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School trying to poach me before 31st Oct - HELP

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by goldentramp85, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter

    Hello all

    I've just started this September last as a part-time (after having a baby) geography teacher at the school I trained at and also did a stint of maternity cover for a few years ago. I have a good deal there: not a form tutor, on UPS1 (which they put me straight onto) and responsibility for a PGCE student (something I've always wanted to do). However, I am teaching in a school with a 6x50min lesson timetable (feel like I get nothing done and pace is still off), a tiny classroom, and a 30 min lunchbreak (I am used to at least 40 and it really does make a difference, especially with nowhere to go and eat).

    The rival school in the same town (where a close relative of mine works) have contacted me (via text) to try to get me to go theirs in January as a HoD (still part-time). I have never been in the right place at the right time to be a HoD although I have done other TLRs within my last school (primary transition and Ho6th). It's something I want to do and I am worried that if I don't take the chance now, I will be passed over next time an opportunity comes up as this is my 7th year classroom teaching. I live in a very rural area so there are very few driveable schools. My daughter is not quite 10 months. I've suggested that I would be up for a discussion with a September start but they are adamant of a January start - or I've missed the boat. Feeling a lot of pressure and don't know what to do.

    What would you do?
  2. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    You won't have missed the boat for Jan. If they don't appoint you then they don't have anyone else do they? That's the only reason they are saying now or never.

    Maybe ask for Easter as a compromise.
    If they still say no, then go for it, especially if your relative says it is a lovely school to work in.
    Email your current head and let them know the situation before you say yes.
    midnight_angel and emerald52 like this.
  3. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    You can get your resignation in NOW and start January.

    Email and send recorded delivery. Hell, ring 'em! The school you're at now. Drive in and make someone sign for it.

    If you want to. You don't have long to decide so ...
    thekillers likes this.
  4. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Woah! You need to have a proper conversation with them before handing in notice - salary, job description, preferred working days etc. Don't hand in your notice without this information agreed upon. It may be a lovely school, but if they are such great employers why are they being like this?
  5. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Just make sure you have a definite contract at the new school!
  6. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter

    Thank you for your replies... I'm just not sure having a baby and a HoD job, even part-time, are compatible... And I only just got settled at my new school... But I don't want to screw my future career up - everyone else I trained with seems to be HoD or higher...
  7. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter

    Absolutely... I agree. I don't want to make a rushed decision but feel I don't have the time to think.
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    They'll wait until Easter if they really want you.
  9. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Don't let them bully you into this.

    Who was it who has contacted you? Why leave it so late? What's the situation - does your friend have any insider info?
    emerald52, GLsghost and install like this.
  10. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I believe in fate, that things happen when and as they are meant to.

    And if you're not sure what to do, don't do anything.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Motto of my life! ;)

    But I agree entirely. You have a post that you enjoy and that'll do for now.
    You've not been teaching all that long in the grand scheme of things.

    But if want it then go and get it.
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    [QUOTE="goldentramp85, post: 11867254, member: 2051116"

    What would you do?

    I would not want to work for a Head who treats people to this serving of what seems to be 'russian roulette'...

    I don't like their tactics - why can't they wait until Sept? It sounds bullish to me and they are effectively playing on your emotions and desperately trying to control you.

    You clearly have impressed them - but that does not mean that they call the shots. It sounds like they are treating you like a pawn to me....

    The problem with offers like this is that things are never 'quite right' ...you could just as much regret taking the post.
  13. goldentramp85

    goldentramp85 New commenter

    Thank you all so much.

    The background info is (and I don't want to say too much as I don't want to pinpoint exactly where this rural town is!), the rival school is an academy and runs some other schools. They are sending their HoD for geoggers to one of their other schools from January, although she is not highly rated, so very unclear as to exactly the reasons for the move. Because of our location NO ONE wants to live here, especially with a very prestigious city so close to us. So staffing is tricky. There is a national shortage of geography teachers - I read somewhere that our county is short by over 20!

    I was contacted by the head via text (close relative is the connection). They can't phone me because they can't be seen to be pestering me. Close relative is acting as go between - and getting increasingly fed-up. I was asked to be HoD there about 2.5 years ago but was pregnant at the time and withdrew my application (sadly I miscarried the baby and should have taken the job).

