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Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Chirpy1, Jun 4, 2019.

  1. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    I am on long term supply and struggling with a class. Most kids are ok but there are three children that misbehave. I follow school policy and it has no effect. One constantly shouts and sets the other off. The other tries to hit them. I obviously intervene but it's awful. Children are taken to calm down but I'm left. I've no TA support and the strategies in place don't work.

    I really don't want to go back but I feel guilty for letting the school down and the agency. I've no other income so am letting my husband down. I feel trapped.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi chirpy1

    Don't suffer in silence. I did for 10 years and you need to speak up. You are only going to let yourself down if you dont do something.

    Go to someone in the school and explain your dilemma. Say you are fine and enjoy being there apart from the 3 children you mention and can they help you find a solution.

    Dont worry about the agency ad they know the score. The school shoukd try to help and your husband should understand ; if he doesnt explain it to him. Not many can undetstand the stress of working day in and day out under those conditions.

    Perhaps think about getting something outside of supply.

    You can do supply while you look for something else or something permanent in a better school.
  3. MsOnline

    MsOnline New commenter

    Good advice from Pepper.

    To add, use your school email address
    • Start of with a positive point in your email
    • However x pupils are not responding to the school behaviour policy
    • What support can they access?
    • Don't go into lots of details as pupils most likely known to school
    Not sure what age they are but speak to them about how could move forward as things are not working out and need a change.

    Examples - behaviour tracking sheet, reporting to SLT at break and lunchtime. Any violence automatically to SLT. Support from SLT, Senco or Learning Mentor.

    Once agreed, speak to the pupils with SLT and clarify boundaries and follow through with each step.
    They should be supported with behaviour which should support you. "If you chose to x then you chose to" + consequence.

    Good luck.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Agree with Msonline.

    The worst thing is to do nothing and I am guilty of that and have suffered because of it.
  5. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    Thank you some sound advice. I'm definitely trying to leave but it's difficult trying to get that job.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi chirpy1

    Yes, is hard but keep trying. You will find something.

    Dont be too hard on yourself and remember you are not letting anyone down.
    JohnJCazorla, Chirpy1 and agathamorse like this.
  7. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    Thank you everyone for the support.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You are welcome - many people who post and read threads in this forum know how hard it is to be a supply teacher and many people don't understand exactly how difficult it is when you are faced with the environment you describe in your original post.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    agree with the other posters about what to do but can't let this comment pass.

    Do not feel any guilt about the school or the agency. If the school was any way bothered about you or other supply then it would have put processes in place to make the school pleasant enough to work in.

    Would you really feel guilt about the agency not having an easy income stream any more?

    As a husband myself I think yours needs to step up in this time of crisis.
  10. pwtin

    pwtin Senior commenter

    I was in a similar position to yourself, working 1 set day in a school. Most of the behaviour of the children was fine, but some classes ruined by a few. I followed the school's behaviour policy which seemed to vary from teacher to teacher rather strangely and nothing seemed to work. Luckily I found a job outside of teaching and resigned, however even if I had not I was still planning to resign as I was not prepared not be backed up and to put up with such awful behaviour.
    gingerhobo48, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  11. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    Quick question - how long have you been with the class now?
    gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  12. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    I've been with the class 8 weeks. But the behaviour is so extreme.

    In all fairness, hubby is brilliant. It's just he hates his job too.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    None of my family understand. They think teaching is a good job. I suppose it is in the NW.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    I totally agree that you don’t need to lose sleep over letting the school down. But you need the money and it’s tough to find another job. So you need to crack this one.

    My advice would be to escalate it quickly. You have followed policies and they are not working. Talk to your line manager. Once. If they don’t do anything, go to the next level. Once. Then the head.

    If that doesn’t work, try the agency and explain that the situation is unsustainable because you are not getting the support you need, so they can kiss goodbye to £150 a day. The school will also not actually want to lose you because after two months you have a relationship with the students and parents won’t want a new teacher at this stage.

    Also, try implementing your own strategies. For example, the old classic of sending the most disruptive student to another teachers class with a message. Or just keeping the disruptive ones back in the classroom every single break time. If their way of solving the problem doesn’t work, try things you think might. If they don’t like it, they can provide something better. The advantage is that this reduces your feelings of helplessness. Land the goddam helicopter right on their lawn.

    And before you say ‘I couldn’t be so direct’, remember the alternatives. It’s not physically possible to be miserable indefinitely without mental and physical consequences.
    cathr, MsOnline, agathamorse and 3 others like this.
  15. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    @SEBREGIS Thank you. What you say makes total sense. I've already fired off a professional email to speak to someone.
    pepper5 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  16. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    I do sympathise (I started with a tricky class after Easter and it has been a really hard five and a half weeks). Eight weeks is not really that long to establish yourself what with the Easter and half term breaks. I think Sebrigis has some excellent ideas. Is there a reason why you have no TA support? I'm assuming you are primary and although a lot of TA support has been cut (or will be cut in the next year or two owing to budgets) it seems unusual to have absolutely no support? Do other classes in your school have support and if so would a rearrangement be possible to allow you some TA support? Our class TA is invaluable!
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  17. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    Unfortunately there is no TA support
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Occasional commenter

    Wow! That must be a difficult school to work in. Are there any 1:1s or any pastoral support staff (e.g.behavior support workers or people running nurture group/intervention groups/similar)? Who takes the children away and supervises them when they have been removed to calm down?
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  19. Chirpy1

    Chirpy1 New commenter

    Not for KS2.
    pepper5 likes this.
  20. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    From the answers given it sounds like you should consider the freedom of supply to just go.

    You’ve got to know when to walk away
    Know when to run
    Kenny Rogers - The Gambler

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