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Where would I stand if I was no longer needed?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by LucyEW88, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. Right, this is a bit of a "what if?" question that I unfortunately cannot get out of my mind.
    Last week of term, I finally managed to get a job for one year maternity cover. It is one year despite the fact that the teacher I'm covering doesn't leave until November, but they said it was so I could fully complete my NQT year and get to grips with the school. Anyway, the teacher I'm covering is lovely and I get on with her. She gave me her email address and promised any questions I have would be promptly answered, as she was not going away anywhere.
    As can be imagined, I have had a few questions. It has now been over two weeks since hearing from her despite being promised that as soon as she went into school to find something out for me she'd let me know the answer. She said at the latest this would be yesterday.
    I realise there could be a million and one reasons why she is not answering her emails. I realise the worst would be her unfortunately losing the baby.
    In short my questions are; if she lost the baby would the school let me know ASAP that I wouldn't be needed, or come september would they just tell me to go home? Would she be able to tell me she has lost the baby (she is the head of History so was the person to choose me) or would she have been advised not to tell me and let the school do it? I have tried ringing school to get a hold of someone to ask them the questions (important questions I need answering may I add) but it is impossible at the moment.
    I know this a bit of a weird question, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't playing on my mind a bit.
    Thanks
     
  2. Right, this is a bit of a "what if?" question that I unfortunately cannot get out of my mind.
    Last week of term, I finally managed to get a job for one year maternity cover. It is one year despite the fact that the teacher I'm covering doesn't leave until November, but they said it was so I could fully complete my NQT year and get to grips with the school. Anyway, the teacher I'm covering is lovely and I get on with her. She gave me her email address and promised any questions I have would be promptly answered, as she was not going away anywhere.
    As can be imagined, I have had a few questions. It has now been over two weeks since hearing from her despite being promised that as soon as she went into school to find something out for me she'd let me know the answer. She said at the latest this would be yesterday.
    I realise there could be a million and one reasons why she is not answering her emails. I realise the worst would be her unfortunately losing the baby.
    In short my questions are; if she lost the baby would the school let me know ASAP that I wouldn't be needed, or come september would they just tell me to go home? Would she be able to tell me she has lost the baby (she is the head of History so was the person to choose me) or would she have been advised not to tell me and let the school do it? I have tried ringing school to get a hold of someone to ask them the questions (important questions I need answering may I add) but it is impossible at the moment.
    I know this a bit of a weird question, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't playing on my mind a bit.
    Thanks
     
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Er... You didn't really ask these questions did you? To the expectant mother? Asking her what would happen if she lost her baby?
    Are you really this tactless in real life?
     
  4. Ok I don't think I explained myself clearly enough. Of course I'm not so stupid and heartless to ask those questions, I asked her questions like have you got any schemes of work? Where are behaviour policies on the school website? Questions that I believe are important to an NQT (or any teacher). She responded to several but then suddenly stopped. Like I said this could be any reason. I have tried ringing the school to ask the questions I need to know (because at the moment I am feeling very in the dark about my job and don't even know what time to show up for my first day) and if she's alright...not about if she's lost the baby because I know considering she's in the second trimester she should be okay.
    I just wanted to know where I stood if it did unfortunately happen. My main concern would be her as like I said she's a lovely woman who I know would make a fantastic mother.
     
  5. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Ok. Is it not possible for you to go and visit the school in person?
     
  6. That's going to be next week's plan I think. I don't know many people at the school yet so would feel a bit awkward as to who to find. I'm going to try and ring the head next week about things like time to show up on the first day. I'm not even sure he'll be in though.
     
  7. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    Shortly before school starts would be a good time to show up.
    Perhaps she is just taking a break from emails or has gone on a holiday. Or is absorbed with GCSE/A level concerns.
     
  8. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    The chances are that she's just on holiday, forgot about the e-mail, or something like that. I wouldn't panic too much about the worst case scenarios.
    If a woman miscarries or has a stillbirth later in pregnancy (after 28 weeks??), they are still entitled to maternity leave. However they may not want to take as long - but I guess they wouldn't want to rush into a decision.
    There's probably a notice period on your contract - it's often short (eg a week) on maternity cover contracts, as the woman on maternity leave can change her return date with only about 3 weeks notice. That might seem bad, but it will be the same notice period that you have to give if you want to leave - suppose your dream school offered you a permanent post next week, you might appreciate that.

