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Hurt and confused

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by mrandmrsscience, May 15, 2019.

  1. mrandmrsscience

    mrandmrsscience New commenter

    So I have been doing a head of subject role for free in the absence of the person on and off for years. No word on him until
    Suddenly I see the role advertised. Externally. No one thought to tell me he had resigned and that they are recruiting. I didn’t expect to be offered the job or anything like that however to find out from a job advert has really put the nail in the coffin for me in terms of how valued I am (toxic school). Colleagues asking me if I’m going to apply and I feel like not as it’s obvious how little I am thought of that they didn’t even tell us.

    But my dilemma now is I am applying for posts elsewhere and I don’t want places to then wonder why I am when this job is going at my school. From the outside my school is seen as ‘good’ and at interviews previously I’ve been asked repeatedly why would you want to leave somewhere so ‘lovely’.

    Part of me thinks at least if i don’t apply I can’t be given some confidence knocking reason why I’m not good enough to be paid for the job I do for free and at least that was I maintain some integrity! But then how do I discuss this in interviews?
  2. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    I am assuming that you are a science teacher from your name and therefore you are highly employable. I am surprised at the nature of the questions you were asked about leaving. e.g. why would an HT use the phrase 'somewhere so lovely' that simply implies that their own school isn't so lovely.
    You must always be as positive as possible in an interview. You sound like someone who is going through a very negative phase and I would be worried that you might come across like this in an interview.
    You need to develop some positive phrases to help you in interviews. E.G. While I have enjoyed working at my current school yours is .....nearer to home... offers a wider range of courses to teach ... new challenges - remember that they may ask you to explain your answer etc - this is only one part of the interview process so don't let it take over.
    Look at the paperwork on each school and prepare something relevant and positive.
    Are you applying for HOD posts or do you simply want to be a classroom teacher?
    This process is about showing them your capability and your passion for teaching, not about chewing over negative issues about why you are leaving - Remember you can address the issue of why you want to move schools in your application, when you have time to think about your reasons.
  3. mrandmrsscience

    mrandmrsscience New commenter

    Problem is that question has come up everytime and one head turned it around and said ‘I can’t believe your head is willing to let you leave’ with the undertone of you must be a bit rubbish. Yes I am science but have been told twice too expensive vs nqt and then leadership posts the two have been for one went to the internal candidate and the other someone who used to work there, but again in the interview I was asked over and over why did I want to leave current school. I’ve tried stating fresh challenges, new opportunities etc but this doesn’t seem to wash.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    I can see that this is a harder issue to solve. Is there anyone at your school who can give you some honest advice about this?
    Do you work in state or Independent? May be worth trying independent.
    tbau, jlishman2158 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    In my experience there is little honesty and certainly no empathy in many schools - if the HT can get a person to do a job for nothing or very little, then they will...verbal promises about how that will help you in the future are mysteriously forgotten when the situation changes, and the teacher whose help was so important is treated little better than the contestant in last week's Jeremy Kyle show!

    So, I would apply, to force them to acknowledge your contribution to the school/department, and that gives you the opportunity to apply for jobs elsewhere to cash in on the experience you have gained doing this role...
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It sounds to me as if you really want the job at the current school and that you don't really want to leave.

    I think you have to apply where you are. You might not get it. It shouldn't knock your confidence. Your classroom practice hasn't changed and nobody said you were rubbish as HoD. It's a blow to your pride. Yes. That's understandable. But never try to second-guess recruitment decisions.

    It could be - we want someone:
    Male - because there are "too many" women
    Female - there are "too many" senior men
    More physics
    More chemistry
    More biology

    In other words? Someone different. For whatever reason. A reason which may make no sense to anyone but those doing the hiring. It's not a slight on your ability. It's just the way it is. You are looking for logic. There is none.

