The end of an era

Working in a badly managed and organised school can be traumatic. Leaving this school can be liberating. Working and thriving in a well managed school can be a pleasure. Going backwards a year by stumbling upon another badly managed school is disappointing. Especially when you’re already half way through your DELTA because you want to progress.

Lack of support.

New school, new environment, only zero hour contract; managers should try and promote team building and make sure the new employee becomes a member of the team smoothly, right?

Unless everyone’s already too busy with their own lesson planning, talking about the funny thing their elementary student came up with (that no one really cares about or responds to) and cliques so strong that can’t be penetrated by anyone, let alone a quite newcomer.

Despite the tiny staffroom for about 20 members of staff, I barely talked with anyone for most of my time there. Liaising? Non-existant. Induction? A month after I started working. Consistency in behavioural and homework policy? In my dreams. Just left to my own devices. I am experienced, I know the system as I’ve just internally transferred from Oxford to Manchester, however, my life was made unnecessarily more difficult at a time I didn’t want it to be. Perhaps the managers assumed I’ll be okay. Big mistake.

Unclear roles and unprofessional practices.

At first I assumed they’re short-staffed as there was only an ADoS doing the job of a Centre Director, a DoS and an ADoS because the DoS had decided to step down to a sort of a teacher/ admin job, but then things got more suspicious. 2 ADoS positions were announced on a Friday. Internal applications where open until the following Friday, however, to my surprise, on that Friday and before the end of the deadline the successful candidates were announced to everyone. Not the most transparent or professional practice ever. The new ADoSes where merely as qualified as I am and when they wanted to observe me I wondered whether I would learn anything from them or it would just be a box ticking waste of time that I still lose sleep over.

My current situation.

A zero hour contract is not ideal when you have a baby on the way. Being so dependant on the school, as you need to make £118 a week to be eligible for maternity pay, is stressful as hours might go down at any time. Tiny staffroom where in a few months I wouldn’t be able to squeeze through the people and/or chairs because of the bump, cables lying around in the classrooms, and CDs that you can find on the bottom bookshelf, classes appearing on my timetable without being informed before are a few more things on top of everything else.

As my midwife put it, a zero hour contract is rather unstable so I might as well risk it to go for something better and more challenging than that.

Having considered all these parameters, we have decided that it is better for me to take a step back, take a deep breath, and have a think about the future. Stress, anxiety and tears have no place in my life now. I hope I can use my skills, years of experience, studies and qualifications in a different way; don’t get me wrong I love this subject, I just don’t fit in this industry. Ironically, this blog will probably be more active from now on. Time to focus on myself now.

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Author: Teaching in Spain

Two teachers who like to write about travelling, and you guessed it, teaching. One of us is from England and one of us from Greece. If you like what we write then subscribe and enjoy!

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