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Armoured yet vulnerable.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sbkrobson, Nov 23, 2018.

  1. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Sharing some grim, I know doing this will halve it, thank you. I have no teacher offload receptacle in my home at the moment.

    I have had a full on week. I accepted a "task" from my HT which turned out to take three whole days when it should have taken three hours. You know the sort of thing-spreadsheets that misbehave, pivotal people not there when you want them, reprographic systems failing to oblige. Children coming to ask for extra projects when you're madly busy, to which you cannot refuse. You get through these things by...well...getting on with it.
    But the longer it takes, the less sleep you have, the more you ignore your family, the more you find yourself fantasising a conversation on completion like this-
    "Here you are, I'm done, here are the documents, hope all is ok with them"
    "Ah, lovely, thanks so much, bet you're happy to be able to focus on the teaching bit again!"
    "Well, it took me so long, it's just good to have finished. Not sure I would volunteer for that again, mind"
    "I get it. I appreciate the extra time. Thanks. Enjoy your day"

    That's the fantasy.

    This is what happened-
    "Here you are, all done as promised"
    "There's a bit missing"
    "Ah-well I couldn't get the info for that, because...."
    "Look, when you take a task, you OWN it, ok?"
    "And there is a deadline. It's today in half an hour. When are you going to finish it?"
    "Erm...? I am actually teaching the rest of the day"
    "A deadline!"
    "I understand that. I could look into it after school, but cannot promise anything"
    "A deadline. Can we be clear what that means?"
    "What would you like me to do?
    "Own it. Do it during your next lesson"

    I wont go on.
    Just nasty.
    (I cried. I am exhausted. I worked my butt off. Then was told how rubbish I am)
    's ok now. I have perspective. The job's still good enough for my needs.
    What happened to make this flavour of management?
    How can somebody so swiftly and purposefully deflate a person upon whom they rely?
    Why, not just in my story, do I read of so many others suffering the same crabp?
    What happened? Who grows up wanting to be a person like this?
  2. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    I blame Thatcher, and Union weakness that stemmed from her.
  3. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    No teacher offload receptacle...
    bajan, Mrsmumbles and sbkrobson like this.
  4. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    Hey, you didn't fob off the kids, despite being mad busy. That says a lot. The HT is a *****.
  5. FredfromFrance

    FredfromFrance New commenter

    It always angers me when people who are supposed to be interested in building up a kind and well balanced next generation act like this! We exist to stop society being filled with people like this and grow up to be respectful and well adjusted etc. etc. It's like having a hospital full of nurses who go round stabbing each other or something.

    On a more philosophical note. I would LOVE to understand people's psychology in these situations. After meeting so many horrid and deluded SMT who have been rewarded by the system but behave in ways that anger their colleagues and wreak havoc, sometimes I begin to wonder if WE are the weird ones for not being like them? I mean, we seem to be the rarer breed these days...
  6. pickles124

    pickles124 Established commenter

    What kind of a comment is 'own it'. Seriously. That's like an Americanized turn of phrase but here in the UK I'm afraid that would be met with a look of utter perplexity.

    In short it's a bit intimidating. And annoying.

    I would say if you want me to own it so much tell me how to.
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    @sbkrobson your posts have always shown you to be a consummate professional. I am sorry to read of the manner in which you were treated in this case.

    Enjoy the weekend and try to put it behind you.

    What happened to make this flavour of management? Pressure to meet data targets which, as we all know, is nothing to do with education.

    How can somebody so swiftly and purposefully deflate a person upon whom they rely? Very possibly not purposefully. I suspect that the HT could well be sitting at home having misgivings but that does not excuse the behaviour.