    As any other teacher, I already bring too much work home, even as part-time. I'm blessed with a baby who goes to bed at 6.30 and wakes up 12 hours later so I do get lots done in the evening. But how much more will there be to do as HoD? Being a head of 6th form was horrific, I hated it. I know it's not as large a job as that, but is it worth the extra couple of hundred a month?

    I like the suggestion of Easter. I think that's good. I do not want to burn bridges with my current school who gave me a great deal this year and also contacted me direct to get me in. I even made contact with the rival school before I went on mat leave last year to say I was looking for part-time work from this September but they kept putting me off , putting me off, and then it got to easter and my current school snapped me up because, hey, I needed a job!

  14. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    Think about it wisely? Do you want the extra responsibility with a very young child- even at a part time scale, the role will still be demanding.
    emerald52, ValentinoRossi and install like this.
  15. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    Please don't resign yet. Alarm bells are ringing - with a little one, I think being an HOD is too much at the moment. I also think the 'new' school are pushing you and I sense something not quite right.

    I worked part-time EFL until my son was 2 and now, at 4, am a full-time classroom teacher. It's doable because I have a brilliant childminder and do loads of prep over the summer (secondary but sole subject). As your LO gets older, you will want less responsibility whilst they are under 5!

    I would hesitate taking this job.- headhunting is one thing but no contract, no concrete details, etc.and you are being rushed. It just seems too odd.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
  16. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    The new school are obviously in a fix - for whatever reason they're losing the head of geography, and they're trying all they can to get someone in place. I think there are far too many questions here.

    Was the outgoing postholder part-time? Are they really sure they want a part-timer or is it just a case of trying to find anyone who will be able to run an inexperienced department? Will it actually be a permanent HoD post or a stop-gap until they can advertise properly? Why is the previous person going? Is the department properly staffed otherwise? If the previous person wasn't part-time, what are they doing with the rest of the timetable (hopefully not just expecting you to set work for cover supervisors)? Will there be pressure on you to go full-time in the future, having sucked you in with the part-time offer?

    I would be extremely wary of agreeing without answers to the questions and a chance to meet the department and see the school in action (and check out that things like SoW are in place, etc). I think you're probably fairly safe to say you can't make a decision in time for a January start, as they are very unlikely to find anyone else.

    You obviously also need to think through the issue of whether you want the responsibility at this particular point in your life. A lot of people seem to think that turning down a single promotion opportunity will be held against them for ever, and I'm pretty sure that isn't the case. There may be fewer opportunities in your area than most, but there will be other chances, I'm sure, and unless you started your family very late you've probably got another quarter century to go!

    Don't worry about what the people you trained with are doing now (are they really all HoDs? how many have quit teaching altogether?!) - do what is right for you. If you're planning on more children, the second child may not be as easy as the first. You might be better keeping your reputation as a great part-time teacher who contributes plenty to the department, and looking for the promotion later on.
  17. fndteach

    fndteach New commenter

    I'd be inclined the stick personally. Your baby is still quite young and their sleep etc can change in an instant.
    I battled on working to keep my head in the career game and now my children are 4 and 6 and I am off with chronic illness. I am kicking myself thinking that perhaps I tried to hard for 'it all' rather than focusing on the things that really mattered.
    If you feel ready perhaps go for the Easter start providing all the other questions suggested above are answered and you're confident in your decision.
    Best wishes
  18. ValentinoRossi

    ValentinoRossi Star commenter

    The new school is an academy??

    Don't go there. It may seem like a lovely school now, but it won't last.

    I agree entirely with @install 's post. And you are not scuppering your career! You have a baby, you're working part-time and other opportunities WILL come along at the right time. Don't worry about what those who trained with you are doing. It's not a competition!
  19. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Personally I've never seen how a HoD can be part-time unless he/she is almost full time (0.8 or higher) or is, effectively, the sole teacher in the school of that subject. For example if the part-time HoD has one or more colleagues under them, what happens if one of those colleagues is absent on a day the HoD isn't there - who sets work? Is the OP ready to drop everything at home to set work/cover a parents' evening on their day off?Etc.

    My advice to the OP, FWIW, would be that this is the wrong job at the wrong time...But, at the end of the day, the OP needs to do what is right for them. Good luck with whatever you decide...
  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter


    I do not trust MATs to keep their word when I speak with them directly, never mind in this cloak & dagger fashion. If they do not treat you like a professional now then they will not treat you so when you work for them. Count your blessings and not their backdoor promises.

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