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Worried my new boss is a bully - observation tomorrow

(57 Posts)
CatKisser Sun 15-Jun-14 13:25:50

Name changed but aware I might still be recognisable.
I have been at my current wonderful school for two years. Our results were great last year and should be this year. It's a really lovely school. Recently our Head left in controversial circumstances and a new Head was brought in after much arguing between County and our governors.

I am really concerned about the way this man is with the children. He seems to go out of his way to humiliate them or knock them down, especially the boys. On Friday he came to speak to me about an incident that had happened that morning (I'll mention that later) and on the way out stopped by one of my children. This lad is not confident and is in receipt of counselling due to family DV issues. He asked the boy "what are you learning?" The boy paraphrased the learning objective so the head put his hand over the LO and said "now tell me what you're learning and why." I could see the boy was getting flustered so chipped in to which he sharply said "I want him to tell me." I felt this was totally inappropriate. There have been similar issues but I'm aware this is already approaching essay length.

The issue that's also worrying me occurred on Friday morning. He came into my room with my books and essentially told me what I'd been doing all year wasn't acceptable and I was to scrap my plans for the foreseeable future and do what he wants. He did this aggressively and left for a meeting out of school immediately, leaving me in an utter state. The secretary later informed me he'd rung school afterwards and said "how's Cat? Did she cry after I'd left?"

I'm worried. Really, really worried. I'm being observed tomorrow and feel sick with nerves. I've been graded Good and Outstanding ever since I joined the school, and I know tomorrow's lesson is a good one... What can I do if he gives me a terrible grade? I am logging the incidents that are worrying me.

phlebasconsidered Sun 15-Jun-14 14:53:46

Leave. Unfortunately, bullying heads are becoming more and more common. If your SMT have balls then ask for help, but otherwise hand in notice in September and go at Xmas. Log everything in the meantime and dob him into the governors, if they are any good. There will soon be a staff exodus anyway, I predict. New heads = everyone leaving in far too many examples, I think.

I'm speaking from experience: new head = 8 staff members bullied out to be replaced by malleable NQT's.

unrealhousewife Sun 15-Jun-14 14:58:48

Do heads have a trial period?

casparthecat Sun 15-Jun-14 15:11:35

How awful. One of my A Level teachers used to treat me like your young lad. I reported him to the Deputy Head but nothing was done. I still think about that time quite often.

No advice but I'm sure you will get lots of good answers here. Best of luck.

CatKisser Sun 15-Jun-14 15:12:44

He is there for a fixed period but my gut tells me this will be extended as he was very much county's choice... I'm most definitely considering leaving. I've previously worked for a bully in the unhappiest of environments and ended up with my mental health in the gutter. I never want to be in that position again. Luckily, everyone is pulling together and things are being logged for Govs by all. It's just horrific. Two of my colleagues have had inadequate obs from him in the past week.

Worried sick. Thanks for your responses, they really help.

NCFTTB Sun 15-Jun-14 17:50:08

You've been there already. I've been there too. He does want malleable NQTs who don't know any different. It happened at my old school too. You know leaving is the best option. Find a job where you can be happy and appreciated and never look back. No job is worth your health if happiness.

CatKisser Sun 15-Jun-14 17:58:40

Thank you, NCFTTB, I think you're right. I am gutted because historically, we've produced happy, excellent, eager kids, with good results (not all down to me - I've only been there 2 years) but we've done this without being insanely paperwork-driven. Obviously we're rigorous and honest in our levelling and reporting - but we've eschewed the crazy "evidence trail" in favour of having staff with good work/life balances.

I sense he wants something different. I also sense that because I didn't giggle at his first "joke" with me (told me in relation to observations he'd be coming to "do" me soon, wink wink, how hilarious) he doesn't care for me much.

That sounds silly, I know, but I've seen how he interacts with some of the mums.

NCFTTB Mon 16-Jun-14 00:15:39

All children are lovely. I was in your position three years ago now. I had a job I loved before this new Head came along. I 'left' and never thought I'd find another job I liked as much. It took a little while, as my confidence was rock bottom, but now I've got a job I adore. I'm sorry this happening to you.

CatKisser Mon 16-Jun-14 06:14:27

Well, I'm sitting outside school waiting for caretaker to open up (Head took all staff keys away from us) and just hoping upon hope today goes well. I got approx 4 hours sleep and feel fairly dreadful but hey ho.

