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SLT leaving me hanging

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Progressnerd, Aug 5, 2020.

  1. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Hi all

    Just wanted to get your thoughts on this:

    Around 10 days ago I got an email from a member of SLT at my school saying they wanted to 'run something past me' and if I would be available for a telephone call at some point. I have literally no idea what this would be about.

    I haven't been checking my emails that much since breaking up for summer (we broke up a few weeks ago now as we are independent) but just happened to check it on the day this email was sent to me. I responded around 4 hours or so after the email was sent saying yes that's fine and that they could get in touch with me.

    I still haven't had a call or any reply to the email I sent back...

    My school is genuinely a good place to work at and SLT are a good bunch so I'm trying not to worry but it does seem a bit odd that the email made no reference to what it was about and I've not heard anything since.

    I'm naturally someone who worries anyway and has suffered from anxiety in the past. Should I be worried about this?
    jarndyce likes this.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I would not have thought so. 'Run something past' suggests a request for feedback, whereas 'A confidential discussion ' might suggest something more serious. It could just be something to do with being timetabled for a different subject or year group.

    I suggest you send another email giving a date and time frame when you will be available for his/her telephone call. Indicate that you may not be available either side of this due to personal commitments.
  3. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Yes, I agree with nomad. If it's anything like my school (I teach in an independent as well), if it was genuinely something urgent, I know SLT would find the means to get in touch with me asap. Try not to panic (easier said than done, I know).
  4. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter


    I just wondered why whatever it was couldn't be said in an email. Then I thought maybe it's more urgent and needs to be a phone call now so they known they've spoken to me but then every day goes by and still nothing so I thought it can't be that serious but I think because in my other schools this type of email would always be really bad news it has triggered a reaction in me.
    steely1, agathamorse and nomad like this.
  5. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Some see an email as being 'final'.

    If I was going to ask a member of staff to change from the ordinary, e.g., tutor group, teaching timetable or take on additional responsibilities or duties, then I would do it by live discussion rather than by email. It gives proper opportunity for dialogue and negotiation.
  6. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    Again, I'd echo what nomad has typed above - certainly in my experience with SLT, and especially over the last few months of lockdown, for anything needing discussion / consultation, they've tended to want to speak to me "in person" on Zoom, rather than through the ebb and flow of emails.

    I honestly think you would have already had heard from them by now if it was anything critical / urgent.
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Can’t add anything other than I agree wholeheartedly with the above, excellent analysis by @nomad and @steely1

    it can’t be that serious if they haven’t spoken yet
  8. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

    Maybe the sender has gone on holiday since reaching out to you.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I agree with all the others. Like you, I get antsy and tbh, the SLT member should know better than to do this and not follow it up. When all is resolved, I'd mention it to him/her.
    It's more than likely to be a timetabling issue. Disciplinary stuff always happens in a face to face situation.
    jlishman2158, install and steely1 like this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Can you email and ask?
    Or email and give a few times when you are available for a phone call?
  11. steely1

    steely1 Occasional commenter

    This is what I was thinking - certainly at my school, timetabling was still being worked on right up to the end of term. But yes, the SLT person ought not to have sent the email in the first instance if they weren't going to follow up for a while.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    nomad and ACOYEAR8 like this.
  12. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    It might even be good news, say you'd mentioned wanting to teach a different subject/reduce hours etc-even something you mentioned at interview!
    It could be someone is pregnant/sick/relocating and they would like you to take on some of that work.
    Another realistic suggestion is something to do with putting things online-as many people think schools should/will be at least partially shut, they might be wanting to discuss ways you might like to deal with this. Or could it be something to do with results day, and ideas they might like to kicka round with you concerning this?
    Speculating further isn't useful, but the point I'm making is that it might well be 'good', and as others have said, it's unlikely that anything 'bad' would start like this, in a decent school.
    agathamorse and steely1 like this.
  13. ATfan

    ATfan Star commenter

    Hi! Something similar happened to me last year and it turned out that the head wanted me to help him with something but then got too busy to follow up until I briefly reminded him in a passing corridor chat a few weeks later. He apologised for leaving me hanging! I’m sure it’s something similar for you. No point in worrying now as everyone’s on holiday. No harm in speaking to the person as soon as you get back though if they don’t reply to your e-mail first! In the meantime, I find the motto no news is good news helpful when I worry about stuff like this!

    Hope this post helps!
  14. install

    install Star commenter

    Forget it.

    It was a little naughty of the slt member not to get back to you after requesting an answer or to give you a heads up about what it concerned.

    I’d be tempted to take longer to reply next time should it happen again.
  15. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I got a similar email a year ago in August and it freaked me out.

    Turned out they had to change the timetable due to a long term illness and wanted to know if I was OK with being a tutor for a different year group than intended.

    As others have said, if it was serious it would be marked confidential - or you would receive a letter. Send them another email and then try and relax.
  16. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    I've had to do the same before - it's normally just a timetable change at this point in the year or a bit of horse trading (i.e. if you run cub x we'll give you an extra free in return. If it were serious you would be invited for a recorded meeting and advised that you may bring a friend/union rep, etc.

    No cause for worry.
  17. Progressnerd

    Progressnerd Occasional commenter

    Thanks everyone for your responses! Feel a bit better now.
  18. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    One possibility - a friendly email to the person concerned along the lines of "You suggested that we have a chat. Could we set a date and time, please? Thanks..."
  19. gmailcom

    gmailcom New commenter

    I had something similar during May - message from head asking to talk on phone.

    Turned out to be about arrangements for our "bubbles", that was all.

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