out there that you feel that way and that you're not scared of the elephant in the room. And do less for the ungrateful b.uggers, they don't deserve it.
    I'd also really think of tackling the issue of using ICT - if you don't, ofsted will pick up on it. Students deserve to get the best teaching, and using ICT can really engage them, particularly as you have the facilities (I wish I had all that!). I'm not a big fan of using tech for the sake of using tech, but there are certain basics that can easily be put into place. PM me your email address if you want some ideas as I don't want to hijack this thread with unrelated things.
     
  7. Blimey. I'd be saving some really nasty old milk especially for that whiney so and so. Do you have to ensure there is toilet paper as well?
    They need a bit of a shake up and a rota to sort out all manner of things - downloading timetables for each other, co-coaching on how to best use the IT and above all buying the milk, tea and sugar!
     

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