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Enforcing straight backs

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Malachite19, Sep 7, 2019.

  1. Malachite19

    Malachite19 New commenter

    I’ve just started teaching and I don’t really know what’s normal. My school had a rule that everyone has to keep their backs straight. I have got backache after just one week. I don’t know if I can carry on like this. I have to put students in detention if their back isn’t straight and there are prizes for teachers that give most detentions for this. Is this ok? I don’t like constantly being told I have to straighten my back, even in meetings and in the staffroom, and I don’t like having to keep telling students to straighten their backs and issuing detentions for curved backs. If I don’t issue enough detentions for this I will be in trouble. I didn’t expect this in a school. Is this normal? Is it really the best thing for backs? It’s hurting my back. Won’t it be hurting children’s backs too? Please help me know if I need to just toughen up, or if I’m in the wrong job. Thank you
  2. BehaviourQueen

    BehaviourQueen New commenter

    Mrsmumbles, towncryer, Clazz and 9 others like this.
  3. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    After 30 years in teaching I feel that I'v heard a pretty wide range of bizarre and unlikely things. Not sure if this is a wind up or not, never heard the like and am inclined to dismiss this as a piece of time wasting nonsense.
    However would not want to be dismissive of a colleague who might be in genuine need of support or advice so here goes.
    1 - see you doctor for a note about your own condition.
    2 - see your union for advice about implementing this rule

    (If this is a wind up, then you have my sympathy if this pathetic nonsense is what passes for humour in your life)
  4. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    "I've just started teaching and don't really know what's normal."

    If you've spent a year training, or any time observing in schools, you'd have a grasp of what is normal in most mainstream schools. This isn't. Even the strictest PE teachers I've worked with wouldn't issue detentions for things like this. So if this is true, in that context, get another job.

    Unless.. you're working in a Drama, Stage, or Dance school which do indeed have pretty strict rules regarding posture and carriage for the purpose of performance. Therefore in that context this fussing about backs may indeed be normal. If it is that type of school, you may have to suck it up.

    Of course, this might just be a wind up. If it is, I look forward to your next thread.
  5. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Much of what I see feels familiar from what I’ve read – from the SLANT method in class, where pupils are trained to sit up straight and track the teacher with their eyes, to the barked-out 10-second countdown for transitioning between tasks.

    The Michaela Academy. Totally legit.

    Is it normal? I don't care. Is it right? No. Leave.
    afterdark, chelsea2 and jlishman2158 like this.
  6. Malachite19

    Malachite19 New commenter

    Thank you for your answers. I’m upset some people don’t think I’m telling the truth, but that is an answer in itself in a way. It’s isnt a stage school or a michaela school
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Seriously??? Your headteacher or similar tells you to 'sit up straight' or something in a staff meeting????
    I think you need to speak to your union and get some support with the disrespect being shown to you.
  8. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    This has to be a wind up, surely!
    Mind you, we do occasionally need reminding to take our feet off the table in staff meetings:oops:
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I was thinking how to reply but @HolyMahogany has said exactly what's in my mind. It seems pretty unlikely but...

    @Malachite19 sorry if some replies are little questioning, but it's your first ever post and I'm afraid regulars here have seen quite a few first time posters with unlikely stories which turn out just to be a windup. It can make us a little cynical sometimes.

    You are a Maths teacher in a UK secondary yes? Don't name it but LA school? Academy? Private school?
    HolyMahogany likes this.
  10. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    My gut feeling (prizes for most detentions given out?!) is this is a hoax thread. If it isn’t I’m not totally surprised either, but this is silly enough to make it into national newspapers before long if for real!
  11. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    So, the OP posted this at 8:16am and was last seen at 6:09pm but made no response??

    No follow up?

    Wind up!

    Don't waste your time, folks!

    Then bloody well sit up, stop slouching and start setting an example!
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter


    It ISN'T a wind-up! It's the Teach Like A Champion method!

    agathamorse likes this.
  13. SundaeTrifle

    SundaeTrifle Occasional commenter

  14. Malachite19

    Malachite19 New commenter

    It’s an academy
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I got told that by a colleague once in a staff meeting. I was embarrassed, but not upset at all. The head was furious with the person who said it and called them in the following day for a right telling off. I was then even more embarrassed and went to the head to tell her so. Everyone apologised to everyone else and it because a 'thing' to laugh about.
    strawbs likes this.
  16. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Why track the speaker? It's not the best way to listen, though to an idiot it might look as if it is, I suppose. If you're doing 'listen' you don't also need to follow the speaker's potentially irritating movements.
  17. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    What about students who have disabilities? There are genuine reasons why some students cannot do this. Like most of you, I think this should have been posted on the first day of April, but half of what we'd (anyone who taught prior to MM) have put in this category, such as learning walks, observations, expecting staff to smile at all times etc, seems to be accepted by new teachers.
    cazzmusic1 likes this.
  18. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    It also means children keep turning their backs on you so you can't see if they are pulling faces at the child who's speaking. I much prefer them not to "track"
  19. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    I'm not defending SLANT! I would not work in such a school. Never!

    But they exist. So there's no reason to leap to the conclusion it's a wind-up. This is used in numerous schools. And, in some, failure to comply can result in punishment. I kid you not.
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. Malachite19

    Malachite19 New commenter

    I am answering. Please don’t say I’m not responding. I am, but you can’t see my answers yet
    agathamorse likes this.

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