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Do I HAVE to teach other subjects that i either hate or am unable physically to do?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ThereAreBunniesInMyHead, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. ThereAreBunniesInMyHead

    ThereAreBunniesInMyHead Occasional commenter

    I am a qualified media specialist and have been teaching for 3 years (with 4 years indsutry experience before that). When I applied for my job I chose a school that had a small number of media teachers (just 2) but a large focus on media within the curriculum (they teach it to KS3 classes as well) specifically because they told me at interview I would not be required to teach anything other than media. In my NQT year they gave me 2 lessons of drama and a lesson of English a week as well which although not happy about I did anyway. This year I did 4 lessons of drama a week without complaining. However I was trying to decide about whether to stay at this school for the following year and so last term asked my HOD about whether I'd be teaching drama next year or not and they said "no, definitely not" because we're doubling our number of y10 and y.09 media GCSE classes and so I would be needed full time as a media teacher. This made me want to stay and so I chose not to apply for a good job that I had seen on the TES website.

    However now I am seeing my timetable and I have TWICE as much drama as this year and they are saying there's nothing they can do about it. Meanwhile they have too many media studies classes to cope with and so they've asked non specialist teachers to take media GCSE classes whilst i'm teaching y7 drama!

    On top of all of this, I have seriously injured my ankle and am having multiple surgeries on it over summer. I have been warned that in future I will have to do most of my teaching sitting down at my desk because I wont be able to stand for more than a few minutes and i'm worried that this just wont be possible teaching drama as it requires the teacher to be quite active, especially when teaching the units such as stage combat etc. I have voiced my concerns but basically been told "there's nothing we can do."..

    What I want to know is, do i HAVE to teach a subject i genuinly dislike or can i ask to be swapped to another subject if there's no media for me (maybe english or something?). And also do I have a "leg to stand on" (pardon the pun) if I feel physically unable to teach drama next year?
    Thanks for any advice
     
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    You have no hope on the "I don't like it" ground. That is just tough luck.
    You may have hope on the ankle issue. Will depend on how serious/how long and whether they can make adjustments to still allow you to teach drama.
     
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    Your choices are...
    1. Teach as directed and make the best of expanding your experience and skills.
    2. Resign to leave in December because you don't like what you are being asked to teach.
     
  4. erp77

    erp77 New commenter

    Chin up!

    You coud be teaching Maths!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    That is just DAFT - ask for a swap!

    Inform them again in writing. If the answer is still, 'tough' ask to go through OH and get your union involved

    Unfortunately yes! I am teaching year 7 ART this term! Only one lesson a fortnight, but I have NO artistic talent at all!! However, a good HOD/HT will enable you to teach to your strengths, not weaknesses...
     
  6. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    Does it not depend on the availibility of somebody to teach the drama class? Plus, Media GCSE will have a different number of sessions to a Year 7 class, so straight stop won't work. Timetabling is a fine art. The OP's school doesn't seem to be getting it right, but changes this late in the day will be difficult.
     
  7. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    Hi,
    You are employed as a Teacher so the Head Teacher is perfectly within their rights to ask you to teach whatever they want you to.

    If you've whinged and been knocked back, then you're onto a loser.
    My advice is to turn this around, and look at it as another string to add to your CV. How good will this look when you get references, mentioning being able to ask you to help out in several subject areas? What about if you got "good" observations out of subject specialism? What about getting "good/Outstanding" marking feedback?

    Added to which, it shows that the Head has a lot of fith in your capabilities as if they thought you were an "unsatisfactory" Teacher in your own specialism they would be after supporting you in Faculty, not asking you to support other Faculties.

    I'm not at your school, but it's been a long year and we're all a bit tired and can pick up the wrong end of the stick.
    If you still want to look on the dark side, at the end of today would you prefer to find an unsatisfactory time table for next year in your pidgeon hole or a redundancy notice?
    Ian
     
  8. Ian is right unfortunately. I do have a lot of sympathy for the OP and would hate to find myself in this position. This situation seems to be wrong for all departments concerned however with the current redundancy threat it is better to teach outside your subject than be asked to leave. Perhaps embracing this is the way forward - can you get on some really good Drama Training? Perhaps up at the National? It could inspire you to have more passion for this subject area and make the year more bearable for you while you apply for media jobs.
     
  9. Sorry to add to the general disappointing news but yes, you have to teach whatever the ht gives you (unless you are in Scotland, where teachers have to have a degree in what they teach). Btw this means any subject whatsoever (apart from PE), so you could have found a timetable in your pigeon hole including a language you don't speak or something like chemistry. As someone has said: which is better, drama or redundancy?
     

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