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In over my head

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Geekygeordie, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. mordrid

    mordrid New commenter

    I have seen so many good teachers - excellent subject specialists-chased away by classes like the one described above

    I'm not nit-picking here I promise. But, I find your expression very interesting.

    I strongly believe excellent subject specialism in itself does not make a good teacher.

    Moreover, I don't think that it's the job of SLT to bridge any missing gaps.

    For the record, I've been teaching for nearly 20 years, never thought about joining the SLT crowd even once. The thought repells me.

    My parents both ex-teachers , firmly believed that it was the least competent in the classroom who were the first to be promoted!

    What do I know anyway - I'm currently being managed out on 'capability' if my current SLT have thier way.
  2. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    It sounds like you have been appointed at the sort of school where the kids have had endless supply teachers and few long term ones. In this situation, they will rebel and think that you are just another one in a long line that will let them play music etc. It is easy enough for anyone on here to give you a load of BM tips, believe me I know that even the best BM advice on here will seem impotent when Chloe says that you are a ******* **** after a simple request.

    You essentially have 2 options. Leave as soon as possible or (and it's easier to say this than do I know) fight. Keep firm but fair and consistent and reframe your expectations and if the kids see you actually aren't going anywhere they might slowly come round and behave.
    The SLT one is tricky. Depending on your school it could go one of two ways. Admit the challenges in your classroom and they may be grateful you are being honest and work with you and know this is better than a supply that pretends all is well when it's not. Or they may think you are not up to it it worse may rather have a supply that babysits rather than gets them actual GCSEs. Myself I would go for honesty if and when you have exhausted your own management techniques. With sufficiently challenging kids this can happen in 10 min I know! Do remember where you are teaching as well, if you are in a deprived area you might well not get brilliant behaviour!
    Schools like the one you describe do exist, I've experienced similar! Good luck if you stick st it and good luck if you can't!
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree that being an excellent subject specialist does not necessarily make a good teacher, but it is part of the foundation. SLT should support their teachers - lead by example. If they see a teacher who needs assistance they need to help them, give them tips, show them how, be there for them.

    What is the point in a teacher with 20 years experience "being managed out"? That is wrong and I am truly sorry to hear about your situation.
    ATfan, Curae and agathamorse like this.
  4. mm71

    mm71 Occasional commenter

    GCSE Computer Science in 1 Year? No chance whatsoever. Nope,

    Classic case of not understanding the course requirements and the level of challenge involved. Functional skills, maybe but not GCSE CS.

    Even if this wasn't such a challenging school, I would say they were insane to expect a full GCSE in 1 year. There are 14(ish) individual units plus the project to complete!

    Your line managers need to be made aware of this ASAP

    I feel so sorry for you having been put in this position, PM me if you need any help with the CS element
    ATfan, SundaeTrifle, tonymars and 3 others like this.
  5. Geekygeordie

    Geekygeordie New commenter

    Yeah I know, going to try and have that discussion today. With regards to the Computer Science element I am totally fine with my knowledge and understanding of the course and I am one of the lucky few who have a relevant degree in the subject but appreciate the offer of help.

    It's definitely a functional skills environment but my issue with that is that I am being wasted teaching functional skills when there are so few computer science specialists and it's of no benefit to me to be teaching functional skills.

    I know it's best to just try and move on but I know how difficult it has been for them to retain staff so I know the chances of this happening before Christmas are slim to none, but can only ask.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Always ask. No harm in asking.
    Curae, tonymars, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  7. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Pepper5 is so right. For teachers like myself who have worked in the outside world in all types of different offices, this situation would be dealt with efficiently and quickly, It has to be stopped immediately and if they are not going to accept school rules, then I feel that they should be shown the door. They don't deserve good education and there are many in the class who want to work and pass their exams and their chances in life are being sacrificed by a handful. This is not right and something needs to be done immediately!
  8. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Shown the door- easier said than done; ofsted and budget! But I completely agree.
    agathamorse, pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    The school probably sees this group of students as proof of their commitment to Inclusion, so are unlikely to consider dropping them, based on behavioural issues. They would also argue that managing the behaviour of a small classes of 6-9 students is no great shakes, especially if you have support staff in lessons. Of course, they are not the ones having to teach them, and produce a satisfactory result. But in my experience, SMT are Teflon coated, when it comes to accountability for either of those things.
    ATfan, agathamorse and yodaami2 like this.
  10. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Some of my worst classes(30+years) were the smallest, I still shudder when I think of 1 group of 4 year 11 kids. Shudder.
    agathamorse, Lara mfl 05 and pepper5 like this.
  11. elder_cat

    elder_cat Lead commenter

    I never had any problem with the principle of Inclusion. I had quite a few caused by the haphazard way the system implemented it. Properly done, Inclusion undoubtedly does a lot of good, for a lot of people. Badly done, it can cause as much harm as it does good. :(
    ATfan, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  12. simonCOAL

    simonCOAL Occasional commenter

    The NQT year is tough for most of us.

    You have a lot of things going on (good luck! I hope everything works out well for you. I’m sure it will) and I cannot imagine the pressure you are under.

    Probably best to leave teaching... for now.

    Give it your best shot when you can give it 100% and do yourself justice.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. sophrysyne

    sophrysyne New commenter

    I seriously doubt whether any school has a "sink or swim" policy, and every new entrant should have support from line managers. If that's not forthcoming, contact your union.

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