    If offered the chance to undertake another 'task' just decline and explain that your reason for doing so is that last time you volunteered, the manner in which it was accepted was diametrically opposite to your understanding of maintaining staff wellbeing.
    silkywave, chelsea2, becky70 and 9 others like this.
  8. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    What an idiot. I sincerely hope they read this thread on TES and recognise themselves
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  9. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    Except in this case you were just borrowing it from someone who couldn't be bothered to do it themselves. No, even that's too generous a description because to borrow implies you wanted it temporarily. It was DUMPED on you and we've all read the thanks you got.
  10. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    This description could be seriously misconstrued especially if you're male. ;)
    sbkrobson likes this.
  11. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Insert the missing 'thumbs up' emoji here. Brilliant response Nomad.
  12. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    Well done for accepting the task and doing your best to meet the deadline. I tried to say no to a task last week and the response was, 'have a think about it'. I don't need to, I said no?!
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Thank you for all your responses, you have really helped me still the annoyance.
    The scenario I described is really really common in many schools, In my school I know it acutely by surveying the faces of my other teacher colleagues-drawn tight lipped smiles rather than beams, whispering in classrooms rather than communal camaraderie in the staff room. So far this year, at least three people have "disappeared", and only this week I encountered two people who had clearly just had a small cry in the loo. "It's ok" you tell them. "Don't forget how great you are".
    Back in my classroom after these encounters, I always consider communicating properly with these colleagues like John McCain in his Vietnam hellhole (look up the story if you don't know it) but even that seems "risky".
    Because our HT is an ogre. With very good data.
    If I were younger and more fulled by indignation I would have fled by now, but my rapport and success with the kids is really very good, and I'm experienced enough to feel sorry for our leaders rather than fear.
    They are flawed people who get lots of money and the power to shout very loud, over teaching minions who have so little yet remain the better people, the emblem of humanity from which our kids learn.
    It's like some banned Russian novel.
    becky70 and agathamorse like this.
  14. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    And they wonder why people are leaving the profession. There are other schools that are well led. Consider leaving this leader rather than the profession.
  15. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Three simple words for the next time such a task is offered: "No thank you."

    There are plenty of Headteachers out there who prefer the carrot and stick to the stick and the baseball bat - maybe it's time to look for one? Kids are kids wherever you go, and if you leave, the gap will fill up rapidly behind you.
    becky70, agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  16. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It's swings and roundabouts Mr M. And I'm not going to leave the profession-not sure why you equate my bad day with this sentiment.
    No school is perfect, and having worked in many different ones, I am settling for this one which does not push my buttons on a daily basis. My real pet hate is poor behaviour and low level disruption, because that really impacts on the nuts and bolts of your role, and in my current job it's actually fine. This is gold to me, far more important than some jumped up self important twaaart at the top.
    Having slept away my woes, it now amuses me that many of our leaders will never realise that the main thing they are actually teaching us is to avoid them.
  17. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    I thought your references to the others suggested that it could easily be you if you were not careful. I’m long in the tooth and my experience is that people get so burnt by poor leadership that they walk away from the profession. You are clearly a great teacher and are not in a place where you are valued, which is quite sad.
    install, becky70 and agathamorse like this.
  18. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Thank you for your kind supportive words.
    Fact is, I get a pay packet, which is pretty cool, and I do not habitually seek validation, neither in work nor in casual discussion, because I'm perfectly sure that I do my best,and equally sure of my goal to extend that to the kids I work with. If I am berated in the context of doing both these things I can only feel sorry for the person dishing it out.
    But you are still right. And what bothers me as much as the great people who do have to leave from the nastiness, are the people who are so down on themselves inside as humans that they feel compelled to jump to power crazed HTs, and then find that the only way they can deal with it is by dishing out the same venom themselves. This is the cascade of megalomania in schools pooling into the worn shoes of our teachers, the watertight shield of insecure henchmen that most horrid Heads manage to employ. The defending commission against multiple thousands of legitimate yet overdue grievances.
    That's quite sad.
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Sounds to me like a bullying tactic. I bet the HT gave you the task because they couldn't do it themselves!
    Ah well, no more 'tasks' in future then. The HT will have to delegate to someone who will 'own it' next time. Every cloud has a silver lining!
    sbkrobson and agathamorse like this.
  20. install

    install Star commenter

    Awful that the ht treats you this way. Really sorry you are going through this.

    Useful words and phrases I have had to use since being through something similar - (and knowing that 'no' is deemed as unacceptable in places).

    Can you put that in writing?

    Give me a week off timetable and I will see how much I can get done to support this mess

    No - got alot on this time of year. If only you had asked me last week...

    Can I get back to you..?

    Can you email me who should have done what, why it wasn't done and then I will get back to you?

    My task list is really full at the moment - and deadlines are tight. So by all means ask someone who has the time :cool:
    agathamorse likes this.

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