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I've Experienced Constant Workplace Bullying In Lots Of Ways
(West Midlands, UK)
I was an NQT last year and I was bullied by the entire early years team. I was not trained in reception, although I was placed there, despite the fact that the local lea said that reception was a specialist job. I obviously found last year incredibly difficult as it was my first year and I was in a place out of my comfort zone. However on top of that I was getting bullied in many different ways. I had a teaching assistant write comments about the order in which I did things and what I did at certain times, not to mention the fact that the one to one support member, my teaching assistant, the other class teacher and her teaching assistant undermined me repeatedly and obviously throughout the year. It got so bad that I had to speak to my phase leader who dealt with it before she left, but this made things worse. Then at the end of the year when I somehow managed to pass my NQT quite well, I was accused of saying that 'I could manage another pupil's behaviour better than someone else' when I actually said 'maybe he will do better next year, he might need a fresh start. This comment flew around the school and other staff members who previously sympathised with me, in fact went cold towards me. The following September I was placed in KS2, I was thrilled as I was back in my comfort zone. Although the one to one support member in my class was the one that I had apparently 'put down' last year so who knows what she really thought.
The bullying is very much from the head this year. Last year she said I would be supported as I was moving to year 4, although this did not happen. Instead she came into my room repeatedly to do mini observations and then told me that my behaviour management was inadequate – she was negative and seemed disappointed and she even said that it was a concern for her. She then observed me after 17 days into my first year and after 4 negative undermining conversations, and gave me an inadequate as this time my behaviour management was apparently 'tense'. I was angry and confused as I followed what she had previously told me.
She said things like: 'I don't know how we have go there after you passed your NQT' etc... I felt worthless.
I then somehow managed to build another inner strength after my phase leader told me that there was no way that I was an inadequate teacher etc... I got observed for the second time, I thought the lesson was good. I dressed up, differentiated well and made sure that everything possible was catered for. But guess what – I got another inadequate. This time my behaviour management was fine, but my pitch wasn't.
I'm now off with stress – what a surprise. I am scared for my future, I don't want to go back at all but if I don't will I get another job with a head like this in control of my future? How can my career (of which I am incredibly passionate about) lie in the hands of someone who has gained power, but obviously does not know what she is doing? It's all wrong and I'm now stuck. She has done this to others recently too...
Being Bullied at Work? What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know