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Difficult situation to handle.

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by lighthouse_keeper, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. lighthouse_keeper

    lighthouse_keeper New commenter

    Dear e-Lucy, I
    spent 40minutes writing you a reply last night then my internet failed and I
    lost it all! I didn't have the heart to start again late at night. Sorry, I
    really wanted to get back to you quickly as well!

    I think the
    biggest problem you're facing is the lack of support from your colleagues,
    rather than this boy. Yes, the boy is causing you massive issue but you're not
    getting the back-up you need from your colleagues and your superior. Without
    that, I feel you're on the road to nowhere. How can you put any strategies in
    place if you're not supported by those around you? You must feel absolutely
    awful and totally isolated, which is a terrible position to be in.

    So my first
    question is: are you in a union? Because I think you need to be in one. If
    you're not, do bear in mind that you can't refer to anything that has taken
    place before you join. If you're in one, great.

    Second question: Are you logging everything? Every incident with
    the boy, every email to your colleagues, every meeting? Time, date and details.
    Every time. You need to build a bank of evidence - what is the boy doing, how
    often he's doing it, what you are doing as sanctions, is he turning up (not sure
    how it works it FE college re sanctions though). Every time you refer this
    matter to your superior / other colleagues, copy and keep the emails, or make
    notes at the meetings and save them. And back them up. You need to show that
    you have been doing all the right things, as it’s clearly not being taken
    seriously by those around you.

    Third question:
    What are the politics in your department? I just wonder if there’s another
    reason why you aren’t getting the support you should be, or even if this boy is
    being supported over you – I find it almost unbelievable that they take his
    side over yours. However, it happened to my father when he retired – he had a
    similar issue, and the department used it against him – my father seriously
    suspected his student was being encouraged to behave badly and disrupt his
    classes….I’m not saying that’s happening here (I seriously hope not!) but I
    know that it happened to my father. Like you, he would always go the extra mile
    for all his students, but if they broke the rules (like being late) he would
    always apply the sanctions and one of his students also tried to make out my
    dad was bullying him and had it in for him, etc. Yours was a familiar tale when
    I read it, which is why I felt I needed to write back to you, just to say “I
    understand”. Is there someone else in the college, perhaps not in the dept that you can go to for help?

    I’m not sure how
    much help I am being, because FE college and its rules/regulations are different
    to what I’m used to, but I do recommend keeping a log of everything, being in a
    union (and talking to them if you are in one already). You could also talk to the Teacher Support Network - they have a free phone number, open 24/7, you could speak to them about the issue if you didn't have a union? I have spoken to them before and they are very supportive and can offer advice.

    If you need to
    rant more, feel free – if you don’t want to do it on here, you can always send
    me a message. It’s important you have an outlet for it.

    In the meantime, make
    sure you enjoy your weekend and forget all about this horrible situation (if
    you can). Nice glass of vino tonight and some chocolate, or whatever floats
    your boat. Be nice to yourself, you need it!

    Hope it improves,
    please write back if you feel it will help!


  2. Hiya Lucy,

    Firstly, I am sorry for all this trouble. It sounds stressfull especially now he has started to point the finger in your direction - I hope you find the right advice for you in this forum.
    You have a right to feel safe in your workplace, seeing as the student in question has a history of violence and abuse and is now abusing you in this way I would say you have to right to refuse to teach him. Even if the in's and out's of the situation are in question it is without doubt that there IS an issue between you. It is in the interest of yourself, the FE and the student to find alternative placement.
    We could debate for a very long time why this is going on and what issues the student in question has, the point is - the current situation is not working and it is not your fault. Be safe in the knowledge that we can't win them all, I am sure by the sounds of it you do a good job and this is a rare case.

    Good luck


  3. Thank you all very much for your replies. Not much to report yet as the learner in question has now decided not to come in.
    In reply to your questions about politics in my department I would need to start a chapter of War & Peace. It is pretty terrible. It is managed by a ground floor level team (same payscale as me, just management in name) who have been doing it since the dinosaurs and young, dynamic teachers are generally not welcome .. you can use a Smart Board ?... GET OUT OF OUR STAFF ROOM ! (have to laugh otherwise I would cry!!).
    I have been in touch with my Union several times in the past 3 years, most of which are never resolved and I am not sure anything much will ever change until management do! Worst thing is I REALLY LOVE my job - the facilities in the College of a whole and curriculums I have written are great and except for this little "you know what" I have never had any troubles involving students before - only staff !!
    I am taking records (it is something I have done since I started) and I have decided if he turns up on Wednesday I will ask him firmly but polietly to leave. I have plenty of evidence to back this up if SMT get involved.I also plucked up the courage to ring his Mother who was very sympathetic and not exactly full of praise for her son. This is a pattern of beh. that has been going on since he was in Infants which in a strange way has made me feel a little better, although still not comfortable enough to teach him. His Mother actually said he usually picks on the youngest "prettiest" teacher so patted myself on the back for that [​IMG]
    Joking aside I will update you on progress as it happens - thanks again for the support, it really did make me feel better that I was right that this should not be happening!! Even 3 years in to my career, teaching politics and a lot of teachers I work with still seem like a mystery to me.


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