I had one of those “Wait, what?” moments today.

I’m the Head of Science at a school in China. It’s a good school, and the kids are decent, but we still get some staff “churn” because we’re foreigners in a foreign land, and China is very different.

Now we’ve a new Science teacher start this term. At best, at the moment, he’s “just so so” (as our students say when their life is ho-hum), so I was worried about him passing his probationary period. My line manager felt the same, and told me that it’d be a “real feather in [my] cap” if I got him through.

So I met with him weekly, discussed what he would be teaching each week, and gave him pointers about how to structure lessons. The result was that in his most recent observation, he got another solid review. He still has a long way to go, but he’s showing signs of progress.

Anyway, after the lesson, my line manager came to see me, and told me that he’s “learning how to deliver the lessons you give him….” but that I’ve “got to step helping him, and telling him how to teach.” It was at that that I had my “Wait, what?” moment. Call me a dumbass if you will, but if you’re an HoD with failing teacher, don’t you try and give the guy the structure he needs to give him the chance to dig his way out of it?

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