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One of Those Days – The Challenge

We’ve all had one of those days but how would you feel if your day from hell appeared as an interview task.  This year we have been using a new task when appointing middle leaders.  The following task required completion in forty five minutes and then formed part of the interview in the afternoon when the candidates would be asked questions about it.  This is some half term fun, I’ll give you some thoughts and pointers on it later in the week.

Photo Credit: Ruth Tsang via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Ruth Tsang via Compfight cc

What would you do if faced with a day like this?


TIME – 45 minutes


It is 7:45 a.m. and you are scheduled to observe a lesson period 1 (start time 8.55am), you are teaching your Y7 class period 2 and period 3 you are scheduled to attend the termly Blackpool Heads of Geography Meeting (1:00 – 3:00 p.m.). 

You have your usual weekly “chat” with the Assistant Headteacher at 8:00 a.m. today.

Your task is to prioritise the issues below in order of how you would deal with them during the day. What would you tackle first?  Rank them in order.  Reflect and explain why you have put them in this order.  If there is any follow up work that you think needs to happen then explain what this is and why.

  1. The Office Manager has informed you that the receptionist has had a particularly angry and aggressive parent on the phone demanding an appointment with you. The receptionist indicated that you are not available until lunchtime. The parent became extremely abusive to the receptionist and shouted that they are “on their way to the fuxxxxx school now to sort this out”.  You have no idea what this is about.
  2. A member of the Geography Department has e-mailed you and is very upset about the RI grading they were given by the Assistant Headteacher in a lesson observation yesterday.  They want to speak to you about the grade being changed.
  3. You have a meeting with the Assistant Headteacher, after school at 3:30 p.m., to discuss the latest assessment cycle data for Geography.  You have yet to fully analyse it despite having had the data for over a week.
  4. The Head of History wants a meeting with you today.  She feels the Physics History Department capitation is too low and wants to discuss a joint strategy, for presentation to the Senior Head of Humanities Learning House, to get an increase in capitation funding for History.
  5. The Deputy Head has sent you an email about a member of staff who has made inappropriate comments to a student in a Geography lesson which needs further investigation.
  6. You need to write an introduction to the Geography Department Handbook.

Once you have completed the above task you should write the introduction to the Geography Department Handbook.

Hopefully you don’t have too many days like this.

The task is available below if you would find it easier to print it off:

In-tray exercise – One of those days

This proforma gives you a template in which to write and the timings of our school day:

In-tray exercise response grid – One of those days



4 thoughts on “One of Those Days – The Challenge

  1. Great blog idea. We should see more of these examples 🙂

    Posted by @TeacherToolkit | May 25, 2014, 11:59 pm
  2. Oh, but so many days can be like this one you describe. It is very hard to see the other pressures – you know the ones. Family, friends, aches, pains. It is those days when the real headaches start. Such is life for the teacher/headteacher. In the middle of the nightmare day the network goes down, or the HD on you computer decides to die…..and you didn’t get the time to back it up last week.
    When i left teaching I discovered that it isn’t just in education that these sorts of days happen though!
    Sympathies. At times like that I reach for……… favourite words of wisdom.

    Posted by johnarudkin | May 26, 2014, 4:59 pm


  1. Pingback: ORRsome blog posts from the week that was. Week 20 | high heels and high notes - May 28, 2014

  2. Pingback: One of Those Days – Let’s Prioritise | @LeadingLearner - May 31, 2014

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