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parents!pupils!SLT! the whole shebang!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by nernstlaw, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. nernstlaw

    nernstlaw New commenter

    I felt that i needed a rant and felt this is the place to do it!

    I currently work in the south of England in an ex indy turned free school. It used to be a nice place to work but over the last few years, it has started to wear me down. I always anticipated tricky parents but this is unreal. After numerous parents evenings, the expectation of parents is to immediately let them know if their little Jane or Johnny does something wrong, they must be notified asap. If I stick to the school policy of logging parental contact and sending the agreed forms to HOD, HOY, form tutor etc, I would spend most of my life drowning in unnecessary paperwork as I teach over 250 pupils split between 12 classes. (I must add, that the majority do as asked but there are a number that I'm currently chasing for late hwk etc). A parent also accused my of losing little Jane's homework! (she didn't hand it in but as the parent said, 'it was my word against Jane's and teachers often loose homework' I've been having problems with Jane and late homework all year!, all logged on SIMS which takes even more of my very limited time)

    I also teach a full timetable and at our school we don't have protected free periods so I can be used for cover in any of my minimal free periods. Parents regularly e-mail in with concerns/worries and if this is about one of your pupils, god help you....The SLT stance is 'The customer is always right!', you instantly have to go on the defensive and produce reams of evidence as to why it is not you fault that that pupil is failing even though Johnny has been playing truant for the last 6 of your lessons and has never attended any of the help clinics ('voluntary' run by teachers).

    Being a free school, we don't work to SPC and therefore don't have a directed time agenda so we are constantly being asked to run lunchtime/after school revision sessions, sports and open days on Saturday's, two parents evenings for some year groups (I teach all secondary year groups so I have to attend 10 parents evenings over the current year). meetings also happen at the drop of a hat, I feel as though I spend more time in meetings than I do teaching.

    I think what I'm getting at is I don't feel that I have a work life balance at the moment and I don't envisage it getting any better any time soon. The slightest disruption of unexpected event to my day can really throw me at the moment and I think I need to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thanks for reading
    January sad face :(

  2. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    Arrange for little Jane or Johnny to keep a homework receipt book, which you sign and date when he hands in homework. Alternatively, get a member of your admin. staff to collect homework and sign the book. Concerned parents can then ask their offspring to show them the book. You could even buy or use a school rubber stamp to authenticate your signature. Now little Jane or Johnny will have to find excuses for their parents when they hand it in late- or don't hand it in at all.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Godmeister likes this.
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    No, doesn't sound as if you have a work/life balance.

    Mostly because you don't have a LIFE at all!!! Are you not applying elsewhere? That's the only light I could see.
    petenewton likes this.
  5. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Firstly remind SLT they are not customers any more - they are parents who have their responsibilities. A homework diary is common practise in the state school sector and have some stamps made up to stamp the diary for say 'no homework' etc. and if a parent says you have lost Janes homework (common tactic to deflect trouble) then pass it to HOD/HOY. I could go through other things which are common policy in the state sector but to be honest it sounds like your SLT are still living in the dark ages and will not listen to anything that make your life better.
    I would start looking for another job in an established school near to where you live ideally. See Theo's post.
  6. Alldone

    Alldone Senior commenter

    How far are you away from retirement?
  7. nernstlaw

    nernstlaw New commenter

    too far!
  8. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    Nernstlaw. Yeah it IS ********. Never used to be like this. No protected free periods ?!
  9. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    The only serious solution is to get a new job

    Everything else is tinkering around the edges
  10. nernstlaw

    nernstlaw New commenter

    thank you all for reading and making suggestions. unfortunately i don't think i'll be looking for a new job (although i did see one and the thought did cross my mind to apply). the problem is that i like my school and i did sign the contract! i just needed a rant. i also think that no school is perfect (just some are more perfect than others.)

    scrolling through the posts, overwhelming workload and stress/anxiety seem to be epidemic throughout the country so unless the situation is sorted at a government level, the demands on the teachers time will still keep flowing.

    i have just read the post from @sxbpriory 'taking a stand' and i have to completely agree.

    jaded by the system but still love teaching....


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