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Poor observation and capability

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Hanbob, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. I have never really posted on this site but have read many of the threads. However I have reached a point where I no longer know where to turn. I have been teaching for 3 years and whilst my first year was tough (as expected) I have never had a poor observation and have worked hard to make sure my lessons are good or outstanding. I have made serveral resources for the department and have always tried to be a good teacher. This year we went through a re-organisation and the stress has been almost unbearable at times. On one day a quarter of our school staff rang in sick and thats not including long term sick. It really was becoming dire. I was observed by a company used by our new academy and was given an unsatifactory based on the new ofstead guidelines as were several teachers who have been teaching a lot longer than myself and who are well respected and dedicated individuals. I was told however that there were some very easy changes which would make my lessons better and that they believe I am ostanding teacher. I made these changes and was re-observed, it was a difficult lesson due to the outside and uncontrolable factors, without going into details and identifying myself. I was given feedback a week later and told my lesson had elements of outstanding and my behaviour management was outstanding and the pupils worked hard for the lesson, but that due to the fact my objectives seemed muddled they gave me an Unsatifactory and I have been placed on capability. I am at my wits end. I am burnt out, I cry all the time on a daily basis, I cant sleep and feel I have nothing more to give. I just feel so desperate and don't know how long I can keep going I have no energy and feel absolutely exhausted. I want to be a good teacher but I cant keep up anymore. I feel this will be the end of my career and I am in the process of buying a new place which if I leave I will almost certainly lose but I if I continue I think the job will kill me. I love the kids and have made many good relationships with them and dont want to let them down but I just dont know how to continue. I suppose Im asking what would be the best course of action from here either a new career or if this is savable? Also I dont understand how a lesson can be judged as having elements of outstanding and yet be unsatisfactory how can cover four grade boundaries? I am sorry for the rant but I am lost and would just like some advice as I am inexperienced and dont know all my avenues.
    Thankyou x
  2. FollyFairy

    FollyFairy Occasional commenter

    I have replied to your other post! xx
  3. Contact your union asap.
  4. Presumably they said informal capability? That should be used to support you and develop your expertise. It should not be presented as a threat, although some schools use it as one.
    Make sure that you log everything, including negative and favourable comments.
    Contact your GP and union.
    That assessment certainly sounds suspect. Did they write those assessments down, showing outstanding elements etc?
    Most importantly, realise that the problem seems to be the culture and management at THAT school. Not you. It is extraordinary that so many staff at THAT school are suffering from stress etc.
    Good luck.

  5. They didn't say whether it was informal or formal capabiltiy. I didn't get anything in writing I was just told all this and then I broke down. I don't really understand employment law but I will be reading up on it.
  6. Your first step should be to get a copy of the school's capability policy. The office should provide one. It may be on the school's site. If you haven;t been told that you have undergone informal capabiity, then they cannot go to formal capability unless we are talking about a very serious issue, which this isn;t.
    Don't got it alone. Use your union and (later) if you have legal protection the legal advice service that comes with your household insurance.
  7. Dunteachin

    Dunteachin Star commenter

    It is so sad that teaching has come to this. I'm just glad that I have taken early retirement and do supply work when I feel like it.
    I cannot believe that a talented teacher has been rated unsatisfactory because of muddled objectives. What is happening? Why are teachers forced to jump through hoops and perform like circus animals when pupils get away with murder?
    Do the people who hand down these judgments have any idea of the havoc they wreak on people's careers, finances and health?
    I watch the NQTs in my department and I could weep for them. They are brought to the edge of a breakdown by the constant pressure of observations and the fear of being found less than outstanding.
    Teaching used to be such a rewarding job. We need to be left alone. You can't work with enthusiasm and passion when you are reduced to a gibbering wreck, constantly looking over your shoulder.
    And who are these "companies" employed to observe you? It beggars belief.
    To the OP. Find another school as fast as you can [​IMG]
  8. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I think you'll find the answer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRX7O5dwhwM.
  9. I didn't pick up on where it mentioned that but did hear the bit where Gove says that it's all teachers fault if children aren't behaving and basically dismissed any reasons other than bad teachers for reasons children don't improve.
  10. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    I would agree 100% with everything you have said. One of the issues we have encountered, however, is the inconsistency with which unions advise members of the full range of options open to them and then provide the appropriate legal support for them.
  11. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Ivor monkey-I've asked this before but have you actually been to court/tribunal? If so did you win?
    Yirg is right that it is the duty of the union to support their members and not make decisions for them that could make things worse.
  12. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    Torey I need to ask you a question. Sending you a PM
  13. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Hi. I've replied.
  14. AlwaysAdaptable

