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Any PPA cover or music teachers here?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by kittenmittens, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    I'm returning from maternity leave in September 2 days a week, teaching music throughout KS2. My little girl will be 9 months old and will attend nursery on these 2 days. I'm really pleased with this arrangement (part time was informally declined then head agreed after formal request). I will have my own music classroom which will also be used for various things when I'm not teaching. I have planned my own scheme of work loosely based on LCP but linked in with creative curriculum topics, which was done during the evenings in my own time and on 2 keep in touch days. I will also be responsible for running the choir, organising peri music and putting together performances and music events.
    I'd be interested to hear from any PPA /cover teachers, particularly part-timers- are there any pitfalls of this arrangement, how do you stay 'in the loop', have people treated you differently, is workload significantly difficult (better or worse than class teacher/ job share)?
  2. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    As a permanent PPA teacher my problems are fewer - you will have to be careful with staff meetings, parents' evenings and INSET days.
    Shared problems definitely come from not being in the loop - it's amazing how often I don't get told stuff - day to day running of the school, withdrawl of pupils form class, special projects, trips, total rewrite of medium term planning/curriculum map blowing cross-curricular links with my subject (Music is bound to suffer this even more).
    Be aware of your own right to PPA , directed time limits and the Part-time working arrangements as laid out in the STPCD.
  3. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    It's the children who tend to treat you differently. The teachers who've done supply tend to be more supportive than those who haven't.

    Not having to do reports is a great plus
    Being treated as a barely-competent outsider is a minus.
    Knowing all the children in the school is a plus.
    Haing to cover lessons at three-minutes' notice is a minus.

  4. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Thanks, these are the things I expected really- my teaching days aren't the same as staff-meeting day so I will be given minutes but things crop up all the time that might be a surprise.
    How do you manage behaviour? Obviously I will follow the whole-school behaviour policy but do you give extra rewards and how do you communicate with class teachers about any problems? I will have really quick changeovers between classes to fit everyone in ( each class in KS" will be taught by me for 45 mins a week which means I don't follow the normal school day teaching times) so won't have time to chat, also I know from experience class teachers are too busy to spend time talking during the day and some don't come to the staffroom.
  5. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    it would be but why wouldn't the OPP have to. If you are teaching a subject then you have to report on it, surely. I always have, providing a subject report for all teachers to paste into their overall report.
  6. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    You need to be careful that you don't take on too much!
    Organising the peris alone can be a very demanding role! Make contact as soon as you can with the county music person in charge of the peri teachers. They will be very useful to help you deal with any problems that may arise. I don't know how many pupils you have that will be taking lessons, but there are always issues such as absences (pupil and teacher), timetabling, room availability, parental concerns etc. You need to make sure that someone in admin is dealing with the finances and teacher attendance registers. Check the rules for booking hours (and any changes to these) for the peris and be careful to ensure that all records sent off are accurate - otherwise the school may be billed for hours that haven't been taught. (Been there and got the T shirt for all of the above!)
    Will you have help running the choir? Will this be at lunch or after school? If the choir is likely to be big then get someone to work with you. Rehearsals will have to be held on one of your teaching days obviously - check with other teachers that your rehearsal will not clash with another club or activity that may cause conlict! Be aware this will be a tiring day. Music is a physically exhausting subject and if you are working through, taking choir at lunchbreak, you will be tired.
    Have an agreement about time allowances for performance and music events. Will you be given time in the hall to rehearse etc. Use your peris to help you with any instrumental ensemble you might want to include. Discuss with HT whether any extra hours you may need to put in for school performances will be paid or voluntary - I don't mean for the evening of the concert, as this is assumed you will do, but what if you need to come in for an extra afternoon?
    I would expect to write reports - who else could write their music reports except you? Have a seating plan if possible, to help you learn all the names. Teaching every class means you have a lot of names to learn and when writing reports you do need to know who you are talking about! In the past I've known teachers take a photo of each class group and write the names of the children on the photo to help learn them and as a reference.
    Have a pad of post it notes to hand. If you need to comment on a child's behaviour or anything arises jot a quick note then if you can't speak to the class teacher you can leave the note, or place it in your diary for the next day.
    Ask for a copy of the school's behaviour policy - most have a child friendly version - and display that in your room so that you can follow it and the children see that you will be following it. Have monitors for looking after and putting away instruments - especially if others are going to use the room. In fact have monitors to help as much as possible.
    Make sure you have very good child care arrangements - you don't want to have a panic about child care on the day of the Christmas concert!
    It will be hard work, but very satisfying to see the children develop over the years as you teach them right through the key stage.
    Good luck! [​IMG]
  7. kittenmittens

    kittenmittens New commenter

    Hi becky, I do remember you [​IMG] Thanks for your thoughts, it's a new way of working but I think it'll be better than a jobshare overall. Having my own room will be a plus although it'll be used by other people for various groups etc, so I hope it's left tidy etc!
    Yup I can imagine some chn might start to test the boundaries a bit to see what they can get away with. I'm thinking of getting some stickers specially for music, it would be in addition to the whole school behaviour policy but it might be nice for the children to have something separate from me. I remember as an excited NQT I got some 'Mrs X says well done' stickers made up from ebay and they went down really well. Also the class teachers are supposed to be in the classroom with me as CPD for themselves, if they want to bring a stack of marking in then fine and they can be an extra pair of eyes and obviously know the children best.

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