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Running a large MFL department

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by razzer92, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. razzer92

    razzer92 New commenter


    My department is full of lovely people, all good teachers who work hard, with varying experience but mostly quite experienced. However, they do not always do everything i ask, such as following SOW which is driving me crazy! I carry out quite a lot of monitoring and prefer the encouraging, cajoling approach. Do any other HODs share this frustration and have any advice please?
     
  2. razzer92

    razzer92 New commenter


    My department is full of lovely people, all good teachers who work hard, with varying experience but mostly quite experienced. However, they do not always do everything i ask, such as following SOW which is driving me crazy! I carry out quite a lot of monitoring and prefer the encouraging, cajoling approach. Do any other HODs share this frustration and have any advice please?
     
  3. chriszwinter1

    chriszwinter1 New commenter

    I think you answer the question in your first sentence.
     
  4. Did you write the Scheme of Work, or was it a joint effort by the whole department? If they didn't have any (or much) input then it isn't an 'agreed' scheme of work and you can't be surprosed if they don't feel like following it. If they did write it jointly, then you can say quite legitimately 'Come on - this is what WE agreed to teach'. The focus should be on 'what', not' how', if they are very experienced.
    OtC
     
  5. The Head of Department is there to organise the administration of the department and not to interfere with the teaching of qualified teachers! Long gone are the days when they were the subject specialist.
     
  6. I tell people what is in the termly assessments and when they are.I expect them to be ready. There are also a few set things I like to do at certain times- ie a reading week/ speakers/films. I do not expect people to do exactly what I do- often their ideas are really good and we adapt as we go along but the structure is so tight that drifiting rarely happens.
     
  7. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Is it an en masse refusal to follow the SOW or is it just a handful of people? If the latter, deal with it on an individual basis. If the former, spend time in dpt meeting explaining what your targets are and why (and perhaps the fact that you will get some flak from above if you don't follow suit), but also I'd look at what it is you want them to do and whether, as others have said, you can be more flexible. Focus on one or two specific things you want and leave the others to individual judgement.
     
  8. G ...who I feel you must not be afraid to challenge. You are the boss. If you have proper faith in your SOW then you need to make sure they're implemented. if they're not worth that effort then maybe you need to rethink them collaboratively but at the end of the day, I as HOD of 7 teachers would not tolerate such dissent.
     
  9. Well I feel that is dangerous language"Not tolerate such dissent.-You are the boss." If it really is so bad that things are not being done to time then yes, action is needed as your head is on the line but to maintain a pleasant working atmosphere with every one pulling together I do not feel that you can be so dogmatic. Sometimes I give people a choice- we have to this- would you prefer doing it the X way or the Y way. Then people feel they have a stake in what you are doing and that you value them. I also think that sometimes you have to be self critical as in "I know I said we would do A last year but I found with my groups it didn't work well because.....how can we change it?"
    However good a teacher you are you can always learn from someone. Observing others I find I can learn from BTs and NQTs just as well as from others and as someone who has done this for a very long time I am suspicious of anyone who can only deliver what is in the SOW and has no creative ideas of their own..
     
  10. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    What does the assessment data say? How detailed is your SOW and which bits aren't they following? Are they not teaching the required grammar and vocabulary or do they ignore a skill? Or are they not using the LO or the learning outcomes, or the tasks/activities?
    I am not an HOD. Speaking as an experienced teacher I would be very open to following a SOW rigidly if the data said that the children I teach were not making good/ outstanding progress. However if they were making good / outstanding progress I would not want to fix something that wasn't broken.
    I only move away from the SOW if more consolidation is required, or to experiment with an approach but I always tell my HOD - my own HOD regularly teaches something completely different to the SOW!!
     

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