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My head of department is an ignorant bully

Discussion in 'Personal' started by crabapple99, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. My head of department is an ignorant bully who issues instructions without any knowledge or understanding about the subject of those instructions, and has effectively prevented me being able to start the course I am supposed to be teaching, because his instructions on how to do it are total nonsense and physically impossible to follow. He is also a charming flirt and only a small proportion of staff see him as he really is.
  2. I had one like that a couple of years ago. No idea was a good one unless it was his. And only we knew what a bullying fool he was. Our salvation was the fact that he was highly ambitious and moved on and up after 2 years.
    However there were advantages - he did work hard to make the dept (aka himself!) look good, and he was very efficient so you always knew that things were in hand.
  3. Did you see last night's "Horizon" program ?
  4. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Interesting concept. I like the sound of moral molecule. Perhaps some of the more evil heads should be forcibly connected to an oxytocin drip.
  5. Rustybug, aren't being hard working and 'very efficient' positive attributes in a HoD? It hardly makes him a bullying fool.
  6. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    I had a HoD like this once....every time she barked some order at me I nodded vaguely and smiled, making comments such as 'oh, right, I see' and then proceeded to do exactly what I'd been planning on doing anyway. It drove her mad. When she argued that I wasn't doing what she'd said I listened and nodded again and then said, 'yes, I couldn't do that, because (whatever the reason is) so I did this instead'.
  7. Richie Millions

    Richie Millions New commenter

    In my experience the first to shout bully are the less able , struggling to keep up, or the lazy who can't be bothered to keep up. I accept that there are workplace bullies and victims of said bullies. However this does seem to be someone who is "driven" and you just don't like their management style. Put up or move on in these cases.
  8. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    have you asked for clarification on the bold bit ?
    perhaps a demonstration?
  9. They certainly are, and they certainly don't. It was all the other **** he did (like, decide that an NQT wasn't worth supporting, and get her to the point that she had to stop her car on the way home each day to be sick, and lie to SMT so they told her she would fail her NQT year if she didn't resign after her first term when actually her observations had all been satisfactory, and tell her classes that he "knew there had been problems in her classes"). (Oh, and lie to the Head about instructions he gave me and then say the whole conversation never even took place to cover up the fact that he hadn't done what he was supposed to.)
    The new guy is lovely and sweet and honest, but very laid back and easy-going and nothing ever gets done as it should! I do sometimes wish for the previous one back.
    That's life....
  10. Thanks for all your rresponses. It's good to have somewhere to say what I think, although I don't want to be too specific in case I'm identified!
    Bauble, no I didn't see horizon. What was it about?
    Jmntsp, I tried your attitude today, no doubt I'll find out on Monday how he'll react
    Richie millions, I'm not the first! And I'm ashamed to say when friends of mine have been the victim in the past I've been a bit sceptical,because he is such a charmer...now I know what they were talking about. As for being driven: "I can't be bothered with this meeting, so we won't do it, but if anyone asks, make sure you all say we did" - does that sound driven to you?
    Lurk much,unfortunately you are making the assumtion that he is willing to listen to reason,or able to respond to a coherent arguement, without either resorting to personal abuse, or simply ignoring everything you have said and reiterating his original instruction, as if it made some sort of sense,
  11. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    Are people born good or evil. Catch up on iplayer.
  12. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    How did it go on Monday? Keep us posted and best wishes.
  13. Having been in teaching for many years, I have seen a few people such as were described on the Horizon programme. These people, superficially at least, come across as very confident and compitent at their jobs. Those around can see them as dynamic leaders, while others experience them as bullies and victimisers. What these psychopathic types are very good at is 'talking the talk', 'walking the walk' is something else though. As was said on the Horizon programme, looked at objectively, a psychopath's performance at tasks was extremely poor.
    How many of these sort of people have we seen in schools? Those who come in, make everything look good and get promoted, and then move on, leaving chaos behind them.
  14. Yes. I found that very interesting and telling. My last boss (HOD) in a nutshell.
    'Do it this way'! (even when 'this way' was demonstrably ineffective)

  15. jacob

    jacob Lead commenter

    They are all the same. It is a requirement for management, that and the lobotomy.

  16. I'd get straight back to him and say you can't make sense of his instructions and could he demonstrate what he means in front of a class or give you a detailed lesson plan. If you can get others in your department onside you could ask him to 'instruct' you all, or to train you in his methods!
    Hopefully that would make him have a re-think. Don't let him get away with this. If he has set you impossible tasks, throw them right back at him until you fully understand what he is getting at.
    He sounds a fool.
  17. That is so unhelpful. And I disagree, setting someone a task that you know to be impossible and insisting that it is done that way is setting someone up for failure. Although.. it does sound like he's not aware that they are impossible, so perhaps you should start sticking up for yourself in a professional way and setting him straight. He might appreciate you as an 'advisor' that stops him looking so stupid all the time.

    Something very similar happened to me, and I did explain why the instructions were impossible, only to have my opinion dismissed as incorrect and asked to do it anyway.
  18. Sidthepig

    Sidthepig New commenter

    I've been going through a bullying scenario with my HOD. From Day 1 she ignored me and the atmosphere in the dept was and still is dreadful. Several people have left over the 6 years - 8 teachers to be precise. However, the HOD is favoured by SMT because she delivers those all important target results which makes the school look good. I took out a grievance but basically witnesses "sat on the fence" for fear of being targetted themselves and the HOD just told lies. SMT found in her favour. Nothing has changed. I have now returned to work but I have continued to suffer at her hand. My teaching ability has now been dragged into it and capability procedures have now been started despite the fact that I get grade 1's with Ofsted etc.
    This HOD needs to be removed from her position as she is incompetant but unfortunately SMT think she is marvellous. She's in her 50's and I'm 45. However, I have more experience than her.
    How do you fight such a scenario? Do I follow suit and do what the other 8 teachers before me have done? To say the dept is unhappy is an understatement. Someone else is being subjected to capability proc. as well. If the other 8 teachers had made a stand perhaps I wouldn't be in this position now as this woman wouldn't be bullying others. Unfortunately the rest of the dept won't stand up to her so I do it on my own.
  19. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I am in the unfortunate position of working for a soon to retire HoD who refuses to contemplate any changes in their or their department's routine until they're safely out of the building, although change is desperately needed. Staff turnover in the Department in the last two years is such that only one original member from three years ago will still be there in September. Whilst the opportunity existed for me to continue at the school for another year until I take early retirement I've decided it's not worth continuing with the subject in its current shambolic state with OFSTED lurking on the horizon. Life's too short.

    It's quite usual for me to spend an entire working week in the building without exchanging a single word with my HoD. The few words we do exchange are brief and to the point. When it gets to that stage it's time to get out - in my case I'm looking at alternatives to teaching, but a younger person in my position should be actively seeking other teaching posts, as most HoDs worthy of the title are nothing like this.
  20. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    This scenario is now quite common in Scotland, due to the Faculty Head system. I'm not saying this is good, btw. Many staff now work in departments with no measurable/palpable/visible to pupils leadership presence and are therefore holding the fort all on their own or being their own HoD (in an unofficial capacity of course) without the renumeration associated with that level of responsibility.

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