1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

First day of supply today - will it get better?!?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by timboleicester123, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Take a deep breath and relax..it's not you it's them. Try a rewards system if you haven not been inducted into the school's system.
    • hand out raffle tickets to kids behaving and say that there will be a draw at the end of the lesson.
    • i have red clicker and green clicker and every time i see good behavior i click the green and the same with the red for badness... I tell them that if at the end of the lesson there are more green than red there will be a treat
    • use the c1 c2 c3 c4 method in your classroom c= consequences if this is well established in the school
    • don't take the behavior personally
    • don't react to minor disturbances unless absolutely necessary concentrate on good behavior
    I went to a school 3 days last week kids perfect went to one rated 1 ofsted and they were dreadful. Even in a school you are working in you will have this so it's good to try out different behavior strategies while earning money... Keep your chin up.
  2. No it should not be the norm, however supply teaching is a different style of teaching. Picking up groups who have been messed about is the bread and butter of the job.
    However basic supply tactics.
    classroom tidy, your name and lesson theme on the board (normal or electronic)
    Greet the group at the door have friendly chats with the ones outside, the ones who will arrive late will indicate from where you can expect trouble.
    Invite the nice ones in and get the names of the latecomers (if you can, but don't get into a confrontation) . The name must be evidence based, (planner, exercise book, trickery on your part not theirs!)
    Do not do long introductions. Anything to get them on task. Forget about (SEAL ECM or anything batty)
    Most classes can be managed by not looking or acting like a supply teacher. A few tricks to get some names tends to sort things out.
    I do read the riot act but in a way they do not expect. My first one is (anyone on report should give me the report now, I will not sign a report at the end of the lesson if it is not given in at the start).
    Next minute I have a few names and report cards, I say thanks I will give you a good report, I will put a good work in for you to the HOY. . . . . if you are good.
    The focus of a supply lesson is to get them to take a rain check on picking on you, To get them to go and pick on an ex PGCE or an NQT instead!
    Always wind a supply lesson down early (10minutes to go) , Everything collected in with good routines, (at 5 minutes to go) You are in charge, Q&A's bit of spellin or numbers (deliberately made easy) and give the ones on report a chance!
    You dismiss the class with (ON TIME), nice group, enjoyed working with you, have a nice day, I will tell HOY what a nice lot you are!
    You feel satisfied you are the lion tamer, the classroom matador!
    However it was not always like that for me, I learned the game. As a stressed out NQT ten years ago I heard a child say it his mates, 'do not worry about im, e is easy going'
    Last term I heard a child say 'here comes Hitler the supply'
    Child deserved a merit point from me!

  3. Other issues, the so called 'nice secondary', can be hard going for the supply teacher. The challenging school particularly if their normal contract teachers are stressed out, Can be far easier going, if you go in and just do basic teaching routines. (Avoid any batty stuff)
    Favourite book on teachin is 'craft of the classroom' by Michael Marland, old style stuff but the best about learning this game.
  4. Sometimes if I am doing regular work I am tasked to support student teachers. I always enjoy this and it has been commented on that I do some good coaching, by the staff and the student!
    Biggest observation I always have with the student teachers is the ending, Faff about endings or rushed endings.
    The ending is when you are in control, sometimes the start of a lesson can be hairy not your fault if the school has been messing about, but most of the time it is the ending of the lesson which is the most important part of the supply effect.
    I think I am a bit crazy because I find supply fun. Am in school tomoz have not worked for three weeks.
    KIds beware, the secondary matador is back and up for it!
    Sharp lean and mean a few weeks on JSA sharpens any teachers teachin skills up.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Lots of good advice already given, but do remember it's difficult at this end of term, even for ordinary memebers of staff-it's hot and often stuffy in classrooms, children are aware of imminent 'transition days' when new children come to the school & timetables are definitely 'not normal' this end of the year.
    Stick with it you may win through by Friday by being firm and consistent.
  6. Good point Lara mfl, this time of year in the secondaries it is loads of relocated classrooms.
    Supply teachers nightmare, I shall be a little more reserved in my 'classroom matador' comments about myself.
    A relocated classroom in a mobile hut on a hot sunny day. Classroom in a state on arrival, the mobile is locked anyway. A CS would have the key and they would do a better job of course!
    As we used to say in the Army 'the mission has a low survival probability'
    Seigfried is dispatched on a last heroic Rhine mission!
  7. zippycfb

