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Bad start to the year

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by hollytom, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. hollytom

    hollytom New commenter

    I have had a bad start to the school year and I am sat here feeling tearful and unsure what to do.

    It started in the first week of term when I was informed that a parent had made a complaint about me; the ‘incident’ occurred last year but they decided now to put in a complaint. Without going into details there was no substance to this but it left me feeling shocked and upset having never experienced this before.
    I am part time and we were told we were going to be observed which was very early in the school year, it happened last week and it was only my 5th day of teaching the class so obviously still getting to know them. I felt the lesson went well all the children were on task and achieved the objective but at the end I was told it was not creative enough and I would be receiving a RI grading and I need to be observed again. Part of my feedback was incorrect; it was said I had not referred to a specific area that is on the school development plan. When I said I had and there was visual representation of this on my interactive whiteboard I was told you have just put that on there; i.e accused of lying. I pointed out that it was only my 5th day with the class to which was replied ‘yeah but...’
    I just feel upset and fed up and panicky. I know I will feel like this until the next observation and then what happens if I get another bad rating? It probably sounds pathetic when written down but I feel my confidence in myself is being eroded. I feel it’s very unfair to be observed so early on but I suppose HT can do what they like?
    I actually don’t know if I can go into work tomorrow.
    Alice K and agathamorse like this.
  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    From what I've read in the last fortnight? Observations this early are quite routine.

    As for being told you'd cheated by altering the PowerPoint (or whatever) retrospectively? That's disgraceful. I would object in the strongest terms and ask for an apology. If that doesn't happen then I would speak to my union.
  3. SamGBr

    SamGBr New commenter

    Two main approaches you can take:
    1. Agree with whatever the HT is saying, even if you know they are lying between their teeth. Do exactly as they say in the next ob, thanking them for all their very “helpful” advice. Let the whole complaint situation blow over.
    2. Realize what school environment you are in (and lack of SMT backing) and plan for your next position elsewhere...
    rolysol, gold19951, mordrid and 4 others like this.
  4. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Sorry to hear this. The powerpoint comment is disgraceful. Was there anything else which triggered the RI? Are you a relatively new teacher or is this a year when you become expensive? Can you ask for support from another meber of staff so that when they want to meet you, you have some sort of plan ready to offer? And UNION.
    gold19951 and agathamorse like this.
  5. hollytom

    hollytom New commenter

    No I am not a new teacher and I have come to the conclusion that I am going to leave which is a shame as it’s a part time job which are not easy to come by. But it’s not worth the aggravation for14k a year
    henrypm0, 1970devon, Alice K and 3 others like this.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    See Union.

    Do not sign that you agree to the judgement. Are others also been observed now? Is there someone you trust that you can talk to ?

    See gp. This sounds stressful :cool:
    mordrid, agathamorse and FrankWolley like this.
  7. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    ...parental 'complaint'... not surprised there may be a retention and recruitment crisis.
  8. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Ask to observe the Head teach ;)
    gold19951 and install like this.
  9. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    "Not creative enough" as grounds for RI? What b****cks!

    Since when was creativity the basis for judging teaching? I don't recall it being anywhere in the Teacher Standards. I would say that a less "creative" lesson may often promote more learning as pupils respond well to routines and structure. There is a place for creativity as well, but it's not the be all and end all of teaching.

    Being observed so early isn't necessarily a problem. I was seen by flipping Ofsted on 12th Sept so I suppose we have to be ready for anything. And it means there hasn't been time for books to get messy and marking to get behind, so that's always a plus.
    gold19951 and agathamorse like this.
  10. hollytom

    hollytom New commenter

    I feel I am being criticised because I did a normal lesson and didn’t put on a show as a lot of people do in the school. It feels very subjective and criticising the process and not what was achieved in the lesson. It seems we all have to be an edutainer now
    Alice K likes this.
  11. ronnieg

    ronnieg New commenter

    Another school grading lessons despite OFSTED saying it's pointless! I'd contact your union and ask their advice- hope it improves soon and it's not another SLT sharpening the knives
    rolysol, gold19951 and agathamorse like this.
  12. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Yes, grading lessons? Ridiculous. Ofsted don’t do it and schools in the main have moved away from this. I think you’re doing the right thing in leaving, if you can afford it. I think supply in primary is booming at the moment.
    gold19951 and agathamorse like this.
  13. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

    I am sorry to hear that an 'incident' from last year has been reported by a parent. Parental complaints seem to be more common nowadays and are extremely stressful for teachers, especially when unfounded. At some time in their careers, most teachers unfortunately, have had to face situations like this. We don't have Ofsted here(Scotland) but I understand that it must be awful to be observed and judged so harshly. Weigh up what your options are and good luck with everything. Take care.
  14. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    This complaint sounds a but 'elaborated' to be fair? If it IS a parental complaint why have they taken a year to do so?
  15. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    If there really has been a complaint then the proper thing to do would be for the head to take it seriously and look into it of course, but with the presumption of your innocence and supporting you through it until and unless the evidence showed you to be at fault at which point the degree of support would depend on the gravity of the incident and perhaps on surrounding circumstances.

    The problem is too many heads lack the common sense, the balls or the integrity to do things properly and sometimes the immediate reaction is to point the finger at someone else, in this case you, in order to prove that they themselves are beyond reproach.

    It's pathetic really but symptomatic of the poor quality of managers blighting our schools in this day and age.
  16. hollytom

    hollytom New commenter

    The reason why the parent decided to complain now was because they were in dispute with the school about another separate issue so decided to throw this into the mix to muddy the waters. The complaint about me was one of several issues raised by the parent not even top of the list. I don’t want to give any more details just in case.
    I think it is resolved now but it left me feeling very upset and I see how vulnerable teachers are to this kind of thing
    agathamorse likes this.

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