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Asked to complain

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by QueenOfTheLab, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. I'm in a very similar situation to you Hudd1. Except with the added twist that I'm the new teacher and the colleague in question is supposedly more experienced than me. We each have an A-level and a BTEC group. The BTEC group he has were my students last year, and they're struggling, wanting me to mark and grade their coursework because he is very far behind (something like six weeks). The A-level students were given about 1/3 of the work they needed to cover before their mock exam as reading five days before sitting the mock, and he didn't mark the mocks until two months afterwards (I'd done mine by the next lesson I had with my group).

    I have informally spoken to my line manager, but to my knowledge my LM is not taking any action. He is reluctant for me to make a formal complaint (possibly because it then means work, forms, interviews etc). At the moment I'm trying to get the STUDENTS to bring complaints to their class reps, rather than having them b1tching to me about it. I'm probably on the brink of being asked by all the A-level students to read and mark their coursework - not sure I have the time or energy to do that really.

    I guess both of us are in this awful dilemma - the only way to make management see sense is for an entire class to perform abysmally. But the students do not deserve to be sacrificed like this to make a point. I'm trying to keep as good a set of notes about incidents that give me cause for concern. I don't know if that might help - it can then be added to the complaint of someone directly affected by this tutor, perhaps?
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    Phrases like this should probably be avoided. You don't want this to come back and bite you. Having said this, I do see your dilemma. Furthermore, pointing them to the HoD (or equivalent) would seem more appropriate than class reps...
    Both of these are by the by. You should not be marking another teacher's exam class unless you are asked to do so by your/their line manager. It is not your responsibility and undermines the authority of their assigned teacher (even if they are incompetent). Students should not be forum shopping and should put up with their teacher or complain to the relevant people (their previous teacher not necessarily being one of those relevant people). If you feel that your colleague is that incompetent and are that concerned by the progress of the students you should push through a real, formal complaint or lump it with the response of your line manager to your informal complaint.
    Mass parental complaints tend to be the way to uncover exactly what is going on with disorganised/lazy teachers.

  3. Fair enough - thanks. Tried the alternative - they're scared of HoD (I don't know why). The class reps meeting is a bit "safer" in their opinion.

    Probably never going to happen - the majority of my students are not living with their parents, but I can see how in schools that'd do the trick.

    Thanks for the advice - I have been noting things (as I suggested to the OP), so perhaps this has now reached the point where I do actually need to make a formal complaint myself. I guess I have more of a residual HE attitude than I thought - was far more reasonable for students to ask other lecturers for guidance or to read coursework.

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