Career Mistakes

12th April 2013 at 01:00

Getting down with the troops

As a new head, I spent a lot of time in the staffroom at lunchtime, wanting to get to know the staff. It was a mistake, however, on three counts. First, there was a lot to do and the staff thought I should be out there doing it. Second, they didn't like having to watch their tongues. And third, I later found that casual remarks I'd made in the staffroom had been blown out of proportion. I'm sure my friendliness was counterproductive.

What's the right thing to do?

At one big school I taught in, the head entered the staffroom only by invitation. That might be a bit over the top these days, but there has to be some distance between senior leadership and the rest of the staff, no matter how good the relationships between them. Sooner or later there will be formal encounters, which are more difficult when you are all pals together.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today