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Do you get positive or negative feedback from your agents?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by maverick1, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. I got a massive shock, the other day. An agency I haven't worked with for 4 years, rung me up and wanted to put me back on their books. They had taken me off 4 years ago, due to my 'not having up to date references'. I didn't argue the point at the time, as I already had work with several others, with whom I still do today.
    Anyway, the female agent then said that she would put me through to her Manager to confirm my re-instatment. This Manager was someone I had worked with for several years, virtually exclusively! However, when he spoke to me, he again mentioned the reference problem. I informed him that I have new refs and gave him the contacts. It was then he informed that there were also other problems with using me. After some coaxing he then listed about 15 schools that refused to have me back for some reason or other. (Some of which were ridiculous and some, simply the blame culture supply teachers suffer from, such as didn't follow lesson plans, left room untidy, no classroom control, which is the usual accusatrion we get, when we simply call for SMT support!)
    Even if all complaints were justified, I feel that 15 bad days is not a bad record after having worked in nearly 100 schools across all key stages and subjects in 10 years! Anyway, he then refused to put me back on their books. If I was blacklisted by that agent, HE should've made sure I wasn't contacted again in the first place!!
    He did admit that they should have given me the feedback at the time. I feel that the least they could now do, is approach my latest references, which are very good, so that I could 'clear' my name with them in some small way.
    It left me reeling. What's your experience of feedback from schools or agents?

  2. I went to one school where I was booked in for a week on my 4th week of supply (so 4th week of unsupervised teaching after my PGCE), and when I asked the deputy head about behavioural policy. She said "oh if they're awful, send them to me." Slight apprehension. Followed by - to date - my worst day in a classroom with lots of tears. The deputy head proceeded to take me aside at the end of the day and say, "I think you'd be better suited as a TA" - when the children had entered the classroom screaming, swearing and punching each other, and I had been sworn at and kicked at myself.

    I sincerely wish I'd said something back, but I went home and cried. Rang the agency to try and claw back their respect, but they were supportive from the start and I've since discovered I beat several more experienced staff by not *** off at lunchtime.

    My worst feedback came after an interview though, where (at the school where I was a student, and I got an interview years later) the HT said she was being "frank" (read: rude) with me because I was a former student, and told me that I had a high pitched voice and it grated, and that I looked like a little girl, in addition to the fact she had read neither my application form nor my references. Top it off, that wasn't even the reason I didn't get the job, so why was it relevant beyond being extremely rude?!

    IMO schools which don't give you feedback to your face are probably causing some of the problems themselves.
  3. jj80

    jj80 New commenter

    where do you work? i work in london and that sounds like most of my days!! lol
  4. I work in London too! I'm just lucky enough that the majority of my schools have lovely people and fantastic behaviour management policies! Really upset to leave current long-term placement because it's been really lovely, but looking forward to going back to old regular schools :)
  5. jj80

    jj80 New commenter

    Ive been working in the north and east london, what about you?
  6. Ah, South East/South West, may make the difference!
  7. I do supply in a rural county in the north of England - have had great feedback from most schools, but one blatantly lied about me the other week. Said I didn't do the marking (I swear I was told not to!), said I left the classroom in a mess (complete lies - that classroom was tidied to within an inch of its life by myself *and* the children at the end of the day!) and I never left a feedback sheet - which is definitely untrue as I wrote a very long one!
    <BR>The agency were miffed as it was a new school for them, but as I pointed out all of the above, my rep said "actually yes, I know you're normally so thorough, so I was very surprised." Said school knew I'd applied for a vacancy there - I did wonder if they were looking for an excuse not to shortlist me but perhaps I'm being paranoid!
    <BR>I choose to just ignore them and focus on the schools who said nice things about me - if schools have lied about you, it says more about them than you - which isn't something very nice!
  8. What is even more incandescently annoying is schools giving 'negative' feedback to agencies as an excuse not to pay. The school then agrees to pay the agency its 'cut' (might get sued if they didn't), leaving the poor teacher with nothing (as they are unlikely to sue).
  9. Agencies do do this, blande. I was not paid for two days, which i had done, the reason given being that the school had complained that I had not stuck to the set work.
  10. I've mainly had positive feedback to be honest, but the negative does get to you. One was in a school where the children basically did whatever they wanted without behaviour policies in place. They shouted over the head and talked the whole way through assembly and then told me they dont remove students from classrooms when one child was attempting to hit another with a chair and I was putting myself between them. I asked the TA if she could please fetch a more senior member of staff to remove them as she wouldnt and I obv couldnt leave the class and they complained to the agency that I'd asked for a child to be removed. Another was a school I was in for months without problem, the head found out one day in conversation I was related to another teacher in the area that he didnt get on with and suddenly the next day the agency called saying the school had complained I hadnt utilised the resources enough. The only other one I've had was a school I rang up and complained about after I'd been in that the place was a worry as to the things children were allowed access to (and I'm talking severe H&S problems like sharp nails, boiling water, knives lying about in reach of foundation stage children...) I said I didnt want to go back, however was convinced to do a half day because they were 'stuck' and suddenly suprisingly they complained about my work even though it had never been a problem before and they'd had me as a first call supply!...
  11. I didn't know this school expected infants to do PE in absolute silence. That was me disposed of and never allowed back - no great loss, the head in this one was such a bully that the staff visibly shaked when she entered the room.
  12. I think some of the issues raised here tie on with some of the comments on the 'unpaid trial days' blog (or whatever you call it). Some schools and agencies seem to think that the usual 'laws' pertaining in a capitalist society ( you exchange your labour for pay) do not apply to them; indeed, one might go further and extend that to criminal law, as well. If you were annoyed with a tradesman you had employed for leaving a fag butt on your driveway, you might not use him again but you would hardly expect to get away with refusing to pay him on the strength of this. I think it is outrageous that schools should get away with doing just this sort of thing.
  13. Interesting feedback on my post here. It is shocking that we can be treated this way and undermined by staff that don't even have GCSE's, such as many TA's!
    How on earth can much of the feedback be real anyway? Is it the kids that give it? I have only been in one school out of a 100, where an SMT regularly came in to the classroom!! He was brilliant and would just appear, often during each suply lesson. I think a designated SMT should appear at each supply lesson (on a one day cover) and check that work set is appropriate and even give input advice, if nothing suitable left.

    We go into schools where we know nothing about the kids, the work left, or individual problems. We are not supermen or women.

  14. Am really glad i saw all these comments.
    I have just recieved my 3rd piece of negative feedback and was starting to feel like a rubbish teacher although i do not agree with 2 of them.
    The agency i work for only seem to give you bad feedback never anything positive, i also feel unsupported when i get any as they instantly assume it must be true.
    Teachers have bad days but each bad day they have does not go on their record so why should it ours?
  15. My agency don't seem to offer feedback much. After not getting much work initially I did ask what sort of feedback they had received on me but she said it was all good. Since finishing a long term post at Easter I was back on day to day but kept getting asked into the same few schools by name, one or two I actually refused to return to, so again assumed I as getting good feedback. Agency never seem to mention anything. C
  16. I never get any feedback unless it's negative, which has only been once, but it would be nice to hear positive things. I'm obviously doing something right!?!

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