Soap Box - Less rank file, more rank vile

24th October 2008 at 01:00
Every week your chance to shout about what makes you happy, sad or mad .

In my 15 years of teaching, in several large primary schools, I have worked with many different types of people. Usually, there are enough strong and positive personalities to squash out the rotten apples (before they taint everyone else). You know the individuals I mean, the ones who don't agree with anything, participate in nothing and complain about everything. They don't like the way the school is run, but offer no alternatives, support or encouragement to others.

In a large school I don't think many teachers or teaching assistants really see how some members of staff are with the management - admittedly there are only a few of them, but they can make your job and life hell.

On the surface in the staffroom or meetingtraining session they may see how difficult they can be, but not how really unpleasant they are. There are no excuses for this type of uncooperative behaviour; children would not be allowed to get away with it.

I have found it hard to stay professional with members of staff when their conduct isn't. How do you maintain your professionalism when a long-serving member of staff finds the need to communicate a message on a large sheet of paper inside their classroom stock cupboard: "Have a good look, why don't you" when all the management is trying to do is ascertain whether teachers need larger classroom budgets. How many times can you talk to an individual about this type of rude, unprofessional behaviour before it becomes a formal disciplinary procedure? Lots - I have discovered.

Some of these teachers I am referring to have been in the same positionschool since time began and seem to feel they have the right to undermine, disrespect and intimidate the management who have moved up the ranks, especially if the management is young.

I know what true professionals are - my previous deputy head and headteacher were. I know how hard they worked and how effortless they made it look. I now know from experience that it wasn't as easy as it looked, but I am still up for the daily challenge. Phew - I feel better now I've had a rant.

A primary deputy head. Name and school withheld.

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