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Teaching can often be a minefield

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by FloRida77, Nov 14, 2019.


Is this a suitable response to the oppression?

  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
  2. No

    9 vote(s)
  1. FloRida77

    FloRida77 New commenter

    The following is an email sent to The Head. Appreciate your feedback.

    Hi Miss,

    Unfortunately, some members of staff have begun to discredit me to students, which is highly disturbing.

    It had got to a point where I did my best to be out of her way, before she launched into a tirade against me in front of the students. I asked Mrs R for her advice, and she suggested that I speak to her myself. So, I did, but she was unresponsive.

    After weeks of cow-towing to Mrs B (as I am on probation) who feels my students and I disrupt her class when either of us ask quietly to retrieve our books from her classroom, I decided to speak to her about this on Monday 11th November. Even though I entered the room silently and the students were quiet, she was the only one shouting and making noise, yet accused me of disturbing the class. After school, I explained that I entered the room silently, yet she insisted that ANY way I enter the room disrupts her class.

    Yesterday a student told me that Miss B said she’s going to talk to you to move me out, because I’m ‘messing up her room’ and disturbing her classes. I gave no credence to idle student gossip, until minutes later, Mrs R came into afternoon registration, asking me to relocate asap back to G1.

    So clearly my name has been the subject of debate around staff and students, undermining my authority and undermining me as a person.

    Now, I’m aware of the narrative that my be being painted of me, specially if staff feel free to undermine me in front of students, I can only imagine the prejudiced slander, and deformation of character that is being circulated around the teaching staff. Which is starting to show in certain staff members behavior around me.

    I have enjoyed working at this school, yet it seems, that my ‘teamwork’ attitude and honest collaborative working means nothing. We mention wellness of teachers, and rightfully so. Our numbers are falling, quicker than being replenished. I am also aware that as only 3 black male teachers work here, that I must uphold high standards, and represent the best of my abilities.

    So to be marginalized thus, and have a member of staff be so flippantly unprofessional, as to tarnish my integrity is almost too much to ignore.

    I don’t do politics, and couldn’t care less about the ‘clique’ mentality. I just want to work, and progress my career, without rumours, gossip and slanderous character assassination.

    I sincerely hope we can draw a line under this, and move forward, to successfully pass my probation.

    Respectfully Yours,

    Mr C
  2. annascience2012

    annascience2012 New commenter

    I really sympathise with you Mr C... but I've found that senior leadership will just see you as a squeaky wheel in the machine when you send long letters and things. The Head wont want all the details - in my experience, Heads aren't details people. She will just see the big picture which for her will just be: "Mr C doesn't get on with Mrs B and now he's complaining about it". It isn't fair, I know. But try to deal with it without getting management involved. Really, honestly, trust me on this. It will only invite scrutiny and criticism of yourself, and you'll have to justify all your actions and submit to a flawed biased judge and jury. Been there myself.
  3. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    You lost me at ‘Hi Miss’.
    MIBRAHIM99, towncryer, bajan and 7 others like this.
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Don't send this, it sounds petty and incoherent.

    Don't go into another teachers room while they are teaching

    That would be my advice
  5. musobob

    musobob New commenter

    I agree with @annascience2012 . I wish I could say that you could fight this, but no one is really going to be interested in your interests. While the email is a natural response, not much will come of it - I have been in the same position. If anything, you will be seen as the problem.

    I don’t know how old you are or if you are an NQT. If you are fully qualified and this is just a new role, don’t make a fuss, keep your wits about you for actions of sabotage, and look to move on to another school very soon.
  6. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    I got confused at the first paragraph where you said 'some members of staff' then said 'I did my best to be out of her way'. Who?
    It does sound really petty. A face to face meeting would be much better.
  7. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Why on earth:
    (1) didn't you keep out of someone else's lesson
    (2) arrange to have a chat with the teacher - in a friendly, colleague sort of way (I deduce that didn't happen so she was "unresponsive"
    (3) avoid tattle-tale and gossip with "a student?"
  8. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I haven't read all of it - can't get beyond "Hi Miss" and the mis-spelling of Kowtow, to be honest - and it comes over as rather confused.
    I sincerely hope this isn't really something OP has sent to the Head... Wrong on so many levels.
  9. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Essentially, you're a black male teacher (your words) who is implying he's being undermined, even bullied, by women, and by extension, the students they gossip to. The fact you state you need to uphold high standards - implying more so than others- suggests you feel you are not seen as an equal.

    There are some unpleasant undertones of implied racism and sexism here from other members of staff. I would tread carefully.

    If you have evidence you are not being properly supported, or spoken to in a way that is unprofessional, you can raise it. But this email is possibly not the best way to go.
    phlogiston and jlishman2158 like this.
  10. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    You should also edit your profile to make your post anonymous...
    Jamvic and jlishman2158 like this.
  11. tenpast7

    tenpast7 Occasional commenter

    One of the unfortunate things about some Teachers is they treat everyone as if they are kids.You need to stand up for yourself and try to address these issues, and similar future episodes, as soon as they arise. This will help to keep perspective for everyone involved and show the offensive **** that you deserve better.
  12. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    If you're saying you've sent it, how could anyone's feedback help?
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If this is the standard of professional emails to the head from someone teaching secondary English, I despair!
  14. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I would advise you to get this thread pulled, as you could certainly be identified if the recipient of your email sees it, and it won't help matters. You might also be identifiable by others from your school.

    The account is rather incoherent and it's not clear why you should have had to enter this room during teaching time. It does sound as if someone has spoken about you in front of a student, but it's not clear that this was more than an isolated incident.
    phlogiston and jlishman2158 like this.
  15. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    You should see some of the things Of...d inspectors write...
  16. GirlGremlin

    GirlGremlin Occasional commenter

    I don't know why race is relevant to raise in the email?
    annascience2012 likes this.
  17. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    At the very least, that missive should have been proof read. It’s incoherent, sounds petty and rambling. I also despair.

    If it’s been sent, you’ll just have to await the response. Or more probably, the fallout from it.
  18. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    You're an adult and you sent that to your Head Teacher?!

    The sound you can hear is me banging my head on the wall.
  19. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Hi Miss is not the best way to start professional dialogue.
    I have never had a problem with visitors retrieving learning resources from my teaching spaces or had colleagues objecting to me getting things from their rooms.
    However, if I had to leave things in someone else's workspace, and they were touchy, I would make sure I got the materials before the lesson, if for no other reason than not leaving my class unattended.
    I hope you manage to resolve this.
    towncryer and annascience2012 like this.
  20. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    towncryer likes this.

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