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

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

  1. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the encouragement. I just hate the fact that I'm doing everything last minute and feel it'll do rather than this is how I planned it. Every time I sit down to try and plan anything there's a phone call, email, or issue that shifts the priorities yet again. I have no SLT as we're a small school and the teachers I've got are a frosty bunch which makes me feel I'm being judged all the time. I guess I'm my own worst critic as well, feeling very aware that I'm not the efficient and organised headteacher I wanted to be by a long way! Part of me says 'chill out you're not even a year in yet,' the other part of me says 'you're almost a year in, you should have this ticking over by now!'

    Nowayout likes this.
  2. Nowayout

    Nowayout New commenter

    Oh my goodness. Your words could equally as easily be typed by me! These are my feelings precisely.
  3. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Sorry, you probably wanted to read something more encouraging. Perhaps we are taking this all too seriously? I had PM'd you a while back. Always happy to exchange perspectives.
  4. Nowayout

    Nowayout New commenter

    I definitely seen to be having more good days than bad lately so that is a positive. However the whole bloody thing is extremely overwhelming and I'm not sure whether I've now just become more resigned to the realisation that it just never gets done!
  5. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Make sure you have some time each day where you don't answer the phone or check email. That way you can get something done without anything else cropping up! (Emergency/safeguarding concerns negate this advice of course!)
    Oh and don't think you have to take on all the stuff that comes your way! My secretary just laughs when I move the bin to my feet before starting the post!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. Northhead

    Northhead Occasional commenter

    You definitely cannot plan to do anything because something comes up- you just have to grab the time when you can and see it as a bonus. Unfortunately for me, the best free time I get for analysis, SEF etc is the holidays. :(
    mms1 likes this.
  7. leah35

    leah35 New commenter

    I haven't read all the responses yet, but I know what it's like to have that feeling in the pit of your stomach and it just isn't worth risking your health for the role. My advice, for what it's worth, is to talk to the governors and say exactly what you've said here to them; that you felt under pressure to take on the role and that you wanted to do your best for the school but that you feel you're not the right person for it and that you feel a bit out of your depth. Can you go back to your previous role?. I wish you the best of luck, but remember that ordinary teachers (actually, they are extraordinary) often feel like this too. Ofsted, and the awful stress I used to feel before they visited, was why I left teaching and now do supply.
  8. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    One headteacher colleague of mine negotiated with his governors to spend one morning a week working from home. This was for his wellbeing and so he knew he had a half day undisturbed to work on sef, sidp, reports, data etc. Also, buy in a session of adviser time to work through one of these with you. Tell them you want a draft document by the end of the session. Remember, if you don't cope it affects everyone. It's not ducking out of the responsibility but finding ways to get things done.
  9. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I regularly wok from home - small school teaching head and there is absolutely no way I can do 'serious' stuff when I am in the office. I must be really stupid because I can't access your personal message.
    mms1 likes this.
  10. helenrhodes

    helenrhodes New commenter

    I will take up my first Headship in September, is there any advice that you can share for how to get through the first year, term, month....?
  11. Northhead

    Northhead Occasional commenter

    In many ways the first year is the easiest as everyone will be desperate to make a good impression with you and blissful naivety means you won't realise certain things until the second year!

    Make sure you share with another head. Not even your deputy will be able to quite understand what it's like for you so make sure you offload...

    If something major (a performance issue maybe) isn't right, tackle it however hard it may seem- don't duck things. In the long-run you will feel much better as you have done what it right by the children.

    Try to remember that the most important job in the school is that of the teacher- that is what will shift your data, make your books look etc and be sympathetic to their needs, particularly around workload.

    Oh, and wine!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

    Hi all
    I wanted to say please please look after yourselves.
    As heads, you 'set the temperature' of the school. Your presence in the building (or absence without explanation) sets the tone. Staff are reassured by knowing you are there - you don't have to be doing life changing things at all times. But you also need to be well yourselves, both physically and emotionally.
    I say this as someone who has worked for 4 great heads; and 3 dreadful ones. One was great up til about March each academic year, when she would just lose it. I was once sent to get her following a serious fight. I found her sitting under her desk in her office. I just shut the door again and walked away (I was in my second year of teaching) and told the assistant head later when I could (at the time with other witnesses I just said she wasn't there). She was absent for a long time after that.
    The other two dreadful ones - one was clearly out of her depth but couldn't admit it, so made ridiculous panicky decisions that she then wouldn't reverse. The other was like that one but had the support of a MAT.
    I also have a very dear friend who was a head who had a breakdown. Many years of experience, but the ofsted fear got the better of him. It was a slippery slope, but one day he was driving to school and simply couldn't do it. Turned round, went home, never returned.
    This was a man who was devoted to the job. It had cost him two marriages. But in the end it got the better of him. He's now been diagnosed with a degenerative disease.
    It takes guts to step up to the plate, and more to say 'this is not easy'. OP- you sound like the perfect mix of dedication and humble to be a good head, but don't let it cost you too much. No one ever died wishing they had worked harder.
    Take care all.
  13. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    @Marshall It's the little things that get to you...

    To access your personal messages, log in and go to the top right hand corner of the screen.

    You will see a square containing your blue head and shoulders (avatar) with your username alongside it. Above and to the right of this, you will see another, smaller square containing your avatar with your username to the left of it - click on the smaller square.

    You will now see a drop down: click on 'Conversations', which will take you into the place where you can send and receive personal messages. I have just sent you one headed 'Message' - click on the word 'Message' to read it.

    Hope this helps!
    mms1 likes this.
  14. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    And there was me thinking Marshall was too busy to reply, ;)
  15. Nowayout

    Nowayout New commenter

    Well I've nearly made it to the end of the Summer term and I have survived. Still having in there
    pepper5 and mms1 like this.
  16. mms1

    mms1 Occasional commenter

    Well done you. Still ups and downs I'm sure but that seems to be the life of a headteacher. Keep in touch
  17. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Look after your most important asset - the staff.
  18. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    Actually, can I challenge that? Look after yourself first. Then your staff. They need you to be healthy and alert... you can't look after them if you don't put your own oxygen mask on first!
    (I'm hopeless at doing this btw, which is why I've spent 9 hours in school on a Saturday - but hey!)
    Sundaytrekker likes this.

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