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Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by sbkrobson, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I started a new agency placement after Christmas and I know already it is doomed to non completion through my own lack of interest.
    The staff are nice, the kids are nice, the building is nice,the canteen is nice. There is a nice amount of photocopying and printing allowed, the staffroom has nice chairs,the toilets are nice and clean and it's actually a nice commute, leading to possibly a really nice commute in Spring.

    So why is it doomed?

    It is school policy that students are allowed to listen to music on their phones if they have a temporary teacher.

    Face palm.
  2. steviepal

    steviepal Occasional commenter

  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Personally I'd just bite the bullet - it sounds very cushy.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I am in a cushy place in myself in that I can easily find work. I am qualified in more than one shortage subject and I carry that with me like a shell.
    I do not do agency work to fulfill legal ratios-I do it to teach the children and escape the leaden weights of staff training and results analysis. Over time I've found just the right way to choose what I do and to reject that which does not make me happy.
    You cannot teach children who have been told by their head teacher that the person who is highly qualified to teach them yet may not be here next year is not more important than their phone.
    It makes me unhappy. #i have tried to deliver what I know are memorable and effective lessons, but am overridden by "we're just going to listen to music". And they are allowed that. It's official.
    More to the point, it's a waste. They don't actually need me there. They could have somebody less qualified, standing there like a pudding, pleased that the kids are silent. And then collecting in a bunch of books at the end of every hour which have simply not been written in.
    I just don't want money for doing that.
    Despite the inherent pressure of supply teaching, it is entirely feasible to wind up with something very boring.
  5. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    Sounds like a great posting.... I don't know what you're complaining about?!?

    Never forget #1 on the 10 Commandments of Supply teaching

    1) Never undervalue the bliss of being able to able to walk out of the door at 3.15 pm with no take home baggage.
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Can you listen to music on your phone? And be paid to do it!
    BetterNow, sbkrobson and agathamorse like this.
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Not much of a school if it sets up temporary teachers to fail in this way. What message does this send to the students?
  8. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well actually I know full well why they do it-it's pragmatism over educationalism in the face of a string of supply teachers calling on the help of permanent colleagues, possibly---gasp---senior ones, to assist in behaviour issues. The sort which occur when there is a new face in front of them. Disrupting the supply teacher has been replaced by quietly ignoring them. Screen time of choice completely allowed. Executive decision.
    And education does not happen, but that doesn't matter, because poor behaviour doesn't happen either.
    If I knew how to, I'd take my knitting in to do on a chair in front of the class. I'd still be great in their eyes.

    And the parents know nothing.
    And the kids get stupid.
    And the school bleeds money to do this.
    While the building crumbles.
  9. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I get that, and that is precisely why I do what I do.
    But the actual time in the classroom is important too.
    I don't want it to be money for old rope, so shoot down my halo.
    I'd also like to be able to say "please open your books" without being moaned at for interrupting their music. I'd like to be able to get them out of the room in time for their next lesson without them complaining about taking off their earphones to hear what Ii'm saying. They don't and they wont, never mind learning anything. It's like pushing treacle up a hill.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. SineField

    SineField Occasional commenter

    And here is the ballad of UK 21st Century Education.... .

    The really disturbing thing though its problems will only continue to get worse in the future because the solutions to the problems are now so draconic in appearance that no politician will be willing to take the risk in implementing them.

    They will continue to attempt to solve the recruitment problems by getting the teachers in as young as possible, watering down the entry requirements, preferably straight out of uni and brainwashing them with the lies and propaganda.
    They hope to keep them in the game long enough so that either the brainwashing succeeds and they have a new SLT drone, or they can now no longer financially afford to leave and so have to sit down and shut up, or they realise that their previous academic experience is now hopelessly outdated and functionally useless in private industry and hence they are forced into staying.

    The last 2 cases are how I suspect the 'Bitter and disenfranchised teacher' is born....
  11. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    Wow that’s apathetic SLT. But I’d stick it out. Give them worksheets or textbook work to work through, which is non teacher talk, I’d find a pupil who does want to learn and sit with the, near the back and just let them get on with it.
    cathr, agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  12. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    Why would the school pay for a qualified supply teacher when they could get an unqualified cover supervisor to do the same role much more cheaply? I thought schools were short of money.
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    That is precisely one of my issues.
    Or put more egotistically-I personally am wasted on them.
    agathamorse and gainly like this.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    That's nice of you. Right thinking.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I agree with all you write.

    What a stupid policy for the school to have.
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  16. ringlets

    ringlets New commenter

    If it were me I would identify which kids want to listen to music and then the ones that would prefer teacher input...mind you I'm desperate for some work having only done a couple of days since the start of the academic year. Oh yes and I'm primary too...
    sbkrobson and pepper5 like this.
  17. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Admittedly, in some places, the majority of parents see school as babysitters as best...but not ALL parents. And not ALL students will be happy about not learning anything...being allowed to listen to music while completing an essay, or accelerated learning if you're old enough to remember that...sure. But being expected to do nothing? It surprises me there aren't some complaints-and yes, I have done supply teaching in comprehensives! In some of the toughest areas, when I walked in, students would tell classmates, 'Shush, she knows stuff, she can get us GCSEs, now shut up!'. I'm not pretending that every class went like that though.
  18. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @sbkrobson: If the school is paying supply teacher rates for babysitting students, then 'take the money', do not 'open the box'. If you are offered money for old rope, bend your back to the capstan.
  19. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    I would hate the school, it is if they are telling the students that the supply teacher is not qualified and is worthless, the SLT seems inconsistent, does he treat the permanent staff in the same way, favouring some over others? Also it sets a bad example in that the rules on behaviour in the classroom applies to all and must be followed, but they are saying that this is not always the case, which is a bad lesson to teach the students as they enter the adult world. I would find it soul destroying, but as some gave
    said, it is easy money, so in terms of money I would keep going in and take the money, because in our role we do not know what is going to happen day by day in terms of work.
  20. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I could cope with this as long as the school didn't actually expect me to talk to the class. I have too much self respect to waste my breath attempting to talk to ignorant, entitled teenagers listening to grime through over priced air pods. If that is school policy then I wouldn't be putting any effort into planning or delivery. Just get the kids in, let time pass, then off they go an hour later!

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