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Ever been bullied or made to feel so ill you ended up off with stress or resigned? Please read.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by dht46, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. thenorris

    thenorris New commenter

    I had a very interesting situation about 7 years ago. I was asked to attend a meeting after school on a Friday. I kept asking why and was told nothing.

    When I went to the meeting I was asked why I had not done a particular job in the department. I then responded "Well I am still waiting for you to tell me what to do. You can't give me a job; not tell me what the job is and then tell me off that I am not doing it."

    Needless to say, they didn't really have a comeback to that.
    oldbutgreat and sandrabarrett like this.
  2. I had a similar experience about 12 years ago when I was bullied in my job by the head. My union advised me to either take them to task or get as far away from the school as I could. I wasn't the only teacher to have this happen to either. I decided to leave rather than fight as I was still only about 5 years into teaching. The Head left the school and was asked to leave the next job after a very short time! I was so ill and although I was prescribed anti depressants I chose not to take them. This is definitely something that is clearly rife in the profession.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  3. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Ah!; the 'turkey shoot'. Another tried and tested weapon in the bully's arsenal.

    "You didn't put enough sugar in my tea."

    "Yes, I did. Two spoonsful, as you asked for."

    "That might be so but that hardly addresses the issue of the amount of milk you put in."
    sandrabarrett and delmamerchant like this.
  4. thenorris

    thenorris New commenter

    My old HoD was very good at things like this. I learned a lot from him about how to deal with people above me.

    Another incident I had was that I was to organise a charity event for the school. I had been asking my line manager if she could raise an idea in a "leadership team" meeting. My line manager did nothing of the sort and ignored my request, making me look inadequate.

    Suddenly I was being asked why I had not organised this aforementioned charity event. When I was called in to the Deputy Head's office I said what had happened and he lectured me on how schools operate. Then I asked if I was receiving payment for this work and was told no. I then asked if he knew I was doing this as an extra unpaid, as a favour to the school. He also said yes.

    So I then said "Why should I do this then if I am not getting paid"? He had no answer. The charity event was then put together hastily and poorly by an assistant head. She started to get funny with me until I told her the story and directed her to my line manager.

    Sadly things do get out of hand sometimes. My father was ill and I was nursing him. Of course, not one cared and it didn't even cross their minds that I needed time just to get my head together.

    I was called into another meeting about two years ago and the Head started on me. She started to waffle on about capability or cupability. When I started to speak she kept putting her hand up and saying "I'm not interested".

    Then she started to say "You don't care about the kids; you're only here to collect a paycheck".

    Needless to say I was insulted and left. She made my life hell for the last two months and didn't speak to her once in private, I refused.

    Funnily enough I was in Starbucks about six months later with my wife and she walked over to say hello. I just looked at her and gave a curt "hello there".

    Her face was a picture according to my wife. The Head couldn't quite figure out why I was so rude to her.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  5. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    I have posted in the past about my own predicament, which led to a CA and a career in Supply teaching. This particular head accused me of being 'Old School' (which I perversely choose to take as a compliment!) and, yes, she was a female head (only a little older than me) and I have to say that a lot of bullying in the Primary sector is perpetrated by women against women. I took early retirement as soon as I could and now am on long term supply at a school with a decent (female!) head. I never realised that my supply status would cushion me from the pressures my permanent colleagues face, but to an extent, it does.

    Another female head I had the misfortune to work for saw off two good friends of mine (both women) so I jumped before I was pushed. Mind you, the latest Ofsted report for her school sums up beautifully what we were up against, and I quote: 'The headteacher does not shy away from difficult conversations about teaching performance.' So, a damning endorsement from Ofsted gives the green light for further bullying.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  6. Oss54

    Oss54 New commenter

    This has been going on for years and years and the government has done nothing about it. I was bullied by a previous head and the only thing that sorted it out was intervention by my MP. Do not hesitate to contact your local MPs -( we voted them in after all) and get their help. They are the ones to change this - local authorities will always come back to the lame excuse that schools are governed by the Governing Body - a cop-out. Yes TES you do need to have a focus on this - fantastic teachers are being driven out of the profession and the latest casualty was a very good friend of mine (wonderful teacher) who has just handed in her resignation. A huge loss to our education system. Stand up to them and fight them back. Make their lives a misery and do not be nice about it.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  7. Riverhorse

    Riverhorse New commenter

    "When I started to speak she kept putting her hand up and saying "I'm not interested".

    Funnily enough I was in Starbucks about six months later with my wife and she walked over to say hello."

    In your position, I would have been SOOOOOOOO tempted to just put my hand up and say "I'm not interested" when she approached you in Starbucks!!

    Hmmm, weird, have never tried to reply to a comment before and find I don't know how to quote thenorris directly...
    glitterkid likes this.
  8. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Find the post from which you wish to quote.

    Click "use rich formatting"

    Highlight the text you wish to quote.

    Click on "quote"

  9. thenorris

    thenorris New commenter

    I'm unquotable. Lol

    Seriously, it did cross my mind, but I didn't want to be as bad a human being as she was.

    Frankly, I see her occasionally and I think the message got through, which for me was all I wanted. She saw me as an "easy target", but never quite realised that I too can be as rude and ignorant as she was if I wanted to be.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  10. Riverhorse

    Riverhorse New commenter

    Thanks Rosie! I'm used to different layout on other forums so was just a bit confused..
  11. chuk

    chuk New commenter

    It is a good idea to start up this thread because this kind of treatment by SMT is now becoming so common place that it is almost considered as normal.

