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The Fake Headteacher Blog............

Discussion in 'Personal' started by BelleDuJour, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Just found this.
    The tragedy is it is all true....................

    W t f.
    Posted on August 10, 2019 by headteachernewsletter

    Parent: Thanks for leaving books out to peruse during parents evening. I don’t understand some of it. Can you explain what VF means.

    Teacher: Of course. No problem. VF is written or stamped next to your child’s work if an adult has suggested an idea or helped them in anyway.

    Parent: So basically, if you speak to my child you have to write VF to prove you have spoken to them.

    Teacher: Erm. Yes. It’s a book scrutiny thing.

    Parent: A what? What’s that?

    Teacher: The management team regularly look at the children’s books to check we are writing VF so many times a week – amongst a whole load of other things.

    Parent: W t f. That’s weird. Don’t they trust you? Why on earth do you need to write VF every time you speak to my child about his work? Also, why have you highlighted some of his work in green and pink?

    Teacher: Oh, that’s to tell your child the bits I liked and the bits he needs to improve.

    Parent: Why don’t you just tick the bits you like? Must be quicker than repeatedly picking up a variety of pens when marking.

    Teacher: I would love to just tick good bits. Even double tick! I am not allowed to though. It has to be a green highlighter.

    Parent: That’s nuts! So you don’t have a choice?

    Teacher: I’m afraid not.

    Parent: Has anyone asked if the children mind teachers highlighting their work in different colours? That would have annoyed me at school.

    Teacher: I don’t think so. It’s a good point!

    Parent: I noticed that every page has a learning objective slip with a success criteria and feedback faces to colour in. They must cost a lot to buy in.

    Teacher: Not really. We create them ourselves. I have to type them up every day, print them off, trim them and get pupils to stick them in with the four glue sticks we have left.

    Parent: W t f Seriously? Why? That must take ages to do each week and for what reason?

    Teacher: So the children know what they are learning. It makes books look good for Ofsted. We do them for every lesson, every day.

    Parent: Can’t you just tell them what they are learning about or get children to write a very simple 1-2 word title? Surely Ofsted don’t care about this.

    Teacher: It’s a non-negotiable. I have to do them.

    Parent: W t f. A non- what? That’s nuts. When do you get time to do all this nonsense? You must have other priorities?

    Teacher: Of course, but I’ll get put on a support plan if I don’t do what I am told to do.

    Parent: Why do you have to draw little ladders and stars and wishes in books? Don’t tell me that’s a non-negotiable?

    Teacher: Little ladders are to let the child know they have a next step – I write a next step comment next to the ladder. The ladder makes it obvious where the next step comment is located. Stars are drawn to show where the pupil can find a positive comment. And a wand (wish) shows them where to find another moving on comment. And yes, they are non-negotiables.

    Parent: That’s ludicrous. Can’t you just tell the children? Why do you need to write it all out for every child. Must take you hours.

    Teacher: Yes. Yes it does. I suppose you want to know why I have written SDI next to your child’s work too?

    Parent: Absolutely. Looks a bit rude – like he has an infection!

    Teacher: Well, if I feel your child needs extra support, I am not allowed to help him in the next lesson. Instead, he is invited to miss his afternoon lessons and attend a same day intervention group with about 4 other children. To evidence this happened, I have to write SDI his book. Sometimes I forget to write it in and have to spend all weekend writing all these little gems in books so I don’t get told off.

    Parent. W t f. So you actually retrospectively add comments and draw symbols etc, if you feel it will help keep the management off your back.

    Teacher: Yes. Sad eh. It’s just not worth the agro. Most things I write in books isn’t for the child.

    Parent: What do you mean?

    Teacher: It’s to please a slightly obsessive management team who like to micro-manage people. They have to prove their impact I guess.


    Teacher: Are you ok? What’s wrong?


    Teacher: Can I get you a glass of water?

    Parent: Are all schools like this?

    Teacher: Apparently not. Some schools are trying really hard to reduce workload and minimise marking and non-negotiables.

    Parent: Why don’t you move schools?

    Teacher: Actually, I have just resigned. The job has become too hard at present. When I am trusted to do the job I trained for and have a certain amount of autonomy, I may come back.

    Parent: But you’re an amazing teacher with years of experience.

    Teacher: Yup.

    Parent: W t f.
  2. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    More from the same...................again so true.
    Forgive me but any teacher with less than 10 years' experience should be made to read these.

    Teacher: I have resigned – Why?
    Posted on July 30, 2019 by headteachernewsletter

    Maybe, Perhaps, Probably.

    After 22 years teaching in primary schools, I resigned this summer. I am 44. I am a good teacher. I love teaching so what went wrong?

    Maybe I am just burnt out? Perhaps after 22 years teaching full time in the classroom takes its toll on us? I wonder if we struggle more with our mental health the longer we stay in the classroom?

    Maybe having my own children (who are at primary school) has created a conflict of interest and I now find it hard to balance the two. Perhaps, I spend more time thinking about the children at school than my own children? Actually I know I do.

    Maybe I worry about how teaching is affecting my mental and physical health. Perhaps leaving teaching will have a massive, positive effect on my wellbeing and overall happiness.

    Maybe I want to feel like I’ve actually had a good nights sleep? Perhaps my mental ‘to do list’ is too overwhelming at times and creates unnecessary anxiety?

