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Is this poor practice? (Observations)

(25 Posts)
DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 19:27:23

Today the head and assistant head did unplanned observations on myself and my 2 year group colleagues (primary.)
I was seen for 2 x 20 minutes chunks of the same 80 minute lesson and my colleagues were watched for the whole 80 minutes. No prior warning, no feedback. All books taken in after the lesson. Sorry for being vague - obvious reasons.
I'd be grateful for any comments, thanks.

Doowrah Mon 22-Feb-16 20:58:12

They are calling this kind of thing Learning Walks at my school, a newish method of persecution. Could it be that?

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:04:04

Well, I've experienced Learning Walks for a few year and usually they;ve been just that - come in, look around, chat to the kids, see what they're doing and bugger off leave. This certainly wasn't a learning walk.
Observations are fine and all of us actively welcome people in to see what we're doing but this felt different. No prior notice whatsoever. Absolute stone faces and immediate collection of the books. No feedback. I'm really not happy.

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:04:38

Sorry, I meant to say thank you for commenting, it's much appreciated.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Mon 22-Feb-16 21:07:35

That sounds awful. Deeply unpleasant. Like you, I don't mind anyone popping in, but no warning or feedback sounds like some kind of vile power play. Hope you're ok.

Doowrah Mon 22-Feb-16 21:09:18

No worries...hope you get to the bottom of it...

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:12:11

Oh I'm fine thanks but I think you're absolutely right it was some kind of ridiculous power play. Probably a bit too much info but one of the reasons I'm so hacked off is I'm SLT and it's just another example of where I've been kept in the dark and have been made to look a bit of a clueless prat.
Our school is in a tough situation with a massive EAL intake - we have no hope of reaching floor standards this year - but we're doing a fab job with the kids we have. There's no need to play "divide and conquer." sad

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Feb-16 21:14:03

They'd bloody hate it if anyone did it to them, wouldn't they?

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:15:38

Neither of them teach (Primary - another bone of contention) so unfortunately no chance of it happening to them. angry

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Mon 22-Feb-16 21:19:11

Sometimes I'd like to go and stand in the offices of our SLT and look at what they're doing with a stony expression, and an almost imperceptible head shake...

Doowrah Mon 22-Feb-16 21:20:35

Double standards abound...flaming sniping about bu**er all in book scrutinies gets on my wick. If I poured over their books looking for slights I'd find them.

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:21:54

I completely agree!!! Or if I was feeling a brave, bright and cheery, "gosh! That looks like fun! Ah well, better back to TEACHING MY CLASS!"

Ok I wouldn't ever do that... grin

Fedup21 Mon 22-Feb-16 21:22:57

Grrr-that is a real bugbear of mine. Non-teaching SMT who swan around in high heels and little skirts (men excepted!) turning their noses up at poor behaviour and books they deem to be inadequate. These same people were generally crap at behaviour management and marking books themselves when they were in the classroom but they don't like it that people can remember that far back.

If older colleagues are too vocal expensivethey are suddenly observed at 2.15 on a Friday and found to need a 'support plan'.

Or is that just my school.

Be careful, OP. Your school sounds like it's heading this way.

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:24:04

I do 4 book scrutinies (over 2 year groups) a week, Doowrha
If anything it's damaging because there's not enough time for trends to develop to be picked up on. I feel like I'm being expected to micromanage when shock horror we should be trusting the intelligent, sensible staff we hired!

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:27:04

Fedup21 , you have absolutely nailed it! Like, exactly!
They absolutely loathe it that some staff remember back to their days of inadequate teaching but more-than-adequate brown-nosing... I am seeing some of my older colleagues heading the way you've described and it's vile. Luckily, they're strong women, bloody amazing teachers and are applying left right and centre for other jobs. I pray there are still schools that are willing to invest in experienced teachers.

Doowrah Mon 22-Feb-16 21:29:09

Trust...can someone explain this strange notion to me? I had a faint moment, a reverie of a warm, safe world when all was well...lower lip tangibly wobbles.

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:33:37

It's probably in the same place "loyalty" and "decency" went.

Fedup21 Mon 22-Feb-16 21:38:21

It's depressing, isn't it?

I don't know what the answer is. I've coped pretty well so far by keeping my head down but I'm not sure that'll work for much longer as I reckon I'll start having to justify why they should pay for me instead of 2 NQTs.

When I think back to my own primary school days- only the head didn't teach. Even the deputy had a full time class. Why do we now need to pay SMT vastly inflated salaries to check classroom teachers are doing their jobs properly. Are teachers really trusted so little now!!

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:42:59

Seems so.
Obviously I can't post the exact structure of my school, but I will say that we are a primary that spends approx £170k every year on non-teaching UPS/Leadership teachers every year.
It is a farce.

Doowrah Mon 22-Feb-16 21:44:10

Yup...what is really sad is the total lack of appreciation for the quality within.

Redlocks28 Mon 22-Feb-16 21:50:52

My sister's school has one head, one deputy, 4 assistant heads, 3 sencos and two learning mentors- all out of class full time.

DraenorQueen Mon 22-Feb-16 21:53:05

That's....scary!! Secondary, I presume?

Redlocks28 Mon 22-Feb-16 21:55:55

Nope- primary. It's a big one (3 form intake with nursery) and in quite a deprived area but it's still a lot of management!! They had to make a load of teaching assistants redundant recently as well. It's bonkers

BoGrainger Mon 22-Feb-16 22:01:41

Recently the TAs at our school were reminded that level 3s are contractually required to cover classes if asked. The cynics among us reckon in the near future the SLT will plan all the lessons and the TAa will deliver them. Effectively cutting out the class teachers completely and saving ££££££ shockshock

rollonthesummer Mon 22-Feb-16 22:07:54

The word 'deliver' is being increasingly used in teaching rather than 'teach'. I rather suspect you are right sad

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