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My colleague wept today...

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by slingshotsally, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I do get frustrated when I hear teachers blaming the unions. You are the unions. Members can have meetings, lobby the Head and governors, do something to promote a better working environment. In my school we have fought off many changes that would have made the job more stressful. It has been done by being quick to comment on any changes and using local and regional officers to give guidance and meet with the Head. We have improved directed time, duties, salary policy, redundancy policy and intervened on behalf of individual members. It does take time but it is worth the effort since the alternative is to just let others control what happens.
    johnberyl and Compassman like this.
  2. Katie777

    Katie777 New commenter

    I read this post with great sympathy for how tough things can be. Then realised that crying at home because I can't cope with school is quite normal for me and blinking back the tears at school not that unusual. I sort of took it as my normality but clearly it shouldn't be!
    I once worked for a school where people really stood up, it was good there. I wish I could have stayed but sadly I was on a temporary contract. So pastures new for me I think.
    notsonorthernlass and Mrsmumbles like this.
  3. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    As a supply teacher I often used to find myself helping other teachers...often supply who had been left nothing.including indication of the levels and subjects of study the class was doing Often in primary its hard to find a timetable or list of names or places holders.Even worse is when No one comes to see you are ok or now the routine( a task often given to the office manager)including break duties, which you get told off for if your not there...although i have often covered for toilet attendance by teachers because they are on duty and need a visit.
    There have been a few occasions when I have had weeping teachers in my class...usually women( not in despair of me i hope).As others have suggested you have to try and be positive and help them in the point which causes frustration...or try to find another full time teacher who can counsel them.More often or not you have found resources or suggested solutions they can use.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    'The clouds bump against the mountains, get torn, and the rain falls out, so it rains more up in the mountains.'

    I thought the rain in Spain fell mainly on the plane.............
    sabrinakat likes this.
  5. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I don't really blame the unions, but when my back was up against the wall I felt sickened and sad that all he could do to help was talk me through a tried and tested procedure to basically force the bullies to clarify their lies and impossible targets. He didn't even see the point of challenging the way I had been treated so badly by SLT, the dirty double cross which came at the 11th hour regarding the final settlement....or the staged return to work meeting where it all seemed caring and cosy and it was only after the 'any more questions dear?' bit at the end when I asked if they could possibly tell me whether I was still on informal formal, formal capability, or dancing the wild fandango and was told I was definitely still facing it the next term (it was July at this point!) ...no, he didn't see any point helping, because he knew, although I had been treated abysmally, I had no strong legal case. A lot depends on whether you can argue disability and TELL the employer that you are unwell. But it's ok for them to work us to breaking point...What rankles with me is how divided we teachers are. Most of us cannot bind in on one union and show solidarity. The teachers that do, who walk out, get on the telly...they tend to get results. It's in ourselves. Divided we fall. Unions do what they can.
    notsonorthernlass likes this.
  6. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Hi again,

    I cannot sleep at all...

    The words "informal", "support" and "help" have cropped up in a conversation with two senior members of staff and me. One did talking, other note taking. Observation by end of week- informal, apparently...

    Can I ask for it to be rescheduled?

    JeannieMc likes this.
  7. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    Is this the first inkling they've given you of perceived problems?
    If you're not comfortable with the way things are going (and who would be!) then ring your union.

    I can't sleep either.
    Mrsmumbles and JeannieMc like this.
  8. josienig

    josienig Star commenter

    @slingshotsally A 'conversation' where notes were taken? Were you aware notes were to be taken during the conversation? Were they handwritten notes? Can you get a copy of same? Did you take notes? If not, write up your recollection of the meeting as soon as possible, dated.
    As Redquilt asked, is this the first inkling you have had of perceived problems? If so, is it to do with your support of the colleague you mentioned in your OP?
    They're my thoughts.
    Having followed the thread over the last few days, I'm astounded to read your last post.
    I work in an imperfect education system, in an imperfect school but at least I know that I, and my career, cannot be arbitrarily threatened in a conversation. For that I am grateful.
    notsonorthernlass and JeannieMc like this.
  9. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    This reminds me of the TA who was happily explaining that the thunder was caused by the clouds banging together. I ended up scrapping what I supposed to be doing Googling child-friendly weather sites with the children and observing out of the window. It was a bit over their heads (literally too) but they did some lovely pictures to explain it (Reception) - happy days when we could respond to the children like this. That's what I loved - but shock, horror it wasn't on the planning!
  10. coppull

    coppull New commenter

    Clearly you were not told by SMT ,that this was a formal meeting and you could have a friend or union person at the meeting. On such occasions, you should withdraw from the meeting saying that you need to be supported and will attend a meeting when support is available or to take notes. Please inforem your Union,what happened. If you are not in a Union,take a friend along to the next formal meeting.
    notsonorthernlass and JeannieMc like this.
  11. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Where did this conversation take place? Were you "invited" into an office for a little chat? Was there any prior inkling that you were on any radar? Is the HT a recent appointment? Were they aware you had supported a colleague? Writing as one who has experienced similar "informal chats", I am just looking for some context here.

    Just a thought, you might want to start a new thread on this as it is now on a fresh topic. It will help posters target their advice.
    notsonorthernlass and JeannieMc like this.
  12. JeannieMc

    JeannieMc New commenter

    Theo DONT EVER CHANGE (or go away); we need you and those like you - badly!
  13. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Why thank you kindly, @JeannieMc !

    Best wishes

    Mrsmumbles likes this.
  14. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Theo, can you do something to bring this unending litany of cases of people being bullied, pressured and treated abysmally to the attention of someone who might be able to do something with it? Like get a piece in the newspaper or even TES. The actions of so many SLTs and Heads that we keep hearing about on here are beyond the pale and the teaching profession deserves better.

    The sheer number of people telling the same basic stories on here beggars belief at times.
    notsonorthernlass and chelsea2 like this.
  15. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I have drawn the attention of the Editorial Team to this forum. They wrote about it in last week's TES magazine, @Scintillant .

    Best wishes

  16. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    P.S. to ensure that I see when you wish to attract my attention, best to tag me @TheoGriff

    Best wishes

  17. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I'll write for you at TES! Would love to, really. It would be very good to get closure.
  18. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    But we have to stand united, and we are not. The doctors have one good union - the BMA.
    Compassman likes this.
  19. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    So have the farmers - The NFU (National Farmer's Union). It makes them strong and able to successfully resist government interference and bullying. Bear in mind that British farmers are huge and very active supporters of the Tory party too, so belonging to a trade union to protect your own interests is not a Socialist or Communist act. That is simply government and media propaganda.
    United we stand, divided we fall. In the case of teachers, with their multiple unions and reluctance/fear of standing up for their rights, this has never been so true - or so dangerous.
    Mrsmumbles and rosievoice like this.
  20. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    And so today I weep.

    My union rep has informed me of my options...

    I feel utterly anhilated by this, the repercussions on my family are huge, my husband is deeply distraught by the outcome of this meeting with HT. The financial implications are awful.


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