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No leaving speeches at the end of this term - at least in secondary schools

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Wanda_the_Wonder, May 22, 2020.

  1. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder New commenter

    One of the silver linings in the lockdown cloud is that we will have no leaving speeches at the end of this term.

    Yes, we are being spared that nauseating annual spectacle of dishonesty and hypocrisy.

    The lies, the crocodile tears, the hypocrisy. How often have I seen a HOD lamenting how much a department member would be missed - the truth being that the same HOD had behind the scenes organised the removal of the unfortunate colleague.

    Mind you one year we had real honesty (and fireworks) when the departing Religious Education HOD accused the Deputy Head of causing her to make a suicide attempt.
    steely1, install, ajrowing and 2 others like this.
  2. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    Yest there seems to be many drama queens ready to rise to the challenge.
  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Oh goodness, yes. The hours and hours I've spent half-listening to dreary speech days each summer, while fondly dreaming of the speech day scene in Lindsay Anderson's "If":


  4. Kandahar

    Kandahar Star commenter

    They just don't make pupils like that any more.
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I did not attend any of my ‘ leaving ‘ things in a former life . Made it absolutely clear in advance that I would be departing via the back door. Never any regrets . Did what was right for me . Many folk like their moment in the spotlight though so they may feel a bit cheated ? Given the circumstances though not v important in the grand scheme of things. If colleagues want to express their gratitude / esteem / affection or acknowledge their hard work / expertise there are other ways at their disposal ? .
    Nanny Ogg and ajrowing like this.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I never spent more than a couple of minutes on mine. I figured everyone would have better things to do than listen to my bad jokes.

    The one we had three years ago was the nadir - everyone who left spoke forever and the last one was so nauseating it is still talked about.

    We have one person leaving today - her main claim to fame is the number of collisions she has caused in the car park.

    At least we can all park a bit more safely now.
  7. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I have never given a leaving speech. I rarely attend these things as they upset my stomach. I did witness one of those classic "letting them have it" leaving speeches. The HT tried to shut her up but the staff bayed to let her finish. Now that was entertainment.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I always believe that whatever the provocation is is never a good idea to "let rip" in a leaving speech.

    I could have said something about a member of my department at one of my previous schools. Everybody knew that the main reason I was going was because of something she had done to me earlier that year and I was tempted but I didn't say anything.

    There were three department meetings in the week that I left for my subject within the department that she was leading. I flat our refused to attend any of them.

    That was revenge enough.
    install, steely1, Nanny Ogg and 2 others like this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I have seen one or two really memorable leaving speeches though.

    I've put this one on before but it's worth repeating I think...

    Long time ago at my second school we had 20 odd staff leave at the end of the year - the "do" went on for hours but it was very entertaining.

    Anyway then came the turn of an excellent teacher in my department who was leaving because he had been "hung out to dry" by our appalling head after an incident in his classroom.

    I think everyone was expecting fireworks and there was dead silence as he walked up to the head.

    He ignored the head completely and turned to face the assembled and said...

    "Some leaving speeches are long (pause) and some are short" (pause)

    "This is one of the f****** short ones" - and with that he walked off - went through the door of the room we were in and slammed it shut behind him.

    The Heads face was a picture.
  10. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    One of the schools at which I worked overseas had a 'single status or married teaching couples' employment policy for teaching staff. There was no provision for maternity leave.

    One teacher, having been told that his annual contract would not be renewed after his teaching wife became pregnant, said not a word at the final assembly but made a grand entrance dressed in a ballet tutu and danced his "swansong" to Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' Overture.

    It went down a storm with cheering and shouts of "encore". I got my knuckles rapped by the Chair of Governors for applauding (I was the DHT).

    It said far more than a speech ever would.
  11. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I always quite enjoyed leaving speeches but then I've never been subjected to the interminable displays of self indulgence that some seem to have witnessed. I've sat through far more heart-felt, witty, entertaining and sometimes hilarious ones than the tedious variety.

    I find those who complain about leaving speeches often to be those who see it as some kind of accomplishment that they don't make friends at school either. Each to their won.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    My last Head prevented me from giving a proper leaving speech after twenty years in the school because a) I'd resigned due to differences of opinion with them, and b) I was a union rep. A typical act of paranoid spite from them, given that all I'd wanted to do was say 'thank you' to the people who'd mattered to me.

    One of the most entertaining afternoons I spent was in a school where I was working supply, and a large number of over 50s were fleeing with a generous early retirement package from the LEA, brought about by some financial 'irregularities' in the school's budget before the last HT had retired the previous term. They were all in high spirits and most of the speeches were a hoot, even to a latecomer like me.
    jellycowfish, ajrowing and peakster like this.
  13. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Indeed .. but for me it was rarely a priority / necessity to make friends out of colleagues
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    All my real friends at my current school are in other departments.

    My departmental colleagues are fine - but most of them are in little "cliques" of which I am not a member.
  15. Wanda_the_Wonder

    Wanda_the_Wonder New commenter

    'I rarely attend these things as they upset my stomach.'

    How do you get out of attending? They always take place in directed time.
    install likes this.
  16. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I didn’t attend anyone else’s either -ever...never any repercussions
  17. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I just did not go.
  18. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    I've never known them to be compulsory attendance, though when the last but one HT left at my school the TA's were told they had to be there. It wasn't said that it was to make up the numbers, but it was to make up the numbers.
    minnie me likes this.
  19. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    Me neither but it sometimes just happens, especially when teamworking, you see a side to people when they contribute to a group effort or help when they don't need to, you might like that and extend it beyond school hours... maybe even accidentally at first, but it's difficult to halt a friendship with someone you respect and work well with, in my experience it starts with a genuine response to hi how was your weekend. Some long lasting friendship s were started that way... oh and a smile... it does not mean it necessarily extends to dinner party level, though it could. :)
    minnie me and Mangleworzle like this.
  20. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    At my last (hated) job, providing it wasn't actually raining, we sat outside after the kids were let go at 12.45 for the speeches with a very lovely free barbecue and booze. I never intended to stay in that job after the first few months demonstrated how utterly soul-crushing it was, so never made much of an effort to socialise. Circumstances prevailed however and I ended up there for 7 dreary years. Every July but one it was bright and sunny. I'd taxi in, guzzle as much food and wine as possible, then slope off in another taxi before the speeches, home by 1.30. Such was my insignificance, I was only missed once and I said I'd had to go indoors because I thought I was getting sunburn.
    Aqua, the life and soul of the staffroom :mad:.

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