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Our deputy never teaches...

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by waterfall9, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. Senior staff have already proved themselves by getting the job haven't they? Many Heads, DH and AH do teach and others work alongside staff to support improvement and can facilitate improvement by having an overview of provision across the school. Also a coaching style is all about the Teacher in question finding improvement from thier own reflection. You don't need to have a class or teach regularly to support classroom improvement. If you can find time to teach it is great to do so as it is enjoyable. As a senior teacher all you want is the best for all the children in the end.
     
  2. There was arguments galore on Friday when one assistant headteacher was told they would be teaching 8 lessons out of 30. The others are only teaching 6 and some non at all. 5 years ago all assistant headteachers taught 22 out of 30 similar to a H of D.
    The further the SLT get away front the chalk face the less contact they actually want with pupils.
     
  3. Far from it. How can the school afford that? How has she the respect of the team? I think the HT should teach half a day at least each week plus odd cover.
     
  4. Yes HT teaches and does cover at unexpected times. DH does not. In fact, HLTA are requested to be on standby (sitting in staffroom) in case of last minute cover (as she will not). She has no respect at all but many middle managers held over a barrel (as they need job), I'm fobbed off with I need to work as a team and ignore her (I only get this as I do deliver and have lots of experience). HELP!
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    My old head never taught. Small school -the previous head used to take occasional lessons just to keep hand in and to support staff for cover. Personally I think it's about respect - getting a headship means passing interviews, doing NPQH and impressing people. But I think you've got to show the staff you are a good teacher or at least understand teaching. Especially if you are going to pass judgement.
    When she bothered to teach - she was not the world's best teacher. But hey - she's the head so that's not important.
     
  6. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    In my school (2 form primary) we have a non-teaching head, non-teaching deputy, non-teaching senco working 4 days a week and TAs still cover absence on a regular basis. The head and DH are regularrly 'out' with nobody including office staff knowing where they are or what they're doing... meetings? Conferences? No budget for any teaching staff to go on courses. From Sept we have another full-time non-teaching member of staff appointed... full time teachers are up in arms. Support is lacking but new initiatives, paperwork, monitoring are always forthcoming weekly at (2 hour) staff meetings. Luckily I will be part time from September! My dad was a primary head and taught 4 days a week in year 6, he never lost touch.
     
  7. Don't be too hard on us! Many of us work our butts off to support our staff, we work long hours and do lots to support families and the community too. In my school and most I know teachers, TA's, PTA, govs and SMT all work together for the good of the children and we like each other. SMT are often working very long hours, long after Teachers have gone home. We are just as committed as those who work with us, whether we have a class or regular teaching or not. If you don't like your Head then leave and find one you do like. Why don't you ask what the Head and SMT do to gain an understanding?
     
  8. I find it odd that nowadays many headteachers do not teach - how can they keep up to date and give feedback about something they may well have very little experience of, especially as HTs seem to be getting younger and younger!
     
  9. R13

    R13 Occasional commenter

    To be a good Head you have to understand education and teaching and learning BUT there is not a need to still teach to be a Head - the role is different.
    The best film directors aren't always the best actors. Mourinho, Ferguson, Wenger weren't the greatest players and obviously still don't play football but make pretty good managers. It is foolish to assume that you can't be a first class Head when you don't teach, there is no logic to the argument
     
  10. "Getting younger and younger". What a lovely thought! One of the most progressive and feisty Heads I know is 67. I think there is lack of understanding about what school leaders do and how complex, demanding, greatly enjoyable but stressful it is. When I was a class teacher I did that to the best of my ability and perfected my craft. As a Head I do that to the best of my ability and draw on my understanding of teaching every day to influence my colleagues. I also learn from teachers and use this learning to reflect and move the school forward. You use your teaching skills to engage others daily eg staff training, governor presentations, assemblies, dealing with children, carrying out action research, skilled AfL on learning walks etc. Teaching and leading calls for a very complex life where you are pulled in many often conflicting directions at once with over all responsibility and demands from each child and parent in your class. Small School Heads have to do this and so do DH's. In a larger school you have equally demanding jobs to do and it is by no means easy eg more staff to look after, staff dynamics to manage, more children, standards to maintain, more child p, h&s, large decaying buildings, plumbing, angry seagulls, budgets decreasing and prices rising, grey hair increasing and new unexpected stresses coming at you all the time. A classroom is fairly stable and controllable in comparison and you have a Head to fall back on if anything challenging occurs.
     
