“Dear Fake Headteacher,

I love your blogs and tweets. I thought it was just me. It’s weirdly reassuring to know others are experiencing similar things. I have sent you my poem ‘I don’t want to be told.’ I can’t publish it because I will get into trouble. Use it if you like?”

I Don’t Want To Be Told

I don’t want to be told how to teach writing,

I don’t want to be told how to teach maths,

I don’t want to be told how to teach reading,

I don’t want to be told when best to teach particular lessons,

I don’t want to be told what resources I must be seen to be using,

I don’t want to be told what colour pen to use,

I don’t want to be told how to give written feedback,

I don’t want to be told how often I should give written feedback,

I don’t want to be told to use a verbal feedback stamper whenever I help a pupil,

I don’t want to be told to use any stampers for that matter,

I don’t want to be told how pupils should peer assess,

I don’t want to be told how often pupils need to peer assess,

I don’t want to be told how many static displays I am allowed to have,

I don’t want to be told how many working walls I must have,

I don’t want to be told what needs to be seen on my working walls,

I don’t want to be told whether I should type or handwrite titles on displays and how work should be mounted,

I don’t want to be told how my PowerPoints and flipcharts should look,

I don’t want to be told to type up learning objective slips with 5 success criteria bullet points on; for every lesson, that need to be printed and stuck in books,

I don’t want to be told to highlight, initial or tick learning objective slips after the lesson to show the pupil if they ‘got it’,

I don’t want to tell pupils to blindly tick learning objective slips to tell me how they felt about their learning,

I don’t want to be told my books are being scrutinised again, and again and again,

I don’t want to be told that one pupil didn’t underline their date on Tuesday,

I don’t want to be told I missed a pupil’s spelling mistake,

I don’t want to be told learning walks will be carried out every week,

I don’t want to be told to expect unannounced learning walks any day which make me anxious every night so I work more than I should,

I don’t want to be told my pupils must make more progress than is probably possible,

I don’t want to be told half my class will miss their favourite lessons in the afternoon because they have to go to booster groups,

I don’t want to be told that lunch time has been shortened to cram in more learning in the afternoon,

I don’t want to be told to attend pointless Monday morning briefings for twenty minutes when I should be preparing my lessons,

I don’t want to be told staff meetings will now last for 2 hours,

I don’t want to be told how often to assess,

I don’t want to be told how to evidence assessment for learning,

I don’t want to be told I am being given extra responsibilities simply because I moved to UPS1,

I don’t want to be told I am too negative when I challenge an idea put forward.

I don’t want to be told ‘don’t stay too late’ when I am trying to keep up with workload you have created,

I don’t want to be told what topics I must teach and when,

I don’t want to be told ‘have a lovely weekend,’ when you know I will be working on Sunday,

I don’t want to be told how I must plan lessons,

I don’t want to be told what planning templates I must use,

I don’t want to be told how my furniture should be arranged,

I don’t want to be told I can’t go to my daughters sports day because … ,

I don’t want to be told what highlighters I must use to give feedback,

I don’t want to be told to tell pupils they are below the national average for their age when they are only seven,

I don’t want to be told what colour paper certain pieces of work must go on,

I don’t want to be told how disappointed you were that I couldn’t attend the school fair and only volunteered to run one club for two terms,

I don’t want to be told practical lessons must be evidenced in books with photos and annotations

I don’t want to be told we need to improve anymore,

I don’t want to be told ‘it is what it is’,

I don’t want to be told the workload will ease off after we get an outstanding grade,

I don’t want to be told pupil premium pupils must show excellent progress,

I don’t want to be told that pupil premium children must attend interventions even if they don’t need to,

I don’t want to be told to concentrate on pupils who might make end of year expectations and ignore the really poor ones; all to make data look good.

I don’t want to be told to bend the rules when administering tests and assessments,

I don’t want to be told to ‘nudge’ written assessment up a little,

I don’t want to be told my salary is being frozen because pupil grades were not good enough based on inflated predictions,

I don’t want to

2017-19 Full blogs are now archived in the book ‘How Do You Think the Lesson Went?’