Coping with ambitious colleague - am I under-performing?(6 Posts)
I am second in department in a core subject - was promoted with effect from September after going 'head-to-head' with the then second for the HoD role.
As it turned out, it was fortunate I didn't get the HoD role as I then found out my H had been cheating and we have since separated. The dc are 5 and 7 and I had been the only bread-winner. I am now a single-parent, though stbx does most of the before and after school childcare still.#
It has been the worst 6 months of my life and, as well as other things, I just feel like a total fraud at work. My day-to-day lessons have not suffered (I think), but I am behind on marking (though that is a constant fact for most of us in the dept I am in) and I feel I am contributing next to nothing to the department as a whole and not earning my TLR.
To make it all worse, there is a woman who is anxious to claim the third TLR in the department (this year unassigned) and it seems that every week she does something that really should be done by me. I am constantly going home feeling shit about some little thing that has happened in relation to this. They are not huge things, but something will come up, and within hours she will have sent out an email, typed up a pro-forma and I will feel remiss. She is actually a very nice woman - I don't mean to imply she is doing anything wrong, but the side-effect of her efficiency is that it makes me feel crap. Totally not her problem, I know that.
Ironically, I am her line-manager and I have responsibility for mentoring School Direct Students. Ambitious-woman is due to cross threshold next year and asked me to let her work with the student this year, so I have given the student one of her classes, while timetabling issues mean the student has none of mine yet. This has exacerbated the situation, as I also feel the student probably feels I'm a crap mentor and has had far more advice from this other woman whose class she takes - though I do give her an hour a week mentoring time, which I don't 'get back' as she isn't taking any of my classes.
God - what a load of self-pitying waffle. I just feel that everyone must be saying how I do nothing for my money, but I work constantly all week. I took on a new A-level this year (12 & 13) and it is outside my area of expertise, so that is taking a huge amount of time, but it's no excuse. I should probably just give up my TLR, but then that would be my career gone along with everything else.
Sorry for the waffle - any advice would be great.
Teaching a new A-level is an enormous amount of work - I hope that is acknowledged as one of your PM targets or similar.
Why would you need to give up your TLR? You say there is another TLR available, which ambitious woman can rightfully claim without you having to step down from anything. She needs to do this extra stuff to go through threshold and support her TLR application, so try seeing it as her taking opportunities to gather evidence for her file and a positive thing for your department, rather than showing you up. You've already got your TLR and a track record.
Do your departments know your circumstances? I don't think anyone would blame you for just keeping your head above water at the moment. You'll get back into your stride once things settle down.
Has anyone expressed concern over your performance?
Do your departments know your circumstances? I don't think anyone would blame you for just keeping your head above water at the moment. You'll get back into your stride once things settle down. I totally agree with noble. Maybe a candid discussion with your line manager and go a bit easier on yourself.
If the other woman wants to do all of those things, let her.
I feel a bit like you at the minute in that I'm doing a whole school TLR, but have lots to do within the department. I was concerned I would be viewed as not doing enough, but talked to WS line manager and she's fine with what I've done. I had to write it down last week (Ofsted) and was quite surprised to see I'd done far more than I'd realised.
Also remember, you can access counselling and occupational health if you need to through work. You have been through an awful lot and support can be there for you if you need it. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job.
If you work WITH school and OH, you can get agreed breaks from TLRs without having to give them up. HR depts are usually keen to put in measures of support so that you are in work, rather than not helping and you going under.
Also, your GP can give you a 'fit to work note' which is a note that can cover you for a set period of time that means you still go to work, but only if certain things are put into place. For example, you could get a fit to work note that takes you off your TLR for a month, to give you time to adjust. You will still be paid the same.
I would speak to line manager first though as you might find more on-the-ground support without needing to seek it from HR or GP.
^some good advice here. As an extra thing, don't assume the ambitious teacher is feeling all confident. Part of your role can be to nurture 'new talent'. Ask to see her, praise what she's been doing. Say you support her getting a TLR and it's great working with her (if that's true). She will most likely feel really chuffed and see you as a mentor.
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