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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by QT1, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I was a student starting in 2017 and finished my first placement on a grade 1. My second placement however was a very different story, the school were awful and so unsupportive - long story short they tried to fail me. I left the placement and had to wait until last year to redo it (I stuck it out until 8 days before the end of my hellish placement!) and again finished on a grade 1. I now work in the school I had my second placement resit at and they couldn’t be more supportive, absolutely fantastic to work for.

    The experience I had at the second placement still affects me even now and it has been playing on my mind all this time whether or not to write a letter to the governors about one member of staff’s (deputy head/ student mentor) conduct in particular - but I know how things can travel in teaching. I’m worried this might end up making things worse for me in terms of finding jobs in the future, I don’t want word to spread locally that I’m a trouble causer!

    Any advice?
  2. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    What is it that you want to achieve?
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    YOu can't make a complaint after you have left the school
  4. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    I think what’s kept me so hung up is that I can’t bare the thought of the member of staff getting away with that behaviour. I suppose what I’m asking is, is it worth it or do I buck up and get on with it?
  5. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Unfortunately whether it's worth it or not is irrelevant. It's too late.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  6. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    I thought that might be the case. I was thinking more the route of a letter to governors/head. Seems like time to try and move onwards and upwards, the problem I have is I’m in counselling at the moment - entirely due to this. My counsellor floated the idea this might give closure, seems I need another route!
  7. powerpointdave

    powerpointdave New commenter

    We all want to be treated fairly and feel that those who have done wrong will not get away with it.
    However, I suggest you do not write the letter. You might feel better if you did - but feel better because you are moving forward or because you hope the other person will be dealt with? If it’s the latter, it’s unlikely to achieve what you want.
    I do not write this to be harsh but to let you know that in the 20+ years I have been doing this job I have yet to see such a letter help the writer. I can absolutely understand why you want to write it and why you may feel it will help you move forward. This person has taken up too much of your time and energy and it is difficult to forget this and move on. But you will.
    The best advice I can offer is to focus on your goals and what positive things you want to do next.
    CBT is also worth considering - you may find it more useful- I certainly did.
    caress and phlogiston like this.
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Can you speak to your course tutor instead? It is not in the interests of the uni to put students in such a school.
  9. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Agree with post 8 - no point in contacting the school or Governors once you have left.
  10. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    I would suggest writing the letter but not sending it. The process of writing the letter will help you identify the issues you have been going through - putting it in writing helps crystallize your thoughts.

    Sending the letter will not achieve anything positive - you were a student teacher so as far as the Headteacher and governors are concerned you do not really matter (harsh as this sounds). You no longer work at the school and, as you have suggested, writing such a letter may cause you problems if and when you change schools
  11. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    Leave it alone and get over it.
    Sorry to be blunt but you'er in a good place now - don't in it.
    Eventually, the other school will get what they deserve. Leave it alone.
  12. QT1

    QT1 New commenter

    Thanks everyone. Some really interesting points of view
  13. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    People ‘get away’ with unpleasantness all the time. It’s happened to most, if not all, of us. Leave it. Move on.
  14. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I get where the counsellor is coming from, but I cannot see this having a helpful outcome.
    You actually have two issues here: a) the emotional fallout of a difficult placement and b) potential problems for any other student/staff at the previous school.
    For the first, your counsellor is helping you - write such a letter if you think it will be constructive, but then burn it.
    For the second, the idea of a quiet word with your course tutor is the best way forward.
    To be blunt, you can have no real influence on the previous school, you were never a person of great influence there, as a trainee and temporary member of staff, and you are not even there now. And it was quite some time ago.
    Let this go, with support from your counsellor if you need it, and move on.
    Lalad likes this.
  15. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    OMG my keyboard is shocking. Apologies for what reads like some kind of code!! I meant "don't ruin it"
    DexterDexter likes this.
  16. DexterDexter

    DexterDexter Occasional commenter

    Rest assured that this school will be found out in some way or another (especially if you talk to your placement mentor).
    It might be that the school goes into an unfavourable ofsted category, that parents take their children elsewhere, perhaps they restructure and your main problem person is let go... maybe you’ll never find out.
    Write the letter, burn it and sit back and move on.
    Lalad, install, CWadd and 1 other person like this.
  17. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    When I was a student a long time ago one teacher took me aside and showed me the old paper register book and said, " I always look at the birthdays so I can identify them by their star signs so as to know who I will clash with." My tutor was not impressed.
  18. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I had an awful long placement on my PGCE - I was sent to a 14-19, that was a 40 mile train journey away, and sent by myself, whereas other people on the course went to schools with other trainees. The woman meant to be mentoring me went sick and resigned with immediate effect two weeks in, I was left to teach a class on my own with no support, and the other History teacher had me observing lessons that were simply "chalk and talk." In short, it was ****. I wrote an angry rant on the feedback form the University gave, but was told "now, you musn't criticise colleagues."

    I'm sorry you had a bad time. I'm also sorry its clearly affected you to the point where you want to make a retrospective complaint, but trust me, it won't achieve a thing. Focus on now and move on.
  19. hamcguin

    hamcguin New commenter

    Do you believe that whatever happened was so bad that it warrants investigation or that there is a danger of someone being hurt? Was it 'just' the issue of your placement or is it more of a whistle-blowing situation?
  20. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Even if you make a complaint, all it will look like is a failing student trying to pass the blame.
    There is no way a head will believe you over their deputy.
    Nothing at all will happen and you will never find out if the head even spoke to the deputy,
    Leave it alone and move on.

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