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Let it go or stand your ground?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by stresagirl, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. stresagirl

    stresagirl New commenter

    On the last day of term I had my head bitten off by the headteacher. I was covering a bubble class in the Reception class and was waiting for him to e m a i l ( as agreed) the password to our year 4s goodbye Zoom which I was part of and he was setting up and hosting. 15 minutes before it was due to start, I still had no email with a password.
    When I found him he was very dismissive and his tone rude. Glaring at me he said, “You can see I’m busy right now, can you just go and sort this out yourself?”

    ( School with strict rule as all do, no mobiles out in class while children around! I wasn’t to know a text had been sent. In Reception 9-12 no break to check phone)

    Last day of a hectic term, things are busy I appreciate but I take issue to being spoken to in such a manner when the mistake wasn’t mine.

    Shame he didn’t acknowledge it later in the day when I walked by. Would you let it go and forget about it as a new school starts, or would you politely and assertively let him know you were not happy about the way you were spoken to ?

    Personally, I feel that whether you clean the toilets in the school, teach children or lead a large staff you have the right to be spoken to in the same way and with equal respect.
    suzuki1690 and install like this.
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Should the Head should have been politer? Yes

    Is it worth letting this gnaw away at you all summer? No

    Is it a major issue in the big scheme of things? No

    Is there anything in practice you can do about it? No

    Forget it. Enjoy your summer as best you can in wartime. September is a new year.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    You are rightly upset. The HT however probably doesn't even remember. That's his loss. He's doomed to be remembered as a rude inconsiderate man. Get on with your summer. What goes around comes around.
    Marisha, Catgirl1964, nomad and 6 others like this.
  4. Caramel2308

    Caramel2308 Occasional commenter

    I agree that everyone deserves respect but I would let it go. It would have been six weeks by the time you go back and I don't think you will gain anything by saying anything. I always say to my children that if people treat you in a disrespectful or unkind way it is about them and not you so be the bigger person and let it go. Not that I'm saying that you should always back down - that would be weak - but in situations like this just let it go. It really will make you the better person.
    tenpast7, TheoGriff, strawbs and 7 others like this.
  5. stresagirl

    stresagirl New commenter

    Thanks. Appreciate your replies. My summer is valuable with my own children. Don’t want to be treated as a doormat though not then or in future. I wouldn’t dream of taking that tone with a member of staff !!
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No he wasn't a textbook perfect headteacher at that moment, but cut the man some slack.
    It was 15 mins before a zoom thing with pupils and parents on the last day of a ridiculously difficult term, where the poor man probably hadn't had a day off since Feb half term and is unlikely to have many days off over the summer.

    Of course he shouldn't have, but perfection isn't on the job description of any headteacher.
  7. freckle06

    freckle06 Lead commenter

    Definitely not worth stewing over all summer. Know you were in the right and let it go. It’ll eat away at you and spoil your holiday. This is how I win all arguments with MrF. He thinks he’s right but I know I am.
  8. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Senior commenter

    I don't think this rule stands in most schools these days, particularly with Zoom, and other online platforms being used constantly
  9. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Yes - agree with the above: I think you should try to move on and not stew over it. Not that I'm defending the Head's rudeness towards you. If it were any other context than (a) the last day of term / the academic year and (b) the end of a very challenging and unusual term, then yes, I'd probably suggest taking it up with them. But returning to school in September with this axe to grind would not be an especially positive move, I feel. It's a case of knowing when to pick your battles.

    Not that I am trying to trivialise how the Head spoke to you, which was poor, but I've experienced a lot worse (albeit not at the end of the year / end of a term when we're dealing with a pandemic): on more than one occasion in the past, the Heads I've worked for have reduced me to tears at some of the things they've said to me, which were downright critical and personally offensive (yes, I did kick up a fuss at the time).

    Try to move on and enjoy the rest of the holiday.
  10. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Was he rude? Yes.

    Is making a big deal of it going to help you? No.

    Are you likely going to encounter worse from other HTs? Likely, yes.

