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Feeling deflated...

(42 Posts)
heartonastring Fri 07-Feb-20 15:47:35


I'm new here and this is my first post.
I was wondering if anyone would be able to give some advice. I will be ringing the union later but I think it might help to write it all out too.
In Oct I had a formal observation. The lesson went well, the children achieved and progressed withing the lesson. I've generally been considered a strong teacher and I work hard to give my best (whether that mans anything to this, I don't know.)
The feedback was from the head. The other observer was asked not to come and feed back, although I wasnt aware of this at the time. I was praised for the relationships I have with the children, the content, how I guided the support in the room and the differentiation. The conversation then took a sharp turn to one single negative. The head felt that there wasn't suffient stretch within the lesson. Lots of other things were said, unrelated to to the lesson, and it was a very unpleasant atmosphere where I just felt like I was being told off and that I'm not good enough. I took the challenge comment on board as an area to improve but felt the observation had an agenda that I wasn't aware of.
When I recieved my feedback, I wasn't awarded a grade or a place to sign. Unbeknownst to me, I had actually recieved a 'requires improvement grade.'
Nothing has been said of this since and I have continued to do my best, even though my confidence had taken a huge hit.
Fast forward to a book scrutiny this week. The head popped in and started going through my books. I don't mind that, although she was there 30mins and going through things in detail. I knew this time there was an agenda as my forml book scrutiny was to be the day after. I enjoy showing progress through the students books. I think its great opportunity to showcase and celebrate what they can do. I follow the mrking policy to the letter and work hard to offer verbal feedback and a comment, to address any misconceptions and move them on in their learning.
The formal book scutiny was going very well. This time by the DH and an AH, bearing in mind I had taken on board from my lesson observation about streching the children to achieve. They were pleased with this and could see a marked difference in the work form the beginning of the year. I then showed my english books and explained the current structure I had in place to promote challenge and independence. I should add, I work in SEN and have a brand new year 7 class. I have worked hard to nuture them and build up trust. The non accademic side of things, to me at least, is equally important. Not just through school but for life, too.
In English, we learn through a theme. I've got the children to build up sustained writing by introducing handwriting, but layering up the learning. So, checking their reading skills, SPaG and speking a listening skills. Now I know that they can sustain writing of a good period of time, now I can move them on to creative writing etc which is reflected in my planning. I had to build these skills up and have them in place for us to achieve the next step. They didn't like this strategy as they felt it pushed the children too much and was too "samey." I took the point about differentiation not being as clear but could show where it had taken place in each lesson. I could see they were displeased and I was asked to leave.
Yesterday I was pulled into the office and the DH has said they are going to formally observe me again next week. That I should be aware of this as I "failed" my prievous one. I don't know what to do to be honest. I constantly feel like I am not good enough and I am on anti depressants. To be honest, I don't want ot go in on Monday. I don't know if it will help putting it on here or if anyone can point out any glaring mistakes that I have made from the information I've given. Granted, I know there are two sides of the story.
Thank you for readind this if you got to the end.

OP’s posts: |
heartonastring Fri 07-Feb-20 15:48:44

Gosh, just read it through and have seen all the typos. Sorry, I've just lost focus as I feel so low. I guess I am as rubbish as they say.

OP’s posts: |
rillette Fri 07-Feb-20 15:56:27

Oh poor you. You need to get on to your union straight away and see what they can do to support you. Have you had anything in writing about these observations?

Please have a restful weekend, you sound like an amazing teacher under a lot of ridiculous and unfounded pressure flowers

Mammyloveswine Fri 07-Feb-20 15:59:02

That's atrocious! Sounds like a hidden agenda! Definitely get your union involved.

tadjennyp Fri 07-Feb-20 15:59:11

Contact your union. They really should not be able to fail you then not tell you that. You are being treated appallingly. I am sorry for what you are going through.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 07-Feb-20 16:01:04

Definitely speak to your union ASAP. I'm cross on your behalf. "Failed" observations and book scrutinies should be followed by support, not just further scrutiny.

preproombabe Fri 07-Feb-20 16:01:33

Oh heart you sound so down. I didn't want to read and run, but have no experience of teaching myself. From what you have said you sound like a lovely, caring teacher, and really your school should be supporting you not knocking you down. Have you been teaching long? Are you new to this school?

Definitely ring the union and try to get some support that way. Maybe start looking for a new job for September. I think once management decide your face doesn't fit it can be hard to change their minds. I would try to get out before this starts to affect your mental health even more. I have experience of being bullied out of an organisation (not me personally but a close family member) and really, just get out as soon as you can.

heartonastring Fri 07-Feb-20 16:40:02

Thank you so much for your messages. They made me cry and helped me to realise that i'm not going mad.
I have to wait for DH to come home and then I can ring the union as DD is poorly and needs my attention.
@preproombabe, thank you. I've been teaching 4 years but had DD in the middle of that. I'm not new to the school but the head is.

