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Should I be bothered?.

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Redskai, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Redskai

    Redskai New commenter

    I have been head of Drama for 14 years and have a wealth of experience and excellent track record for achieving high marks at GCSE and A level but now find myself teaching less drama than my colleague and instead being given a year 8 English group to teach three times a week.

    I am not confident teaching English, but the deputy is insistent that I teach it. I suggested giving my colleague the English and taking back three drama classes but this was not entertained. I also requested delivering PSHE as a preference over English, as I have experience with this, but again this was ignored.

    As an experienced HOD it makes me feel undervalued and the burden of planning, teaching and marking a core subject I don’t enjoy is an irritation. I could do without in favour of focussing in the subject I’m employed to teach

    This came about through a decision not to replace a full time English teacher who had to leave due to stress and depression.

    Do I just do as I’m told or is a conversation with the Head worth having to share my concerns.
  2. foroff2233

    foroff2233 New commenter

    It doesn't appear that the deputy is victimising you as the school hasn't enough Eng. staff. I've taught Eng,, maths, RE as well as my specialism (MFL).
    One isn't guaranteed to only teach a specialism. Drama and Eng. overlap to a degree. Maybe the Eng. teacher was promised a little Drama experience at interview, for example. Could improve your CV. See it as a bonus.
    However, if it is still worrying there's no harm putting your case to another colleague. You mentioned your Head.
  3. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Yes be worried. I was in this position. At one point I was teaching fewer hours of my subject than the part timer even though I was full time. Are you older? UPS 3?
  4. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    I think that sometimes it is assumed that middle leaders will be more flexible when there is a need, and that they will understand this.
  5. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    perhaps they have identified a need for an experienced teacher to take a difficult y8 English class? see it as a compliment maybe?
  6. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It sounds like drama has three spare hours, and three hours are needed in English. Either you do it, or your colleague does it; it doesn't make sense to split it. What we don't know is why they've decided on you rather than your colleague; maybe they think you'll do it better, maybe your colleague is even less happy teaching English than you, maybe there's something you don't know about that means you're the better option this year. You could perhaps ask whether next year it could be your colleague instead, or whether there's any scope for a bigger switch round so you teach PSHE and one of those teachers teaches some English.
  7. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Why should your colleague, in preference to you, have the burden of planning, teaching and marking a core subject that they may not enjoy? Equally, aren’t they employed as a drama teacher?I think any justification needs to be thought through so it doesn’t look like you are trying to cherry pick in favour of someone more junior in your department. It could cause resentment.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I can totally understand why you would not want the extra work of teaching a Year 8 English group three times a week. One way to look at it is that it is only one group - it could be a lot worse and you could be teaching all English groups. Poor teacher who left with stress and depression.

    You will find that probably no one wants to do it.
  9. jago123

    jago123 Established commenter

    It seems like you’re in a school where you need to get out of, to be honest- especially with the treatment you are receiving from your deputy. You would think that after 14 years, your opinion / suggestion would be taken onboard. From what you’ve said and as an outsider to the situation, it’s apparent that you aren’t valued enough.
    Aside from this, what is your career aspirations? Do you have intentions to progress to SLT? If so, spend the next few months looking at AHT positions. You have solid experience so you would be in a good position of being successful.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. almostafish

    almostafish New commenter

    As a middle leader, suck it up and get on with it. With the additional pay comes the need to be flexible and use your experience to support others. See it as the chance to see how a core subject is working and glean ideas for your own department.
    adamcreen and Flanks like this.
  11. rustyfeathers

    rustyfeathers Occasional commenter

    Speak to the English HOD and request SOW and as many resources as possible.

    Look on TES and LitDrive (new, brilliant sharing site for English) for resources.

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