    If you're insistent that you must move then try a different explanation. Be honest. You were doing the HoD job for a long time and not properly remunerated (in your opinion) so you feel a bit taken advantage of (even though it was your choice) and want a fresh start. No hard feelings or anything and it IS a good school (never say anything disrespectful).
  7. mrandmrsscience

    mrandmrsscience New commenter

    I really do not want to stay at this school, it is a terribly toxic environment that recycles staff because they see it as a failure if you can’t cope. I have been trying to leave for a while now. But somehow it’s reputation always seems to get in the way. I understand that it’s not worth trying to find the logic in schools choice however as I know you never get the full story as to why you were not successful.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    We're not indentured to our schools. It's far easier for a teacher to decide to move somewhere else than for a school to decide they don't like someone and ease them out. (I know it happens, but it absorbs a fair amount of management energy).

    Sadly this is all too true.

    You work at my old school!

    Job hunting is a funny old game. Schools usually appoint the person they think is the best fit for their needs (or the cheapest). They make what they think is a pragmatic decision. They then spin any old guff to the unsuccessful candidates to get rid of them,. If they think you're a good candidate they'll employ you - even if you come from Sunshine Academy where everything is wonderful and they're Bog Street, where things crawl out from under the litter bins.
    Go positively, sell yourself. Think of reasons why you want to work at the new school without doing down the penny pinching nature of the previous contract.
    Good luck.
  9. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Whatever you decide to do look also at what you can learn from this situation so that you might avoid this happening again. Working for free? Yes I know, I did it too and now regret it.
  10. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    I would be tempted at your current school to speak to the head and to insist on 1. payment as Head of subject whatever til the end of the year - if you get a no, stop doing all the things you donand 2. official acknowledgement (for your reference) that you have been doing the role! Then job hunt very seriously. As others have said have a couple of cast iron reasons for wanting to apply to the new school!
    Stop selling yourself short! A scientist... you're probably worth your weight in gold.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    If you want out?

    Then you will have to say you're too ambitious for your current school. Yes, it's fabulous, wonderful, amazing! But you want MORE! You're too confined, too frustrated. You love it there. It's as marvellous as everyone says. Of course! But you want to break free! (Channel your inner Freddie Mercury).

    Tell them what they want to hear. Tell them the same school for a prolonged period just isn't what you want on your CV. It makes you look as if you've "settled".
  12. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    If someone said that to me in an interview, I would say "why did you invite me here? To waste my time. "

    You should thicken your skin. Tell anyone with snide remarks that you have taken on extra responsibility for the benefit of your students and as a token of good faith in the school. The fact that you are sit in an interview at another school should allow them to draw their own conclusions.

    You should conclude your response cryptically, "it would be disingenuous of me to criticise my current employer".

    The underlying tone of your posts suggests to me that you need to leave your current school as it seems to be sapping your moral. Until then follow the advice in post 10.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I love this line. People seeking to move to a more supportive employer should (mentally) tattoo it on their arm.
  14. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    jlishman2158 likes this.
  15. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Someone has been absent for years?
    And you've done his role for free for all this time?
  16. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    If all else fails, hand in your notice and go on Supply.

    Yes, it’s a bit rubbish in terms of behaviour, status and pay and conditions...

    But - you will be out of your toxic atmosphere.

    You will be wanted - just maybe not on a permanent, NQTs welcome, job...
  17. mrandmrsscience

    mrandmrsscience New commenter

    Why is that so suprising? I’m the only full time in department person with that subject and it didn’t happen overnight just crept up really. And i should also get doormat tattooed on my head obviously...
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The surprising part is that someone has been absent for years.
    jlishman2158 likes this.
  19. mrandmrsscience

    mrandmrsscience New commenter

    I said on and off for years. Ie they are off for 3 months back for 2/3 off for 4 back for 6 and most recently off for 5..... and in between I end up doing a lot of the work anyway.
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Argh - typo means all my replies disappeared into the quote above. If you expand it it still makes sense.

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