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Are they extracting the urine? WWYD?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Robsia, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Background: Am being considered for a long term supply (at least a term, maybe more) teaching my subject in a nice small Catholic secondary school.
    Me and two others being considered - went in for informal chat the other day, felt it went well, got feedback via agency that they were very impressed with me - all well and good so far.
    Teacher I would be replacing is off ill with 'stress' so they have been struggling for cover since he disappeared.
    I am to go in for a day in January for a more formal interview. Fair enough - they need a more formal interview and observation - but I have received my "itinerary" from the agency today:
    Period 1: Yr 7 - this will be observed by the Deputy Head and their PGCE student (????? why am I being observed by a PGCE student?)
    Period 2: Yr 8 - would usually be taught by the PGCE student but I am to do a pre-planned cover lesson as if I were on supply. Why??
    Period 3: Yr 7 - Same planned lesson as lesson 1 but I won't be observed. Um - again, why? Surely this is just unpaid cover!!!
    Period 4: Free - yay, I get to talk with PGCE student and Deputy Head
    Period 5: Observation of Yr 11 GCSE lesson with PGCE student so I get to know them and where they are up to - great - this will be useful.
    Periods 1 and 5 I have no problems with, but surely they are just using me as a supply teacher in Periods 2 and 3.
    I have replied to the agency to this effect, although a little more diplomatic, but basically asking if I am getting paid for the lessons they are using me as cover.
    But I do really want this job so don't really want to rock the boat at this stage.
  2. YES!
    Nice to have a member of staff being covered for free. Why the hell is a PGCE student observing you??? Or is this the one they want to take over on a permanent basis eventually? As it's a Church School the student is probably related to a member of the SLT, or is this just me being cynical?
  3. I don't think this only happens in church schools but can vouch that it happened at a church (primary) school I have worked at (deputy head's mother, governor's daughter, other governor's relative, head teacher's daughter and her friend, all working on staff).
  4. Beware of teachers who are off with 'stress'. They are probably stessed because of the GCSE groups
    A stressed out teacher tends to come back suddenly. They come back suddenly when one of the following occurs.
    They hear through their mates that all is well and their lessons have been taken over with a high degree of competency - stressed out teachers hate it. They much prefer that the supply has messed up.
    They hear that some of the problems which have made them stressed have been solved by putting a supply in for a week or two.
    I think the school are taking the obvious. I think the agency should have negotiated a better deal for you. Instead of just passing on the schools wishes without question.
    On the PGCE well I think it is fair the PGCE is involved (in someway) as you will be the teacher working with them.
    The only thing I would want to know is when this teachers next sick note is due. As you can only really work to that.
    Finding out when stessed out teacher is due back needs some diplomacy, Never trust a stressed out teacher booking!

  5. Have been thinking and here is my game plan for what it is worth.
    Primary mission is the PGCE student needs to like you and your style.
    I would have a good look at the GCSE group. If there is coursework all over the show, then you need to make a plan on how you are going to tackle it. If it comes to the end of the day I would tell the dep what my plan is.
    First stage is to get the work in and audit it to the exam board spec and marking matrix. Then use the department feedback to student system or the stressed out teachers system, if there is not one then you say you will design your own. I can almost guarentee that if you are replacing stressed out teacher their will be a GCSE or GCSE coursework issue
    On the free you have I would be trying to find out from the HOD what is already in place (no need to re-invent the wheel)
    One thing if they seem to be wishy washy on how long the teacher has been off, and when the teacher is due back (it is likely they do not have a clue) if they do not have a clue then they should tell you this. If they are wishy washy and evasive. Then just take it on board but do not be dissapointed if this lot let you down.
    Speculations on who is related to who just take it on board if is seems that way however not a lot of point in speculating about these issues.
    I have often gone in and picked up GCSE coursework nightmares on long term supply. It is the nature of the business, I personally am up for it and always give 100 percent but how many times have I been dissapointed when that stressed teacher who the department has told me we will probably never see again comes back suddenly not so stressed out.
    Beware - Be Smart
  6. You need to be paid for the day. Insist the agency pay you - if you get the job, who will receive the profit from it long term? Therefore they need to cough up. I have never been expected to do a day's teaching for no pay; observed or unobserved. When I have had an opportunity of a long term supply job I have merely had to have a short meeting with the HT. No observed teaching, and on all the occasions I was given the job. Maybe my agency deserve slightly more credit than I give them if this is how other agencies work. At least insist on travel expenses.

