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Asked to leave school

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ibrahim10, May 23, 2018.

  1. ibrahim10

    ibrahim10 New commenter

    I work at this international school where senior management walk into lessons whenever they feel like and can stay or as long as they feel like. During the new teacher’s induction day they did mention that their lesson visits are not linked to pay and that they just want to have a feel of what is going on – so I assumed it’s similar to a learning walk. However no notice is given and they can visit at any time during the day, even on the last lesson of the day.

    I was observed at the start of the year a few times by the head and deputies, some full lessons and some few minutes, and everything seems to be going as normal - no concerns. I have also had my HoD observing and nothing was mentioned. This soon changed, 7 months later the head pops in to see my WORST class. I have not planned anything special as a) they do not appreciate my hard work and never make good use of good resources b) they use every opportunity to talk/mess about if they have a whiteboard and pen infront of them or a matching activity. The students decided to play up in the lesson saying things such as ‘Sir, I have never seen the L.O. on the board before’ while looking at the head. When we were going through the starter they started saying ‘we have never done this before, we’ve never seen it..’ even though I taught it last lesson. So the general atmosphere was not going down too well. The head’s feedback was not as good as I had hoped. I tried to explain that they were being silly and playing up but clearly I was seen as using an excuses.

    The following week the head of nursery was visiting lessons to do some research on students’ learning as she is doing some higher postgraduate studies. I do not get along with this particular head neither do most teachers due to her bossy, stubborn and ‘no-work’ nature. I have also had a negative encounter with her months ago. So she comes into a post-lunch afternoon lesson where I thought I could get my year 7s to do me some posters to put up on my display as there was emphasis from the head of school to do our displays. This head of nursery leaves after 10 minutes and goes to my head of school and reports my lesson as a major concern and that it is total waste of lesson time.

    The next day the main principal of the school wants a meeting! I sit down with him and I get asked to leave! They have now gone to attack my HoD and criticise her judgment and how she did not ‘spot’ my inadequate skills earlier in the year. The principal has given me a choice to leave now or in December – or I can prove myself in September/October if want to stay the whole academic year next year.

    My instincts tell me to leave asap as I am not enjoying it here anyway and I will have to put up with their rubbish if I stay. Their work ethos are awful - always a last minute school, they never listen to teachers. They send questionnaires around but nothing gets done after - ticking boxes for their inspections.

    Your thoughts are much appreciated :)
     
  2. MacGuyver

    MacGuyver Occasional commenter

    Unfortunately I'm in no position to offer advice on your dilemma, but it might be an idea to also post this in the Teaching Overseas forum. Good luck.
     
  3. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I think you should leave and take up another profession.
     
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Teaching overseas can be fraught with danger.
     
    Mermaid7 likes this.
  5. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    Get your coat.
     
    Mermaid7 and Pomza like this.
  6. notrevlim

    notrevlim Established commenter

    That is the sentence that stands out. Might it be why the students are giving you a hard time?
     
    InkyP, BioEm, tall tales and 2 others like this.
  7. vickysimpson1989

    vickysimpson1989 New commenter

    Firstly do not use sexist language such as referring to a female superior as bossy. It makes you look petty and small. Secondly there shouldn't be any class you dont plan proper lessons for. No sympathy here. Put more effort in.
     
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Bossy isn't sexist. I have come across a lot of bossy people of both genders. It is no more sexist than referring to a colleague as 'tall'!
     
    BioEm, drvs, Pomza and 9 others like this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    No, I've just read your original post again.

    Sorry - you deserve to be sacked.
     
    ilovesooty, Pomza and emerald52 like this.
  10. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sympathy. It sounds as if you've had a rough time.
    However, I agree with the posters above who have suggested that "not planning a lesson because they'll only mess it up" is the slippery path to doom.

    Make your final decision when you're less emotional.
    They've given you time to pull things around - if you want it.

    Your colleagues will know exactly what the classes are like, but they are paying you to move those classes on. If a particular learning approach doesn't succeed with a class, you have to find something which does work. This may mean insisting on silence while the class answer questions out of the book, it may mean moving the children round so that the disruptors are not sitting next to each other, it may mean some low level activities that everyone can do before you hit them with the challenging activities, it may mean using the school disciplinary policy to get the chief troublemakers sorted out.

