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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Dothework, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Dothework

    Dothework New commenter

    My line manager is meant to do mid-year reviews. He hasn't done any except for mine - and did not complete it. Two weeks until the endof term and he's only observed me, insisted it was this week, I've been off for stress for three weeks in June, no one else has their observsation until next week. The feedback lasted most of lunchtime (I didn't get a chance to eat) and it was 30 minutes of negative feedback with a few crumbs of positive. Relentless speaking and I was visibly getting stressed and in the end said enough and went into my cupboard clearly upset. He said he thought I was upset as he said something nice (!) and I asked him to please leave me be and he said he'd catch me next week. I had to teach five minutes later. I've had no check to see if I'm okay.

    Is it right to have an observation so soon after sick leave?
    What can I do?
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. SundaeTrifle

    SundaeTrifle Occasional commenter

    Speak to his line manager and don’t have another meeting with him on your own. I have had a line manager like this, he was clueless about the effect he had on people, it wasn’t just me. He would also deny later that he had been wholly negative in feedback. Is he singling you out or is he like this with everyone? Sounds like he is disorganised, not doing his mid-year reviews earlier in the year.
  3. Dothework

    Dothework New commenter

    I feel singled out. He has no awareness and is widely known as a poor communicator. It feels as though he wants me gone.
    pepper5 and scienceteachasghost like this.
  4. HolyMahogany

    HolyMahogany Senior commenter

    Good point - these should be final reviews, and any concerns noted and dealt with months ago.
  5. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Union, I suggest.

    FWIW I wouldn't accept any feedback at lunchtime (or any other meetings from now on) as your school seem happy to urinate all over their staff and stopping them from their right to a break and a lunch.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You need to get in there quick.
    I recognise your scenario, and as quick as you can get to speak to somebody about this person's delivery, they will also be able to log the meeting and formally note "responds poorly to professional advice"
    Dothework and jlishman2158 like this.
  7. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    Although time in school is precious, taking away lunch/break is bullying in itself.
    If you think you are being singled out, Union?, HR?, his line manager? Although in a bad school he might be under pressure to monitor you more because you have gone off with stress in which case going to his line manager might make things worse.
    I would look to get out and find another teaching job. If teaching itself is causing the stress, there are many careers outside of this now highly toxic profession.
  8. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    They (or he) clearly wants you out.

    So here's what you do.

    Firstly go into work on Monday with a smile on your face and do and say as little as possible to your line manager for the last two weeks of this academic year.

    Then start thinking about where you might want to teach next year and from September 1st you start seriously looking.

    You need to be out of there as soon as possible - ideally Christmas.
  9. notreallyme75

    notreallyme75 Occasional commenter

    Good advice. This is what I’m doing for the next two weeks. Isn’t it awful that people going through stress can have to deal with this. No wonder so many of us are poorly. I feel for you.
  10. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    After lunchtime feedback you could ask the SLT to watch your next class while you get a bite to eat.
  11. Dorsetdreams

    Dorsetdreams Occasional commenter

    He is clearly a poor manager dealing badly with a difficult situation (meant to do mid-year reviews... three weeks off... stress.... went into my cupboard...)

    I wouldn't assume he even knows what he wants and you don't have to worry about giving him whatever it is. Don't panic and jump ship until you are ready. Or SLT get involved.
  12. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Sorry you're in this place.
    As @Dorsetdreams says, he may be struggling to cope himself. This however, is no excuse for what sounds like bullying behaviour.
    It does seem as if he's picking on you, or you're unfortunate enough to have a lesson he finds convenient.

    From an outside perspective, I would say that it is not forbidden to have observations soon after returning from being ill. If I were to be observing, it would be informal as much to check that you're coping as to check quality. I am not a manager, and probably too soft a touch to rise high these days.

    Is he likely to change?
    Will he be overruled by a benign management?
    It sounds as if you do not expect this.
    If the stress was so bad you had to have three weeks off, you should consider whether this is the right workplace for you. If nothing has changed, aside from your pharmaceuticals, stress may well jump out again.
    There are better places out there. I have former colleagues who have risen through management from being held in low regard, another former colleague described management saying "you look as you expect us to be tripping you up. That's not what we do here..."
    Two weeks and then you get some respite. What does a @Dothework dream job and life look like? Obviously, no job will tick all the boxes,, but maybe you can get closer.
    Good luck
    Dothework likes this.
  13. Dothework

    Dothework New commenter

    Lol that's brilliant!
  14. Dothework

    Dothework New commenter

    Thanks for your replies. I thought I'd mix up your suggestions and do the following:
    - avoid manager - any requests to complete the feedback I'll forward to HR and explain exactly why this is not helping my stress levels and make it clear that mid-year reviews and observations should not be at this time of year.
    - ignore it all and not take it seriously - its a joke of a manager and a joke of a school
    - look for a new job
    - in the summer log this all with the union
    - detach and mentally vacate from this place

    My dream job is not here. It is out there!
    Thanks again x

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