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Teaching multiple disciplines

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by teach951, Jul 6, 2020.

  1. teach951

    teach951 New commenter

    Morning All

    My school is moving to an academy for the new year. Myself and other teachers are now being informed that we have to teach other classes. For example I am a Maths teacher and informed I also have to teach Drama. I have no experience / knowledge nor urge to teach Drama. Not only is this a big learning curve to me but also the pupils will be getting lessons from someone who has no knowledge. Other teachers in the school also getting allocated lessons that they have no skill set for within that area.

    To me this is breaking my contract as I am employed as a Maths Teacher. Can academies do this when taking over from local government?

    Thank you
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Seems like madness.

    It's not a covid-related move? Trying to keep teachers with the same groups of pupils?
  3. teach951

    teach951 New commenter

    Thats a good point, its not been distributed as that but it could be the logic behind it... still kids are going to suffer from a learning perspective as we certainly will not be able to deliver the standard they would hope for from a teacher that knows the lessons!. all I see is more out of hours work and weekend planning etc for us teachers :-(
  4. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    Sadly getting lumped with lessons in subjects you're not qualified for is pretty common. Heck, in England you can be employed as a teacher of a subject you're not qualified for. Getting PSHE or RE dumped on you is pretty common, I'd not heard Drama until now. Have you got a head of faculty/department? Maybe they have more info. Are you simply overstaffed in maths for the number of students, or are some maths lessons also being taught by non-specialists? In my first post we ended up one year with an art teacher taking a year 7 maths class. It went about as well as you might expect.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    I feel for you. I've been in a similar place.
    The head can direct you to teach either what they feel like or what the think is on the best interests of the school.
    So it could be a bubble thing.
    Could be an oversupply of maths teachers.
    It could be a way of getting a more holistic view of the children.
    It could be a good way of broadening your range of teaching strategies.
    It might be part of a grand plan for removing drama from the curriculum.
    It might be their way of encouraging you to move on.

    Key questions.
    What's the scheme of work like? Drama lessons never quite seem to contain what I expect.
    How much support will you get? This includes prep time.
    Are you going to get hostile observations?

    I entirely get your reservations about prep time and lack of expertise.
  6. Mrs Grumpy

    Mrs Grumpy New commenter

    I think you cannot be expected to teach R.E.
    When I was asked to teach P.E. once, I pointed out that I would certainly be useless, and may even raise insurance issues for the School if pushed into supervising something I'd no qualification in. The same may possibly work in Drama.
    -Or ask for "guidance lessons" from qualified staff, and be such a wimp that they take the subject(s) off you, to save their frazzled nerves?
  7. strawbs

    strawbs Established commenter

    I think you are correct on that - entrenched in Butler Education Act of 1944 or similar
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Two things to do:

    Request all the support and training you think you need. Ask who is to support you in teaching the subject. Ask to observe their lessons. If you can spot a suitable course, ask to go on it. Keep a record of requests made and the response, so that if they observe you and criticise, you can point to any relevant requests for support that haven't been met.

    Say to the head that as your expertise and enthusiasm is for teaching maths, you're going to be looking for other posts; will he be happy to give you a reference? That might make them think a bit, because it's one thing telling an existing teacher they're teaching a mixture of maths and drama, but it's quite another recruiting someone new for that timetable. Especially mid-year.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Also, talk to your Union Rep. Putting my cynical hat on, this may be a deliberate strategy by new Academy management to try to get older (and more expensive) staff to leave voluntarily so that they can employ a load of cheap NQTs.
    pipryan likes this.

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