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Update on bullying - it’s my fault!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by JodiP, May 24, 2019.

  1. JodiP

    JodiP Occasional commenter

    I didn’t go in today. I received an email to say SLT would like to meet with me to discuss de-escalation techniques. So - the children have no responsibility for their actions, SLT and the school have no responsibility. It’s my classroom management. Victim blaming - wow
    DIPS1, pepper5, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  2. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Might be worth having a union rep or friendly colleague go along with you for support. I hope you manage to find something to take your mind off the situation over the weekend so that you don't spend your precious days off worrying.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    No one is saying it is your fault. They are merely saying that their experience gives them some strategies that they'd like to share with you. There is nothing to suggest this is anything other than support and help. A great many teachers would need someone to discuss de-escalation techniques with them if they were to take up a post in a pru.

    The only issue is that it has taken until now to get this in place.
    Pomza, pepper5, border_walker and 3 others like this.
  4. ms honey

    ms honey Occasional commenter

    Some schools do seem very good at not holding pupils responsibile for horrendous behaviour and blaming the poor sod who tries their best to deal with it. Yes many might have a terrible homelife but it doesn't excuse abusive behaviours. As previous posts stated, sign off and don't let the buzzards grind you down x
    DIPS1, pepper5, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  5. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    The writing was on the wall some years ago- a friend of mine in another school was told by her new head (who had only taught for about eight years) that all behaviour was very good except when 'lessons were boring'. Uh huh. So if I'm bored in a staff meeting, it's ok to chuck a chair at somebody? We should teach our children that when they go to work, it's their boss's job to ensure they're never bored?
    suzuki1690, DIPS1, pepper5 and 9 others like this.
  6. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    I have genuinely had students who beleive this.

    One young adult was recounting to me on the bus that is wasn't her fault she got sacked, it was because her boss had "had no idea how to speak to young people"
  7. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Important point-Does or do the children in question have past form of poor behaviour with you? That's my starting assumption...
    If you go to this meeting- you should-you should go armed with the school behaviour policy. Print it out.
    Presumably somewhere in the first stages when a child has breached the policy you log it in an accessible place? So you also take the logs you have made public and you challenge your senior staff.
    Talk through in the meeting what you have done pertaining to each document.Generally,then specifically for each child in question.
    Then this-
    "What did you do? What did you do when I had followed the school policy? Where did you step in and do your bit? At what stage high up in the school was this child made accountable for their behaviour? Do not make me accountable for the problems these children cause by looking at my classroom management techniques or my people skills. This child has misbehaved because they know there will be no consequence.Don't think that by training me in "in the moment mind games" with children is going to solve the problem of behaviour. It isn't. Can you see "training teacher in deescalation techniques" anywhere in this behaviour policy? The only thing that will make a difference is that this school behaviour policy is adhered to at all stages beyond and above the role of classroom teacher,not just a circular game of reverting to the first stage. Stop blame shifting and fudging your own role in it because you're too busy fondling data in your offices. Now, is there anything else you need from me,or can I go now to prepare some sound lessons for the children to progress in the way you need?"
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
  8. towncryer

    towncryer Lead commenter

    We are not doing our students any favours by pandering to their every need. I really believe that one of the most important lessons students can learn is that life is not always exciting and that sometimes people speak to you in a way you don't like.
    I have been hauled over the coals a couple of times over my "harsh tones" (really...I'm just asking them to do their work and respect school rules) Apparently it adds stress to the little darlings and their school life is so stressful!

    My lessons are boring I am sure because they learn what they need to rather than waste time making pretty posters. The results at the end of the year speak for themselves.
    suzuki1690, Marshall, Pomza and 7 others like this.
  9. renegade29

    renegade29 New commenter

    Caterpillartobutterfly, why do you always insist on looking the other way?! Did you even read the OP's other posts??

    There is plenty to suggest that this is something other than support and help.

    If I had followed the general 'you should always trust your SMT has your best interests' thread of your advice that you so love to dish out of these forums, I'm sure I would still be sticking it out in a school that didn't want me. Instead, I listened to those who have actually been through the initial stages of 'informal support' and as a result I'm in a great school now.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I have been bullied out of a school by a head who clearly didn't want me. I left with a SA, an agreed reference and three months WRS absence on my record. As well as this I had a legacy of severe anxiety and a few extra stones of weight to shift! I don't for a moment think every head is a decent human being, I know they aren't.

    The OP has moved to a PRU and found it a horrendous experience, as would a great many excellent teachers. The op is in a very anxious state and finding it difficult to cope, again as would many excellent teachers. A discussion of techniques to manage the nightmare, with staff who are more experienced is likely to make the OP's final half term there more more manageable.