    zippycfb New commenter

    Thanks for all the advice, I will try some of this tomorrow.
  8. At the door, at the start, on time, your arms folded, a few stares, show no emotion, Only . Lighten up with the nice ones when you are 100% sure they are nice.
    Your name on board
    Lesson theme and year group, on board, You are in charge, not the school, not another teacher, and certainly not the children.
    Unless you are tasked to a mobile on a sunny day, in which case it is just get through it!
  9. Well, I'm Primary but I've only been doing supply a month or two, but I've encountered some absolutely shocking behaviour, particularly off this one Y5/6 class. I am not interested in helping snot-nosed middle class kids get even further ahead in life and I don't have unrealistic expectations about behaviour but HONESTLY. To make matters worse, the class teacher always used to palm PE off on me - imagine my chagrin at trying to control an uncontrollable class ON A FIELD!! On several occasions, I felt genuinely proud of myself for not crying! Every time I taught them I'd have new ideas for how to control them and they took each one apart. The first time I took them, we did nothing for the first HOUR because they refused to read silently, so I refused to continue until they did. Then I tried making sure everything we did was pacey, engaging and exciting - they still ran wild. Honest to God, I felt like I was going mad when horrible little brats were throwing tables and chairs around (because I refused to let them sit with their friend / refused to let them trace pictures from bloody cartoons / objected to racist abuse / objected to words like 'd*ckhead' being bellowed across the room..) and their classmates would earnestly tell me, 'he has anger issues, Miss'. [​IMG]
    The school's behaviour management policy was a joke and various members of staff were very kind and sympathetic but in the end I decided enough was enough. I wasn't getting paid enough to put up with that ****, I had them every week so it wasn't as if I could just go to the pub and forget them, and they were making me doubt my ability to teach and my desire to do it - so I told the agency I didn't want to take them anymore. They haven't stopped offering me work or anything because of this, and I'm not saying THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD DO, because other people have offered good suggestions (raffle tickets are a must) for you to try, but I'm just sayin' that as a supply, you're not stuck. Don't feel like you have to accept every offer of work that comes your way. Teaching's hard but it's not supposed to be soul-destroying?
    Hope things get better for you. Incidentally, they have for me. Even enjoyed Y5/6 classes - having a joke with them, being able to give them ambitious projects, etc. Don't let your current cohort of little horrors put you off! xx
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    For many (if not most) pupils, getting a supply teacher is seen as carte blanche to behave badly.
    I had a parents' evening a few weeks after starting a longer-term supply post and I decided to show one miscreant up in front of his parents by describing all the silly and disruptive things he'd done that week. He burst into tears and when he calmed down he explained that he was quite new at the school and had been behaving well for his regular teachers. Other pupils were teasing him about being a goody-goody and he saw the appearance of a temporary teacher as an opportunity to get some street-cred! "Everyone" he said "tries it on with supply teachers 'cos you're not proper teachers!"
  11. zippycfb

    zippycfb New commenter

    The amount of times I heard that today! It wasn't just the children that were the problem today though. In one of the classes there was a TA. I was looking forward to being 'supported' and backed up from a behaviour point of view, but I was anything but backed up. I had to keep stopping whilst the TA finished her conversation with the children about her weekend, she was nudging the kids as if to say, "Oh my God, I can't believe this teacher is going to make you do some work." Then she proceeded to play noughts and crosses with them on the mini whiteboards I had handed out as well as writing on there how knackered she was from her weekend and holding it up for the class. The last straw was when she invited all the girls in the class around her table so she could paint their nails and vice versa. I was literally aghast, I could not believe what I was seeing. How can the children be expected to get on with their work when the TA can't even be bothered to do her job? Afterwards she just said, "Oh, don't worry about this lot, you'll never get any work out of them." Well, no, I won't with that attitude.
  12. TA's you are in charge. If anyone walks into my classroom as a supply I want to know who they are.
    I intoduce myself and say I like to work as a team. Which means I am in charge. However if the TA is used to poor teachers they, like the children will do as they like.
    First lesson with a TA is observe how they are operating. Second lesson with the same TA is to direct them. They will do what they like if they are used to poor directions.
    I often invite a tame TA to give me feedback, they will know the children. I also have a rule with TA's I say what I am going to do and do they understand what I am going to do, if they do not understand what I am on about then it is unlikely the children will know either.
    TA' s will grass you up, do not give them a chance. Direct them with a fluffy team approach, make their life easy, and tell the HOD how good and supportive they were (if it is reasonably honest that they were good and supportive)
    Always beware of CS's they will always grass you up even when u aint dun nuffink.
  13. Sorry to be mega low-achieving, but what is a CS?
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    With regard to the OP:

    1. You're a supply teacher, so in the eyes of the students (and not a few staff) you are about equivalent to an amoeba on the evolutionary scale until you can prove otherwise.

    2. If their previous amoeba, sorry, supply teacher, was ineffective then you have that legacy to contend with. We're expected to be rubbish by default, so it niggles them when we're not, and it irks them when we try to do a good solid professional job.

    3. It's too close to the end of term - their timetable is probably descending into chaos all around you with trips, events, sports days, concerts, off timetable days, teachers giving up and showing them films or doing quizzes etc etc. I've already taught some of my groups their penultimate lesson of the year and we've still got two and a half weeks to go.

    4. You're trying to teach them Maths - never easy, especially on supply (I've tried and I'm not a Mathematician).

    With regard to the earlier post about trying it on with supply: I was a few weeks into my current long term supply assignment when I overheard a couple of girls complaining about how some of their classmates had played up in one of my earlier lessons. One of them said "..I mean it's OK doing that with a supply, but they were just out of order with Sir". I pointed out that I was a supply, and they said "Oh no, you're not like supply any more, you're like part-time permanent now". Proof if ever it were needed that you can eventually evolve from the amoeba stage ;-)
  15. A CS is a Cover Supervisor. They work in secondary schools on contract (or maybe as agency CS when the school is desperate and I am even more desperate), on contract they know the children and the school, qualification wise they may have a PHD or a few GCSE's
    Their role is to cover lessons and provide judgement on supply teachers. Generally a CS has diverse life experience before entering secondary schools. Teachers, in their view, do not have any life experience before schools.
    CS', are cheaper, they do a good job and release secondary teachers for planning and curriculum management.
    My experience as an agency CS support this. I have done a good job (even if I did not know the children and know the school) and I was a lot cheaper than if I had been tasked as a supply teacher.
    Schools get cheap labour, but there is a recession on and dosh is tight.
  16. Merci - v comprehensive explanation!

Share This Page