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Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by segbog, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    I think you highlight an interesting phenomenon here, cheesy.

    I remember being struck by how some teachers I worked with
    interpreted the SMT's role as having to do whatever the teacher
    wanted them to do. If they sent a pupil to the AHT wanting them
    suspended, then they judged that AHT was "weak" and
    “unsupportive” if they didn’t suspend, despite the myriad of
    sensible reasons the AHT might have for not doing so (usually, the
    pupil didn’t actually deserve it). In other words, SMT's role
    was not to manage the school the way they deemed best - for which
    they are paid and for which they are held highly accountable - but
    was to do the bidding of the staff.

    They extended the same view downwards too: that is, the pupil's
    role was to do exactly was they were told, without question. A
    pupil had to do the teacher's bidding: if they didn’t, they were
    "recalcitrant". And if they were questioned by
    parents, those parents were "troublemakers" and, no doubt,

    Therefore, those teachers saw themselves at the centre of the
    universe, with everyone orbiting them, and any deviation of that
    being seen as an affront to the natural order. I wouldn't be surprised if that kind of teacher is now feeling threatened and insecure: it's absolutely understandable, if regrettable.

    Most teachers I worked with, though, were of course aware that
    relationships in a social organisation like a school are complex,
    with many competing needs and demands that actually do have to be


  2. You do not know my school and how it is run - you are assuming that I have some chip on my shoulder, which I do not. I have had great respect for SMT when they are doing their job...the one's here are not. They shirk responsibilty. Thet are never here. But I disgress. Bad behaviour stems from a good, strong management team, who will back up a teacher, and mop up bad behaviour. You just want to defend SMT doggidly. It is this them and us attitude which you are now displaying. There lies the problem. This attitude that you have superiors and inferiors. You can live in a world like that - I choose not too.
    And yes - kids should show respect to adults. This is the problem we have. Miscreants claiming they have rights. I would never have dared spoken to an adult the way some of these kids do. It is disgraceful. It is bad parenting, bad school management and bad governmental policies rewarding failure.

    Our schools are a joke and you wonder why?
  3. coaltown1

    coaltown1 New commenter

    We tried that in our school - albeit without the prior knowledge of the head (it was a union meeting re our 190 hours which turned into an impromptu staff meeting, which are now used as training opportunities) - but when we put both problems and possible solutions forward they were rejected totally without consultation. What then? We were proactive but shot down in flames.
    Our strong head will not be swayed from his/her goal!
  4. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    What if the teacher is in the wrong and their actions cannot be
    "backed up"? What if the teacher has flagrantly not
    followed the SMT's vision for the school? Should SMT "mop up"
    the bad behaviour in the class of a teacher who has no respect for
    them or their policies and refuses to implement them with any sort of

    It would appear that just as cheesy wants to "doggidly"
    defend SMT, you "doggidly" want to pass the buck on to

