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Why do the negative comments stick with you?

(5 Posts)
captainflash Tue 15-Sep-20 18:05:40

Well, hasn’t the first few days back been fun! Am an assistant head in a large primary. So many changes over the last couple of years but now have a new substantive head. Lots of changes have been put into place and it’s been very draining.

Last week was really hard. My role in school has been completely changed, office moves, isolated away from my other SLT... woe is me! I also had gate duty for KS1 and Reception on drop off and pick up everyday last week. I was the only member of staff on duty for this. I had to manage getting 250 parents down a narrow walk way, move round a one way system and off the site quickly. On my own. Every day. It’s been really challenging with parents.

After days of abuse from parents, both face to face via email, spoke to head and changes are now in place for this week. Phew!

One morning last week though, a parent cornered me on the walkway and continued to badger me with the same question she had asked three different people already that week. I explained I couldn’t deal with it then and would have to message her by lunchtime with a reply. She wouldn’t give up and kept repeating I couldn’t deal with it then and would reply. I was cornered in my spot and couldn’t walk away as had to manage the traffic from that spot.

Said parent has now written a formal letter of complaint to head and chair of governors about how rude I was and how I spoke down to her and ignored her query. She’s also been bad mouthing me loudly to other groups of parents and other teachers. She’s loudly saying everyone hates me in these emails and that my rudeness affected her all day.

I’m done in with it. Met with my head today and explained my POV and that I was cornered and exasperated with a conversation I and others had already had. And that I was in a vulnerable situation on my own.
I appreciate I probably wore the exasperated expression on my face but I wasn’t ever rude. I just said I couldn’t deal with it.

It’s really made me feel crap. Why do things like this stay with you? Makes me want to hide away and not go back in. Feeling proper crappy today!

OP’s posts: |
StaffAssociationRepresentative Tue 15-Sep-20 18:24:04

She needs to be called out on bad mouthing you. In the past I have a meeting with a parent and a similar situation and it was held in the Head’s office. You were performing a duty and your priority is management of children. Your Head should back you up on this - it is not acceptable.

I got an apology from parent in my situation given that other teachers could confirm what was said. I can’t stand bullies. Her daughter than chose my subject for year 10 - I was always lovely to the child but very matter of fact with the mother no matter how hard she tried.

silenceattheback Tue 15-Sep-20 19:26:06

What makes the difference is how the Head supports you through this. A good head will have your back and address this woman swiftly.

Really irks me how some view teachers as if they are in some sort of customer facing role.

fatgirlslimmer Tue 15-Sep-20 19:42:40

I think it’s human nature that we remember the bad as opposed to the good. We do it in personal relationships and professional situations. We can have 20 good reviews or 10 compliments and we dwell on the 1 or 2 negatives. I think it’s when we do our best, but our best is never good enough for everyone.

How many people are comfortable speaking positively about themselves in public? Tell me something nice about your self, what are your best qualities, when did you handle something really well? As opposed to talking about our flaws and fuck ups. The latter often comes more easily.

This says a lot about the parent, she wasn’t getting the answer she wanted, she may be stressed, anxious and used you as her whipping boy. She may also be an obnoxious bully. I agree that your HT needs to have your back here and not undermine you in any way.

Our own resilience reduces the more pressure we are under and she caught you when you were already struggling. Might not have had the same effect had it been first thing Monday morning.

captainflash Tue 15-Sep-20 20:19:11

Thanks all for the replies. I am feeling pretty down this evening.

I think what’s for me down the most is that our new head doesn’t know me well enough yet, nor me her. I feel like it’s blotted my copybook only some way.
Our old head would have known the situation and been right there with me.
I’m feeling like this will form a judgement for her- she doesn’t necessarily know I wasn’t rude.
That’s what is hard to shake

OP’s posts: |

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