LEKent Mon 16-Jun-14 06:20:47

Good luck Cat!

Sawdust Mon 16-Jun-14 06:20:55

Good luck!

Jinglebells99 Mon 16-Jun-14 06:21:36

Oh poor you sad four hours sleep and in so early. You certainly sound dedicated. I hope it goes well. You know it's a good lesson so don't be intimidated. Good luck.

CatKisser Mon 16-Jun-14 06:23:27

Thanks, you're very kind. This is my normal start time as my mind just works better in the morning - plus I prefer to leave earlier in the afternoon.
I will report back on the observation but I'm not in the mood to put up with any shit!!

cecinestpasunepipe Mon 16-Jun-14 06:29:02


cecinestpasunepipe Mon 16-Jun-14 06:29:39

good luck

Ilikesweetpeas Mon 16-Jun-14 06:49:23

I hope things go well for you today Cat flowers. It's a horrible feeling xx

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 16-Jun-14 06:50:44

Cat, just go in there and bash out the best lesson you can for your students.

KaFayOLay Mon 16-Jun-14 06:56:20

Good luck!

noblegiraffe Mon 16-Jun-14 06:59:41

Don't be cowed, if he rips it to shreds ask him to detail exactly what you needed to do to be good and take notes.

If you've got balls, ask to observe him teaching an outstanding lesson so that you a) know what he's looking for and b) can improve. If he refuses, write it down.

Finola1step Mon 16-Jun-14 06:59:51

Good luck.

limegreenpickle Mon 16-Jun-14 07:19:25

Completely agree with noblegiraffe. If he grades it low, them ask for a senior member of staff, or Governor to sit in on feedback. Tell him he'll have to wait until you've arranged this. Keep up the papertrail of evidence. If he's doing this all over the school, hopefully there's a fair-minded Governor or SMT who will help you all. Go for it with your lesson, you sound like a fab teacher and a lovely person. Good luck.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 16-Jun-14 07:33:48

Good luck.

Are you in a union? Dh had a boss who bullied several people out of jobs (ironically he picked on people who were really good at their jobs & they all went on to better jobs afterwards) but when he started on dh we had union support who sent a rep to the meeting.

The three people from the company started out laughing and joking with each other (they are all fb friends with the bully) but had the smiles wiped off their faces when the rep started. He pointed out all the illegal acts that had been committed, the fact dh could take them to court & also the data protection people could have taken them to court too.

All for a £10 sub.

Keep a diary, write down everything you see with a date and time. Do not tell a soul about the diary. If you have house insurance make sure you have legal insurance on it, lots of people haven't but on R4 it said legal protection cover on house insurance covers legal fees for this kind of thing. For an extra £25 or so a year it's worth having.

There's a really good book called "bully in sight" that I used when it happened to us, sadly out of print but it can still be found online & sold back to a second hand book shop when you don't need it. I will have a look for it online for you, I sold ours back so someone could buy it.

Good luck.

SnapeAndLily Mon 16-Jun-14 07:34:26

Good luck!

Just as an aside - if you know you want to go, just do it - don't agonise about 'failing'. I worked in a terrible school a few years ago on a temporary contract. It was lovely on interview, but when I started I realised the HT and the DHT were bullying a few certain members of staff, and following Ofsted, I became one of them, despite (or because of) the fact that I was one of only two teachers to get a 'Good' in the observation (the rest were unsatisfactory - including the DHT). The school got Notice to Improve.

I knew by October I should go, but I hung on, and hung on, until I became very ill and left on sick leave in March. I genuinely believe the HT wanted to show Ofsted she was a tough Head, and as a temporary contract, I was 'easy' to get rid of.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 16-Jun-14 07:37:24

£15 & you can trade it in afterwards for £4.

CatKisser Mon 16-Jun-14 12:38:08

Thank you so much, everyone - esp the book recommendation. Will check that out ASAP. Just to let you know, before the lesson he came in and told me he didn't agree with some of teacher assessment levels, which of course didn't help.

What was supposed to be a 20 minute lesson actually lasted an hour!! I'm absolutely certain he was looking for thinks to pick me up on. However, it was a really great lesson and the kids responded brilliantly. It wasn't outstanding, but if it's graded anything less than good I will contact my union at once. I just feel this is the start of a long and slippery slope, however. It looks like he's going to alter staffing for next year so I have no idea whether I'll be where I'm expecting to go.

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