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Not sure if I did the right thing applying

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by ZanyInsany, May 24, 2011.

  1. ZanyInsany

    ZanyInsany New commenter

    Where to start? I was very happy (and successful) as a classroom teacher. My HoD gave notice to retire, thus creating a promotion opportunity. This was an internal vacancy. Most of my department applied, as did I. I was successful. One of my colleagues does not seem to have accepted this and is being very obstructive - all in a very nice and 'reasonable' manner - obstructive, never-the-less. He is stopping me from introducing much needed change and my confidence is definately taking a knock. He is very clever with his objections. For example, he will not openly object during a meeting when certain issues are raised but he does not carry out any of his actions. When challenged, he says that he never agreed. This is true, but he never challened the actions allocated to him at the time. He waits until I bring the matter up then points out, very reasonably, why he hasn't done them. Following this meeting, he continues with this until things get to a head and my line manager gets involved. I feel that I have been very clear with what he needs to do, as well as setting realistic timings. All minuted. His supposed reasonableness makes me feel inaffective. My constant reliance on my line manager to get even the simplest of actions done by him makes me feel inaffective - as if I can't achieve things without their help. I know that involving my line manager is the appropriate thing to do, that he is in the wrong and that I am being very reasonable. Never-the-less it is wearing me down. I am also personally dissappointed as we always had a very supportive relationship before my promotion. He is very bitter about it, doesn't rate me as a HoD and has little respect for me. I am sticking to my guns by not shying away from allocating him tasks, as I do other members of the department, but I don't see his attitude changing.
    Just wanted to off-load as it has been a really *hit day today and I feel very low about it all. I am seriously considering resigning my promotion. I feel as if the only thing that stops me is the fact that he will then be appointed. Sigh.
  2. Don't let this guy get you down. It sounds like the right decision was made, as he is now displaying very immature behaviour!
    If actions are discussed in a meeting and mnutes are subsequently sent out with a person's name next to the action then, unless that person challenges the minutes, it is tacitly agreed that they will action that point. So he needs to stop being passively objectionable and either say 'I refuse to do that.' or else do what he has been minuted for.
    Sounds like a very difficult situation and I feel for you. It sounds like you have a supportive line manager though and it is part of their role to support you in your new role.
    Chin up.
  3. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    I'm perhaps being naive and luckily I've never been in your awful position, but have you tried having a heart to heart with him about this? It may be that he is unaware of how bitter he has become and how it makes you feel. Perhaps spelling it out, with examples of how obstructive he has become, clear expectations as basilius said that unless he challenges a task when allocated then you assume he is accepting it, might help moving things along.
    Best of luck, please don't give up! Negative people can really suck the life out of you!
  4. I think you have some excellent advice here. Just to add my pennyworth. It should be understood in your department that silence means assent. If no one speaks then they are all saying that it is ok.
  5. bluecharmer

    bluecharmer New commenter

    I would initiate disciplinary procedures if he is not doing what is expected of him. Harsh, I know, but you've got a big enough job without having to deal with childish behaviour from your team.
  6. Read the "Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" for some fantastic insights as to how a colleague, ostensibly supportive, can undermine in devious ways. The advice here is spot on, except that I wouldn't advise silence implies assent. Make sure action points are aired and agreed, and watertight.

    If the problem persists, you can either take out a grievance (not usually a long-term benefit) or ask SLT to issue disciplinary procedures on the grounds that the running of the department has been delegated to you by the head and governors, and if he is essentially undermining the head by not accepting line management protocols. It does mean documenting everything but that is essential. Also talk to your union. In my experience, whining teachers who can't accept someone else was promoted in their stead will quickly acquiesce if their careers are on the line. A supportive head will usually tell vexatious staff either to toe the line or exercise their right to resign if they cannot accept the current situation.

    Don't forget that timetable allocations are (I assume) also in your remit - assigning that stroppy class of miscreants to him last lesson on a Friday "because you are the best teacher we have for bringing out the best in our behaviourally-challenged" may well be necessary.
  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Sorry but that bit of advice is just c*ap. You don't want to start on that slippery slope, otherwise you could be in a difficult position if they go to their union - classes should be shared out equally, and it will become very obvious if you are being unfair to that member of staff.
    Hopefully you've received enough other good advice on this thread. It'd be good to know how you're getting on with that tricky chestnut...
  8. ZanyInsany

    ZanyInsany New commenter

    Update - individual caused no end of problems - blocked every idea for developing or moving the department forward. Series of meetings involving various people. Individual has now resigned!!! I'm a little sad as this didn't need to be how it ended, but very relieved as I can now get on and do my job with the support of the rest of the department, and without him blocking my every move. It was his choice to behave in that way and he obvioulsy underestimated my absolute commitment to the department and thought I might overlook it - his mistake. Anyway, now a very happy bunny!
  9. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Here's to better things to come! [​IMG]

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