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Silly, pointless workload - share your 'cheating' tips.

(28 Posts)
ChipsForSupper Sat 10-Nov-18 09:14:43

How far have you all dared to 'cheat' on the ridiculous things that you are asked to do? At my school, it started with a meeting where we all had to give 'written feedback' on something. Some of us realised that it was very similar to a meeting we'd had the previous year so we looked up all the documentation and simply copied and pasted everything. No one noticed.

Emboldened, we began to do the same for other things which we were convinced nobody ever actually read or checked up on such as seating plans, dept progress reports, end of year exam reviews etc

From here we progressed to making up all data.

This week, we have had to do lesson observations on each other and write them up. We copied and pasted them all from last year.

I can't think why it's taken so long for this to occur to us. It's saving hours.

What else can we cheat on?

OP’s posts: |
MountainPony Sat 10-Nov-18 09:21:32

You're making up all data? How does that not bite you on the bum when it comes to things like mocks? And surely the pupils deserve to know where they're at, especially at KS4. The obsession with and over collection of data is not a good thing, I agree, but you can't honestly believe that there is no value is having any data on any of your pupils?

Also, peer observations aren't ridiculous- they're fantastic CPD. Why are you resisting them?

MountainPony Sat 10-Nov-18 09:24:45

I also think that this is a really unprofessional way to approach your dissatisfaction at what you perceive as unreasonable demands from your school.

Use the chain of command. Raise your concerns with the departmental line manager. Consult your union rep. Don't bloody make up data and observations like a stroppy Year 10 kid.

MountainPony Sat 10-Nov-18 09:27:35

Departmental progress reports: are you in such a fantastic position in terms progress and attainment that any reflection on your curriculum and practice is unnecessary?

parrotonmyshoulder Sat 10-Nov-18 09:28:14

I ask for justification for everything we are asked to do. I do this very politely. I appreciate it is probably really annoying.
However, it does lead to a lot of pointless things being dropped.

We have to, as a profession, stop this pretence that we can do it all. It is impossible. Every time we make it up, or pretend we’re doing xyz, it adds to the fiction that it is possible to follow every demand, new initiative etc.

We must be allowed to make professional decisions about what we will prioritise.

MountainPony Sat 10-Nov-18 09:30:21

In answer to your final question - I would of not 'cheat' on anything, because I'm neither dishonest nor unprofessional. However, I do think that there are lots of strategies to reduce workload which would improve things for your team. Have you looked at comparative marking, for instance?

Pearofwisdom Sat 10-Nov-18 09:31:29

I don't agree with making up data but apart from that I see your point.
Teachers are treated as if they are work dodgers who need to be caught out. Observing someone's lesson can be useful but being forced to write it up in someone else's format is being demanded purely to check up on you. As if we don't prove it happened in writing it didn't happen. I guess you have proven this ineffective.
I think the problem is that we promote teachers to management positions with no training and so they just treat the staff like children. I would love to be managed by an effective manager rather than a teacher who has just been there a few years and given a promotion to boost their pay.
It's a ludicrous system! At least send them for a week of management training or something!

PotteringAlong Sat 10-Nov-18 09:32:40

From here we progressed to making up all data.

This week, we have had to do lesson observations on each other and write them up. We copied and pasted them all from last year.

That’s crap. That’s not a shortcut, it’s unprofessional and, in the case of the data, not you doing your job properly.

You know one of the reasons teachers get a bad rap? Stuff like this.

MountainPony Sat 10-Nov-18 09:33:47

Agree with parrot. Be an oily wheel. Keep asking why an initiative is necessary if you think is not. If you're tasked with something new, ask where the the time is coming from.

ChipsForSupper Sat 10-Nov-18 09:34:49

I suppose some might see it as unprofessional. We like to think of it as restoring the joy of teaching. Have you ever noticed how much fun stroppy Year 10 students have?

OP’s posts: |
Smsmeeesmeghhhehead Sat 10-Nov-18 09:34:55

Slt always ask us to fill out stupid pieces of paper.. written feedback etc. So confident are we that it doesn't get read that we often throw in a random sentence such as 'Fiona is wearing pink trousers '
They've never noticed.

Making up data.... well I'll leave that to my hod. Which she does. However when I tried to whistleblow on that I was shut down and ignored by slt.

PotteringAlong Sat 10-Nov-18 09:35:35

And yes, as a teacher there are shortcuts I can take. I rotate peer and self assessment. I use my generic lesson plans and annotate changes in pen if I need to. I print off my powerpoints as 6 slides to a page instead of writing lesson plans on more than one occasion.

