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AIBU?

Deputy Head already not liking me?

125 replies

hotthetemperature · 30/09/2022 22:26

I am a student teacher on placement, I got a catty remark from the Deputy Head, after leaving school around 3.30 this week. Something like "You're straight out of the door as soon as it is possible to do so".

It is my first week and I am not teaching any lesson yet but I have to admit I feel upset, which I know is stupid and I need to grow up and just carry on, which I will do.

OP posts:
Brigante9 · 30/09/2022 22:29

Well, you left as soon as you could, which is fair enough, but most teachers stay a bit later. We finish at 3.30, but wouldn’t get out of the car park til 4, it’s crazy busy til then. What time do you finish? Do you not need to prep for the next day/make worksheets/talk to colleagues?

Bluevelvetsofa · 30/09/2022 22:31

I imagine she and the school don’t expect anyone to leave so early. Maybe you could, or should, spend some time familiarising yourself with policies and procedures, looking at curriculum planning, schemes of work etc.

girlmom21 · 30/09/2022 22:31

Brigante9 · 30/09/2022 22:29

Well, you left as soon as you could, which is fair enough, but most teachers stay a bit later. We finish at 3.30, but wouldn’t get out of the car park til 4, it’s crazy busy til then. What time do you finish? Do you not need to prep for the next day/make worksheets/talk to colleagues?

Why would she need to prep if she' not teaching?

SeasonFinale · 30/09/2022 22:32

Do you ask them if there us anything further you need to be doing when and after the bell rings. You are a student teacher not at school!

Falmerjeans · 30/09/2022 22:33

girlmom21 · 30/09/2022 22:31

Why would she need to prep if she' not teaching?

Because presumably she's observing and should know what she's seeing.

girlmom21 · 30/09/2022 22:34

@Falmerjeans the quote I responded to was about prep

Falmerjeans · 30/09/2022 22:35

girlmom21 · 30/09/2022 22:34

@Falmerjeans the quote I responded to was about prep

Yes. Exactly. That needs to be done in advance and so is prep!

cansu · 30/09/2022 22:37

I suppose you could say 'I am sure that when I start teaching I will be working hard after school or I prefer to work at home on my laptop'. However, whichever you choose to say I recommend you are smiley and breezy. It was a catty remark. She has no idea of your circumstances. If you do not have a reason to stay them she is taking the piss.

ByeByeTrain · 30/09/2022 22:38

Is it your first placement? Have you asked your teacher if there's anything you can do to help? Setting up for the next day, sharpening pencils, laminating, helping with displays... there are a million and one jobs to do. Not to mention looking at the planning for the next weeks. Think about the sort of impression you want to make with the school.

Everydaywheniwakeup · 30/09/2022 22:41

Even if you've got 'nothing' to do, it's pretty bad form to walk out at the same time as the children. Did the teacher not need a hand with tidying up, preparing for next week, organising anything??

Duille · 30/09/2022 22:45

ByeByeTrain · 30/09/2022 22:38

Is it your first placement? Have you asked your teacher if there's anything you can do to help? Setting up for the next day, sharpening pencils, laminating, helping with displays... there are a million and one jobs to do. Not to mention looking at the planning for the next weeks. Think about the sort of impression you want to make with the school.

^^ This is what’s wrong with teaching, the expectation to stay at school and work extra hours. This is why I left teaching, there is very little work to life balance and there is an expectation on teachers to stay after their working day is finished. As a student I rarely stayed after school. So many schools expect teachers to attend meetings in their own time, it’s ridiculous.

Dewintergarden · 30/09/2022 22:47

Are you on a uni led PGCE placement or a SCITT? I find uni placement student teachers are often treated like shit. I don't need to prep lessons after school as this is done in my PPA, before school, and break. I leave at 3:30 every day.

surreygirl1987 · 30/09/2022 22:49

Even if you've got 'nothing' to do, it's pretty bad form to walk out at the same time as the children.

Good grief. These comments are ridiculous. "Bad form"? This is why 'conspicuous practice' happens - teachers doing things like ensuring they are 'seen', or leaving their jacket on their desk chair so it looks like they're around, whether they are or not. It's toxic to the profession when actually many teachers work 60+ hours a week.

I'm a teacher, OP, have trained new teachers, and am a Head of Faculty. Go for it while you can. You'll be hit by the heavy workload soon enough, so I REALLY can't see the issue of getting out of school at a reasonable time while you don't have lessons and marking to do. Much better than doing tokenistic things just to occupy yourself. Work/life balance and workload is one of the main things crippling the profession, so please don't listen to damaging remarks like that of the Dep Head and these mumsnet posters.

