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Individual video calls?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by boxer20, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. boxer20

    boxer20 New commenter

    At my school we are being asked to make video calls to Year 10s on a 1:1 basis.

    On the call (which is recorded) we go through a script of questions. The questions are about the work that has been set over the last few weeks - work that none of my Year 10s have completed with the exception of one child.

    These calls should take 30 minutes. We are supposed to arrange a time with parents and welcome them to sit in on the session.

    I have two Year 10 classes so am looking at doing 20 hours of these 'face to face' calls over the next three weeks.

    I cannot understand why we are not using this time to do online lessons with our Year 10s. I'm frustrated that I'm going to spend so many hours on this. Our exams classes have had NO live/interactive teaching for 3 months, and I am expected to spend 20 hours calling them to ask them generic questions from a script?

    Is it unreasonable for me to say that this is a very poor way of meeting the government's 'face to face' instructions?
    Catgirl1964 likes this.
  2. madcatlady

    madcatlady Occasional commenter

    That would be a NO from me. One to one? V poor idea from a safe guarding pov. Apart from all the faff of finding a suitable time.

    Ask your union if one to one is ok?

    Also I am finding that all the students don't attend online activities. You will be chasing them up forever
    steely1, Catgirl1964 and agathamorse like this.
  3. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Actually it sounds to me like a good idea.
    They've had no lessons.
    But they've also had no teacher asking them questions.
    And the questions might be generic.
    But the answers wont be.
    That is the whole point of it.
    Get on board with listening to the kids and the parents, rather than dishing out stuff.

    The one main criticism I have is that as already said, you'll find the uptake patchy, so Id have something on hand to do asap when you realise it's a no show. 20 hours over three weeks is not a big ask-it's under two hours per day, some of which you can use on something else, I have no doubt about that. Have some prep or marking ready.
    I don't know what your contract is in terms of hours, but against a full time role, that leaves plenty of time for delivering virtual lessons.
    The beauty of doing both the one to ones and whatever lessons you can, is that you can now use the former to inform the quality and efficacy of the latter.

    I wish more schools were doing this.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2020
    tall tales likes this.
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    A decent school will have thought of that asap, and made sure a platform is used which is secure and recordable. Additionally, you don't need to have a visual, and you can also type as opposed to speak, so there is lots of scope for keeping things low key, private and neutral. I don't know of a platform which does not offer this to some degree at least..
    Finding a suitable time can be done by spreadsheet. The biggest task is setting it up, and adding people as they reply and then adding them to the calendar or whatever platform you use takes just seconds.
    The poorness of the idea lies in disparity in technology at individual homes. Who knew this would happen? We could have trained all kids, and ensured they were ready. But we didn't. Nobody did.
  5. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Aren't they meant to be coming into school this week? Surely that makes this unnecessary.
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. banjouk

    banjouk Occasional commenter

    Tell the school you have hit or close to your data limit on your internet connection and videos calls will take you over your allowance.
    Morninglover, strawbs and Catgirl1964 like this.
  7. TheHeadteachersOffice

    TheHeadteachersOffice Occasional commenter

    This is the kind of attitude that really makes teachers unpopular with the public. Staff in every other sector have had to adapt to new ways of working. Yet some teachers and the unions in particular have put constant barriers up by attempting to ban online lessons and even marking!

    I’m pleased to report that all teachers have been working hard at my place since lockdown. We were preparing since February for the school closing and we were able to launch straight into a full programme of online lessons and regular contact with pupils and parents.

    As a senior management team, we knew the unions would not cooperate, so we simply cut them out of the process. We spoke directly to teachers about how we could support them with the transition to online teaching and we now have happy teachers, happy children and most importantly, happy parents!
    swampyjo likes this.
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Another wind up imho :rolleyes:

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    It's supposedly true that year 10s are back this week, (mine are). I agree that a call is a good thing but also that 1/2 hour is a long time. Behind the call to the student lies what, in terms of purpose ?
    • Is it to show some future inspector that the school was ' on the ball' during Covid -19?
    • Is it to ensure that teachers ' do something' about non-submitted work during a world-wide epidemic?
    • Is it to make the student and their families feel bad about not handing in work and justifying their time during lockdown?
    A call, (quick one) to ask how things are, note that you're a tad disappointed that no work has been submitted, any chance you could send me something etc ? but I wouldn't do the half hour thing.
  10. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith Occasional commenter

    The issue here is that a direct instruction has been given to both follow the script provided and record the calls (which I'm assuming will be monitored for "training and quality purposes").
  11. install

    install Star commenter

  12. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Presumably the parents have to be told that the calls will be recorded and kept? I would expect some to say 'no thanks' then. Mrs M certainly would.
  13. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I am inclined to agree with you, but things like this are the management's responsibility, and ultimately you have to get on with it. I expect that most of the interviews will take less than 30 minutes. It's worth having dialogue about the failure to complete the work that's been set.
    Who says they'll take part in live lessons?
  14. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    1:1 video calls are a safeguarding nightmare waiting to happen. I'm afraid I would simply refuse.
    steely1 and strawbs like this.
  15. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    All posts from @CalF123 @GreenTrees123 @TheHeadteachersOffice - the fake Headteacher of the non-existent Free school - are a windup

    EDIT Actually I do recall he did make one sensible post once, to the surprise of everyone else on the thread. An event yet to be repeated :D
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2020
  16. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    Agreed. This will be a genuine issue for may with working from home (pupils and staff alike). I do not have unlimited broadband and need to keep an eye on my usage.
  17. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    oh and I wouldn't touch individual video calls with a bargepole!
  18. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I agree that the process is completely futile. Rather than refuse to do it, why not suggest emailing the parents and get them to ask their Year 10s, what aspect of the curriculum they would like you to go over with. Stipulate that a parent or a responsible adult must be also be in on the Zoom chat and that it will be recorded. This will put at least 25 percent of them off. Employers are supposed to be making it flexible for staff with children to do this.

    I can imagine the communication being something like

    Have you done the homework
    Wasn't bothered etc.

    It would be better for them to get half an hour's quality tuition from a qualified teacher, than a random chat.

    You can only make the suggestion, if your SLT are open to suggestions, that is.:rolleyes:
    agathamorse and FriarLawrence like this.
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It is interesting to see so much opposition to the idea, especially as the very things people on here seem to be wary of are actually designed for the opposite purpose.
    Recording the call is in itself for safeguarding purposes, ie monitoring that the call is for the right reasons, (We are already familiar with our calls being recorded for monitoring purposes in a multitude of ways) and scripting the thing is really just a starting point, a focus for what to say.
    I don't get why some people are also saying this is a waste of time and that responses will be superficial and non productive.

    Have posters on this thread actually tried this way out?

    My school is doing something similar,although it is not compulsory, and it is something I have done regularly now for a few weeks. Sure, some students keep things brief, but others are very appreciative of the contact. it is the exception that a parent wants to join in, I'm guessing because they seem to want their kids to have some contact that they own. After all, they don't come and sit in on lessons or one to one conversations at school, do they?
    We also surveyed lockdown procedures with parents, and a huge majority said that they felt the video calling was beneficial, far more so than worksheets or emails.
    Dunno-I am somebody who values "chatting" to kids whenever I can, it's all part of the job, and for many kids it is a support not just work wise, and I don't really see this as detracting from that. What a dull job if all I did was dished stuff out without knowing what was going through their minds.
  20. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    This person might be a clown, but this statement is pretty accurate.

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