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Unfair Subject Leader allocation

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Elsie Teacher, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. Elsie Teacher

    Elsie Teacher New commenter

    Hello I've been teaching for 20 years across the primary age range and in the same (very small) school for 10. Our Literacy leader left unexpectedly and a colleague stepped in, although she is soon to go on maternity leave. I said to the head that I would have liked to have taken on this role, as it is my subject specialism etc. It would make sense for me to pass Science on to another teacher, who recently taught secondary Science. However, today I discovered that one of our new teachers, an NQT last year, wants to 'shadow' the Literacy leader, with a view to taking on Literacy when she is on maternity leave. Being Literacy leader is a big role. It doesn't seem fair that a new and inexperienced teacher should have that responsibility handed to them on a plate. It is a huge career boost. She has no EYFS or KS1 experience, no Phonics training etc. She has only just begun to lead DT.
    Our Maths lead has only been teaching for 4 years, but she is great. Am i just feeling old and jealous? My husband asks why I would want the extra work. I suppose it is a status thing ( and I have a passion for language and literacy.)
    It will be hard having these newbies observing me for Maths and Literacy, when they have no idea what to look for in Reception. I have been graded outstanding by my head and Ofsted, but I'm feeling a bit shunted out. I feel that they will now be the SLT. I'm only 43 and not ready to retire yet, but as an expensive teacher, it will be hard to move on.
    Shall I say something tomorrow, or let it go?
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    I don't think that you will gain anything by saying something.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  3. Elsie Teacher

    Elsie Teacher New commenter

    Thanks. I'm inclined to agree.
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Is your head a good and decent sort? Can you just have a conversation about feeling shunted out, when you still feel you have a lot to give? Or that you are concerned about being seen as a dinosaur by those effectively the new SLT.

    Maybe your head hasn't realised that you can lead literacy up to year 6, when you teach in reception. Remember year 2 and 6 matter more than any other when it comes to maths and literacy.

    You may not gain anything, but you might feel better. Only you can decide.
    Elsie Teacher likes this.
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Good point and excellent advice by @caterpillartobutterfly .

    Best wishes

    Elsie Teacher likes this.
  6. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    Why not? What is the problem with having a professional conversation with a headteacher or is that something else that is not encouraged these days?
    wanet likes this.
  7. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    The language of the OP suggests that a great deal of emotion is involved (talk of newbies and reference to the inexperience of others). It is often not a good idea to have conversations with senior staff unless you can disentangle yourself from the emotion...
  8. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    Make an appointment to speak with the Head. I wouldn't mention the other staff, but focus on what you would like to do and how you want to develop your career. Be positive and upbeat. You've got nothing to lose, and if you don't speak up for yourself, nobody else will. Good Luck.
  9. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I suspect that your ego is suffering and agree that it would benefit you to be more objective. Developing your career can entail a move to a different school. If you feel that strongly about pursuing a leadership role then put yourself out there. Expend your energies purposefully and not in letting the situation get to you. There is a lot to be said these days in being happy in your role whilst crucially performing to your best /getting the best out of your children.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  10. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I agree with @minnie me.

    The "newbie" wants to shadow. That doesn't sound that she's been told she can and she will get the temporary post. I would try not to fall into the trap of "inexperienced vs experienced teachers". If they do observe you, why do you assume that they will criticise? Chances are they'll be appreciative and get a lot out of it.
    grumpydogwoman and wanet like this.
  11. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    The chances are that they won't! The chances are that they are looking to further their career and will do anything to do so. That will probably include "feeding back" what they see to the SLT. That is why I suggested making an appointment to speak with the head and leave any issues regarding other staff out of it. Focus on yourself, YOUR career and what YOU want.

    Just an aside however, I don't see that there is anything wrong with "emotion" being involved. I would rather have a teacher who was passionate about teaching my child than a cold fish that was calculatedly climbing up the career ladder by "Shadowing" or "stepping up". Read for that, doing lots of work for nothing, which seems to be the route to SLT these days, and certainly not ability.
  12. Godmeister

    Godmeister Occasional commenter

    I agree with other posters here - drop any talk of fair/unfair and go and have a chat with your head about your career aspirations.

    Do you have experience in Y2 or Y6? If not, maybe this is why the head thought somebody teaching those years would be better placed to lead literacy for instance. If you do have experience that would enable you to lead in that area then go make it clear to the head.

    One thing I do disagree with is saying that a teacher with 4 years experience is still a newbie - that does come across as rather patronising. How much experience should people have before they aren't considered newbies? 5? 10? A whole career? Apart from that minor point, however, I can understand why you feel frustrated but it seems like you need to go speak to your head more frankly than wait for the opportunity to come to you - that other teacher already has by the sound of it.
    wanet and grumpydogwoman like this.
  13. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I think you can be methodical, focused , ambitious ( cold fish ? ), not found wanting in compassion and empathy and crucially be very effective . It is easy to generalise. I also have witnessed younger and less experienced colleagues have a meteoric rise to success. This has always been the case and I suspect in professions other than teaching. You can argue that all teachers are leaders in their classrooms. I think the word 'passion' is overused. Do not confuse good intentions with good outcomes.
  14. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    I do know the difference between ambitious and being a cold fish. In my post I have used the one that I wanted to use. I was also speaking about what I would want for MY child. I am assuming that you have direct knowledge of what goes on in other professions. I do. Many years, along with 18+ years in teaching and I NEVER saw the over promotion of inexperienced (and at no stage have I said younger) professionals being over promoted over other professionals merely because they wanted to 'shadow' or 'step up' to a role that they are willing to do for nothing. It should be on ability, and I'm afraid, I do not believe that the numbers of inexperienced teachers in relatively senior posts that we see in schools and academies today, are right for a school, the people they manage and as a consequence the children that they are responsible for.
  15. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Why do you imagine they will have 'no idea what to look for' in Reception? I haven't taught in Primary for decades but I have just this minute looked up some schemes for R and I reckon that I could make a fair fist of making a judgement on a lesson.

    It's not rocket-science. Neither literally nor metaphorically.

    And I hope, I really do, that every teacher from EYFS to YR6 is an expert in English. They jolly well ought to be.

    Talk to the HT. Why can't you share the responsibility? It's a big job.
    sabrinakat, wanet and Caligraphy like this.

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