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Lesson ‘Drop In’ Feedback

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by pleasemiss__, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    I feel so beaten down by supposedly ‘supportive’ feedback / criticism. I’ve been working as a teacher for nearly 10 years, have always been graded as good or outstanding and in the space of two months at my new school (which is RI, in Ofsted terms), through constant learning walks and ‘supportive’ drop ins, my ability to do this job is being questioned. My confidence has been bulldozed. I feel like... I’m nothing. After sobbing in the toilets at work, and ending the half term in utter despair, I drove down my usual country lane on my way home. On the other side of the road was an oncoming lorry. Thoughts of veering towards it crossed my mind. What is happening to me? This isn’t what I signed up for.

    Has this happened to anyone else? I don’t know if I’m talking sense.
  2. silversnapdragon

    silversnapdragon New commenter

    You need to make sure you look after yourself. Definitely take some time off.
  3. Grandsire

    Grandsire Star commenter

    Yes, I know exactly what you’re experiencing. I’ve been there, word for word, pretty much... and it’s scary. Get help quickly: speak to your GP - sit in the waiting room until they find someone to see you, if necessary - and explain what you’ve been going through, and what thoughts have gone through your head. You’re unwell, and it’s being caused by your workplace environment. Sadly, you won’t be the first teacher they’ve seen like this. Help is available - and speak to your union too.

    It won’t always be like this: You Are A Damn Good Teacher. Of course you feel undermined and vulnerable - what did they expect you to feel? For me, an OH assessment put a warning shot across the bows of my school and they are much more sensitive about the way they manage me now. I wouldn’t say it was caring, but it’s better than it was.

    Thinking of you.
  4. SCAW12

    SCAW12 Occasional commenter

    I think teaching has changed a lot in the last 10 years and different schools have different expectations. An RI school will be under pressure to improve, the pressure gets pushed down to the teachers. It has been a long first term. You are exhausted. Get some rest over half term. See a GP. Take care of yourself.
    BioEm, pepper5 and lardylegs like this.
  5. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    My school is in RI and we have had all this **** dropped on us over the past few terms.
    The HEAD is the person who takes the fall for this, not you. Whatever ****** policies they have imposed on you, whatever Growth Mindset ****** they have forced you to have on your wall, all that, it does not affect your skills as a teacher. Clearly you are not doing things "THEIR way". Just let it wash over you. Nod and fill in the boxes on their Action Plans, then carry on doing what you are good at. Hopefully they will be gone soon and you might get a real leader to step in.
  6. dancemad

    dancemad New commenter

    Have been there within the last year feel free to pm me but please see your doctor if you need to and write down your thoughts on a piece of paper to pass to the doctor if you think you will get upset / pretend everything is ok. I did this and so glad I did. Several months on after being signed off and now in a new better school as scary and horrible as it was at the time and i didn’t see a way out, a combination of CBT, medication and amazing family and friends my perspective had completely changed and whilst yes teaching still has it’s moments at times: I work in a tough area and some kids are challenging but I know I can do what I do well and know who I can turn to if I get worried/ upset or how to deal with the situation in my head so I don’t dwell on it. Good luck. Things will get better x
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi pleasemiss

    Excellent post from dancemad in post number 6 and also all the others.

    You definitely need to reach out for help to your GP and others. You need to believe that you are SOMETHING ( you are loved and cared for by your friends and family). You are not defined by a job. Your identity is not your job. Your life is not your job - it is a means to pay your bills.

    It isn't easy to be in such a situation where you are constantly criticised, but it is not worth your life as your life is precious.

    You can call the Samaritans or Education Support Partnership 24/7 for a listening ear.

    Remember, you can only do your best and if you know that at the end of each day you have done that, then you can be at peace

    Please call your GP/Education Support Partnership and get some initial help. After that, you can make some plans to change things by moving schools if that is what you decide to do.

    This situation has happened to many people who have posted on this site and there are probably many more who never post for fear of being identified or embarrassment.

    Take care and get some rest over the break and make those calls as you will feel a lot better once you do.

    ( hugs)

    We are all thinking of you.
  8. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    Take the advice above, see your GP and get some rest.

    Let us know how it all goes.
  9. BioEm

    BioEm Occasional commenter

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re feeling like this. As others have said you need to go to your GP and see what they say (which is likely to be sign you off for a while). I too had the ‘what would happen if I just drove my car into oncoming traffic’ thoughts and the crying at work. It was at that point I knew that something had to give. I think by posting on here too you’ve reaching a point where you’re asking for help, which is fantastic and brave of you.

    Look after yourself, speak to your family and friends and make an appointment to see the GP ASAP. Good luck and please let us know how you get on
  10. vectis1

    vectis1 New commenter

    Exactly the same! Lesson obs with yr nine yesterday by an external consultant. No understanding of context. Made me feel like I am day one PGCE- need to go back to basics after 20yrs teaching! Also in RI with a **** set of results.

