Fake Headteacher: “I don’t want to be told.”

“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 what symbols I need to use when I mark,

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 preparingmy lessons,

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

I don’t want to be told to sort out planning for supply teachers when staff are regularly sick,

I don’t want to be told my TA is being used to run booster groups now instead of supporting me and my class,

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 work at home every night trying to keep up with the minimum required,

I don’t want to be told that I have 36 pupils in my class next year,

I don’t want to see colleagues upset and feeling demotivated anymore,

I don’t want to see good teachers leaving teaching anymore,

I don’t want to be told my class are making good progress but I still need to conform to all of the non-negotiables that are now in place or else,

I just want to be trusted to do what I am good, at even if it’s not the same as my colleagues,

I want to use all of my experience, expertise and training to teach to the best of my ability,

I don’t want to feel boxed in and stifled by strict policies that remove autonomy,

I don’t want to be constantly told how to do my job and suffer serious consequences when I don’t,

I don’t want to be told anymore.

I really don’t.

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4 thoughts on “Fake Headteacher: “I don’t want to be told.”

  1. Yet another toxic article propagating the ‘us vs them’ mentality evident among teachers these days in terms of their relationship with leaders in schools. What is the solution here? The tone of this post suggests that it’s not an increase in professional trust but absolute autonomy that is required. This is simply not realistic.

    Some of the ideas within this post are ridiculous but a number of them are actually entirely reasonable in some contexts: the lack of nuance in the posts on this blog is astounding. The profession is its own worst enemy sometimes.

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  2. The comment from BJWRIGHT is case in point: no constructive dialogue, just a judgement that my opinion renders me on the side of ‘them’. The prosecution rests, m’lud…

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  3. Them and us was oruginally created by ofsted and gov ministers but yet again it seems that front line are blamed for creating this. Front line blaned for low results, behaviour, curriculum, sen…

    Like

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