    This would be my panicked response to such a request as well. They want to discuss ways I can manage the situation? Must mean they think I'm terrible and useless then!
    However I am further down the road to recovery than the op and can realise that this is a panicked thought and not a rational response. (It has taken over four years of various drugs and therapies to get to this point though, so no rush for anyone in the situation right now!)
  11. renegade29

    renegade29 New commenter

    Seems to me that you are best placed to offer words of wisdom as to when it's better to hit that ejection button in order to land in a better school.

    I don't know how you can be so lacking in cynicism regarding the motivations of SMT teams nowadays.
    pepper5, sbkrobson and agathamorse like this.
  12. renegade29

    renegade29 New commenter

    C2B, would you dispute the following?

    I firmly believe that so called 'support plans' can be used, and indeed are being used maliciously in the UK education system. Primarily I believe they are used to cut costs and to rid a school of those whose face no longer fits.

    I get the sense from some responses that people are trusting they will be supportive. Teachers need to wake up and smell the coffee before it's costs them not just their job but their career.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I have worked for about 15 different heads in a variety of schools and only 1 has been a nasty bully.
    I have worked for 3 different heads since the horrors of the bully and none have been anything other than supportive and understanding.
    I know several people who are headteachers and they are thoroughly decent people.
    I know many deputies who are incredible and I'd be proud to be half as good as them when I finally get my act together and make it to SLT.
    I am still in touch with 3 people who were bullied out by the same head as me and we have all gone on to schools where we are happy and successful.
    I know they can be and certainly are in some cases.
    I know this can be the case, but have no where near enough data to know if this is 'primarily' the case.
    I know for certain that sometimes they most certainly are.
    pepper5 likes this.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    There is in fact very little to suggest this.
    It is simply your spin on it.
    My response is based on OPs words "victim blaming"
    The only possible reason they have used the word "victim" is in the context of poor behaviour.
    They are subject to it.And so victim to it. Most of us have been there.
    If the OP has been subject to poor behaviour, and as intimated no responsibility for their actions has been forced, there ought not to be a meeting with the teacher. There ought to be a meeting with the child. Because they behaved poorly.
    The teacher did not behave poorly.
    This is somebody who invested years of their life in training to be a teacher. They don't need to learn techniques in the face of poor behaviour because the most fundamental techniques will have been addressed in their training and first year.

    According to your take on this, the OP must have used the word "victim" because they have been victimised by themselves and their own lack of skill. Do you really think that is why they chose that word? Honestly?
  15. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    You also have a choice to read the variety of experiences on this forum and open your eyes to how endemic such managerial nastiness is.
    I'm not sure what "data" you need on it.
  16. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Indeed and the OP will probably have no problems at all with managing behaviour when they return to mainstream teaching in September.

    However managing behaviour in a PRU is a very different thing and new techniques will almost certainly be needed. Yes, SLT should have made sure this was part of the induction back in September and been supportive with training, etc since then, but better late than never.
    pepper5 likes this.
  17. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This symbolises the problem I have with all of your posts in this thread.
    How do you know they have a problem with managing behaviour?
    Behaviour is poor.
    Why is it that the resulting view is that there is a problem managing it?
    How on earth do you know that?
    Because it happened in the first place?
    If that's the case,you wear both rosy and punitive glasses for sure.
    renegade29 likes this.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Quite clearly there are problems with behaviour in the lessons and, generally speaking, pupils in a PRU are not going to respond to a teacher's usual armoury of strategies. So, if someone is having a really tough time of it, to the point of regularly phoning their partner in tears, then some new strategies might just help. Certainly it would be worth trying them out, because things cannot continue as they are.

    For anyone moving to what is essentially a whole different job, some new strategies might well be needed. This isn't to say there is anything wrong with that teacher, just that the skills they have amassed so far aren't the ones needed in this new situation.

    However, as is usual on TES, the situation must be that 'SLT are clearly at fault, are most definitely out to 'get' the member of staff because they are nasty bullies who hate all teachers and the teacher absolutely must not engage with SLT in anything they suggest.'
    Flanks and pepper5 like this.
  19. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I've rarely seen this view.
    I've frequently seen this experience though.
    pepper5 and renegade29 like this.
  20. starlightexpress

    starlightexpress Occasional commenter

    Maybe when you’ve been through the tougher times, it makes you really look to what you’re seeking for true fulfilment and you look for the good. You see where the ‘best’ is. You know not all is the ‘worst’ you’ve experienced. It puts you in a really good place to offer good advice to people that considers not only careers, but importantly the person and looking to what their future might look like. Cynicism and feeling bitter only affects the person who feels it. Not great when you’re recovering and moving on. It does not change the actions of actions. We take ownership of our own actions. I truly believe that most in education really care and demonstrate the best practice; however there sadly will always be the minority.

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