  5. I am making assumptions based on the comments you have posted previously.

    Do you know what the school's legal position is when faced with the decision to exclude a pupil for bad behaviour? Do you know that excluding a child from school is a legal process? Do you know that the case has to be watertight? One incorrect behaviour report from a teacher can render the whole process void. The teacher doesn't see any of this. All they see is the SMT "not backing me up".
    I will speak against SMT when needed to as I will also speak against teacher or pupil. Likewise, I will work with SMT and ask questions which enable me to get a better idea of what's going on. As you said, they are not your superiors, they are your colleagues. Ask them why they didn't exclude the pupil. Ask for as much detail as they can legally give. It may go some way to helping you understand what a difficult job it is they do.
    But you are being hypocritical, because you do live in a world like that - you feel you are superior to children. The only difference is that you are choosing how far the hierarchy goes. As Raymond stated - teachers expect both pupils and staff to be at their beck and call. It's an unrealistic expectation, IMO.
  6. Well..I didn't..what I am saying, if you read my post, is that a good school has a well run SMT, and a bad school has not, in the main. I thought on a teacher forum that we would avoid teacher bashing, but it seems not. So if the kids behave badly in all classes it's all the teacher's fault? My school is a nuthouse. Huge turnover of staff, and you are blaming the teachers? Complete rubbish! The management have been there for years and the place is bedlam. Weak SMT in a cushie job, having meetings about having meetings, while half the staff are off with stress, and the kids go bonkers. Yeah..it's all the teacher's fault..I forgot there for a minute. Silly me.
  7. I apologise for taking your quote out of context.
    I apologise if you were offended by what I said, but the comment
    appeared disrespectful to me. You obviously meant it in some other way.
    The teachers, being the ones in direct contact with the pupils are the ones who must ensure the expectations are met. How do you expect the SMT in a secondary school to keep an eye on 1000+ pupils?
    No offence to yourself, as I'm sure you are a great teacher, but I've lost count of the times the SMT have tried to build a positive ethos in my school, only for a group of teachers to spoil it by not reinforcing the standards, even going so far as to ignore the standards and replace with their own, weaker standards, which brings the whole thing to it's knees as the pupils are not getting a consistent experience throughout the school.

  8. If I disagree with you, then I'll say so, whether you are teacher, pupil, parent, SMT, PT or any other poster here. Or do you expect everyone to just agree with you whatever? I certainly don't feel compelled into agreeing with you out of some bizarre loyalty to teachers.
    No, that's not qhat I'm saying. I'm saying that no one group is at fault. Everyone needs to work together, stop apportioning blame and get on with trying to improve things instead of just moaning about it. You are a person who feels strongly about it and you are a professional. As such you are in a good position to do something about it. Turn a negative into a positive. You might find greater job satisfaction knowing you had a part to play in the schools turn-around.
    One thing I've realised in this job is that you can't expect everything to be done for you.
    You are a professional. You have the position to change things. All it takes is some momentum. If your school is as bad as you say, it shouldn't take too much effort to get a group of likeminded teachers to start to do something about the problems.

  9. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    This is the Times EDUCATIONAL Supplement forum, not the Times TEACHERS Supplement forum. Therefore, I thought we would have avoided child bashing, manager bashing, "expert" bashing and parent bashing, but you've proven me wrong on every one of those counts.
  10. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Personally I think this is the first 'truth' you have posted on this thread. Some of your other posts simply appear to be getting a goal in. [​IMG]
    This can be a big issue in schools. I have worked in departments where teachers have ceased to work co-operatively with a strong SMT. I didn't like it. They refused to recognise that discipline HAD to be enforced (all of our responsibility) and instead, just wanted to be pals with pupils (incredibly selective of course), were overly friendly and even physical (cuddles etc) with senior pupils. They never seemed to realise at all, that they were directly benefiting, every single period, from other teacher's hard work and effort on the discipline front. Discipline free-loaders.
    I can understand segbogs (and others') intense frustration with the system. What we tend to forget, I think, is that everything is interdependent, it's an eco-system . . . . any weak link in the chain is a weak link . . . .where that weakness actually occurs depends on the school, but it affects every other link in the chain . . . in segbogs school it sounds like SMT are scared of the work involved in actually dealing with the kids and supporting the teachers in doing their job . . . . . might that be because they the HT has given up? . . . . . in other schools it may be lazy, renegade teachers (not pulling their weight) or an apathetic HT or a detrimental lack of resources etc.
    Education is under intense pressure and scrutiny. Many of us know nothing of the people we spend our working week with. It's understandably easy to lash out (mentally at least) at the unknown, and therefore, blameable around us. I do it all the time. [​IMG] I just think the thoughts and keep shtumm.
    But let's not forget (this sounds like a really patronising post, what happened?, I don't think I'm usually this teachery) that some of us are in the wrong job and are really not suited to our role, whether we be HT, SMT, Teacher . . . . . Pupil. I often wonder, mostly because I'm supply and therefore I have had umpteen opportunities to walk away for good, but not taken them, whether I want to do this till retirement.
    Some days I go into school and fancy a group hug with colleagues, other days I want a taser.
  11. Which is exactly why I wrote what I did about secondaries being too big, too impersonal and with a large teaching staff who neither know what is going on outwith their own department or in some cases care. This point being borne out further down this thread by kibosh I think. (I haven't quite worked out how to get quotes from different posts into my responses yet.) However, to digress a little from the point, I do feel that some school communities are just too large to be effective and that includes primaries.
  12. Kibosh, Arbitrator of Truth, ye shall now be known as. :D
    Actually, there is a lot of truth in everything else I wrote too. Just because you have not experienced it does not necessarily make it false. Believe it or not, there are schools where teachers and SMT work together.
    In a school with dicipline problems and a weaker SMT, there is a much more sinister downside to this "pallyness". I regularly have to deal with classes who take 15 to 20 minutes to settle down because one of their other teachers let them away with whatever in class. The pupils are quite happy to tell you that Miss so-and-so lets us. It's a battle every time, and it doesn't need to be, if all teachers have the same standards. I'm an experienced teacher and can get the class working, but how on earth are new teachers supposed to stick to standards if they have a class that's getting mixed messages?
    I've heard similar comments about the SMT in my school. I've since found out that a lot of the time, when a pupil is "not dealt with properly" by the system, the reason is because or the inconsisitencies in how the pupil was dealt with. For example, the more evidence that is presented to the SMT, the easier it is to be supportive. If teachers do not log bad behaviour (back to our "pally" teachers again) then the SMT have conflicting evidence - why do they behave in one class, but not another? Teachers need to be consistant with each other.