  11. I worked as an LSA at one secondary school several years ago (around 2002). The Deputy Head had an office next to the LSA support room where reading support was given. He was often on call. From our room we could hear that the phone was off the hoojk (You could hear that message 'please replace the handset and try again') and he used to lock himself in his room. We knew he had gone in but he never came out and people would come and fetch him to deal with the behaviour management problem and he wouldn't answer so they tried the door - locked!
    That said, the head at the same school went off on her holidays during term time and seeingly got away with it - well until OFSTED came in. School was placed on to special measures and the head and her deputies were sacked.
     
  12. The term time holiday deserves a sacking. I hope they didn't get a job elsewhere! The Deputy sat in the office may have been a sign of depression. I expect he/ she was a bit low if the Head was on holiday in term time. Most of us find school leadership extremely life consuming so I would hope your example is a very unusual exception.
     
  13. Quite, as a head am I expected to spend time every week working in the kitchen, on the grounds, caretaking, doing crossing patrol duty, being a TA, running the office, etc,etc..... A successful head, like any other leader, has to accept that they are not the best teacher, caretaker, admin bod, TA, etc, in the school, if they believe they are, then, they are a poor leader and the organisation they lead will probably peak at the leader's level of competence.
    A good leader will know what the elements of brillience look like and will strive to ensure that those elements are facilitated and delivered.

     
  14. Yet I have never met a headteacher who hasn't been a teacher first. I suppose they exist somewhere, but it sets me wondering, if a senior manager doesn't need to teach, do they need to have ever taught?
    I see the reasoning, the head of the Post Office need never have delivered a letter, but the trajectory of headteachers always seems to have been launched from some classroom experience. I conclude from that, that credibility as a teacher is a factor in the appointment of a headteacher (rightly or wrongly), and as long as that remains the case then some timetabled teaching should happen to keep that credibility topped up.
     
  15. OK, so heads and deputies can't teach because they couldn't be relied upon to always make it to their lessons, and are pulled in all directions to do their job, and classroom teachers should allow for this. The lesson from this works both ways, Heads and Deputies should always remember that teaching colleagues, particularly middle managers, don't have their kind of time freedom, and administrative support, and therefore they must never assume that initiatives and demands they load on others can be easily met.
    I am fed up that senior managers often ask others to 'just' do x, y or z, without having any notion about how time can be found to do it given direct curriculum responsibilities. I have also lost count of the occasions managers have told others to 'make time'! You can also hear the guilt trip laid on by exhortations regarding 'expectations', or even 'well it depends what kind of teacher you want to be' or that old favourite 'being professional'.
    So if senior managers don't teach, fine. in return senior managers should engage with the notion that jobs they load on others should have a parcel of (directed) time attached in order to make the doing of those jobs possible.
     
  16. You are right, no one should be put upon unnecessarily. I find I have to hold the best Teachers back as they want to do more and give as much as they can to the children without anything but encouragement from SMT. I have sadly worked with other Teachers who are lazy and constantly clock watching and give very little even when paid hefty UPS salaries. These people frustrate everyone by hijacking new initiatives with negative comments and can drag everyone down if you let them. Schools don't have endless cash to pay for non contact time and we all have to give more than you might in an Office or other setting unrelated to helping people. This is the nature of vocation. In a good school you'd hopefully trust and know that SMT were working as hard as you were. If you are suspicious of those you work for maybe ask what their job involves or move?
     
  17. I get it, I really do. But this thread is about senior staff teaching, not (yet) about the 'lazy and clock watching'. If all staff, as you put it, 'want to do more, and give as much as they can', could that not apply to senior staff too, you know, do more such as half a day a week in the classroom?
     
  18. Basically, Heads are employed to run a school, this should be strategic and must include resorce planning which includes all staff time and their work/life balance.
    Teachers ae employed to teach, if they are not happy with the way things are done in their work place they should move, or train up and run their own school.
    If a school goes all ends up, it is not the staff that take the rap, it's the head/deputy, if teaching is poor, again it's the head that get's the grief. I think people need to take this into account, it's pretty easy to criticise if you're not doing the job.....
     
  19. Are you seriously saying that unhappy teachers should put up, or shut up, or leave or become the headteacher themselves? A school belongs to the whole school community, and is not the personal empire of a headteacher. Your post reads like a dictatorial head is entitled to do just what they please (because the buck stops with them), and the rest of the community of the school has to go along without question.
    What if a head declared they were going to establish classes of, say, 50 (to cut costs), would staff have to either put up or shut up in that situation?
     
  20. You've obviously had some poor experiences of school leaders. We all have. We've also all worked with amazingly poor teacher colleagues. I can only say that in my experience bad practice can't last and is usually a sign that people can't cope or are in the wrong line of work. Karma kicks in at some point! Good thing people like our good selves are trying to make a difference, taking action and not just ranting about it on an anonymous forum.
     

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