    Move on.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The OP was in Reception.
    It is not allowed in any EYFS class to even have a mobile in the room, unless it's in a locked cupboard. Visitors have to hand them in before going to the classroom and even SLT can't walk in to the rooms with a phone in their pocket or similar.
    Something about taking photos of children in states of undress and them being unable to tell someone about it.

    But otherwise, yes most schools, certainly secondary, allow phones in class. Teacher and pupil.
  12. stresagirl

    stresagirl New commenter

    I must have been lucky up until now never to have had been snapped at or had orders barked at me by slt!! I should think myself lucky!!I thought that only happened on the Apprentice.

    I’d be curious to know if fellow teachers would also accept parents speaking rudely to them too? Is it something you accept goes with the job these days ?
    install likes this.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No one has said you should accept rudeness in the usual run of things.
    But that you need to be a bit pragmatic and understanding.

    I wouldn't accept parents speaking to me rudely, but generally when they do there is a good reason for their upset or frustration and once that is solved, they are calm and polite and often apologise.

    Teachers are human (well most of us) and sometimes humans make mistakes.
  14. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Sounds like the head was very stressed and made an unfortunate mistake. It may be that they think about the incident during the holidays, realise they were in the wrong and decide to apologise next term. Even if they don't, by the time next term starts the incident will have happened weeks ago and probably wouldn't be worth bringing up. If it happens again, mention that this unprofessional behaviour has happened before and you're not prepared to put up with it happening again.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    I will say this: No one has a right to speak or behave in this way towards other staff - no matter what the pressures. They get paid to do their job after all.

    I am so sorry poster that this has happened. Firstly, I would phone the Regional Union ASAP for support and advice in confidence. You were let down on an assurance and were spoken to in an unprofessional manner. You were so upset that it still bothers you now and is on your mind.

    When you return, I would inform your LM that things were made difficult on the last day and report the facts ( not your judgements). What was promised ; what happened; what was said.

    I would also keep well away from such an HT in future myself who may well try and brush off the whole incident. I would also have witnesses around me all the time in the presence of the HT and never be on my own. Unless the HT says ‘sorry’ and acknowledges the whole episode.

    Far better to keep a professional distance from such a poor HT then a close one with you at the suffering end of it.
  16. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    If it is a big school you will see little of this head. I would let it go. If you pursue it after this time if will backfire. They will label you a trouble maker. Yes it's not right but you need to look after number one.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    I think unfortunately it does go with the job in some schools ( but not all). The thing to do is not to get caught with slt types alone if one can help it and to always make sure there are witnesses.

    That’s not to say there are not some good slt types around because there are.
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    I've definitely had worse from HTs.

    Think you have to look at it from his perspective. He's been trying to make sense of all the guidelines and was probably trying to sort everything out for September, is knackered and just snapped. Yes it's unprofessional but we are all human and sometimes lose our cool when we are stressed.

    I think you should have said something polite but upfront at the time, if you wanted to address it. It's too late now.
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I'm wondering in what circumstance you would be given short schrift like this, and in addition to the fact of HT being busy and pressured, there is also the fact of it probably not being necessary to have a password emailed to you. I expect you will have had a schedule or an invitation or a calendar event or a notification otherwise of the meeting, and as a participant authorised by the organiser you should merely have to click on the link to access the meeting. Your ID code or password is supplied to you in the fact of setting up the thing.
    The words he use make sense to me only with this explanation, because if you approach somebody about an overdue email and they say "sort it yourself" then the only reason for saying it is that the email is not necessary. You would not say "sort it yourself" if you knew fine well that without stopping and sending an email the meeting could not go ahead.
    So I actually think they felt a bit pestered for something when you were in fact already enabled to do the meeting.
    Then again if I am wrong, it would still be poor form to ask the HT for something administrative at the last minute like this-I'd have gone to ask their PA or office staff, or whatever they are called, although they might not have been around in these circumstances, I don't know obviously.
    aalajamil and TheoGriff like this.
  20. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Let it go this time but mentally tell yourself to be cagier if he asks you to do anything extra in future and to assertively tell him (in private) that you are not happy with his behaviour if he is rude like this to you again.

    Forget about the incident for now and enjoy your summer!
    ACOYEAR8, Lalad and steely1 like this.

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