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feeling undervalued and demotivated

Discussion in 'Personal' started by elmont, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. I have been a teacher in the same school for 10 years now. I like to think that I am reasonably good at my job and can just keep my head down and get on with things. We had a new headteacher take over last year and since then, the morale of pretty much the whole school has plummeted. I was called into her office last week where she just launched into "why have your literacy books not been marked for a significant amount of time?" She wanted to know if I had a problem with marking as the previous headteacher had mentioned to her that I had been pulled up on this before (about 7 years ago after I had split up with my fiance of 10 years, there was a period of time where, surprisingly, I cared very little about school!) the only way the new head would have known about my books was if she had gone into my room when I wasn't there and looked through them. I put my hands up and say that, yes, I had neglected them for a few weeks but I had spoken to the children during lessons and shown them how to improve etc and surely I am not the only teacher who does this? I don't make a habit of leaving them for weeks at a time usually, it just seemed unfortunate timing.
    That was just 1 incident of my confidence being chipped away. Fast forward to yesterday. We had sent out mid term reports to the parents on thursday. These are an A4 sheet with 2 charts for attainment and effort in literacy and numeracy and a general comments box. The parents have a reply slip to return with space for any general comments and a chance for them to speak to the class teacher. A slip came back from a mother whose child I teach for literacy with a lot of personal, negative and scathing comments about my teaching abilities. This same mother then approached me on the playground after school and (in front of three other teachers and her son)and stated that I had crucified her son on his report. I said that i wasn't going to discuss it on the playground but she kept on. I walked away, leaving her on the playground, still going on about the report (of which my contribution was 4 ticked boxes) The deputy head came out and sent her home. Our head was not in school yesterday but this is being mentioned to her on monday. I just feel like this is further evidence for the head to just confirm the suspicions that she seems to have about me being an incompetent teacher. I am so tearful and am constantly feeling demotivated. Has anyone else experienced something similar? Just looking for friendly and postive comments please!
    Thank-you for reading if you have made it this far!
     
  2. I have been a teacher in the same school for 10 years now. I like to think that I am reasonably good at my job and can just keep my head down and get on with things. We had a new headteacher take over last year and since then, the morale of pretty much the whole school has plummeted. I was called into her office last week where she just launched into "why have your literacy books not been marked for a significant amount of time?" She wanted to know if I had a problem with marking as the previous headteacher had mentioned to her that I had been pulled up on this before (about 7 years ago after I had split up with my fiance of 10 years, there was a period of time where, surprisingly, I cared very little about school!) the only way the new head would have known about my books was if she had gone into my room when I wasn't there and looked through them. I put my hands up and say that, yes, I had neglected them for a few weeks but I had spoken to the children during lessons and shown them how to improve etc and surely I am not the only teacher who does this? I don't make a habit of leaving them for weeks at a time usually, it just seemed unfortunate timing.
    That was just 1 incident of my confidence being chipped away. Fast forward to yesterday. We had sent out mid term reports to the parents on thursday. These are an A4 sheet with 2 charts for attainment and effort in literacy and numeracy and a general comments box. The parents have a reply slip to return with space for any general comments and a chance for them to speak to the class teacher. A slip came back from a mother whose child I teach for literacy with a lot of personal, negative and scathing comments about my teaching abilities. This same mother then approached me on the playground after school and (in front of three other teachers and her son)and stated that I had crucified her son on his report. I said that i wasn't going to discuss it on the playground but she kept on. I walked away, leaving her on the playground, still going on about the report (of which my contribution was 4 ticked boxes) The deputy head came out and sent her home. Our head was not in school yesterday but this is being mentioned to her on monday. I just feel like this is further evidence for the head to just confirm the suspicions that she seems to have about me being an incompetent teacher. I am so tearful and am constantly feeling demotivated. Has anyone else experienced something similar? Just looking for friendly and postive comments please!
    Thank-you for reading if you have made it this far!
     
  3. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    When you get called in why not pass the buck?
    "I was feling undervalued and demotivated, this place is going to the dogs since you took over, honestly why would I want to please you after our last interview?"
    [​IMG]
    I know, it is a bad idea ,but it amused me.
    I don't think that it would be wise.
     
  4. Maybe, lurch, but my advice to the op is not to just lie down and roll over. It sounds like your new head is basically a bully, so start recording any incidences of unprofessional/undermiming/aggressive behaviour. And if necessary get your union involved and threaten the involvement of the governors. Just like the playground bully she will back off when she realises you're the wrong victim - unfortunately, she'll probably move on to someone else.
    Go in on Monday clear about one thing - you're not going to take any **** off anyone. hth
     
  5. Thank-you both! I needed a laugh Lurch. It has been suggested to me to write things down and I will certainly do that. You just never know ehether it's just you being too sensitive (which I know I can be) or whether it's a more serious issue that needs addressing (r.e. unprofessional behaviour on the headteacher's part) I do need to be stronger and need to stop feeling like I am being run down the time.
     
  6. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    and in return you have inspired me to change my avatar
    [​IMG]
     
  7. lrw22

    lrw22 Occasional commenter

    When you discuss work with children make a quick note on their work to say that you have done so.
     
  8. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    You can buy stampers which say something like "verbal feedback given". I have loads of stampers - I really wanted to work in a bank lol.
     
  9. That's a very good idea. I'm going to start doing that myself.
     
  10. That is also the issue Gorgybaby. I know for a fact that i am not the only one who has done this but am just unfortunate enough to be caught out! it's just adding to my list of reasons why I currently feel incompetent. I think i need to end my pity-party now but you know when just things overwhelm you and you start looking for evidence to support your theories? that's what i seem to be doing at the mo, just hard to change my thinking.
     
  11. It sounds as though your head teacher is under pressure and is quite stressed but that does not give her/him the permission to take that stress out on you or any of your colleagues.
    Have you spoken to your colleagues about the situation, are any of them experiencing the same type of relationship with the head?
    I agree that if your assessments or markings were not up to date then you left yourself open for the criticism but I also know exactly how things can pile up on our to do lists. You've learned a good lesson there.

    I would go in tomorrow with a 'no sh*t' attitude and let the head know that you have taken on board what she/he has said to you about your makings but that you are a good teacher, you've been in the job for 10 years and that you are in no was incompetent. Think about all of the things you have achieved at your work place, which must be a fairly long lost being that you have been there for a lengthy time and find ways of letting your head know about them. Also, a good way to get your zest back for a job is to start a new project, it could be running a new after school club, organising a curriculum visit or an improve your school day. Starting something new will give you more focus.

    As for the parent, if I was in that position I would invite the parent and the pupil to come in for a meeting with me and I would go over exactly what I had written in the report with the mother and the pupil. The meeting would take place in my classroom and I would be completely in charge of how it ran. I would let the parent know, in no uncertain terms, that it was not acceptable to speak to me like that at any time and that in writing the report I was simply doing my job.

    Hope it gets better for you - good luck
     
  12. Thank-you MandyMaxwell and everyone for your positive and encouraging comments. I do need to be stronger and not take things personally. I am dreading tomorrow but, yes, that parent was totally in the wrong for the way she spoke to me, regardless of her opinions of the report (of which my total contribution was 4 or 6 ticked boxes) I will be making it clear to the head that I do expect an apology from this parent and that I am happy to discuss her child's progress, with another teacher present.
     

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