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Christmas Card from the Head

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by radical_teacher, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. Hi

    I am new at teaching in the school in Uk. i have noticed something and wondering if any (Headteachers) can explain this:
    The headteacher in the secondary school has given cards to staff in the school but not all staff, i.e not all teachers and she has left out the TA.
    Why would the headteacher do this? Is this a tradition? Is she trying to say something to other staff who not gone.Do you think this is right? Should the head be doing this, causing a division?

    Thanks
    P.S I got one but I didnt feel comfortable when i open my in front of the one who did not get one.


     
  2. Hi

    I am new at teaching in the school in Uk. i have noticed something and wondering if any (Headteachers) can explain this:
    The headteacher in the secondary school has given cards to staff in the school but not all staff, i.e not all teachers and she has left out the TA.
    Why would the headteacher do this? Is this a tradition? Is she trying to say something to other staff who not gone.Do you think this is right? Should the head be doing this, causing a division?

    Thanks
    P.S I got one but I didnt feel comfortable when i open my in front of the one who did not get one.


     
  3. This is not a tradition(!) but a HT making a cheap point. Definitely not standard practice but divisive and petty. Let's hope the remaining Christmas cards are on their way soon.
     
  4. Our head would do this sort of.. People would get Christmas cards and then more people and more.... You would get worried, but in the end everyone got one, it just took him a long time to write them all!
     
  5. I don't send a card to all staff ( there's always someone you forget) we have a policy of charity donations instead....I do cards for my SLT with individual messages of thanks.
     
  6. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    In my first headship I wrote a card with a personal note to every single member of staff (not merely teachers) in the school. In the first year I did it one person mentioned it and said thanks. The second year two did.
    Now, I'm not saying every single person should have bounded up to me in a fit of gratitude for having been sent a card - but I was amazed at how few noted that my writing a personal note (addressing their specific work in school, family circumstances, etc) in 200-odd cards was a bit of a gesture.
    In my second headship there was an established policy of staff sending one card to all colleagues and posting it on the noticeboard, whilst giving a donation to the staff's chosen charity in lieu of other cards. I gratefully accepted this option.
     
  7. They're not your SLT rather, the school's SLT. I got fed up with our last Head claiming me, the school council, the school secretary etc. etc. as 'hers'!
     
  8. At my children's Primary school, the old head not only wrote a card to every member of staff, but also to every single child ... and in a full, 2 form entry school that is a lot of cards!
    The new head has, probably wisely for his own sanity, not continued this particular tradition.
    The school I teach in is small, and the norm seems to be for all staff to give cards to all staff.
     
  9. anon2799

    anon2799 New commenter

    I send one to all staff and all pupils. Takes me ages but the children are always pleased and thank me.
     
  10. I hope you don't teach English...lol...
     
  11. Sending cards to people you see everyday is a waste of money, better to wish people a Happy Christmas in person and send the money spent on cards to a charity.
     
  12. This year our SMT sent me a card with a personal message-lovely! However, only about half of the staff received something similar, some got a card addressed to their class rather than them and some got nothing! Some of the staff who got nothing are among the hardest working and the whole incident has been very poor for staff morale as we are all very close knit and friendly, therefore upset on behalf of them. The poor TAs (who work so hard, especially those 1:1 with very difficult children) got no acknowledgement from SMT at all!
    To those of you who think people are ungrateful if they don't say thank you-this may not actually be the case. As an NQT, I was thrilled to get a letter at the end of my first term saying how well I was doing but was too shy and embarrassed to go and say thank you to the Head.
     
  13. Hi
    I send an individual card to every member of staff and try to write a personal comment in every one. I distribute them on the same day and time to ensure that no one thinks that they are being left out.

    I do not expect a card back and do not expect staff to thank me for them, some do but that is not the point I am recognising that all staff make a contribution to the school.
     
  14. We had a christmas tree in the staff room and everyone made a donation then wrote a message for all staff on a message tag, which was then tied to the tree for everyone to read. Staff then voted on which charity the donations would be sent to. It was nice to read the messages and looked really festive too! It seemed to work better than Christmas cards.
     
  15. Worse if the personalised message is more an action plan or a statement of the HT's intentions for those that do not follow their rule!!!
     
  16. No I honestly didn't! Feel quite unsure now as to why I didn't (as now I would say a direct thanks to the Head) but at the time was genuinely embarassed by her words as they were so kind!
     
  17. Of course Heads should send everyone a card. And it should have a personal sentence. We work desperately hard in our jobs and if we can't be thanked at Christmas it's hard to see when we can be. As for just SLT, I think that's shocking. Our Head didn't give cards saying she was giving to charity instead. A flurry of emails claiming to do the same flew round. EAch said (to the whole staff) that they weren't sending cards but were giving a midwife/goat etc. Two points here - loads of people do this without telling the whole staff. Secondly, most of these people wouldn't have ever given me a card as I don't know them.

     
  18. Our previous Head sent us all a card and a letter
    Our current Head sent us all a card last year; nothing this year. Maybe times are a -changing ...

    I agree it really is the greatest PR exercise and shows everyone that they are valued in one way or another

    I send my TAs a card with a short message; everybody finishes the term with a warm fuzzy feeling whether they believe the sentiment or not!
     
  19. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    I buy all my staff a present (generally a bottle of wine though the admin staff get a bottle of perfume). It costs me about £200. Nearly didn't do it this year as hubby is facing redundancy and is of the "why should you give a present to someone for doing their job" opinion.

    But the staff work hard and ,although I always try recognise their efforts and make really positive comments, publicly and privately, during the year, I thought it important to keep up the gift giving

    I left the bottles with names on and a note in the staffroom yesterday and have had two "thanks" from the staff.
     
  20. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    I'm over it now

    Think I was feeling a bit down the other morning (2nd Christmas without my dad. I'm still reduced to tears when setting the Christmas table with only 9 spaces and not 10)

    I try really hard with my staff because the head previous to me used her position for her own benefit (going shopping at M&S during the school day, turning up at the staff do with a new hairstyle after being in a "meeting" all afternoon, you know the type of thing). So this year, I've made sure everyone (including support staff) had extra PPA when they were not expected in school, and could do what ever planning and preparation they needed. I also gave all staff who turned up to the evening performances a morning off as pay back. And being supportive has really worked; in three years we've gone from skirting Notice to Improve to boarding Outstanding (it'll just depend on which way the wind is blowing when ofsted turn up)

    I'm a big believer in Michael Fullens comments that Heads need to "love" their staff. He also says that if a head needs to choose between their customers and their staff, then they must choose their customers; but any organisation that is forced to make that choice is doomed to fail.

    I also read Jim Collins book Good to Great where he says that when things are going well the best leaders look out of the office window and "blame" the staff. But when things are going badly, they look in the mirror for the reasons why things aren't working.

    So after all that waffling; I guess what I'm saying is my staff are great, maybe they're just used to getting a bottle at Christmas and I need to think of something else (a personalised card with a message showing I see them as individuals might be just the job!). Or maybe, just like me the other morning, they had other things on their mind and just forgot.

    Happy Christmas everyone!
     

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