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Is it this bad everywhere?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by kega123, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. kega123

    kega123 New commenter

    Last academic year I had positive lesson observations and good feedback generally. This year I have a behaviourally very challenging/fairly low attaining cohort. I’m on an informal support plan due to be reviewed before Christmas (they haven’t given me an actual date yet…) Apparently the work in the children’s books are not showing enough progress so I’m a cause for concern. It wasn’t based on any lesson observations. The behaviour is challenging in my class, but this cohort have always been known for it- it hasn’t just suddenly happened. I have also put many things into place to address this.

    Last week at a Literacy book look, the handwriting of one child in my class was described as “appaulling.” When I pointed out the progress made with this particular child from the start of the year, I was told “It’s not about progress.” If it’s not about progress, then what are we all doing here?! What in the world am I supposed to do? I’m being told they will have to all have new books in Jan for a ‘fresh start.’ I’m also being observed in Jan because the head is “curious as to why the children think they can produce work like this.”

    I’m not claiming to be a perfect teacher but up until this point in my career, all feedback has indicated that I’ve been doing a good job. I work so hard (like we all do) 11 hour hours a day and care deeply about the children. Confusingly, my annual review (delayed from July, held the other week) went well. I was put through to the next pay scale and the head said there had been lots of positives?!

    In a way, I feel proud of myself. I have kept my head down, grit my teeth and kept on trying. Having said that on some days I question whether me staying there is a sign of strength or just lack of character. I dream about work. I wake up early on weekends too anxious to get back to sleep. My whole weekend has been spent worrying about work. Every time I open my emails, I have this anxiety as though something is going to physically jump out at me. Every day I’m thinking: “What next?” I have tried to bounce back from hard times there, but every time I manage to, there’s another set back. I’m constantly being made to feel like a poor teacher. Staff morale is extremely low. Other teachers have also had it in the neck recently from SLT but at the moment they seem to be particularly gunning for me. I have spoken to my union. Initially I had wanted to keep my head down and see things through til July but now I think it may be a blessing in disguise if they decide to put me onto formal capability, because then I just won’t come back and the union will negotiate my leaving terms/a decent ref and it won’t go on my record (according to their advice) I have to say, this whole experience has made me question whether I want to be in teaching at all. Is it this bad everywhere?
  2. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    yes, it is this bad in many places.

    Its not something to waste your life on
  3. newposter

    newposter Occasional commenter

    I’m sure the parents of your little learners value you and I am sure there are hundred of young adults who remember you and on whom you have had an impact in some way. Education is now run by brainless vindictive and inexperienced people, and that is not your fault.
  4. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Surely the lack of progress by some students is a cause for concern re the students, not the teacher? At least initially.

    A challenging group, you have struggled with behaviour, presumably, the school know this?

    Again this is a cause for concern about the student, not the teacher. But also aren't you on an informal support plan because of a supposed lack of progress?

    What do you mean "the other week"? How long ago was this? Was it before or after you were put onto the support plan?

    Check your performance management and capability policies but I think you may be on Informal Capability now, if you fail the support plan and you are then put onto Formal Capability it may well be too late to arrange a settlement and an agreed reference, did the union mean that they would go for a settlement before it went to Formal Capability?
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  5. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No, but OTT monitoring does seem to be the current trend.
  6. serenitypolly41

    serenitypolly41 Occasional commenter

    If there were concerns why weren't they raised in your last appraisal. How long have you been in this job for?
  7. kega123

    kega123 New commenter

    I did check this with the union. They said to just agree with whatever is said in terms of going on formal capability and then go off sick in Jan while they negotiate the exit terms.
  8. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Tell the person who commented to learn to spell 'appalling' before they pick holes in your students' handwriting.
  9. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Lead commenter