    I think most of the unions are rather weak and too ready to negotiate wishy-washy CAs with gagging orders. There is another thread on these boards about using employment lawyers instead of unions so I won't repeat what has already been said.

    This bullying is going on because it is very difficult to prove. Many(but not all) senior managers allow power to go to their heads and I think they view younger teachers as easy prey.

    I think it is also to do with the nature of schools and the type of people who work there. There is almost a kind of blind obedience that goes on, coupled with a good sprinkling of being brainwashed and institutionalised. I think some people don't help their case by caving in too quickly. However, having witnessed at first hand the effect of incompetent new managers, their hypocrisy and reluctance to lead from the front, I would venture to suggest that this breed may well multiply beyond acceptable levels. They are all mostly slaves to ofsted and will at every possible opportunity say during staff meetings: 'This is what ofsted is looking for....' etc.etc.
    sandrabarrett and TailwindTurner like this.
  12. Mrs_Frog

    Mrs_Frog New commenter

    A previous head of mine is well known as being particularly vindictive. I still have a huge amount of evidence from the time that I was at that school, just in case.

    Prior to my departure, there were a number of people who were 'forced out' by her, and it was guessing game as to who her target would be once I had gone. (That person has since left to do supply)

    I was undergoing diagnosis for an auto-immune condition that can be exacerbated by stress, and, in hindsight, she was trying to get me to go off on long term sick, as she hadn't informed OT/HR about my diagnosis (under the guise of 'doing me a favour') so she could get me that way. The penny dropped when she said to me in a meeting, I though you'd be off ill.....

    She accused me of all sorts of things, including hiding my laptop where I couldn't find it so that it would like I was unorganised, and then have a pop at me for that one. (That didn't work either)

    At one point, she accused me of being the weak link in the school and stopping them becoming outstanding. I have the last laugh on that one, because I am now an outstanding teacher in an outstanding school. She most certainly isn't, according to their last OFSTED....

    The worst thing about this is that there were a number of whistle blowers, in that investigators were called in for financial irregularities, as well as another investigation into bullying of staff by her. According to my 'contacts', a colleague of mine was prepared to share my story with the 'independent' investigators but there was no way they (the investigators) would consider it.

    I tried contacting someone directly about it, at both the unitary authority and the county, but I was unable to speak to anyone, I assumed at the time that they thought I was press.

    Nothing came of these investigations, either the financial one or the bullying one, and she is still there, still pushing people about and running for the 'outstanding' that seems so elusive.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  13. I was bullied at my NQT school. I have began to write a blog about it to support others.

    sandrabarrett likes this.
  14. dht46

    dht46 New commenter

    My boss kept telling me I was obviously too stressed to be at work and then continued to do things to make me even more stressed. Eventually it worked and I am now off with stress. The worst thing is she has said she will ring any future employers to say not to employ me, so my future prospects are almost nill and the Union has said this is allowed! 20 years as a teacher, this makes me very sad.
    sandrabarrett and TailwindTurner like this.
  15. dht46

    dht46 New commenter

    Did we have the same head Mrs Frog, this is just what my head has said to me!
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  16. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    My bully didn't say this to me though I think it was coming in the meeting he wanted to hold before I went off sick, but he did say it to another young teacher he was bullying, enough to make a grown man cry. Funnily enough everyone who observed him, including me assessed him as good and he too got outstanding in the ofsted, hardly a weak link.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  17. Mrs_Frog

    Mrs_Frog New commenter

    There is a little sense of 'foxtrot yankee' when a bullied teacher gets the accolade that the bullying SMT/head are chasing, I have relished it personally!

    Mind you, I also had my next head, off the record, state that I had been set up to fail in my PM at my previous school, and that it was clear that PM and other necessary processes had not been carried out appropriately. That made me feel better, almost vindicated in my understanding of what had gone on.

    As a result of my moving on, my teaching has improved, my attitude to work has improved, (funnily enough) and my CPD has also improved. That is not to say that there aren't lingering hangovers now and again, but they are in my mind, and I am fortunate in that I was able to get out and move on without being severely adversely affected by what that particular lady was trying to do. I also know that it wasn't personal, but she was just a nasty woman with her own issues that she was unable to cope with, therefore took out on everyone else.

    I am not excusing her at all for her actions, and I cannot say I am unscathed by it, but as I mentioned in my previous post, I have the last laugh. I always held my head high, (personally as well as professionally) but if I were to bump into her outside a professional arena, (mind you probably in one too) I am unable to guarantee that what would come out of my mouth would be considered 'professional'.

    MF x
  18. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    I'm not a violent person, but I feel the urge to bop evil HTs on the nose.
    sandrabarrett likes this.
  19. Theoldscientist

    Theoldscientist New commenter

    Hi, a friend is another victim. Off with stress after changes to job when changed to Academy. Trying to bring a formal grievance againt the Head but even the union are being obstructive.

    I only do supply, which limits what I can do in the classroom (science teacher not able to do practicals). I will not consider getting a contract for all the reasons given by the posters here. When will teachers unite and stand up for themselves?
    sandrabarrett and tenpast7 like this.
  20. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    Sadly as more and more older teachers leave (those who have stood up for themselves) we will be left with compliant drones who will not challenge what is being done to them.

    Teachers' contracts will undoubtedly change for the worse over the next few years and there will be little opposition.
    sandrabarrett, tenpast7 and menhir like this.

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