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I keep on asking myself if it is me.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by AlwaysAdaptable, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    This is how it goes. I started work in a lovely school 10 years ago as a mature entrant to the profession. So you can guess how old I am. It was like a family and I was very happy. 5 years in a new deputy head started. Things started changing. People left. Then a new assistant head started. People left. This one was an out an out bully.
    Anyway, from being an outstanding teacher, I became inadequate, however during OFSTED I was graded good with outstanding features. Five staff resigned, I thought I could hang on, but n I found myself under constant scrutiny. I can't even go into what they did to me.
    I felt bullied. Union wasn't much help. I resigned and my head promised to give me a good reference.(Union guy said this was not a compromise agreement). I was neither put on informal or formal capability at all , but I was managed out of ajob.
    Anyway I am now in a new school. It is a difficult school. I find myself floundering. I have tried asking for help but it wasn't forthcoming, so I stay back and work out things my self. I wasn't even given a proper network password until 3 weeks into the new job.
    Sometimes I don't even want to go in. I can't believe the same thing is happening and I am worried that I might be put on capability. I want to leave, but I need this job and also how will I get references from my previous school as things werent exactly brilliant there.
  2. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Are you being bullied in your new school, or are you just hyper sensitive due to the injuries that you sustained in your previous post?
    Presumably you had a reasonable reference when you left the last post, and in fact, this is available to you if you want to apply for another post. So use it.
    Bullying leaves you very vulnerable and can have long lasting emotional effects. It can render you susceptible to further bullying, think of the children that get bullied and the cycles that form.
    You say you are a mature teacher. Think of the little time that is left and try to get a harder skin over these things. I know it is hard. But stop looking over your shoulder and feeling hunted! Get a so what attitude from the so what shop. Because it is just a job and you can get another.
    Apply for other jobs and give reasons such as, oh, too far to work, or similar. Make excuses based on fact which are not. And leave. Or make it work. Take a sabatical, do an MA.
    Bullied people are
    ethical, kind, idealistic, unselfish, moral, have high standards and don't play mind games with others, so do not understand how they get put down.
    You are a lovely person and a good teacher and you either make this school work for you in a detached work only way, or you leave and seek a good working environment in another school.
    Don't let the burgegers win.
  3. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    Thank you for your lovely post. I might be being hypersensitive due to my experiences in the previous school. It is a new school, children are needy and the parents are even harder.
    I like ''Get a so what attitude from the so what shop. Because it is just a job and you can get another''. I feel I need to make it work for me in a detached work only way.
    I have a lot of thinking to do. Thanks again.
  4. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Don't forget that it will take a lot of time to manage to settle in a new school/work place/ relationship / house............................
    A year is how long it takes to really adjust to a new school. You will miss the good times of the old workplace and also grieve over the badness that happened too. So be kind to yourself.
    IF you feel that your are being treated badly, take yourself a little time to believe that actually in some places, mistreatment of human workforce is considered really really bad management. Unfortunately we are so stressed in teaching that we forget that we have THE RIGHT, to be valued and to be cared for in the working environment. If others do not do that, then we have to do it for ourselves.
    Take heart from the fact that you are not the only one this has happened to - and with hindsight some time in the future, you will find lots of teachers who have been through this and survived as kinder and stronger people. Sometimes people in quite high places have experienced what you have experienced and it is NOT YOUR FAULT.
  5. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    Thanks again. Your posts are really helping me. I am being hard on myself and its about time I put myself first. I have no problems teaching the class. I know that I could walk into any class and teach without a lesson plan if I had to. Yes and it will take time to settle into the new job.
    I have already booked hair dresser's appointment. Arranged to go to visit friends in the West Country in a few weekends time. Picked out a recipe from Rick Stein's cookbook. In the afternoon will go shopping for the ingredients.
  6. bedingfield

