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Difficult colleagues
5

Lookingfornemo · 20/09/2020 17:19

I'm an experienced Head of Dept, who moved to a new school 4 years ago. It is common knowledge that the team is very dysfunctional and have been for many years. As the newbie, despite being HOD,.I am treated very badly by them. They didn't like it when I prepared SOWs last year and just worked at their own pace. This year they've been asked to contribute, as a way if making them more involved and 1 has gone to complain to my line manager about it. This person sends me long emotive, factually incorrect emails that sound like she is building a case against me....even though SLT are clear there is no case to build. Anyone been in a similar position and have any advice?

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Blue2309 · 20/09/2020 17:23

I had this with two difficult colleagues in my HoD position.
Don't do what I do and hope it goes away/bury head in sand etc. Because it destroyed my confidence.

You need to keep your line manager informed. Have meetings with them and address your concerns. If they start making accusations say things like 'ok perhaps now we need to get HR involved/SLT'. They'll almost certainly back down.

You mention that you have been receiving emotive accusatory emails. This is unacceptable and unprofessional. Its not your job to make somebody a better person to manage. It's your job to manage what you've got. So reply very formally and say something along the lines of 'I am sorry you feel this way but your comments do not reflect my understanding of the situation. I think therefore it is important for me to bring SLT/HR into this so that there can be no misunderstandings' something like that.

Stick up for yourself. Some people are just dicks.

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Blue2309 · 20/09/2020 17:24

Sorry - meant don't do what I DID!

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Lookingfornemo · 20/09/2020 18:07

Some very wise advice. Thank you ive had a change of line manager this year and they were very supportive when we met at my request on Friday. I've spent all weekend thinking and overthinking and over analysing things. I will certainly use your suggested words in response to the next email. HT is quite new in post, is supportive but very busy and perhaps doesn't want to get involved as this colleague has very poor performance in the classroom and a long history of receiving many many parental complaints each year.

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Blue2309 · 20/09/2020 20:15

I suppose one other thing I would add is that most teachers, however difficult, do want to do a good job in the classroom. This person probably knows they are not as successful as they would like to be. That's not to excuse their behaviour, far from it. Keep your distance emotionally, be super super professional (e.g. a bit reserved) around them, and then when you do spot them doing something good you can comment on it easily. However, this is not to muddy the waters at all - you absolutely do need to squash this kind of behaviour.

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Rainuntilseptember · 21/09/2020 00:05

Did they tell you why they didn't want to stick to your SOW? Was it at a different pace or what? (If you didn't ask, that's not a good sign!) it's hard to tell what is happening from just that one example tbh. Ask your own line manager for advice on how to handle the situation. After four years it's probably a bit too late to befriend them but I do think the atmosphere can be improved.

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