    If you get to the point where you don't like or respect kids, colleagues and managers and you can't see a way of things improving, you've got to wonder if you're in the right job.

  13. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Research has been done on this. Smaller schools are better environments for teachers and pupils alike. Sorry, I can't remember where the research is available on the internet, but it's up there somewhere.
  14. I knew about this too, but like you was I was unable to locate the research. Sure it said something about 400 being an optimum number but I could be wrong.
  15. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    I have (experienced it) and never made a comment otherwise. Careful, I'll be watching you like a hawk if you start making statements like this. [​IMG]
    Oh yes, and I've been the villain of the piece every time. Far too many teachers will play 'discipline freeloaders'!. Oh and boy do they get annoyed when you get annoyed with one of their little pet monsters!
    Don't get me started on that. Whole departments that are split into factions based on a popularity quotient that the PT favours. Wrong!
    Couldn't agree more.
    Again, couldn't agree more, but the fact is they are not consistant with each other. And rather than focus on this aspect of things, quite often CPD is on GLOW and H&S etc, rather than on the things that really matter to teachers in the school at that time; cohesive and united working practices.

  16. Get a grip...thought you were on our side? Oh that's right...you ran away from the classroom.

  17. Get a grip...thought you were on our side? Oh that's right...you ran away from the classroom.Why are you being so anti-teacher? You taught me..I listened to you..thought your stuff was pretty good...I now realise it's nonsense in the real school world.At least be real please!
  18. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    To describe me as anti-teacher just because I don’t agree with
    your anti-management, anti-child, anti-parent and anti-"expert"
    stance is just ludicrous.

    I don't think any of my many, many teacher friends would remotely
    recognise that as a valid description of me.

    And it's utterly ridiculous of you to criticise Cheesy for a "them and us" attitude and then throw "Whose side are you on?" in my face.

  19. So stop attacking teachers - we have a hellish job - and you know it. So why are you attacking us?
    I don't care about your "many, many teacher friends" I really don't. I have lots as well - good for you.

    Are you archetypal SMT or are you here to help? Stop attacking teachers who are having an awful time.

    Are you for real?
  20. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Oh boys, when will you ever stop trying to spank each other bottoms?

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