    AlwaysAdaptable New commenter

    Thanks. You're a gem[​IMG]
  15. I hope you are feeling better today. Just wanted to share that I am in a vey similar position. I too received an unsatisfactory for what was a 'good' lesson because of muddled objectives. I had changed schools and was not used to the planning format in the new school. Having read your post, I have finally plucked up courage to contact the union and will ring my GP tomorrow. It is appalling that teaching has come to this. Good luck. You must seek help.

  16. If your school is being swept by a 'new broom', suspect an ulterior motive in 'concerns about your teaching performance'. When our new Head and SMT came in this was one of the ploys used to get rid of people. A good example of this was one teacher, who had just passed through the Threshold under the old regime; a couple of months later, under the new, he was rated as 'grossly inadequate'. If you can, find out from other staff members what has been their experience of PM, and see if there is a pattern to those found 'unsatisfactory' and what they might have in common.
  17. Hi,

    Sorry I haven't replied recently I have been in a bad place and have had to crawl out of my hole and get back to reality.
    Can I say a big thankyou to everyone who has shown their support it has given me some faith that not everyone is out to grind me down. It is frightening how many people this seems to be happening to.
    I have come back to work although I am on a course of antidepressants. It's been tough this week and some lessons have been awful but most I think have been good and I have been spending a lot of time preparing and trying to make my lessons as water tight as possible. Most people have been positive about my return but scarily I am not the only one in school going through this process along with me there are now 13 other staff members across the school who are going through this and have all been placed on this at roughly the same time. I was just wondering if this is normal?
    I have yet to recieve any feedback in writing although I have asked for it and that was two weeks ago and although I am on capability I have no idea what support I will be recieving and no-one has spoken to me apart from to inform me in a meeting they would be starting capability that was two weeks ago. I can be a bit meek and pathetic around colleagues and I know I need to step up and start demanding but it's hard when your confidence is already at rock bottom.
    Thankyou all again so much for your kind words x
  18. You could do a lot worse than Google for quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt - she has provided some superbly helpful insights - one of which is "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent". I think she also said that it was better to light one candle than curse the darkness, I think she is spot on.

    What I think happens here, Hanbob - and I apologise if this seems half-***** psychobabble - but it seems this is echoed in far too many other schools: They start it off by making you feel worthless and inadequate - and you allow that to influence your mindset. So then they walk away and watch you continue with a downward spiral / self-fulfilling prophecy. I would urge you to adopt as much mental resilience as you can and not let their assessments sway you into believing what they say. If you truly know you are a good teacher, don't lose sight of that, Ever. Keep strong mentally and you will be surprised how strong you can become. No matter what others think of us, We - not them - are responsible for what goes through our brain. We can control our thoughts, Just because they have senior roles and are in "authority" it doesn't make them superior human beings, Often they are sadly, very emotionally impoverished. Don't consent to them pulling you down. Just my 2p
  19. Thankyou iconoclastic that really resonated with me! I have tried to give myself a kick up the backside and I do believe I am a good teacher. I get on well with pupils and have very few behaviour problems they have been pleased to have me back and that certainly made me feel more valuable. I have to stay positive I know otherwise I will never get better but it's been a nasty shock and it takes a while to recover. x
  20. You know I agree with you Snowstorm and I think people need to know how tough the process can be. It is basically demolishing and anybody passing through this way needs care and good counsel to help them through. The decisions are enormous and the system is not what you'd expect. It is skewed and often circumvents the purpose it should serve.
    Many people who try to stand their ground (it seems), experience a truly vindictive reaction. I It is only those (in power) with a lot to conceal that over-react and go into over kill. Rational, 'proper' organisations show humane, treatment and do not need to destroy perceived enemies.

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