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Issues with HoD

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by AnotherDayAnotherHassle, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    Calm down!

    er no, there is no type of lesson which is universally considered "fun and engaging", in fact, there is no type of lesson which more than a third of students at any one time would consider, "fun and engaging", and not only that, but "fun and engaging" is not a particularly desirable aim, and students who expect edutainment are actually going to behave a lot worse than students who don't.

    more than a little surprising, I would say.

    Its great that you feel so enthusiastic, but please stop rushing at things you haven't been asked to do, and dont need doing.

    Put all your enthusiasm into doing what you have been asked to do, and doing it well. Leave your HOD alone! She will come round when she sees you doing your job well and enthusiastically in the Autumn
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    @dunnocks has an excellent point.

    OP, I really hope you haven't gone round spouting "they always behave for me" if someone has had a difficult lesson, or "my room is a sanctuary" which implies everyone else is ****, because that could feasibly make your HoD even less friendly than she is now.
    steely1 likes this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    There are two rules on supply.

    1. Shut the **** up.
    2. See Rule 1
  4. AnotherDayAnotherHassle

    AnotherDayAnotherHassle New commenter

    I've read everyone's responses. Thank you.

    I spoke to my HoD at lunchtime yesterday. She's told me I need to be careful what I say, as I could come over as thinking I know best, and she's sure I'm not really like that. She also told me that maybe I don't like the SoW, but they get results and the students learn.

    I don't know. I suppose I just need to go back in September and do what I'm told.
  5. IanG

    IanG Occasional commenter

    Brilliant :)
    ATfan likes this.
  6. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I'm surprised she didn't give you a thick ear for that comment. Basically you're saying that the current scheme of work that she probably had a large input into was c *ap. A little tact wouldn't go amiss.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I like your HOD a lot. :)

    Definitely go back in September and do what you're told until you have learnt enough that you really do know best. Then become a moaning old bug ger like me! ;)
  8. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    " I told her that I felt that the lessons needed to be fun and engaging so the students didn't misbehave. ".... How long did you say you've been teaching again?
  9. Honeydew

    Honeydew New commenter

    OP - please don't be despondent.

    You came to this forum for advice and your HOD"s response clearly shows that the people on this forum were right about how your comments must have come across to her.

    Learn from this experience. Doing as you're told isn't a bad thing! Trust your HOD and let them lead you - that's what they're paid for.
  10. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Hi ADAH!

    I'm glad that you got the chance to talk to her about this and that she appears to have understood your perspective when you made the comments. I wouldn't stop sharing ideas for the reasons explained in my previous post. Just think about how you could present them in the best way, as she said. E.g. If she agrees, you could try including some activities in your lessons that you think would engage the students more for the bits of the SoW that you think are less interesting and then share this with her and your colleagues if they work, especially if they improve results.

    Good luck for next year!
  11. Easyasabc

    Easyasabc Occasional commenter

    Just focus on getting results for your own classes and getting through your first year of induction. Do not volunteer to do anything. You are new..Work out the politics and cliques if you need to.

    Good luck - hope it goes well.
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    But sometimes it is oh soooooo hard!
    strawbs and ATfan like this.
  13. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    If you're new, doing as your told is very likely the safest option.

    Before people charge in with how I'm suggesting blind subservience, your attitude even now, OP, is surprising. "Do as I'm told" sounds like the response of a sulky adolescent, who hasn't quite twigged that there are ways of doing things that need to be adhered to.

    Despite what others may think, there is absolutely nothing in your post that suggests your HoD or her team are lazy or don't cut the mustard. But you've gone charging in, effectively telling her that her - or their - work is poor and that if anything goes wrong in the classroom, its the teacher's fault.

    I really would stop digging yourself a deep hole. Your HoD sounds reasonable and prepared to build bridges. I would meet her halfway.
    DYNAMO67 and steely1 like this.
  14. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    I agree! @caterpillartobutterfly There is a world of difference between following directions and behaving like a nodding dog, saying yes boss, no boss, 3 bags full, boss, please let me kiss your boots, boss! The former, I am happy to do as long as I get individual clarification about directions that I don't understand. The latter, never because I have now reached the stage in my career, where I just can't! Also, very few managers want nodding dogs anyway, I've found! Only the insecure ones!
  15. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    I wouldn't dream of doing so, because you didn't. :) Also, I agree that the best policy for any new member of staff at any level is to watch, listen and learn before doing anything new. It's what the Principal of my current workplace did when he first joined us.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Go buy a REALLY big slice of their favourite cake.

    Give them this cake.

    Apologise for being a bit over enthusiastic and maybe not as tactful as you intended. Explain that you love the school and the children and that you are just excited about working with them. And that because you were a bit excited you didn’t put things very well. But above all else, you know that the most important thing will be your working relationship with them. So what you REALLY meant to say was - given how keen you are to be a really good member of the department, what would THEY like you to do?

    If they split the cake with you, peace is made.

    (If you have produced a really big piece of cake, they will have very little choice but to split it. Unless they are like me - I’ve been thrown out of all u can eat restaurants.I would eat the whole damned thing.)
    ATfan likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    Just saying....

    ATfan likes this.
  18. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Not necessarily. The HoD for whom I worked for many years as a two person department and myself were like chalk and cheese - we got on in a professional sense, and chatted informally, but we never socialised out of hours. We were effective co-workers, but not friends - I sometimes liken it to an arranged marriage that worked. We were complementary opposites, and when I'd been there long enough to show I could be an asset he gave me a lot of freedom to design schemes of work my own way, and to run them my own way. The key words there are 'been there long enough'. You're keen to make a mark, and maybe you will, but you need to temper it with patience. Not necessarily knuckling down and blindly obeying orders forever, but just choosing the right moment to suggest changes.

    Scenario 2 - As a teacher with over 25 years experience I worked long term supply in a department where the HoD had a scheme of work formula that worked for him, but which was dull and out of date. To make it work he just played Mr Hard Case so nobody complained, and feathered his nest with well motivated and compliant classes. Everybody else got the rest. I was offered a part-time post there the following year, and was given the chance to redesign the Y8 scheme of work for the whole department. The other Y8 teachers liked it, but the HoD chose not to follow it with his classes. He was retiring that year so he couldn't be bothered to change. Sulking more like. Staff turnover was high during those two years - of a department of six, only one was left at the end. Coincidence? Of course not - it was a badly managed department that desperately needed change.

    The OP comes across as keen and well-meaning, but perhaps a bit naive and undiplomatic as this school year draws to a close. That doesn't necessarily mean they have to blindly accept things as they are, because how they are may not be right, even if it is thought to work by those who don't welcome change. I can see both sides of this situation.

    Head down, and bide your time, but don't be afraid to show initiative and innovate.
    ATfan likes this.
  19. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    One of the best bits of advice I was given in my teaching career was when I joined a new school, talked eagerly about wanting to change things - and my HOD came back with "You need the earn our trust first". It seemed harsh to me at the time, but it made total sense and it's something I've adhered to ever since on those occasions when I've started in a new school / post.
    caterpillartobutterfly and ATfan like this.
  20. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    My experience. A cautionary tale. Hod in a dept of 2. After a number of years with supply and maternity leave teachers I had a very organised and robust Sow that worked for all the various teachers who passed through. Enter new teacher who continually complained she didn't know what to do even having followed the sow after two years. Complained there were no resources for some skills and I invited her to contribute some. Didn't. I offered to show her how to upload stuff. Nothing. I set up shared area for her and me to add stuff. Zilch. She was an excellent teacher and was perfectly capable but basically just moaned all the time.
    ATfan likes this.

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