    bedingfield New commenter

    The advice from NellyFUF is good and glad to hear that you are finding things to do outside of work.
    I have been in a similar position and, like you, am on the mature side. I left my last school because of bullying, and was fortunate to get a job in a great school. It is somewhere that has allowed me to prove to myself that I am a good teacher as I am getting good to outstanding observations.
    My lifeline is a colleague in this new school that I have been able to confide in and they always talk me through my bad times and help me to think rationally again. I don't know if you have been able to find someone in your new school who you can talk to, but it really helps me.
    However, there are still times when memories of what went on before come back and I get periods of paranoia; feelings that senior staff are out to make my life hell (they're not, but after my previous experiences I find it hard to trust anyone in SMT). This week, I was feeling poorly but tried to carry on because of staffing levels being low with everyone coming down with a bug. When I was told that I would have to miss PPA, I just fell apart. Totally irrational thinking as I know that the school will make sure that I get the time back.
    I'm not sure how long it takes for this feeling of insecurity to subside, but I try to think positively and reflect on how much I enjoy teaching and the rewards when I see children achieve.

  7. I had exactly the same experience. I was a part-time teacher. Basically the head did not want me there because of that and yes I too was hounded out. New job which I thought would be my dream job and it was a horrible first year. Now some years later I can be philosphical about it and know that everyone has some hassle sometime at work and however bad things are they simply can not compare to the school where I was bullied.I have a lovely homelife and now I have been in my school some time I have friends and pupils who appreciate me. I sometimes wonder if I had a form of Post traumatic stress as I was always tearful and very jumpy. I found that excercise and things like yoga and music helped. Now I watch new teachers in this school and I see that a lot of women have the same problems with SLT that I encountered at first. I also learned that perhaps I was too volatile at the last school and I now try not to react when I find that things have not gone well- beffre because of my state I would react very quickly and this meant I was not always calm. I now wait before I reply or stall. Sometimes now I agree to do things and then just don't do them and people rarely notice. Before I would protest.
    All in all I now think I am very lucky to have a job in a "good school" very close to home and that there would be problems in any school I went to. When things get bad I have lovely friends I can moan to and all the negativity that surrounded me in the last school- that I was difficult, could not get on with colleagues etc has been disproven. Oh and I know I was not the last teacher to be forced out.
    Hold your head high and keep at it. It's not you it's them.
  8. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    I have received some lovely replies. Thank you to all. I am keeping my head down. Doing exactly what VP's done I'll see how it goes.

  9. Hi glad to see that you are doing better. Just writing to say that it does make you wiser. This week I have had a hassle with a member of SLT and I was able to defend myself and not get upset. This person is bullying me but I have told them I do not like it in what I hope is an unconfrontional way. I hope that they will leave me alone. I now have the confidence to be able to say that I am OK and it is their problem not mine. I was proud of myself.
  10. Some great advice on this post. I had a similar experience when training that almost made me decide not to go into teaching. Until I finally managed to move on from the whole incident I found that no matter how much positive feedback I got I just couldn't accept it- I was still thinking very irrationally and felt great injustice.
    No matter what I did or what other people said I just couldn't move fowards until one Friday night, I decided to drink wine, cry my eyes out, get my notebook and write EVERYTHING down. It felt so good and seeing the pages and pages of the ways in which I had been treated badly helped me finally realise there was nothing I could have done differently and it was not my fault at all. I then began a letter to a person who should have supported and believed me but didn't (I don't ever plan on sending it but just writing it down helped such a lot). I have since been a different person and feel that although this happened to me it is all now inside my notebook and not inside my head anymore!!! I have finally distanced myself from what happened and it feels great! Sure this all sounds crazy but it helped me and I do hope that it helps you too.
    Also, do a search on here for bullying. There is a poster (sorry can't remember his/her name) who writes in great detail about the profile of a bully. It is an eye-opening read and will help you view your experiences and the people you have been dealing with more rationally.
  11. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    The poster is called a19pb.
    I'm truly sorry to hear what a horrible time you are having.
  12. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    Thanks, I've read all the posts by 19pb. He/she knows what is going on. In my new job, I really do keep myself to myself now. I say I'll do something but only do it if I think it is going to be useful/worthwhile. I no longer run round like a headless chicken. Some days are still bad, but don't hurt as much as they used to.

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