too much pressure!! sorry a bit of a rant(19 Posts)
I'm teaching in a school that last year was deemed to 'require improvement' by OFSTED. As a staff we have all worked really hard implementing the each and every new idea from our SLT. Paper work seems to be increasing daily. We need to keep detailed data for every child - almost down to how often they sneeze in class! Every chat with a child (in lesson or not) has to be logged as a 'learning conversation' intervention.
We've had a recent visit from HMI and the HT seems now to be panicking. He has decided that for two days a week (to be notified in advance) anyone can expect a SLT observation without any further notice. They may stay for 10 minutes or the whole hour.
So we need detailed full lesson plans now for every lesson for those two days until the next OFSTED (sometime in the next 6 months).
I'm not sure I can cope with any more. The school is a really unpleasant place to be now. I feel checked up on all the time. Simple manners have gone by the wayside. Management walk into your lessons without even acknowledging you - pick up kids' books, flick through them and then leave. Or worse just stand there.
I do a break duty weekly (before school and at break-time). I always turn up to it - on time - even though it is on a day I teach without any frees. A couple of weeks ago the head of year (duty teams are managed by the year heads) walked over to the building I was in with his clipboard and very obviously ticked off that I was where I should be. He didn't even speak to me.
Has anyone else gone through this? Please tell me that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
All the time.
It's teaching now. We are in SM. We have to phone in and text the head if we are ill within 2 hours of 8am. Plus I have people in and out every other lesson without warning, but it's not "official" so, hey. Official is every fortnight. Never mind that the kids haven't had a steady teacher since year 2 ( they are in yr 5). Several of them were out of their seat, asking me to look at their work. Fail. Some of them, when asked, said "I don't understand". Fail.
I'm looking for work at Tesco.
It was my dream job. I loved it. I would not want my son or daughter to ever do it. Rather take up the stage, Mrs Worthington.
This is why my DH is changing from being a teacher to a TA. In spite of salary drop. This is why I tutor from home and love it and hated working in schools. Love the kids, hate everything else about teaching.
My school has been like this, but perhaps SLT have handled it differently because I haven't felt so scrutinised. We were given Requires Improvement last year and, as a result of our HMI monitoring visits, were recommended for an early reinspection and have got a Good.
A few things that stood out to me:
We were given half a day's notice that we could be seen anytime the next day. However, Ofsted don't need to see lesson plans, they want "evidence of planning". For me, that usually consists of notes in my planner, a good PowerPoint and a folder that has my seating plans and data for each pupil showing progress over time. Both SLT and Ofsted have been perfectly happy with that.
Books are very important. I have a colleague whose lesson wasn't fantastic because the pupils were a bit crap, but the inspector looked at her books and saw clearly that they were well-marked and that, again, the pupils had made progress over time, so she got a good.
When the team came this time, they told us specifically that they didn't want to see all-singing, all-dancing lessons. They wanted to see good behaviour and learning. That made me feel confident about my lessons, because I think that's what happens in my classroom.
Our SLT also drops in for ten minutes at a time to see how lessons are going and they frequently scrutinise books.
For us, three things were key in securing our judgement. The first is that we were sitting on some very good data and could show that we were predicting even better results. The second is that we have a school-wide marking policy that involves pupils having to do a "response to marking" task when they get a piece of work back, and Ofsted are really keen on that. We also had a lot to show progress and improvement over time because of strategies we've implemented through our involvement with PiXL.
In any case, although the last year has been stressful, I have never minded drop-ins or scrutiny because I think it's important that SLT know what's happening around the school. Their ignorance was part of what got us our RI. I know it can be stressful, but the feeling of securing a good really justified it for me. Sorry this is so long, but I hope it's helpful!
This is the reason that I'm leaving too. We aren't given any notice at all and it can happen whenever the head/slt fancy. Since everyday is an ofsted day for me I feel very anxious
I think the tipping point is the lack of manners and downright bullying behaviour,if I was in a school where we had to work very hard but were treated well then I would be prepared to put in all the work necessary.
Really good points from amaxapax - proving that there are plenty of schools who still respect staff and try to make improvements in a sensible way.
OP how about trying supply? Look for a better school- find out about staff turn over if poss? I'm enjoying looking about to see what else I can do and feel quite cheerful about the future <deluded>
Is it worth talking to your union about this? Good luck.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. It's an oncoming train.
Working in a school in SM will break even the best teacher. I did 4 years in schools at were in SN (3 different schools, at first I got buz from working in SM schools).
Last year I left main stream schooling and SN schools and now work in an amazing school where management trust you.
There are good schools out there!! Don't suffer in a school you don't enjoy.
Am supply. Is not any easier, in fact I often think I should remind SMT that although I am always there, I am 'just' supply....
pippity, I move between schools, I'm never in one place more than half a term precisely because I didn't want to lose that delicious sense of being unshackled.
Is hard to do that here with rubbish pay deal. But take your point
Does your head know that'd ofsted no longer require lesson plans? Ours was nervous about that so we still did them but we just used the '5 min lesson plan' from teacher toolkit - it really DOES only take 5 mins and it also improves your lessons so I still use it occasionally. The inspector really liked it and I got a '1' (but, as I said, she was only interested in the students - not what I was doing or my paperwork!)
Ooh ofsted no longer require lesson plans?
I've been out a few years but thought every single lesson had to hace a lessonplan (as opposed to notes in my notebook).
I'm doing adult ed and its taking me as long as the lesson to plan and document the lesson
Have you contacted your union for advice and support? I was in a similar situation after a change of head and they were absolutely amazing. Also, have a look at the Teacher Support Network for their online support. Remember that it's not your individual fault that your school are in the situation where they feel the need to terrorise stafflike they are, and neither will you working yourself to illness get them out of it. Please get some advice xx
These threads really put me off returning to teaching. It's so negative andvself esteem destroying.
Ofsted definitely don't require lesson plans. Hurrah!
My school SLuGs then seized on the fact that apparently they '...might ask to look at your planning.'
So now instead of producing a lesson plan for an observed lesson, at my place, you have to produce a detailed plan for every lesson you've taught that class for the past half term.
I sat down to do my planners for my three KS4 classes at 9pm last night (I've somehow muddled through without them since half term...) & finished about 4am.
Last time we had an 'oooh, planners' INSET day, it coincided with my having a massive strop on about being ticked off for not having Learning Objectives on my Medium Term Planning (because I'd put them on all my interactive whiteboard resources).
So I spent hours cutting & pasting everything I could think of, plus a few new acronyms I made up to see if anyone would notice, & designed fancy covers for the bloody things.
Rather to my dismay the results were then waved about as an example of good practice, so I'm now doomed to carry on producing glossy Excel planners forever, or at least until the SLuGS find a new shiny thing to slither over...
Argh raven! It's all the pointless creating of evidence of planning that gets to me.
And the attitude of being constantly criticised and scrutinised and being watchedbuntil youbfall.
Surely a complete culture change is needed. A supportive nurturing atmosphere would make for better teaching and learningbsurely!
Evidence of planning, in my last primary was two sides+ of A4 per lesson.
5 sessions a day, 25 a week, so 50 pages of planning a week.
That's without annotations and evaluations or resources.
Thanks for all the replies.
It seems that my position is far from uncommon then.
I spotted a job advert in the TES this weekend and will be getting my application in early next week - once my lesson plans etc have been completed.
Its the first time in 20+ years that I just feel like walking out.
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