OP’s posts: |
squiglet111 Fri 07-Feb-20 17:03:59

This is the kind of thing that makes me mad about teaching. Schools struggle to find teachers but when the get them they treat them like shit!

Honestly, if they don't value you enough to appreciate the hard work that you do (sounds like you do a lot) then find somewhere else that will appreciate you.

Probably the new Ofsted framework has had this effect. Have you had training in what the school want you to do? With marking / teaching etc? Or are they expecting you to sing to the new tune without warning or guidance?

pinyinchahua Fri 07-Feb-20 17:17:51

Another one saying contact your union.

Also, you need a copy of the paperwork you previously signed and you need to ask the HT and DH to forward you all communications that they sent to you to support you after your first observation.

And don’t go down without a fight - we desperately need good teachers.

HoneysuckIejasmine Fri 07-Feb-20 17:43:22

Oh gosh, this definitely sounds like a case of prior agenda. I'm so sorry.

heartonastring Fri 07-Feb-20 19:18:00

So I have contacted the union. I was listened to and he said he would make a note on my account and to contact my GP to get signed off.
I might ring again on Monday as I've never been signed off before and I don't want to leave my class. The thought of taking time out and then coming back feels awful.
@squiglet111 I'm pretty strong on the new framework and have led some presentations on it for my team. I've worked hard to see how I can get the golden thread to reflect the children's EHCP's throughout the curriculum. The only thing I have asked for training on (having previously been criticised for), I was told that no one else needs it and that I could just have a discussion with SLT about it (WALTs for anyone who does those in their school!)

OP’s posts: |
happyhappyme Fri 07-Feb-20 19:25:17

I'd hazard a guess that you are one of the more experienced, more expensive teachers?

We use WALTs (and WILFs)

heartonastring Fri 07-Feb-20 19:28:21

@happyhappyme, oh I wish! I am in the middle of the payscale and have been teaching 4 years.

We don't use WILFs strangely. I forgot they exsisted.

OP’s posts: |
happyhappyme Fri 07-Feb-20 20:18:40

I think we're one of the few that still do..I think they are quite outdated.

I was wondering if your head was thinking of cheap NQTs.

enchantedtomeetyou Sat 08-Feb-20 07:03:27

IME it is often less about cost than people think. That’s not to say more experienced teachers aren’t targeted but sometimes as with any bully it can be just one of those things.

newyearnewear Sat 08-Feb-20 10:36:34

Look for a job in another school - they're not all the same. Or leave and do supply. It's not worth the strain on your mental and physical health to put up with this type of management.

heartonastring Sun 09-Feb-20 07:38:14

I just don't know if I can go in tomorrow. I feel so anxious. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to teach and face the people who are monitoring me. I also don't know how I can face my team when I feel like such a failure. The head announced that he is leaving at the end of the year. I only have a few months to hang on.

OP’s posts: |
picklesdragonisawelshdragon Sun 09-Feb-20 07:59:40

I lost confidence and never recovered it in a similar situation to you. Don't underestimate how hard it is to come back from this kind of thing.

What I'm saying is, look for other jobs, stop trying to please this team 'cos it may not happen.

SpaghettiSharon Sun 09-Feb-20 08:11:18

You sound like you’re doing everything you should be (you clearly value marking way more than I do shock) and are being treated very badly. I would also be looking for another job sad.

redbirdblackbird Sun 09-Feb-20 08:17:46

Hi, I am a senior leader and at any training I have been to in the last 5 years we have been told that it is no longer correct to give a grade for a lesson. You should just get feedback and ways to improve. They might unofficially discuss it Between themselves and say it would have previously been RI, but it shouldn’t be formally recorded anywhere. If you are going to start applying for other roles, be careful how much time you take off. I know people will think badly of me for saying that, but attendance does matter

redbirdblackbird Sun 09-Feb-20 08:18:26

And good luck, you sound like a great teacher. Try to hold your head up and focus on the children

Canadianpancake Sun 09-Feb-20 08:26:11

If you 'failed' your first lesson observation, what targeted support was put in place to address it? It sound like you are being managed out op.

heartonastring Sun 09-Feb-20 08:38:05

@redbirdblackbird, everyone else got a grade and sheet to sign. My form had no grade or anywhere to sign. After my observation, I'd had no contact from SMT regarding my observation or support put in place. I wasn't aware at all.
Also, I hear what you are saying about attendance. In the whole time I've been there, bar 9 months for maternity, I've only had 2 sick days.

OP’s posts: |
redbirdblackbird Sun 09-Feb-20 08:48:56

That is really poor. Ofsted no longer grade individual lessons so there is absolutely no reason for smt to do it either. It should be about ascertaining the overall quality of teaching throughout the school and any areas for improvement. It sounds extremely old fashioned, but maybe with a new head in September things will change for the good! It’s so difficult going in feeling deflated. Short half terms coming up though. Can you ask for someone else to be in the feedback session you have? Like a union rep

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