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Unfair or not??

Discussion in 'Primary' started by vicx2502, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Hi, I haven't posted before but feel so down already after only being back at work for a week that I thought it might be useful to get some opinions on my problem.
    I've just returned to my 3rd year teaching in year 4 at the same school (my first and only job since graduating). My deputy head announced that she was going to be joining me every day for my literacy lessons (as another helper in addition to my two TA's to boost our whole school focus on writing). She assured me that I wasn't to be nervous or uncomfortable as she wasn't observing me, only supporting a group. However, as the week progressed she began to 'feedback' her opinions to me, direct and alter my planning, and now 'as she says' intervene in my delivery as she feels that I'm not being clear enough in my teaching to the children. She has asked me to re-do my planning that I did over the weekend as she felt it wasn't clear enough. It probably isn't as I'm getting confused as to what I should be doing to please her, which is resulting in me losing my confidence with a topic that I have taught for the previous two years and had no problem with!
    I am so unhappy. I have a good personal relationship with the Deputy but have always disliked her observations as she tends to be very negative, rarely positive and extremely difficult to please and now I feel like I am being observed every day!!
    I'm not a very confrontational person and am probably the worst type of person to be in this job as I'm far too sensitive. I get on with everyone at school and especially my previous class children who all want to come back to me, therefore I feel that I don't want to leave and I certainly don't want to cause friction between me and senior management but I feel that I can't go on like this as the stress is making me ill. Any advice would be so gratefully received.
    I've reposted this from lifestyle forum as I wasn't sure where I had put it. I've had some lovely, supportive advise already. To clarify, I haven't had any performance issues, no problems with my previous class attainment levels etc. The deputy said when the term started that she would also be working with groups in y5 and y6 as an intervention strategy, therefore if I complain they may say that it's part of their 'pre-ofsted' improvement strategy, however I feel that the other two teachers won't be getting the negative feedback that I'm getting as they are both close friends of hers and one is SMT too.
     
  2. Maybe approach your deputy for her 'advice' and ask to re-do the planning together so that you can benefit from her input. I'd try to put a positive slant on it and even suggest that you team-teach this unit as part of your CPD?? I know you're probably feeling annoyed and uncomfortable - I would - but it's a good way of avoiding confrontation and getting her support rather than criticism. Sounds like you are a brilliant teacher so don't let yourself be knocked by this or spending too much time worrying and trying to re-do plans when you're just not sure what she wants. Good luck and be strong [​IMG]
     
  3. Your planning is for you. Its not for her, it doesn't have to be clear to her, it only has to help you do your job. Ask her why it isn't clear, and who it isn't clear for, as you were under the impression, that as Ofsted didn't require it, and your Union advice is that planning is only to assist you in the carrying out of your duties (that is, teach), that it didn't matter if it wan't overly clear to her, as long as she can see the Learning Objectives.
    If you aren't confrontational, its hard to raise the subject with the person directly, but just take the 'I is puzzled' track maybe and say something along the lines of 'I'm a little confused, as I wasn't aware this was support and feedback, and whilst I appreciate help, I feel a little overwhelmed by it.' and see what she says. Then go to my Union to have a word with the Head about it being completely out of order (unless everyone else in the school is being similarly scrutinised, but even then, unions are pretty clear on this kind of thing imho).
     
  4. wordclass

    wordclass New commenter

    In short, I think the situation stinks.
    If the DH is in as 'extra help' for the children, then I guess this is sort of OK - though still a bit dubious.
    However, if you are being given feedback and told to change plans*, then this is classroom observation territory. There is union guidance on such matters regarding frequency and manner.
    (*Incidentally, if the plans are not clear enough, not clear enough for who? Again, there is guidance on this type of issue).
    I wouldn't agree with a nicely nicely approach here. You have said that it is affecting your health. Union advice, I would seek.
     
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    As you have a good relationship with your DH then go and see her first thing in the morning and tell her how you are feeling. Let her know how upset you are and that you feel like you haven't a clue. She won't change or do things differently unless she knows you are upset. (A DH once told me that there was no requirement for SMT to be able to read minds...after I had sobbed my heart out in his office!)

    Since you have a good relationship, make the most of it and talk to her. Ask for her help. Say you understand that the reason she is there is to improve writing across the school and that you know she is trying to help. Ask if you could maybe watch her teach literacy for a week to get some ideas. Or ask that you plan together for next week and work out which bits she will do and which bits you will do. Team teaching almost always makes for better lessons.

    I can imagine how horrible this feels, once you start down the road of feeling like someone is getting at you. But she almost certainly isn't and probably IS being exactly the same with the other teachers. Once you feel it is just you it won't get better. You and her are the only people who can make this better.
     
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Are her ideas and teaching good and / or better than yours? If so, take them on board in the way others have suggested; if not smile to yourself inwardly and try to maintain the good personal relationship you have with her until this spell of hers in your classroom ends ........ she must have something else to do surely.
    Is this part of some experience the head is giving her so that she can apply for headships elsewhere?
    It's a shame her feedback is always so negative and not constructive. Maybe you can give her some helpful feedback on that without being confrontational or upset.
     
  7. It is easy to read more into this than might be the case. However, the DH is clearly over-stepping her remit given what she told you would be her role. I would not involve Unions here. What you need to do is talk to the DH to clarify what her role is. She told you she would be there in a supportive capacity, such as a TA would do. If this is the case then she should be following your planning and doing what you want her to do. If she is there in her capacity as DH, to observe, criticise and make changes, then that is a different matter but it should have been made clear to you.
     

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