Also, many teachers leave school on the bell (if contract permits it) and then pick up their kids from school / nursery, then gets planning etc done in the evening. I myself leave 45 mins after the bell goes, but if I wasn't head of faculty it would be much earlier. My husband is also a teacher and if he doesn't have a lesson last period he will go home. In a world of increasingly flexible working, when many workers are working from home, does it really matter if a teacher leaves the actual premises when the kids leave, as long as the work they are required to do is 'done' (which I assume OP's is, as she isn't teaching yet??). Bonkers attitudes here!

CorvusPurpureus · 30/09/2022 22:49

I'd say you've both quietly marked each others' card.

If you want a full time teaching job at this particular school, after completing your PGCSE, she would like to see you sharpening pencils for an hour or so after the kids leave.

You may, of course, given the huge recruitment & retention crisis in teaching in the UK, not be inclined to worry too much about this.

surreygirl1987 · 30/09/2022 22:50

^^ This is what’s wrong with teaching, the expectation to stay at school and work extra hours. This is why I left teaching, there is very little work to life balance and there is an expectation on teachers to stay after their working day is finished

surreygirl1987 · 30/09/2022 22:51

You may, of course, given the huge recruitment & retention crisis in teaching in the UK, not be inclined to worry too much about this

Precisely - it's these sort of attitudes that are driving this crisis actually. I wouldn't touch that school with a barge pole based on the attitude of the deputy head.

Duille · 30/09/2022 22:52

@surreygirl1987 did you have something you wanted to say? I notice you’ve quoted me.

Aconitum · 30/09/2022 22:53

"Sharpening pencils"? Don't classes have a pencil monitor any more.🙄
What is the world coming to.

HammerMyhome · 30/09/2022 22:55

I’m all for work/ life balance and never ever work more than I have to. But in the first week of a new job I wouldn’t be running out the door and clocking off the second I could. If anything you should be speaking to the teachers and learning something surely

MargaretThursday · 30/09/2022 22:55

I'm not sure it was meant to be catty so much a gentle hint that you might be better to stay for a little while after school and see if there is anything you can do.

I started a PGCE after uni, and at the end of school we'd always muck in with the teachers for about half an hour helping clear things, put them away and generally chat round things that had happened that day. Admittedly in my case it was partially because I caught the bus and I didn't want to catch the bus with the pupils.
But one day our mentor commented that it was something that was very positive on our part that we were always early in and stayed to help at the end without them having to hint heavily.

Duille · 30/09/2022 22:57

Aconitum · 30/09/2022 22:53

"Sharpening pencils"? Don't classes have a pencil monitor any more.🙄
What is the world coming to.

Many student teachers are expected to be seen to stay after the bell has gone even although they may have in from 7.30. I’ve seen it numerous times, a lot of SLT expect it for some weird reason. In a lot of schools it’s an expectation of teachers to stay 1/2 hours after their finishing time. I’ve actually never seen a student sharpening pencils though!

Duille · 30/09/2022 23:04

MargaretThursday · 30/09/2022 22:55

I'm not sure it was meant to be catty so much a gentle hint that you might be better to stay for a little while after school and see if there is anything you can do.

I started a PGCE after uni, and at the end of school we'd always muck in with the teachers for about half an hour helping clear things, put them away and generally chat round things that had happened that day. Admittedly in my case it was partially because I caught the bus and I didn't want to catch the bus with the pupils.
But one day our mentor commented that it was something that was very positive on our part that we were always early in and stayed to help at the end without them having to hint heavily.

Your last paragraph says it all tbh. I taught for 27 years and ended up being a DHT, I would never have expected the teaching staff to stay after the hours agreed in the Working Time Agreement.

Teachers put so many hours in after school at home, as I said previously it’s outrageous they are expected to hang around after school to “prove” they are worthy of a teaching position.

jocktamsonsbairn · 30/09/2022 23:05

When I was a student teacher I was also a single parent with an eve I g job. I got some catty comments about leaving but needs must. Soon stopped when they saw that I was well
Planned, prepped and had all resources sorted before every lesson.
Just get in there, impress and no one will care what time you leave!
Our DHT is a complete bitch too so it could be her...

PeachCottonTree · 30/09/2022 23:07

Whilst on placement I stayed after school for lots of reasons, none of them were just for the sake of being present until a certain time.

Even if you’re not teaching you can be talking to the class teacher to learn more about the pupils you’ll be working with so you can differentiate effectively when it is your time to teach. Whilst you’re not officially meant to be teaching it can still be helpful to take on some responsibility for small groups and prep activities and resources for them.

Taking the time now to build relationships with pupils and staff will benefit you in the long run.

girlmom21 · 30/09/2022 23:10

HammerMyhome · 30/09/2022 22:55

I’m all for work/ life balance and never ever work more than I have to. But in the first week of a new job I wouldn’t be running out the door and clocking off the second I could. If anything you should be speaking to the teachers and learning something surely

And you stay later than your contracted hours and suddenly it's constantly expected

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