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Dear James - Will my students see me as a supply teacher?

Discussion in 'New teachers' started by PetiteRousse, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm about to start my NQT year in a difficult secondary school which is expecting to be in special meaures the next time Ofsted visit. I have just passed my PGCE year as an outstanding trainee and although I know I have a huge amount to learn, I feel ready for the challenge ahead of me. So when my new head asked me if I would do some supply work at the school to cover for a few long term sicknesses, I leapt at the chance to get stuck in and build up some relationships with my new students (as well as earning a bit of extra cash). I have now been doing this for several weeks and despite very positive feedback from the school, I'm starting to worry about September and whether the kids will accept me as a 'proper' teacher or just see me as supply.
    The students have been told that I'm a new teacher at the school in
    September but from comments that have been made in class, I know they
    still see me as supply which is understandable for the time being.My main concern is that since I am covering other teachers' lessons, I am obligated to deliver unengaging and dull worksheets left for students by their absent teachers. I do my best to spice these up and as a result, I have been able to gain the respect of students and build up some good relationships.However as time goes by and the supply of worksheets seems never ending, students are becoming extremely demotivated. Their already poor behaviour is becoming beyond acceptable and I feel that the relationships I've worked so hard to build are being destroyed. There's no support from staff and the behaviour policy doesn't really exist so once again, I find myself doing my best with the tools I'm given. I'm now worried that in September students will see my lessons as an easy ride and and an opportunity to misbehave.
    What can I do to get rid of the supply tag and make sure I'm seen as a full member of teaching staff in September? I'm now petrified that my NQT year will now be even harder as a result of the supply work I've done over the last 6 weeks. Please help!

  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    If the supply work is in your specialism, get permission from the HOD to ditch some or all of the worksheets in favour of your own planning.
    It's amazing how loyal pupils are to their permanent teacher, even if that teacher has been off so much that they have spent most of the year doing worksheets for a steady stream of supply teachers.
    If I so much as move a table, they are down on me like a ton of bricks and telling me that Miss or Sir will be mad and I shouldn't touch their things in their room! I make it clear that when I'm teaching them, it's my room and I'll either return it to how it was before I leave or, if I think it's a big improvement, I'll leave it for Miss or Sir to keep or re-arrange.
    I'm slightly concerned that your school is likely to be put in Special Measures. Are you aware that NQTs are not supposed to be employed for the Induction year on SM. They can employ you because they're not yet in SM but don't underestimate how hard it is teaching such challenging classes in your first year.
    You definitely should not be given especially challenging classes withing your school.
  3. It's nice to know that their loyalty is a common thing, thank you!
    The supply work is both in and out of my specialism. In the cases where it is within my specialism, I have already been allowed to ditch the worksheets in favour of my own planning and this has been well received by the students. However, where it is out of my specialism seems to be where the problems are arising and unfortunately, most of my classes are out of my specialism.
    I am aware of the issue with NQTs and special measures but since my school is for the time being 'satisfactory' and is currently in what can only be described as exceptional circumstances, I'm not at all concerned by the situation. I know that come September (when the school is under new management), the support will be there but I am worried about taking baggage forward to September.
  4. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You will actually be at an advantage in September. Yes they see you as a supply teacher now, but that is because that is what you are. In September you will know routines and classes and how varying departments manage, so will be able to hit the ground running.

    Your own classes for you in September will be just as loyal to you as they are now for their 'real' teachers.

    They already like it better when you do your own thing, so will be looking forward to fabulous lessons in September, make sure you are well prepared and organised and you will have a ball!

    Find out who your mentor will be and check they will be able to continue in that role should the school go into SM.
  5. They will alwaus try to test you and in a way try to wind you up a little to see what they can get away with.
    You can have the advantage as you know that you are there as a full time teacher not supply. The best way to get through to them is if they see you as part of the department/team and relaxed and clear;y getting on well with other staff and if others defer to you and support you (staff) that also helps.
    Be firm, fair, consistent and apply the rules.

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