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Three weeks into my new job - concerns raised by ht about my teaching

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by laydeedah, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. laydeedah

    laydeedah New commenter

    Hi, I would like some advice or direction. I have recently moved to an academy school from a catholic school. The children are completely different - the behaviour is a lot more challenging, so it is taking a lot of time for me to 'get' my kids. I was told last week (while my TA was off sick and I was given no replacement) to stop acting stressed in front of parents. My children's parents went to tell management that I should have a TA and then I wouldn't be as stressed. I don't believe I indicated any such thing to the parents, but I'm happy that they are supportive. The head is new and did learning walks with the person from the academy chain this week. They said they couldn't believe I had been teaching for as long as I had because the children lacked focus in the lesson. They are quite fussy, but they knew what they were doing. Basically, if I don't improve during my initial probationary stage, action will be taken. They have suggested that I go and see another teacher to model behaviour to me - but I want to know about the positive things that I have done! Not just the negative! And I want a more supportive approach - show me how I need to do something, don't just be critical. I work from 7 til 6 every day and more and I feel that my teaching is good. I was outstanding/good at my last school so this is a kick in the teeth. Initially I was upset (thanks for telling me on Friday afternoon) but now I'm thinking, hang on! I'm doing everything right! Please help.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Don't panic yet. There are steps you can take to help manage the behaviour if you are in a difficult school. Perhaps you do need to adjust certain things to your new environment and it might not be a bad idea to gonand observe another teacher who has worked in this challenging school. It won't be a sign of your lack of skill since we all can learn from others.

    Imcan recommend a book/course to you call Taking Care of Behaviour by Paul Dix which saved my sanity and I feel gave me the skills necessary to manage a classroom properly and also build relationships with students. It might help and at £15 surely it won't hurt.

    You do not need to be working 11 hour days. Somehow you need to find a way to cut your hours down which I know is not easy to do but it can be done. Try The Lazy Teachers Handbook and web site for ideas. The school should help you and support you but in the meantime try to find ways to make your work easier for your own happiness and benefit.

    Give it a few more weeks and see if there is an improvement. In time you might come to realise this is not the school for you but if you do have to find another school there is nomshame in that as hundreds have found out before you.

    Try to enjoy a few hours tomorrow doing something entirely unrelated to work and get some rest and then on Monday you will go back rested and better equipped to deal with your classes.
  3. laydeedah

    laydeedah New commenter

    Thank you so much for your advice. I have just ordered those books from Amazon. :)
  4. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    This new breed of head and associated academy chains seem to behave in an unprofessional manner as their de facto approach.

    I wouldn't work for people like that. They sound like an accident waiting to happen.
    cat2611, cissy3 and snowyhead like this.
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    That's a very unprofessional and personal comment to make about your teaching.
    It also suggests this is not about your teaching. They only interviewed you recently and must have been happy with your skills at that point. I suspect this may be about keeping you compliant. School management mentioned on here is starting to mirror the signs for people to recognise they are in abusive relationships!
    drek, cissy3 and ilovesooty like this.
  6. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    I'd never considered the abusive relationship parallel before but I think you might have a point.
    Mrs_Hamilton, cissy3 and sabrinakat like this.
  7. scienceteachasghost

    scienceteachasghost Lead commenter

    I agree with what has been said, if the HT and Mr Academy chain are just negative, this is just nasty (and in my role I have seen teachers who have taught years elsewhere struggle with the sort of behaviour my school has!)

    Also, what bar stewards to tell you this on a Friday Afternoon! This is classic bullying tactics (I once had similar just before a half term and it pretty much wrecked it.) If you've got a problem, with us tell us on Monday........

    The questions you need to ask are:-

    1. (and apologies, this may come across as harsh - ) Why did you move in the first place! (Of course, many 'good' reasons exist such as relocation of WAGs/HABs job, avoiding capability(!), promotion etc.)

    2. Should you start looking elsewhere? But you may find one or more frogs before you find a 'princess' school (and probably a school obsessed with FROG for good measure!)
    cissy3 likes this.
  8. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Could be politically motivated. A PARENT has complained. The head must DO something. This parent could be a needy 'adult' having ex teacher withdrawal symptoms. They might have had a bond with that person and expect it to be instantaneously replaced! But if it is a new HT they will not have had experience handling different types and degrees of parental anxiety.
    They will have taken it out on you, as the newest person, any other staff they would have spoken to would have also pointed the finger at you, if only to deflect bungling management issues away from their own doors.
    Tis one of the realities of teaching. The school you choose could end up being a minefield. But you won't know till you actually enter its doors as a permanent member, to teach.
    Ask supply staff who've taken on permanent roles at the same school. Can be worlds apart, sometimes a good thing :).
    cissy3 likes this.
  9. amarantine

    amarantine New commenter

    Oh my goodness. This sounds exactly like the school I worked in before my current school. I was repeatedly told that I couldn't manage the behaviour properly - and I did go to see other teachers, who had similar issues to me. I also had an experienced teacher come and watch a couple of lessons with my most challenging groups and even he said he didn't see why he needed to be there.

    They did not need to make such an unpleasant comment about your teaching - could you go to the head and ask him/her to clarify what was meant? I think you're probably able to say that you feel it was an unnecessarily personal comment but you'd be happy to take steps to improve if they can make that accessible for you.

    Could you ask them to suggest someone to pair up with who could maybe 'coach' you with the tougher behaviour? That way you could watch them teach and they could then come and watch you - then share best practice.

    It was probably a knee-jerk reaction from the new head, as they have come in and realized they need to stamp their authority on the place - but it sounds like a bullying tactic for me. It took my previous school to try and put me on capability for me to go to the head and tell him I thought it was ridiculous (he agreed!). I was given his blessing to move even though it was past the deadline for handing in notice in May. I applied for another job, got it, and on my first observation was graded outstanding. In my case, my face just didn't fit in that other school. But that might not be the case with you. I'd go and speak to the head to show you're being proactive, get some clarity on the situation and then request they set you up with some coaching - as they seem to have a problem with how you're doing it. I feel for you - chin up, it will be better :)
    artemis81 likes this.

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