     
  9. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    Are you really going to ring the head of your school to ask what time to come in on the first day? Surely you went on teaching practices? What time did you go in then? I would have thought some common sense might be more appropriate for this particular question.
    I would suggest - with enough time to plan what you are doing that day, and if you dont know, then with enought time to find the kettle and make a brew!
    As far as not getting a reply goes have you considered that this woman may have booked a last minute holiday, or been told to stop working over the holidays by her partner? - I know mine always used to tell me to stop replying to work emails in my holidays!
    If there has been some awful disaster, there is quite frankly nothing you can do about it anyway, and you will be contacted as soon as someone can, and you cannot make that happen beforehand, so I would do your best to stop fretting over something that probabaly has a very innocent explanation and enjoy the remainder of your holidays!!!!
    You'll miss them when they're gone...[​IMG]
     
  10. As I'm sure I originally said, I got the job the last week of term. Also to add to this, training day varies in time every year. When I spoke to the then deputy, now head, he told me that the woman I'm taking over will pass me information on training day as they weren't sure at the end of the term.
    I thought that maybe looking like I have the initiative to ask the question to him would look better than not knowing, but obviously this being my first year I wasn't too sure. Judging by your response it's best I either ask someone else or just go in?
    And yes you're definitely right about me needing to just chill really...shame it isn't always that easy!
     
  11. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    I think people should just chill out a little and relax. I am not sure what sort of school some of the people here work in, but in my school you wouldn't think twice about asking the head something.
    If you are worried then go in and see the head. He is the one ultimately responsible for what goes on in the school and for your employment. You have tried and not got anywhere with your initial point of contact. Time to go a little higher.
     
  12. aw27

    aw27 New commenter

    My genuine apologies, I thought it was a teaching day you were talking about, not a training day! In which case it is a fair enough question and I happily stand corrected! I worked in a school for ten years and no one ever knew what to wear on the training days - it was always a manic text messaging frenzy the night before.
    However still get there in time for a cuppa! [​IMG]
     
  13. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    If it is a training day then arriving about 8-8.30 would be normal in all the schools I've worked in.

    Emailing the HT would be more appropriate than ringing during the holidays. I'm primary and emailing the HT for this kind of thing is normal, as it would have been in middle schools. However int he two secondary schools I worked in, I'm not sure I ever spoke three words to the HT between being interviewed and leaving!

    All teachers starting their first jobs are panicking, read the threads on students and NQTs forums telling you so. But you will be fine and things will be ok. Almost certainly.
     
  14. I filled in a load of paperwork and they've took my bank details, as well as being put on the school computer system etc but I think that they said I'd sign the contract in September cos they forgot to give me the contract on the day I visited which was the second to last day. So at a guess legally I don't have a leg to stand on in the unlikely event that I show up a week on Monday and they just send me home cos I'm not needed?
     
  15. Lucy, I'm sure they would have told you by now if you were not needed.She's probably on holiday as others have said.
    I also think you should email, but perhaps not even the Head, - is there a general enquiry email address on the website? Most admin staff work through the holidays.
    All the best, - I think it would be pretty shabby practice not to let you know and I hope you are worrying unduly.
    Bouga x

     
  16. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not quite. You have a verbal job offer and have accepted it. This is binding.

    I've never had a contract before starting a teaching post. And in one short term post, still didn't have it by the time I finished a term and a half later. (I think things are better now...)

    EVERYONE worries about the same things as you before their first post. You are being totally unreasonable, totally silly and very, very dippy. However so is every other soon to be NQT, especially those who got posts very late in term. It is normal and understandable, but you do need to slap yourself and stop worrying.
     
  17. I think your concerns are totally normal for someone about to start a new job! I would be very nearly certain that if something bad had happened you would be told directly and not just sent home on day 1! The school sound pretty considerate - giving you paid settling in time etc is not something they HAVE to do, so they don't sound like a school that would turn you away on day 1.
    I got my job in Feb and then spent March, April, May worrying they would change their mind for some non-specific reason! It was only when I spoke to the school about doing some supply work in the last half term and they bit my hand off that I realised they wouldn't be changing their minds - although I made them promise that if I was a **** supply they wouldn't sack me before I started!!!
    Relax, sounds like you have got a job in a good school xx
     
  18. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    I agree that you are probably overreacting. Likely to be an innocent explanation.
    True, but it is normal for such contracts to be offered on the basis of a fixed term OR the return of the post holder (so it is not quite so straightforward).

     
  19. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    True, but the not having a contract was the point I was referring to. (And I wasn't going to add any more to the list of worries!)
     
  20. The first day I started at my current school I couldn't even find the right door to go in! Most were locked including the main public entrance I'd used when going for interview. I finally found which way to get in but then the office staff were no-where to be seen and the staff room was like the Marie Celeste. Some other luckless sap turned up and we sat chatting for ages till someone came in to use the phone and kindly took us to the room where the whole staff had been having a meeting for at least 45 minutes.
    10 years later its only slightly better, existing staff have been emailed via the school system but new staff - well unless you have a kind and thoughtful HOD then its down to initiative. We always start much earlier than usual for training days, so turning up at the normal teaching time may catch you out.
    Try phoning the school office, our office staff are present throughout the holidays, although on different from normal hours. If you have the head's email, then you could enquire, ours is really friendly and would not take any offence if contacted.
    Good luck, I'm sure it will be fine and don't worry about policies and the like, once you get access to the school's system you will be able to drown yourself in them, after all the person you are covering will be around for some considerable time yet and you will have plenty of opportunity to get up to speed.
     

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