    Maybe I crave to have more time to invest in myself, friends and family instead of doing school work most nights at home. Perhaps I want to enjoy Sundays with my family without thinking about all the work I need to cram in at some point during the day?

    Maybe going through a personal family tragedy has somehow affected my priorities and no longer care as much about certain aspects of the job? Perhaps it has put aspects of the job more into prospective and I’ve realised it’s only a job; a job that is actually too hard to sustain at the levels expected without encroaching on time at home.

    Maybe it’s because I tire more easily as I’ve become older? Perhaps I just don’t have the same level of energy and ‘get up and go’ as I used to and that affects my day to day enthusiasm?

    Maybe I am fed up with being micro managed to such a point it feels suffocating? Perhaps the lack of trust and autonomy has simply demotivated me?

    Maybe I don’t like being told how to use my display boards and how and when to mark books? Perhaps I am fed up with countless learning walks and observations where I have to be seen to be doing particular things SLT want to see?

    Maybe I am tired of being told progress is too slow or not good enough and then interrogated in pupil progress meetings, grilling me as to what I am doing about it? Perhaps I am angry that pupil progress is mostly about data from countless tests?

    Maybe it was because a particular headteacher destroyed the confidence of many teachers at one school I worked at (who all had a proven track record of good teaching) because he was under pressure to show his impact? Perhaps I never recovered from that experience and I am still shocked that schools could be run like this?

    Maybe I am fed up of being told what fads SLT want to see in lessons followed by the inevitable feedback on how to do them better? (most of which are not based on research or years of experience). Perhaps I feel confused as to what I should be doing in lessons now and feel restricted in how I want to deliver lessons naturally?

    Maybe I don’t want to use particular coloured slides or resources that we have to use? Perhaps I don’t want to follow a particular scheme of work because it’s poor but I am told I have to?

    Maybe I find the introduction of initiative after initiative a little tedious now? Perhaps I’ve seen it all before and just want to be able to use my professional judgement?

    Maybe I don’t want my books to be scrutinised every few weeks to see if I am following the book non-negotiables? Perhaps I want SLT to look at the progress first and congratulate me on my teaching rather than on how often I have deep marked and what colour pens I use?

    Maybe I just don’t have the same patience dealing with challenging behaviour from pupils? Perhaps I want to feel more respected and supported by parents?

    Maybe I am too expensive to move schools? Perhaps UPS teachers are being made to feel they’re not good enough and being pressurised to leave?

    I’m not sure if it’s any of those things inparticular. I wonder if it’s a culmination of all them? Probably.

    I was recently asked what would need to happen for me to return to teaching? I thought about it for a few seconds. This is what I said.

    • Complete autonomy over how I mark and give feedback to pupils.
    • For progress to be the only thing a book scrutiny looks at – and less of them!
    • Complete autonomy over how I want to use my display boards and how I present my learning environment.
    • To have the freedom to use my experience in the classroom and knowledge gained from research to deliver lessons how I see fit. I don’t want to be told what lessons must look like.
    • Why does consistency mean everyone does the same? I want the freedom to branch off.
    • I want to sit pupils how I want to.
    • I want to feel trusted and respected as a teacher. Learning walks and unannounced drop ins have become excessive.
    There are signs that schools are beginning to change (my recent school especially) but for the moment, I need to recharge and reinvest in myself and my own family before I entertain the idea of returning. If at all.

  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I know that's primary.... but I can see echoes of secondary. And it's depressed me.

    I'm going to my sad corner now.
    bevdex likes this.
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    TBH I think almost all of it applies equally to secondary, and yes.......it is very depressing!
    So glad I'm out!
    cissy3 likes this.
  5. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Is there room for an elderly dragon there please? :(
    bevdex and BelleDuJour like this.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I've never worked in a school where we were totally micromanaged or where we had to mark in 17 different colours or any of that other stuff.

    I guess I've just been very lucky.

    Three more years to retirement !
    sabrinakat likes this.
  7. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    It certainly applied at my last secondary.

    Coincidentally (ha ha) it also had one of the worst problems with discipline.

    BetterNow, bevdex and BelleDuJour like this.
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Shufts over... sad corner space...
    bevdex, BelleDuJour and Dragonlady30 like this.
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Guess what exciting plan your SLT are working on for September!?!
    chelsea2 and cissy3 like this.
  10. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Thank you.
    BelleDuJour and lanokia like this.
  11. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    The sad thing is this is actually hilarious and still we put up with it!
    cissy3 and BetterNow like this.
  12. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    lizziescat, cissy3 and BelleDuJour like this.
  13. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    That twitter spoof is great. Thanks MSB!

    One example that resonated with me: notice how no arrows go toward SLT lol!

    Can I please remind staff of our decision-making pathway when dealing with behaviour concerns. If the issue is not resolved after exhausting the pathways then I would begin to think about reasons for the poor level of engagement in your lessons.
  14. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    One young man asked me to write a personal reference for him, as he wanted to teach. He lasted about a fortnight in training because of rubbish like this. It's not just us old experienced teachers who get it! He is a bright, caring young father, but he said teaching would leave him no time to spend with his baby. He now gets paid a fortune in another job-but he's left alone to get on with it and never hassled by management
    Dragonlady30 and lanokia like this.
  15. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    What an insightful young man.
    Dragonlady30 likes this.

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