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Cover lesson from hell

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by andiboro123, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. andiboro123

    andiboro123 New commenter

    After a traumatic cover lesson yesterday I’m reflecting on what I could have done differently.

    Basically year 8 low ability. Had a maths test to complete. But then very little else to complete.

    I let class in door and greet all trying to be upbeat but knowing they were a challenging bunch. In flying through the door cane two twins fighting and running around the class. I usher one out to his other class and the other stays with me. I get two volunteers to give out tests and calculators and ask them to complete quietly.
    Seating plan was a big issue I didn’t know where they sat so let them choose. I know this was a big mistake !

    From the off
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    You will have learned something from this so dont be too discoraged. Next time, use a seating plan and insist the sit where you tell them.

    Try to have the maths department give you enough work. There are some good maths videos made by maths antics if you look on youtube.

    Take plenty of praise with you and take names of the ones behaving well and ring their parents to give them a good report.
  3. sarah_dann1

    sarah_dann1 Occasional commenter TES Behaviour peer advisor

    Hi there,

    Cover can be very difficult. It's great that you are reflecting on your practice. It sounds like you made a good start dealing with the initial drama and getting the class settled.

    Lack of or inappropriate work is very often the cause of difficulties with cover. Of course, students will always test the boundaries if you are a cover supervisor or supply teacher. However, it can be bearable if the conditions are right!

    What is your situation? Are you a permanent cover supervisor in a school you know? A teacher sent to cover another class? Supply?

    Regardless, the seating is almost always an issue. Very often cover teachers find themselves without a seating plan, not knowing names/characters to keep apart. This makes it really tricky and the kids know that. One solution is to have the students stand in a line around the classroom when they first come in. Ask them to get into groups of 2/3 for a verbal starter activity. Then give them a couple of quickfire activities such as verbal reasoning/thunks/conundrums/questions based on current news events etc. Mix the groups up for a few more and then get them to sit down where they are. It will give you a chance to identify any obvious characters but also to separate friends as they will invariably have chosen their mates for the first task. It sounds petty but it works pretty well and at least gives you the choice.

    If you can see immediately that the work won't be sufficient for the time, try to send a student to the department office to ask for something else. However, this isn't always possible. So it is a good idea to have some back up activities to go to. Use our resources pages to help you have some pre-prepared ideas:

    Ultimately, I think it is preferable for them to be doing something constructive, even if it is a discussion around news and totally unrelated to the subject/topic, than for them to be misbehaving. It's more enjoyable for you and for them.

    Good luck and I hope the next cover lesson goes well. Sarah
    agathamorse likes this.

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