    As for the being off with stress, there are myriad reasons as to why someone may be off with this. Usually school and teaching is the last thing someone who is ill with this condition is likely to be worrying about. Having suffered with this a few years ago when I was in a permanent role, when the school got a supply in for me who could cover my subject of music and who was very competent I was relieved that the kids were in good hands. It didn't cure my illness and make me suddenly want to rush back as has been suggested in a previous post. I would always be wary of covering someone who is off with stress as it might be that there are issues with SMT; although as I said there are myriad reasons and it could be as the result of a bereavement or an assault or car accident etc etc.
  7. Why would teaching GCSE in your own subject send someone off with stress?
  8. "<u>nice</u> small Catholic secondary school"

    Does not really tax the imagination as to why the teacher is off with "stress"
    as the school is being so touchy feely understanding and playing fair with you.
    Sounds like a really pleasant bunch of people to work for, obviously in tune
    with their moral compass.

  9. Lol - just what I was trying to say but put much more succinctly!
  10. Fair enough and I have been perhaps a little unfair in this view.
    However the reason I would be a little interested in the GCSE group. My own subject is and has been very coursework intensive which always requires a firm hand and a lot of organization.
    A stressed out teacher will probably have had sporadic absence, then been signed off for a few weeks to start with. Resulting in the GCSE groups being left for quite awhile without any direction (No teacher)
    So as a post correctly says, the stress could come from a myriad of reasons, however it is my view that this will be reflected in coursework being significantly behind for this time of year.
    So causing quite a headache. Doing coursework is hard going and getting it right is even harder, even harder is backtracking on work which has not been delivered, by teacher absence, or as I have observed doing long term, sometimes mis-management.
    The students work is on a data-stick (which the teacher may or may not have) students story.
    The teacher has lost my folder (students story)
    I have lost my folder (an honest student story) I told the teacher last September.
    The printer is broke (probably true)
    In my subject a good coursework folder can be 20 pages with a 20 student teaching group. 400 bits of paper. On top of that all the assessement and feedback for the work, more bits of paper.
    However it differs subject to subject all subjects have advantages and disadvantages.
    For the supply going in and picking up the pieces this time of year when the HOD's are at last starting to panic. They should have went into panic mode far earlier. Supply teaching is demanding in my opinion.
  11. Anyway why is the school taking the obvious.
    Because since the vanishing day to day has occurred they simply do not have a reasonable bank of known agency staff to bring in.
    The scenario described should be a paid agency day. I have done similar scenarios and always been payed. I would ask the agency to ask the school is it paid?
    If the school says No, well they are being so tight fisted and downright unfair and selfish on this issue they are probably going to be tight fisted unfair and selfish on other issues if the long term is offfered.
    So I personally would risk some brinkmanship and lose the booking. For the scenario offered they have to pay a days supply.
  12. Good points. Hadn't thought that every subject is different and some have vast amounts of paperwork. Plus now there are all these controlled assessments to grapple with. Could make one very stressed! Still always sus about management and bullying when someone is off with stress tho'.
  13. Thanks for all the input everyone. Hopefully I will find out on Monday that the day WILL be paid - I have never had to do more than an hour's observed lesson on an interview day before, never cover - maybe I am panicking over nothing.
    I have been assured there will be mentoring and support offered should I be successful in obtainng the post. I ahve also been told that they do not expect the teacher to return so this could well turn into a permanent post. Obviously if that were the case I would have to apply formally and be up against other candidates, but if I perform well then that has to go in my favour so I don't really want to pass up this opportunity.
    But it's good to know I am not being unreasonable in expecting that the day be paid.
    Will let you know.
  14. Well, just to update - I didn't get the job and I didn't get paid for the day.
    Even though I had been told they were looking for a pianist and they didn't want an NQT - they gave it to an NQT who was not a pianist!
    Since when did saving money become more important than pupils' education. Or am I just being naive?
  15. Oh, and my observed lesson went fabulously, the children were perfectly behaved and the Dep Head was sitting at the back and nudging the PGCE student and telling him to nick all my ideas as they were so good - so I don't think it was anything I did!
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    In which case it may have been a case of 'We'd love to have you, but realistically with all the budget cuts etc if we take the NQT we'll have some money left for school equipment etc.!'

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