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A moan about supply teachers

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by les25paul, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Am I allowed to moan about supply teachers even though I'm one myself?

    The reason being I had to take a day off from a regular placement this week for a Doctor's appointment. Knowing how **** some cover notes can be I left full details about what to do including the full title of the book to use with page numbers and where the books were. I couldn't think of anything I missed out using years of experience on supply.

    Since one class had a double and knowing how difficult it would be for a supply covering a double with just book work I specified exactly what was essential (and stressed it wasn't just a filler) and then once that was done the students were free to carry on with whatever course work they needed to do for any subject (and they all had a lot). That should be a nice easy lesson to cover I though whilst still making progress through the SOW. My HOD saw my cover notes and he agreed it was very fair.

    So where was the work I specified needed to be done in the student's books when I looked yesterday? It couldn't be found. Did the lazy beggers treat it as a free lesson and loafed despite being told what to do (I bet we have all seen that) or was the work done on loose paper and put somewhere safe. "Oh no" said the kids when I asked them " the supply teacher just told us to do course work". I would have even minded if she had left a note so I knew I still had to cover what she left out.

    GRR GRR :mad:
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Certainly does not look good for the supply teacher not to have the students complete the work you set. How much clearer could you be since you left page numbers and clear instructions. I definitely follow the teachers instructions and for any off task and not completing the work, I leave names so the students have to complete it hopefully on their own time after school. Students sometimes will of course try to slide out, but the majority will follow instructions and attempt the work.

    You are right to have a moan.
  3. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Just for a little balance...perhaps the teacher was a non-specialist. Is it possible the work left required some specialist knowledge and perhaps the teacher wasn't able to deliver it?

    Just playing Devil's advocate; sadly there are some supplies out there that don't care.
  4. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    As you are just a supply teacher in the food chain of things, some might consider that you had risen above your station by leaving detailed planning instructions for lessons, when you were absent and resented this, so ignoring your instructions.
    Alternatively, it is possible that they considered your planning to be unclear or too complicated, or perhaps the resources were not readily available or apparent to them. What is easily understood by one person is gobbledegook to another. Who knows? Certainly not yourself, it would appear.
    In my experience, some teachers will leave complex, prescriptive lesson planning, rather than simple, straightforward activities, that can be easily understood and followed by a stranger to that classroom. They may also forget that pupils might be disruptive for a new supply and have considered your lesson plans impractical. I have encountered this on many occasions over the years.
    My own view is that this is sometimes done by insecure teachers to demonstrate what a competent teacher they are.
    Are you after a permanent job at that school, I ask myself?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Sadly there are some who believe that supply teaching is a doss and go into it for that reason. It is giving bad agencies the excuse they needed to drive wages down as low as possible. It is also a reason why many heads, when surveyed, stated they don't pay for supply staff and prefer their own cover supervisors as the quality of agency staff is too low.
    It is worth doing a good job, so that the client schools will ask for you to come back. I always make the students get on with the set work and help them to keep their books tidy. I also try to speak to a senior member of staff if it looks like they will need supply teachers again.
    The best thing your school can do is to complain to the agency that the person they sent did not use the lesson plan. We've all got the wrong end of the stick occasionally and misread a lesson plan but not to notice lesson timings, page numbers and instructions is pretty sloppy.
  6. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    I wonder if things like this are done by cover teachers to avoid the marking...
  7. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

  8. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    [QUOTE="schoolsout4summer, post: 11523511, member: 3203346"
    Alternatively, it is possible that they considered your planning to be unclear or too complicated, or perhaps the resources were not readily available or apparent to them. What is easily understood by one person is gobbledegook to another. Who knows? Certainly not yourself, it would appear.

    I would hardly call my "planning" complicated. it consisted of; the text book to use (including the colour of its cover), the page numbers to use and the title of the day's work (which was the same as in the text) and what questions were to be done. The technician also ensured that the books were on the front desk in the room. I know that often cover work is often just a filler so I stressed that this wasn't, time restrictions didn't allow anything else. once that was done then I was happy to allow the students time for course work for other subjects.

    I also know that very often things happen which mean that the cover work cannot be done, its happened to me many times. But I would have appreciated a note to me or message left with our very competent technician this was the case (isn't it what most supply teachers do?). It wouldn't have bothered me at all but I could then replan future lessons accordingly.
  9. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Not a chance

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