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Is this what Teaching will always be like?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by traceurhazz14, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. traceurhazz14

    traceurhazz14 New commenter

    I am in my 2nd year of teaching and our Ofsted inspection is due next year.

    We have book scrutinies every week, things wrong pointed out in front of everyone in PDMs, currently going into several mock deep dives, drop ins every week, environment scrutinies etc. Meanwhile I'm supporting an NQT and expected to do everything right without knowing if its correct. This is has been going on for a while now and its only now that it's made me hit rock bottom. I'm unmotivated and exhausted. If I leave and get another job, is it just going to be exactly the same wherever I go?

    Apologies for the naivety.
  2. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news, but what you are experiencing is becoming the norm in more and more schools. I began teaching 32 years ago and retired after 30 my wife is about to retire from teaching. I never expected it to be an easy job but I never imagined it would become such hard work, every year got worse rather than better.
    I do not believe this will change. We have two children and are determined that they will never go into teaching.
    One more thing to consider, with the changes to the pension you will probably have to work for at least 40 years, If you start teaching at 22 and retire at 62 you would have to sacrifice 30% of you pension. Even more if retirement age is increased again in your lifetime. This is true in all jobs of course. in teaching the physical and emotional stress is becoming so great that if I had had to do another 10 years I honestly believe it would have killed me.
  3. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    This level of ‘scrutiny’ across the whole team is extreme. Teaching will always have it but not to this frequency. Surely if they make it clear what they want done, people will do it? Is it a case of unclear expectations or people repeatedly not following these?
  4. Figmo

    Figmo New commenter

    I'm currently in a school that does virtually none of the hell you describe and its HEAVEN. However I have worked in other schools under the inhumane conditions you describe.

    Its definitely getting more prevalent but don't lose hope. Apply for more jobs and -VERY IMPORTANT - trust your gut at interview.

    There are schools out there with reasonable decent SLT. You just gotta sniff them out !

    Stay positive.
  5. BTBAM85

    BTBAM85 New commenter

    I've worked in schools with weekly scrutinies and observations, and schools with no scrutinies and rarely observations.

    You won't know what school it is until you've worked there. I'd go on supply and work around the area until you find somewhere nice. Wait for the school to ASK YOU to work there.

    My current school has the best SLT I've ever met and it took me 10+ years and a wide range of schools to meet school leaders who weren't fearful, weak mice, constantly checking up on their staff that they clearly don't trust because they're terrible managers.

    One thing is for sure though, you need to leave your current place. ASAP. Once you've been in a school with great SLT you realise exactly what spiteful, horrible, nasty bullies the type of SLT you currently have.
  6. lynneseptember

    lynneseptember Senior commenter

    Trouble is, supply work is pretty thin on the ground these days as more and more schools cover internally for as long as possible to cut costs - agencies charge them a fortune!
  7. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    I’d apply for other jobs. A private school I worked at we used to sit and do the Times crossword in the staffroom at lunchtime. It was heaven.
    incidentally They had a high percentage of older teachers- always a sign of an excellent school! These people had unbelievably good subject knowledge.
    BetterNow, strawbs, enyliram and 4 others like this.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Move elsewhere...no it isn't what teaching will always be like, nor is it normal at the moment.
    Start applying elsewhere and you could be out by Easter.
    strawbs, tall tales, enyliram and 2 others like this.
  9. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    No its not like that everywhere. It wasn't like that in my school.
    Then I moved abroad. Have a research and see if that's something you'd enjoy.
  10. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    I think that Education has been used as a "political football" for the last 30 years. Unfortunately this has not helped anyone who is a Frontline Teacher and many unscrupulous SLT have joined the bandwagon to bully staff.
    The sad thing is that I don't think pupils are any better off.
    My advice is find another School or profession.
    Good luck.
  11. install

    install Star commenter

    My advice: Look to escape before you get burnt out. Should you be ill (Ofsted or not) see GP.
  12. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    I'd agree.
    It is usual for teachers to move on after a few years in their first post. Start looking.
  13. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Get out as fast as you can.
    stonerose, tall tales and install like this.
  14. topquark

    topquark New commenter

    If you move abroad to a good school, many of these negative factors will not be part of your daily routine. You can save mortgage-sized quantities of cash and enjoy a pleasant lifestyle. Free flights every year, free accommodation, BUPA health insurance, pool, gym and cheap child care have all been additional benefits I have enjoyed over a number of years. Of course many people are reluctant or unable to make a move away from the UK.
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I think you need to get out as soon as you can before the inspection, because this sort of school will only crank up the pressure exponentially until inspection day, and then after it they will scapegoat you as a teacher for all the failings in the report.
    There are all sorts of things to look out for should you achieve a visit to another school for an interview. The number one thing is that you have sight of other staff who work there and that their faces are not taught and grey. It's as simple as that. Don't accept a job where the whole place is completely quiet at lunchtime. It's because each teacher is working very hard in their classroom to cover up a breakdown in private.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If you move elsewhere in the UK to a good school, many of these negative factors will not be part of your daily routine.
  17. topquark

    topquark New commenter

    Yes I agree, but you'd be hard-pressed to buy a four bedroom London property on a teacher's salary. Although I'm assuming the OP may not be specifically worried about the savings potential of his/her career.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why on earth would anyone want to?! ;)
    topquark likes this.
  19. MissMultitask

    MissMultitask New commenter

    I changed professions in 1999 and at first thought teaching was awesome weekends off, never having to work any more Christmas's etc and nights. Moving from FE to secondary was a dream job ten years ago. Then came the budget cuts, increased contact time, pay freeze as on top of pay scale- but all sorts of additonal roles being added, doubling of class sizes and marking, the dawn of learning walks and book scrutinies, constant reporting and data. blah blah deep marking. Ofsted stress. times two ......,reduction of GCSE contact hours by 20 % ( with subsequent drop in results, now who would have thought that?)
    new initiatives almost every week, ...so ...
    The school morphed from being a happy place where everyone looked out for each other, to an almost Kafka-esque place where you were constantly looking over your shoulder to see who was coming for you next. NO!!I fear it will not get better. I am happy to be gone to pastures new and work in a much safer and happier place- at home, on my terms.
    Teaching was a profession I came to later on in life, and the students enriched my life. Hopefully, I enriched theirs too. Other than that, would I recommend it to my 20 odd year self? NOOO- not if you want a life, relationship, good health and to be able to enjoy simple pleasures like a walk .
    It has now become a transient profession to hot desk it to SLT in their ivory towers by the bright and shiny fast trackers, and the rest fall defeated and exhausted with stress and exhaustion after 5 years on increased contact timetables.
  20. Cooperuk

    Cooperuk Senior commenter

    I've just left teaching because I have been unable to find one of the few decent schools. I did work in one for a few years at the start of my career, but that was at the very start of Ofsted and league tables. Even that school is now becoming almost as the OP described, according to friends who still work there.

    I've worked in several schools on a permanent basis, plus a good few over the past few years on supply.

    Decent schools that care for staff are becoming a rarity, as SLTs are pressured more and more for a good Ofsted rating.

    RI can kill off a Head's career, and can almost instantly make the school become a toxic workplace.

    Until Ofsted becomes a support system, and not a hammer of judgement, teaching will continue to get worse IMO.

    All it takes is one bad inspection for the pleasant schools to become a nightmare, especially if a MAT takes over, as they see good/outstanding as a vital part of their business model, and will do ANYTHING to achieve it.
    tenpast7, topquark and agathamorse like this.

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