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are they all this bad ?

(17 Posts)
LightsPlease Sat 01-Feb-14 08:34:26

I work in a 'outstanding' secondary school as part of a pastoral team. I have been there a few months.

The morale of staff is low. Nobody tells you want to do but will tell you if you get it wrong.
You feel like you are always being watched.
People get demoted alot.
New people come who are flavour of the month for a while.
The person in charge speaks all about her personal life. Talks about people.
Talks quite agressively so you think you are on eggshells.
Makes people think their job is at risk.
Head teacher doesn't make eye contact.
So much paper work which they think appears from nowhere along with programmes you are meant to create in five minutes.
If you sit down for five minutes then you are asked lots of questions.
My first school so I am not sure if this is just how school environments are? Im thinking of changing career.

Any advice or experiences?

fatcheeks1 Sat 01-Feb-14 09:08:03

Hi, "nobody will tell you what to do but will tell you if you get it wrong"
Yup, that resonates with me, I'm in primary. Last school was meant to be a 'Good' , current one is close to failing.Yep, they expect you to know it all, even if you have had none, or very little induction training and did not start at the beginning of term.
"Head teacher doesn't make eye contact" Yep, had that too, along with snidey comments making you feel it is you and then you become paranoid or they will look at you directly to give you a very public and humiliating b*ll*ck*ng.
Don't get me started on paperwork, I have sat through countless irrelevant Insets (am Early Years) to be told this doesn't apply to the Foundation stage but you have to stay anyway, and my most hated word ever is "tweaking" AARRRGGGHHHHH!!! My phase leader uses it all of the time.I spend hours, I mean hours doing stuff for all 3 classes, she looks at it, sneers and says it needs "tweaking" !!!! I despair, do it, you do it GRRRRRRR:>(

LightsPlease Sat 01-Feb-14 09:11:51

Fat cheeks thanks for responding.
That sounds awful as well !
Does it make you want to leave teaching? ?
Do you think this is the culture of schools?
I hope not , no wonder alot of teachers are bloody stressed!

fatcheeks1 Sat 01-Feb-14 09:39:44

Yes, if I'm quite truthful :>( If I had a time machine I would go back to Feb 93 and NOT decide to carry on my degree full time(was P.T up til then) and do the primary P.G.C.E.I should have stayed as a Nursery Nurse but I would have been a frustrated one because if you cut me open it probably says 'teacher' like a stick of rock as that is what I am (rather stupidly) through and through.

LightsPlease Sat 01-Feb-14 21:18:52

That sounds quite awful..i hope that's not a common thing. Is there anything else you want to do relating to working with children?

HettyD Sat 01-Feb-14 21:39:23

Not all schools are like that, I promise!! Though tiredness and paperwork are the norm, colleagues usually more supportive...

fatcheeks1 Sat 01-Feb-14 21:45:26

Yes, I agree, colleagues are normally more supportive.The people I am currently working with are mostly fab, it's just the SMT that are cr*p!

fatcheeks1 Sat 01-Feb-14 21:48:52

Tiredness and paperwork are indeed the norm, but when you see a child finally getting something they have previously struggled with it does make it seem more worth it:>).

BackforGood Sat 01-Feb-14 21:55:25

Only these 2 sound familiar to me : -
So much paper work which they think appears from nowhere along with programmes you are meant to create in five minutes.
and
You feel like you are always being watched

All schools I've worked in have been with very supportive colleagues.

LightsPlease Sat 01-Feb-14 22:49:21

Is it worth while to try another school or is this kinda wgat your up against in a school environment.
I don't want to be watched or have loads of paper work!

The children aren't a problem. Just the atmosphere andwworking environment.

ravenAK Sun 02-Feb-14 16:06:06

I don't want to be watched or have loads of paper work!

well, we're being Mocksteded this week. I didn't actually go to bed at all last night - I pulled a througher in order to write up 12 detailed lesson plans, put all my seating plans into Excel with previous/current/target data colour coded for each kid, & design/produce whizz bang new resources for all of those lessons because I'll probably be observed by someone who's a member of my Dept., & she's already nicked seen all my old stuff! grin.

Oh & it'll be my 3rd observed lesson in 2014.

So, yep, I'm all about the watched & the paper work atm...

Madallie Mon 03-Feb-14 13:40:52

That sounds so tough Raven but it does resonate with me. I can't help thinking though that this amount of crazy effort and schedule that we put ourselves through doesn't help our situation. I've often thought that in some way it makes it seem like the demands and expectations are in some way manageable and sustainable, but they are not.

If staying up all night, making everything perfect is what it takes to please OFSTED, SMT etc then this is not sustainable/healthy for anyone. Don't get me wrong, I have done the same, felt the pressure to just keep working until it's ALL done, which of course it never is but when I take a step back and get a moment of clarity I realise just his crazy this situation is, but it's like no one (me included) can openly admit to it.

I have friends/relatives in all different careers who just can't understand why when I get home at 6.30pm after having been at school since 7.30am, I still have to work until almost bedtime. Likewise they think it's crazy that weekends seem consumed by work too. It's hard to explain the pressure there is from workload and expectations.

Although have to say i have always worked with very supportive, kind and caring colleagues.

MothratheMighty Mon 03-Feb-14 13:43:34

'I don't want to be watched or have loads of paper work! '

Then you need to move to the private sector to have a whisker of a chance of either of these things not occurring.

ravenAK Mon 03-Feb-14 19:14:34

I don't actually mind once in a while Madallie - I quite enjoy getting it all sorted out. Bottle of wine to hand, kids in bed, house quiet...

But you're right, it's completely unsustainable when it starts being every weekend. It's been closer to that than I like this half term!

Phineyj Tue 04-Feb-14 20:18:20

No. I mean, I have lots of paperwork and am often observed (NQT) but my colleagues are nice and the atmosphere is good. It's a job - workplaces vary hugely, just like in other professions.

Em1503 Tue 04-Feb-14 20:28:58

Yep sounds a lot like my school, especially the paperwork and constantly being watched! I hate it.

fatcheeks1 Sun 09-Feb-14 11:14:21

We are just beginning to pool resources more where I am.At my last school, I was one of 4 teachers in the reception phase and the NQT and myself used to share what we found or what we found worked.The other 2, more experienced teachers, didn't.Their attitude was , no-one helped us when we were 1st doing it, kinda thing, which I do understand but it still sucked especially when it came to being observed.I have banged on about this from day 1 at my new school and the need for consistency across all 3 classes and it is beginning to pay off.I am in charge of sourcing songs and stories relevant to our topic.One of the other girls is a bit of a Youtube whizz for finding clips and things.I am good at planning for the outside.There is far too much for 1 person to do, we need to share but it's hard.Not sure if this fits in here LOL:>) but its in response to Raven and Madalies responses.
I feel a lot more supported by my colleagues here but I've asked for help.At my last school I didn't and it sort of cost me my job as things built up.I think the school culture is very important.Perhaps it's the fact that I am 'just' supply and only a temp.I know I have strengths and a lot to give in other areas and this feels recognised.I feel more valued by the team and more able to show what I don't know, am not as confident in IYSWIM.
I think a lot of our colleagues are becoming more insular, I know I have seen it.I can understand it, I know we need to protect ourselves, our jobs, there is so much scrutiny.

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