    It is not bad everywhere I promise you. I’m in a wonderful school where we are valued and treated with dignity and respect. I know I’m lucky to be there and I just wanted you to know that these lovely schools do exist and it is possible to find a school that is the right fit for you.
  10. jbraghubir

    jbraghubir New commenter

    Hi, I really felt for your reading your message. Not all schools are like this, however there is a rise in this kind of culture where there is little pastoral or nurturing support for staff. I do believe you need to find a school that is right for you and shares your ethos and values. A seed doesn't grow unless it has the right conditions and environment. I am so glad you are holding on to the good job you are doing. Remember your mental health and well being is important. I really do believe good leadership raises people up not push them down. Don't wait for the worse to happen. You owe it to yourself to be in a happy work environment so you and the children can flourish. I really hope you find a school that is right for you. We are a community of learners who all need to be encouraged and supported just like the children. Best Wishes
    thekillers1, SundaeTrifle and kega123 like this.
  11. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    Er...if it goes to formal capability it DOES go on your record, whereas the informal stage, which seems to be as variable, unpredicatable and elastic as Michael Gove’s toilet visits. I have never trusted the best oxymoron to have ever come out from the DFE’s fink tank...the ‘support plan.’ It rapidly moves to formal and its obvious from your post that you ARE good, you HAVE made progress, but your literacy assessor is an illiterate academy trust-owned thickly who cannot spell. You know this! I would start looking for jobs now and see what you can negotiate for January. If you get an interview and an offer with a dpringbornSeptember start, you could dodge the bullet quite nicely and have a three month payoff of well-deserved time out. Good luck.
    JohnJCazorla and kega123 like this.
  12. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    My assessor spelt ‘weird’ as ‘wied’ and moaned ain’t the ‘wied classroom shape, as if I either could change fundamental room dimensions or gave a toss. They really are DUMB DUMB. DUMB in SLT nowadays and resent intelligent subject teachers. Their loss.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. kega123

    kega123 New commenter

    Everyone loves a pedant
  14. rosepetal12

    rosepetal12 New commenter

    I think you're being treated appallingly - it makes me so angry to hear this- a hard-working, passionate and dedicated teacher being treated in such a way. Thankfully, it's not the same everywhere. I now work in a fabulous school where the teachers are treated as trusted professionals by intelligent managers. (And the school is very successful, too).
  15. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    It is a shame that this "layer" of SLT Checkers/ Critics throughout many Schools/Academies in the UK don't put their efforts into disciplining the "disruptive pupils" in the first place.
    This would allow the "Teachers at the Chalk Face" to teach and not worry about being scapegoats.
  16. skellig1182

    skellig1182 Senior commenter

    Teaching has now become a bit like the pop industry. You’re only as good as your last results.

    After maternity I’m going to try a private school. Someone on here said there’s less micromanagement, smaller classes ect. I love teaching but it’s so unfair at times and it’s not your fault you have a difficult class. The children need some extra support not you and you shouldn’t be put as cause for concern because of this.
    agathamorse and kega123 like this.
  17. drek

    drek Star commenter

    This week? Two weeks to Christmas? I'm so gutted on your behalf.
    My advice would be to cut your losses.
    If there are people who can still do this and in such a ghastly crude brainless manner, then it can happen to any one of us.
    Until the dfe start listening to teachers....That our careers depend on the groups of students and the number of hours of teaching such groups per teacher (differs widely) that are chosen for us solely by leadership teams which they can then stab us in the back with.
    It does not depend on teaching 'skills' or 'standards' and never has.
    These were only encased in PM policies to allow abuse and fear to flourish.
    I will go through my last weeks before the holidays sad at heart for those like yourself, unlucky enough to be caught up and victimised. Been there myself it's a lonely and unforgiving time. It may not be happening to me but for sure some teachers at my school will be caught up in it and we won't even know.
    That's how fickle and corrupt our system is.
    Hold your head up high. Don't work yourself into the ground. There is nothing you can do before the holidays.
    The students will be extra hyper and behaviour goes downhill this last week or two.
    They are expecting a 'performance' from you and them at this time?
    That says everything about them that I need to know.
    Please please rest and try to enjoy the holidays the best you can. Don't let em take that away.
  18. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    It's not that bad everywhere, but it's that's bad in way too many places and it seems to be spreading.

    You work for idiots, as do too many others.

    Good luck.
  19. menhir

    menhir New commenter

    This was me 2 years ago ... I strongly advise you to get out! You are the fall guy for a cohort that are tricky and SMT are looking for someone to hang this on. I started applying as soon as this process started with me and I am so glad I did. It did involve me taking some WRS sick leave as it all became too much. My union helped me get away but by a whisker ! Stay strong and don't be afraid to take some sick leave if things become unbearable. It is NOT you but a CRAZY system of blame the teacher.
  20. Presleygirl

    Presleygirl Occasional commenter

    Ouch I’m in a similar situation x it’s not good is it
    agathamorse likes this.

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