Back off bullies

Today I found out a friend of mine left her teaching job yesterday. She has nothing lined up for January and she is sad. And that makes me sad. And angry. Because although it was her choice to leave, it wasn’t really. She had her confidence so utterly smashed with every day for the last 7 or so months dreading going to work because of the new and bullying head.

This is a young woman who had a child whilst still at school, a partner who vanished and left her to cope alone with her family supporting her. She and her young child headed 100 miles to university and she got her degree and her teaching qualification with grit, determination and bloody hard work, returned home to work and only a few years in got a leadership role as a Senco.

And then a new head comes in, judges a lesson as RI and puts her straight into capability!

I’ve experienced bullying heads in my career, sadly all women, and I have vowed that I will never allow myself to treat another human being in this way. If in any leadership/headship interview I don’t come across as hard-nosed enough for them then I don’t want it thanks. Being bullied myself at 7 months pregnant to the point of collapsing in front of the whole school in assembly, I feel from the bottom of my heart for my friend. If you are a vocational teacher the thought of giving it up breaks your heart.

And today, so close to Christmas, my friend’s heart is breaking. I hope Santa has something cracking for her in his sack, because she needs a miracle right about now.

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11 thoughts on “Back off bullies

  1. Mark Anderson says:

    Awful to read and sympathise completely as you may well imagine knowing my situation. I am lucky.

    Tell your friend if there is anything I can do to help, just let me know.

  2. nancy says:

    Please tell your friend from me that it DOES get better. She will need time to heal, but there ARE good schools out there. There ARE good heads out there. She will find one – but take her time. Much love xx

  3. Michael Tidd says:

    Sad to hear, too common, and such a waste.
    As nancy says, there are better places, so it needn’t be the end of the road by any stretch. May she benefit in the longer-run

  4. gwenelope says:

    I have been bullied at a school I used to work at, took me months to realise that i was being bullied at all. I already had depression before the bullying started. The bullies knew I had depression also. It nearly broke me. Sad as it is, she is better off away from the bully BUT it is not justice, or ‘karma’ is it?

  5. Mel says:

    This is so sad. Just couldn’t “read and run” without expressing my sadness at the situation and to say that in time it will get easier.
    Massive virtual hugs being sent x

  6. Nicola Isaac says:

    This is all too common two of my friends are also leaving at Christmas without. Jobs to go to both are wonderful teachers but have the temerity to disagree with the current despot in charge. I left in July and am now happy in a new job there are good schools still with head teachers who care about staff. Why can’t staff turnover be part of Ofsted?
    Please don’t give up teaching or lose confidence after a disappointing lesson observation as the observations are so often inaccurate.

    • msjamdangory says:

      You’re right of course, thankfully there are many many great heads and leaders out there. I think that Ofsted needs to have better channels for staff to safely and confidentially speak up.

  7. Victoria Tully says:

    What a horrible situation. It is so desperately confusing and saddening when you find yourself in a situation which is totally unexpected – when things are seemingly going well and then, suddenly, they really aren’t going well at all. The deeply worrying thing is this Head feels they have the outcome they wanted, whilst your friend is left bereft at Christmas and undoubtedly concerned for her future. I can only echo the advice on here. There are other schools and I am sure that, ultimately, it will work out for the best, but the road is likely to be longer and rockier than she hopes. The injustice must be burning in her – not least because the whole notion of the reliability of observations is under question. I hope she can enjoy time with her family over Christmas and rest and recharge her batteries, ready to come back out fighting. Also sending virtual hugs…

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