Wednesday, 4 December 2013

New Job Blues

What do you do if you apply for a job, and it is completely different to the way it was advertised?

The terrible thing about this situation is, your previous employer is likely to have replaced you, so you either put up with the situation, or end up with nothing. This is where I am at the moment. I've left a position teaching GCSE English at a college with A levels and Access courses (despite my job description saying Functional Skills teacher - I worked my way up from this), and found myself teaching Functional Skills (apart from a measley two GCSE classes) after responding to an advert for a GCSE teacher (so my job description says GCSE English but I'm actually teaching Functional Skills). What's more, I have been given all the horrendous naughty groups that other teachers didn't want any longer. It's genuinely soul-destroying.

Annoyed and upset, the first thing I did was make a complaint at my work. I wrote a letter stating that had the job I am actually doing been advertised I would not have applied for it. They tried to stroke my ego by saying that they had chosen me as a specialist in English and would value my help in improving English, and also suggested there might be some GCSE teaching available at their sister college. This has amounted to nothing. Not only have I not been given any extra teaching, I have been given the impression that my views are not valued, and steps will not be taken to change the structure of English teaching at the college. Instead, the staff are being expected to work hard and complete a greater number of admin tasks in an attempt to counteract the poor structure of English teaching.

Not only am I upset about this current position, but it is a shame to see that all colleges seem to have the same problems and that no matter where I work, I'm going to be faced with the same issues. The only way out of this is to find a way to teach A level, yet these jobs are rarely advertised and often have someone in mind. My only option seems to be to take another terrible position at a college that delivers A levels and gradually work my way into that department, which could be a long and frustrating process assuming whoever is in front of me in the queue doesn't suddenly drop dead in my first year.

The problem for me is that I went into FE teaching to teach either special needs or higher-level qualifications. However, the funding for special needs teaching is reducing, and the higher-level courses are being run at sixth forms, largely attached to schools and looking for people with a generic secondary school PGCE. I could retrain, but with a mortgage to pay this would be difficult, and I resent the need to as I am currently working as a teacher with far more difficult pupils than I would in a school and all the experience I would need to be a secondary teacher.

When will the government make the transition from FE teaching to schools easier, and, more importantly when will I get a job that I can tolerate, perhaps even enjoy?


Beeta said...

I'm sorry you're having such a tough time. Your position doesn't sound fun at all and that is genuinely a sad state of affairs that a motivated and good-quality teacher isn't being given the right opportunities. Are you able to ask a teachers' union or organisation for advice? I hope the situation improves and that there are brighter days ahead. Keep positive - you're capable of making such a difference :) xxx

Tall Slim Sally said...

Reading your blog (BTW I wish I could write as well as you!) makes me realise that my Mum and Dad (RIP) were 100% right when they said avoid Further Education like you would rabies!