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Something needs to be done

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Caligraphy, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

  2. Cooperuk

    Cooperuk Senior commenter

    So much of that article describes my experiences.
    xandrahuk, cissy3 and slingshotsally like this.
  3. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    Mine too...:(
    I just don't think anyone in 'power' is taking much notice. Even yesterday, Michael Wilshaw was scatching his head and wondering why there was a 'brain drain' of teachers to schools overseas. I am paraphrasing before I am picked up by the thought police on here.

    Really????REALLY? Does this man who I believe is partly personally responsible for the misery of so many teachers not comprehend WHY teachers are leaving. And now, the genius has come up with this in the Independent.
    "The chief inspector of schools has urged politicians to enforce “golden handcuff” restrictions, preventing teachers "flocking" overseas to work in private schools after qualifying."

    Somehow, years ago, some poor teacher wasted their skills on teaching this individual the skills to come up with this drivel!
    Landofla likes this.
  4. mapledrop

    mapledrop New commenter

    I could have written that article myself.

    It really does need to stop.... how though? What can we do? :(
    Dragonlady30 likes this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Usually with a lot of things money can help. Instead of wasting money, the Government can think of ways to save money and put that money back into the schools so schools can use the money to reduce class sizes. Reducing the amount of students teachers are responsible for and the work that generates might be a solution. Schools also need money to pay for additional TAs instead of reducing the number of TAs. In addition, schools need pastoral/behaviour management staff who are on call able to help in tricky situations. All these support functions are crucial so teachers are supported.

    Soon, there will be no one who wants to teach. That is why I have been working flat out as a supply teacher since the second week in January this year. In my area, I get called almost every day by both the agencies I work for.

    The reasons are of course complex. It is the work load, the pressures of being outstanding and, in some schools, the extreme behaviour. All these issues can be resolved, but it takes money to hire the staff to resolve them.
    xandrahuk, Landofla, JRiley1 and 2 others like this.
  6. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Teaching is one of those professions that can be fantastic when things go well but utterly horrid when things do not go well. Although I personally have a history of depression that predates when I started teaching, it drove me twice to consider suicide at different points. And unfortunately in too many schools the system is loaded so the latter happens which is such a shame as, fundamentally, being of service to young people to contribute to their development SHOULD be one of the most rewarding careers out there.
  7. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I resigned from a well paid full-time post with TLR responsibilities at age 50 to avoid the sort of crisis described in that article. Whilst the job has both depressed and exhausted me on numerous occasions I have no recorded history of mental illness and I didn't want to start one. If I'd stayed in that post I would have gone under by the end of the year. I'd worked in the school for over twenty years when I left so it wasn't the school or the kids - the difference was in the style of leadership.

    There are other ways to teach and enjoy it. Only the other day I was leading a lesson in a classroom and an OFSTED Inspector came in to observe. I was able to give him the metaphorical middle finger (inside my head obviously) because on this occasion I wasn't a teacher, I'm now a self-employed workshop presenter. When the workshop finished we finished - we packed up our stuff and went home. No OFSTED grading, no paperwork, no marking, no management pressure, but another grateful, enthused group of kids and the thanks of the teaching staff as we left.

    There are other ways to help people learn if that's your vocation - you can still think independently. It doesn't have to be within a system where poor leadership can drive you round the twist and make you feel worthless.
  8. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    I couldn't believe it when I read it!

    Best wishes

  9. poltergeist

    poltergeist New commenter

    What astonishes me is the way teachers have come to normalise severe symptoms of anxiety as just part of daily life. This kind of illness is so common amongst our ranks that we don't even recognise it as such - just compare what we were worrying about between the hours of 3 and 5am, and laugh about the accidents we secretly hope will befall us on our way to work.
  10. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    Absolutely, @poltergeist

    And not only normalise severe anxiety, but fear it is some form of shameful weakness to be pushed through and hidden, lest one be deemed 'unable to hack it' and/or 'incapable'.

    I will say it again (apologies if I sound like a broken record!). NO ONE can do all the tasks expected of a teacher these days and maintain their social/family life, health and sanity. No one. Because it is not humanly possible. So if you are in this position, I give you permission to cut yourself some slack. It's not you - it just can't be done.

    They need to scrap the league tables, excessive testing and observing, Ofsted inspections, relentless data collection, obsessive box-ticking and anything that contributes to that, dictats re constant changes, all of it. Let teachers teach and monitor progress, and let SLT support them (in real terms) in doing that. End of. That's all that's necessary.

    And, Mr Wilshaw, chaining teachers to a working environment that they would have hated enough to consider emigrating is a surefire way to cause more breakdowns. They won't be able to leave but they will still be able to go off sick...
  11. knitone

    knitone Lead commenter

    ValentinoRossi likes this.
  12. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Your post is so worrying and so sad. :(

    The slow drip needs to turn into a torrent of teachers going to their unions and asking to bring a claim against their employers in respect of WRS.
  13. drek

    drek Star commenter

    I know why my colleague left to try abroad.
    He could spend more time with his family. He has free housing and very few bills to pay.
    He could plan for personal events well in advance, instead of being forced to give up attending personal social events, owing to last minute new initiative drives at work, or sudden ofsted, or fake Ofsted, or fulfilling lengthy learning walk demands.
    He has the savings potential to put a deposit for a house which new teachers in the UK are struggling to do in and around London, unless they have parental help.
    His work life will not be micromanaged to suit the last minute professional evidence based needs of every TLR above him.
    His work life will not encroach on his personal life.
    His workload will not suddenly go from normal term time hours to regular overtime without pay, at the beck and call of management decisions with an overnight implementation deadline.
    The latest e.g being introduced with an 'I mark 20 books a week' to a standard that it takes me 'only 2 hours' but I want you to do the same for the 250 books you are supposed to mark a week!
    ( this idiot wins management points for issuing this order using observation grades as a threat, but is not accountable for increasing workload by a 10 fold for colleagues 'lower' down the payscale, with no verifiable reason).
    His teaching quality will not be judged on the basis of any and every creative criteria for further TLR points.
    He expects to work hard if not harder on the international scene and be held accountable for it, but not threatened with capability to suit the school budget and bear the brunt of personal grudges, between one observation and the next.
    He also expects to be able to travel and be there for his family in both body and mind when he isn't teaching.
    Here teaching is the most insecure and stressful job to enter without good reason, and Michael wants to include a term of it with 'handcuffs'?
    Perhaps he is having a nervous breakdown?
  14. Cooperuk

    Cooperuk Senior commenter

    Contemplating this GL...what would I have to do?

    I don't think unions are very interested... They advise you to leave and take a CA.
  15. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I've PMd you, Coops. x
  16. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Unfortunately if you have a broken leg you get sympathy, if you have a broken mind you get contempt. You would think that the most educated in society would be more enlightened.

  17. Clive_Candy

    Clive_Candy Occasional commenter

    Did anyone hear him on Radio 4 the other morning? Teachers should feel under an obligation to stay and teach in this country for at least 3 years after qualifying. Why? Just because they should, apparently...

    The guy really hasn't got a clue
    englishteach101 and Landofla like this.
  18. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    GLsghost, is there a time limit restriction in place for this?
  19. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    For a personal injury claim in negligence - three years minus one day from the date of the injury.
    Yoda- likes this.
  20. johnberyl

    johnberyl Occasional commenter

    Oh. Thank you - that is very interesting.

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