    It’s just a job. It’s not your entire self worth. I’ve known loads of people labeled as ‘****’ teachers by this system. I think each and every one of them is a better human being than any l leader I’ve ever known.

    Take care of yourself. It’s just a job. Investigate plan B career wise? I know I will

    Ps - I could have written this entire post, except, thankfully the lorry bit xx
    phlogiston, henrypm0, BioEm and 4 others like this.
  11. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    Observations these days say nothing about the quality of your teaching. People come in with a checklist and watch to see how many items you can tick off. All is tests is your knowledge of the checklist of the day. Smile and nod at these people but inwardly hold onto the fact that you are the expert because you do this day after day and they don't.
    henrypm0, BioEm, pepper5 and 2 others like this.
  12. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You are not alone. Teachers experiencing these thoughts appear on these pages about once every 10 days. That's the ones who admit to it! Then there are all the others who tell nobody.

    Are you doing your best? I reckon you are probably dedicated, conscientious and hard-working. I reckon you are probably pretty good at your job. I wouldn't require you to be a candidate for teacher of the millennium. Those qualities would be good enough for you to teach my grandkids. I'd be happy with that.

    Don't let the barstewards grind you down. Have a nice weekend. The other thing I want for my grandkids is a lively, energetic, dynamic, kind and caring teacher. I don't want someone who is hating and fearing every minute and dreading the moment someone walks in with a clipboard.

    You are fine! Nod your head. Pretend to "take it on board". And carry on.

    Then take a day or few days off when you need to.
  13. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    please see your GP, these idiots have made you ill, and you need to prioritise your recovery, over your job.

    I had a learning walk during an official observation last year, and so got feedback from two SMT from the same lesson, neither of whom had noticed the other one

    The feedback was directly opposing.

    Just proves how totally pointless and meaningless it all is
  14. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    As a struggling NQT many moons ago, a deputy head said to me that he was there to ensure that the duty of care not only covered the pupils but also extended to all staff.Times have really changed. As alluded to in other posts the frequency of what appears to be sociopathic interventions by senior staff on teaching staff recorded on this forum is truly alarming. It is extremely disheartening to see people who are essentially trying to do their best for others, in sometimes very difficult circumstances, be so personally denigrated for spurious reasons.
  15. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    I’m so sorry you’ve experienced this exact same observation knockdown. I’ve never known anything like it. I’ve handed in my resignation. The money isn’t worth the toll on my health. I know I am completely replaceable, even more so based on my feedback. I expect they’ll be glad to see the back of me.

    I don’t doubt the school’s good intentions, ultimately, but their methods to get to Good using intimidation and box ticking exercises and ignoring the context of a class and the importance of learning over time and everything I fundamentally believe in means I won’t ever be the kind of teacher they want. And I don’t think I want to be either.

    Thank you everyone for your understanding. So, as of now, I will be out of teaching at Christmas. This break will be wonderful for a recharge and reset on my mindset. I will see the GP if necessary but knowing I’m not alone is a huge relief.
  16. install

    install Star commenter

    Yes- I moved to an underperforming sch, having been graded previously as an Outstanding teacher . Worse decision of my life. Suddenly all gradings changed - slt were too scared to grade anyone higher with it being a poor performing sch.

    So in the same position, I would:

    1 See gp. Take time off if gp says you are ill. Refuse to be a martyr. The school is in trouble, with or without you. And slt sound weak.
    2 Leave the school asap- look elsewhere (not an RI sch). Start applying for jobs in schs that you suit you.
    3 Your health and being happy need to come first
    4 If you have a good r'ship with your old sch give them a ring. You never know there might be a post back there if you want it :cool:
  17. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    Sociopathic interventions by senior staff. It’s this that hurts the most I think. Teaching is so personal, to me at least, which is why the sweeping criticism of pretty much everything I do (and ignoring any thing good) is so damning. I FEEL like I’m talking to another human when SLT are concerned but I realise that in my school, they are not another soldier on the ground like me. They are something else.
  18. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    I don’t claim to be teacher of the year. No way. But i am good at my job and my children are safe with me and happy and they make good progress. I do my best and I do what they ask. I follow the rules. And I will carry on unless it gets too much.

    Funny! In the feedback, I did nod my head and claim to ‘take it on board’. While I sobbed like a big drippy failure. And I will just carry on now. Until Christmas when I will swan out of there and not look back.
    install, Grandsire, henrypm0 and 4 others like this.
  19. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    Directly opposing?? What’s the point then? What are you supposed to learn from that? Brilliant.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  20. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    I’m so sorry to find light in the worst decision of your life, but it’s so interesting how our stories parallel. How did things end for you?
    agathamorse, pepper5 and install like this.

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