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Discussion in 'Personal' started by nizebaby, Jan 7, 2019.
stRengths - sorry
How much talent and expertise goes to waste?
Loads of it. It always struck me how tasks in schools were allocated by position rather than ability. In particular that being part of management meant you were suddenly expert at everything despite often having done little or nothing other than teach whereas staff who had other careers and expertise were ignored on those matters.
Two examples from my last school: Compiling the timetable was allocated to a member of smt because of her position, she was hopeless at it. A member of my department responded to a request of anyone who was interested and wanted to get involved. He was really good at it and was consulted after school and during his non-contacts though was neither given time nor pay to do this. Eventually he just got involved for our department so we had a decent t/t and left the rest to the person who had both time and payment to do it badly and usually very late too.
We got in on the end of a major school buildings initiative, a member of senior management was given the task of liaising with anyone and everyone. He was clearly out of his depth though spent huge amounts of time on courses and external meetings. I was "consulted" on three separate occasions about small changes to my lab, I replied the same way 3 times, 3 times people came round to check and measure the same things and still it wasn't done properly.
The issue always seemed to be about status. Classroom teachers just teach which is often treated as one of the lowest status jobs in a school. People who can, get their lessons covered at the drop of a hat to sit in inefficient meetings and perform tasks they have little or no ability for while those with those abilities and experience are ignored.
Strengths? I doubt my head even knows my name.
This part especially.
Lots - because so many teachers are leaving the profession.
Quite often it takes another person to point out your strengths to you - no matter whether that other person is very young, middle aged or old. We sometimes can go through life and not discover our own abilities, sadly. So I'm sorry to say that many people don't discover their own strengths. Having been to a secondary modern school, the staff thought that all of us, having failed the 11 plus, had no strengths at all - only weaknesses.
A newly appointed SLT member is brought in from 'industry' with a PhD on a fast track promotion scheme, and is put in charge of the ICT network.
It rapidly becomes a notwork, because he turns into something that's easy for him to manage instead of something that meets the multimedia learning needs of children and the teaching needs of subject staff.
He regularly skips his GCSE lessons to deal with the multiple technical issues.
The Head of ICT and I have worked together for 20 years, most of it as a two person department. He used to run the network and is the most experienced ICT teacher in the LEA. He types a memo to the HT saying the network is unfit for purpose.
The Head of ICT is invited to the HT's office to 'discuss' the memo and is carpeted. He keeps his head down, says nothing more outside the department about the notwork, and at the earliest opportunity he retires.
The notwork continues to not work, and is a key factor in my decision to quit a few months later.