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Please help. I feel there is no way out..........

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by Nowayout, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Nowayout

    Nowayout New commenter

    I'm going to try for a new me on Monday too!
    digoryvenn, Marshall and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  2. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Go for it! X
  3. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Good luck nowayout. How did today go?
    I put my hierarchy in place. Haven't needed to use it yet though!
    Had a difficult conversation with one TA but a good performance management meeting with another TA.
    Our school improvement advisor visit went very well.
    Had a good day overall.
    Norsemaid, Jesmond12 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Difficult conversations are part of our life BUT I have learnt that that more you talk and share the easier it gets.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  5. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Need someone to teach me the difference between learnt and learned please! Got it with practise and practice!
  6. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Thanks Marshall.
    Unfortunately, the difficult conversation ended unhappily for the TA.
    I always put have/had with learnt but not with learned. I don't know the other differences.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Both are acceptable variants of a past participle.

    Personally I wonder if learnt is a more modern variation, because when pronounced out loud learned sounds quite like learnt and therefore caused a spelling change?
  8. cheescake

    cheescake New commenter


    Would agree with all that has been said before; you need a HT mentor (Who you can ask for specific advice as opposed to coaching), speak to your GP, or have you got an employee assistance programme as part of your staff insurance policy; they often have a helpline to call for counselling type support.

    Remember that sometimes just' being there' was enough for that day.
    Try to separate leadership from management; the leadership is often about the day to day conversations, your demeanour, what you accept and what you don't - you may well be doing a great job of this already.
    Management tasks need to be divided into priorities; 1/2/3. Safeguarding being 1 of course.

    If you can confide in your leadership team, do a shared post it exercise of all that needs to be different; you will probably find these could be grouped together, and then you might find you could kill a few birds with one decisive stone.
    You can then also prioritise these; short/ medium/ long term.
    Decide who can do what.
    This becomes your action plan; having it on the plan is saying I know this needs to be done but not yet.
    Share it with your chair initially, then further.
    Agree with the Govs what resources you need to achieve this including staff time.
    That aside, your school sounds quite vulnerable; are your staff and govs aware of the reality and the task ahead?

    Identify your emotional needs; if meeting with parents is tough (and it may well be if you are bringing about change), have another member of your staff with you. It is our school policy that any member of staff (including me) can have someone else with them in a meeting. At the very least they can take notes. Buy time, say ok, I can see where you are coming from, but I'll need to have a think about this and see what we can do.

    Do some talent spotting; regardless of the old guard systems; who can see having potential for the future?

    It sounds as if some drastic budget decisions need to be made; use a headteacher mentor for support with this; you should be able to afford some non teaching leadership time in a school that size. Again, you might need to plan to do this, but this is the time of year to be thinking about it! Have you for example got lots of TLRs?

    Decide what time you are leaving at the end of the day, and LEAVE; if its late that's fine as long as then you don't take work home; working alone is not the best way to take the school forwards anyway.

    If you eventually decide its not for you, fair enough, but right now, you are the best head the school's got, so look after yourself. You will get better at compartmentalising.

    Good luck; the job's rubbish at times, but also wonderful too.
    digoryvenn and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  9. bluesofa

    bluesofa New commenter

    Sadly, some governors just want to play power games or play the tough guy. Some aren't really interested in the development of children and staff. If governors, or a rubbish LA, don't support you, then you're truly better off out of it. Never let it ruin your health - you're never trapped. If you can't seriously see changes for the better as a possibility, then leaving can be a real breakthrough. Yes, the money is less, but the quality of live might improve beyond imagination. It doesn't necessarily mean you're a bad head, maybe just a case of right skills, wrong place. There is life after headship.
    digoryvenn likes this.
  10. Nowayout

    Nowayout New commenter

    Well , at the risk of tempting fate, I actually feel better than I've felt for a long time. Actually thinking that the sunshine has really helped,

    Onward and upward heh?!
  11. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    Hi - hope it's because you feel more in control! Agree the sunshine really does help BUT it's almost nearly Easter!!!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    Just started reading through this thread, not that I'm a HT and I can't offer any practical advice. I can send you my best wishes though and do because it sounds like you are one of the heads that has their heart in the right place.
    tedhat, Lara mfl 05 and Jesmond12 like this.
  13. spirulla

    spirulla New commenter

    My earlier post may have been misleading. I had been a head for over 12 years and was in the 4th year of my 3rd headship when I followed the Call of the Wild. I almost stopped myself from resigning because of the children. Making a real difference to their lives was the only really rewarding part of the job. Good teaching and a great curriculum were key, of course. To answer digoryven's question: had a wonderful 6 months pursuing a Road not Taken then did a PhD and worked as senior lecturer in university education faculty. Thoroughly enjoyed everything after resigning. The last straw had been .... it sounds so pathetic ...... having to tolerate the PTA!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  14. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    I understand the PTA frustrations. Their internal politics and power weilding are more than you need to deal with on top of the real day job.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  15. missbloggs

    missbloggs New commenter

    Sorry I haven't read all of the preceding posts, but felt compelled to answer nowayout as I felt that that for pretty much all of the 7 years I was a HT, and just got used to it! The (rather severe) health issues have subsided in the 20 months since I did get out... You have to accept the workload will always be like that, and you need to prioritise and learn some of the stuff on the list will just drop off it after time and if someone really needs something they will chase you up! Th best advice I ever had was form a really experienced HT who said to me that all Primary school HTs are just waiting for someone to come along and tell them they can't do the job; just waiting to be 'found out' - as it's so impossible that nobody can ever really get properly on top of it, and if they think they are then they are most probably kidding themselves, or have one hell of an SLT!
    Good luck with it all!
    Lara mfl 05 and Nowayout like this.
  16. Nowayout

    Nowayout New commenter

    I'm slowly beginning to realise that! I feel like an imposter every single day........just somehow getting by! Each week seems to bring a different hot potato? if I have a quiet moment in the office then I feel that something must be wrong
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    So sorry - it seems that it is not getting any better. OR perhaps it is - perhaps the quiet moments mean that it is! Did you ever PM me? Please do and if you do them tell me because I don't know how to access them!
  18. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    For those on here that are heads, is it normal to feel so overwhelmed in your first year of headship? I find my days are filled with meetings, conversations and phone calls. I sense huge paperwork secretly piling up without my knowing. I'm well aware of SIDP, lesson obs, perf management cycles, governors meetings etc but right now I'm working hard to survive and learn as fast as I can. On good days I accept that I am new to the job and you don't know what you don't know, on down days I feel just like nowayout and that I am totally unqualified for the job. Sorry if I have hijacked this post!
  19. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    I'm 5 years in and still feel like that
    mms1 likes this.
  20. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    15 years in and things still catch me out!
    mms1 likes this.

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