But do I make up the data about my classes or create fake lesson observations about my department? Do I balls.

MountainPony Sat 10-Nov-18 09:42:52

It's also worth remembering that while SLT may well not read every bit of documentation they gather from you, when you have an OFSTED, it's possible that the inspector will look at some of it. And if she sees that it's all copied and pasted year after year, then the school will be in trouble. And therefore, so will you - quite possibly gross misconduct. You're playing a very risky game.

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Nov-18 12:14:14

making up all data.

Progress data is pretty much made up anyway, but do you mean things like kids’ test results?

ChipsForSupper Sat 10-Nov-18 12:49:35

No, I mean data. Obviously, we don't tell a child that they have got something wrong if they haven't and vice versa. Yes, I have worked in quite a few schools over the years and data manipulation or even invention has seemed fairly common so I'm surprised that others have found this shocking.

I really didn't mean to cause terrible offence with this thread. It was very much meant to be, isn't our workload ridiculous and punitive (and half of it implies that either we or the students are not to be trusted in some way) so here's some subversive/silly solutions to it. Of course, we should all professionally challenge workload but I'm not sure that ever really leads to clear solutions. I've certainly never heard a member of SLT say, "Oh yes, I need to give you another 6 hours of PPA to cope with that new initiative," or, "You're right, that's unnecessary, forget it."

Anyway, obviously, don't fake anything really important that you think anyone will actually read because you'll get into trouble. It just can be a bit of fun working out what things don't seem to fall into that category......

OP’s posts: |
GodolphianArabian Sat 10-Nov-18 13:07:38

So much of the data in schools is completely made up even when it's produced from a test. We give our students topic tests and then from that estimate their GCSE grade at the end of year 11. We do this from year 7. So all that happens is that the results from the test are entered. Then someone looks at the data, looks at the student's targets and decides the grade boundaries for that assessment. Guess what most students end up following their target.

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Nov-18 15:52:17

Hah, I reckon that happens quite a lot, Godolph! Grade boundaries for tests. What a bunch of shite.

I just remembered I was supposed to do a peer observation for ‘professional development’ in my PPA last year. Or rather someone on SLT decided to do a project to justify their salary and passed the work onto teachers.

CuckooCuckooClock Sat 10-Nov-18 17:25:32

I often weigh up the chances of getting pulled up for not doing something.
I've worked for so many incompetents that ask me to do some pointless analysis or provide evidence of something and then never mention it again that I've taken to just not doing things I'm asked to do most of the time.

Chosennone Sat 10-Nov-18 17:32:26

Our school is generally a trusting school and we are left to get on with it. Book scrutinise piss a lot of people off and people often fish books out the boxes and quickly mark them up to date. Many ignore the negative feedback from them as it is sent out electronically to everyone, you're never pulled up as an Individual. Our esteemed DH s Book a hadn't been marked since the Autumn in a summer term scrutiny so if she gets away with it...

MsJaneAusten Sat 10-Nov-18 19:17:16

'Fiona is wearing pink trousers' is definitely going to feature in the next pointless report I have to write.

noblegiraffe Sat 10-Nov-18 19:29:54

Can’t remember where I heard the tale of the primary teacher who marked creative writing stories by length rather than actually reading them and the kids who tested this by writing pages of nonsense.

echt Sun 11-Nov-18 00:51:03

You know one of the reasons teachers get a bad rap? Stuff like this

Forty years of teaching and I've never heard of/read seen this as a beef against teachers.

RCohle Sun 11-Nov-18 01:03:21

OP, do you not see the irony in saying your workload is "ridiculous and punitive (and half of it implies that either we or the students are not to be trusted in some way)" and then falsifying as much as you think you can possibly get away with? You are in fact not be trusted.

By all means be as efficient at your job as possible and protest when tasks are unnecessary or inefficient. Don't just lie.

MaisyPops Sun 11-Nov-18 19:03:02

I was expecting a thread about ways to reduce workload.

The OP is a lesson in how to be utterly unprofessional.
Amusingly in my experience it's always the people who think very highly of their so called 'professionalism' who resort to this sort of unprofessional behaviour and then get a hard on talking with fellow unprofessional colleagues about how they've got one up on 'the man'.

do you not see the irony in saying your workload is "ridiculous and punitive (and half of it implies that either we or the students are not to be trusted in some way)" and then falsifying as much as you think you can possibly get away with? You are in fact not be trusted.

HopeClearwater Sun 11-Nov-18 20:49:10

I wouldn’t make up data but I’ve worked in plenty of schools where my carefully produced and considered data has then been mucked about with by SLT to make the school look better for the governors.

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