    While good managers listen, they also have to implement the policy of the organisation. Sometimes that seems "bossy". Unless you're working for yourself you have to put up with it.

    Posters seem like a good way to keep children occupied. They are not a good way of showing learning. I have found that children reduce the rate of work to prolong the activity, spend hours doing beautiful headings and often show little of the real learning.
    I have found postcards with clear cut aims to be a good way of getting display materials and showing realistic amounts of knowledge.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    Not planned anything special does not mean not planned a lesson. Sometimes you have to plan for the behaviour, this may mean that spending all night cutting out resources and putting them into envelopes is a waste of time as it just gets used as confetti.
     
  12. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Agreed. We all have classes like that. There may even be instances when copying the text out of a text book is the activity because that is all they can cope with and then, like phlogiston says increasing the challenge once they complete the grunt task.
     
    ibrahim10 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    From what you've posted, it sounds like you are at a school that isn't very supportive, although from the vagaries of the language it may be that you're omitting some things;
    Was this the feedback you got at the start, "Seems normal, no concerns"? I would expect something specific to be praised or criticised for if I was being observed in a new school. Surely something you do doesn't fit in with the status quo (whether positive or negative).
    Your "WORST" class was playing up during an observation and you were hoping for the feedback to be good?
    The nursery head came in to research "students' learning" and in 10 minutes she sees no learning, just students regurgitating and recycling information onto posters. I assume you were planning to continue this for the whole lesson - why would she observe for any longer?
    Again, no specific feedback? No targets to improve?
    For all I know some international schools may be like this with Heads only interested in the finished product rather than developing teachers. If so, you need to get out because it sounds like you do need to develop your teaching practice and need a more supportive atmosphere to do so. However, if you've omitted aspects of support/guidance/advice that you've been offered, then you need to reflect carefully on how you respond to criticism.
     
    JohnJCazorla and emerald52 like this.
  14. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I work at an international school. We publish our schemes of work and assessment dates in advance, precisely to prevent parents from complaining about these sorts of things. Do you not have schemes of work or resources to show what you've been teaching? What about book work? Do you not have written feedback from your HOD's lesson observations which contests the suggestion that you never put the LO on the board?

    Are you a UK trained, qualified and experienced teacher? Some of the things you write in this and other posts suggest that you are not. Lack of experience might be the issue here, especially in terms of classroom management.

    You need to be in a more supportive school. Leave, and arrange a reference and police check for that country in case you go elsewhere for your next job.
     
    JohnJCazorla and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. baitranger

    baitranger Occasional commenter

    School managers should crack down on bad behaviour, not on you.
     
    ibrahim10 likes this.
  16. tonymars

    tonymars Occasional commenter

    My complete sympathy OP. Little *****. **** HT. Leave school but don't let this experience put you off teaching.
     
  17. ibrahim10

    ibrahim10 New commenter

    Not really - I have planned many outstanding lessons before, and I refer to kinaesthetic learning such as matching activities, tarsia puzzles, mini whiteboards..I have also made my own set of ABC traffic cards that they could use for AfL purposes and multiple choice quizzes etc. But every engaging lesson has to be ruined by their lack of attitude and poor behavior which is why I went back to the traditional examples and worksheets/textbooks.
     
  18. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Seems like a fairly positive comment.
    You either go now.
    Or you go later.
    Or you change what you do and you can stay longer.

    What on earth are you fussing about, other than an inability to take constructive criticism?
     
    emerald52, BioEm and drvs like this.
  19. ibrahim10

    ibrahim10 New commenter

    I am UK trained and qualified in the UK and hold a PGCE. They have seen my books and they are well presented, marked and up to date. In fact, they ask the children for their books behind teacher's back which is why I am always on top of my work. I do not have official written feedback from anyone as the policy is to just walk in and observe and give verbal feedback. They have just caught me 2 lessons, one of which was my worst class and the other I was doing posters for my display - and they came to the conclusion that I have been an inadequate teacher all year round.
     
  20. 576

    576 Established commenter

    Doesn't automatically make you a great teacher.
    I think the reality is you're not suited to that school and the best thing for you is to accept it and find a better match elsewhere.
     
    grumpydogwoman, BioEm and drvs like this.

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