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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by maliboo, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. maliboo

    maliboo New commenter

    Hi...this is the first time I have posted on here for years. I have read advice people have given to others and I'm hoping you can give me some advice.
    I worked at a school for 10 years as a Cover Supervisor. It could be challenging but I loved it. I decided two years ago to do a PGCE which I did. The school were very encouraging. As soon as I had finished my PGCE a job came up at my old school. I applied. They did not even respond to my application. I was still very much in touch with the school. I accept if you don't get an interview schools don't let you know. However, I thought someone from the dept would have let me know. I felt really low afterwards and thought all the encouragement and praise I had received over the years was a lie.
    Anyway, I picked myself up and decided to go on supply. I was delighted to get a few weeks supply at my second placement school. However, it was a disaster and I walked out mid lesson yesterday. I had a year 11 class. They were loud but not unpleasant. However, two lads took exception to me following the school rules and giving them a warning. They were blatantly ignoring instructions. They were aggressive and told me to f -off and some name calling and more expletives. They were both shouting at me. I picked my bag up and walked out. I know some will say that's not very professional but I felt threatened.

    A few TAs also on supply told me they thought some of my classes behaved appallingly towards me. In one lesson I called for help but was told no-one was available. This resulted in pupils laughing and screaming loudly for the rest of the lesson. I found it difficult to teach the rest of the class. Last week a pupil complained about me because I gave him a detention for not doing any work during a test and shouting. His head of year came to see me. Told me there was an issue which I had every sympathy for. The next lesson he was calling me a stupid cow and disrupted the class. Quite a few other pupils got involved with his behaviour. The teaching assistant said she was disgusted with the way I was treated. Another member of staff came to see me to tell me it wasn't me that was to blame and not take it to heart. I was grateful that they came to see me.
    I feel so low and an absolute failure and I have taken it to heart.
    I felt if I gave pupils consequences then it was my fault they misbehaved in the first place. Then there was excuses for their behaviour. One person in my class told the class they were disgusted in their behaviour and they had upset me. I wanted the floor to swallow me up!
    I'm aware this probably doesn't make a lot of sense. There is far too much that has happened. I am trying to condense it and not making a very good job of it.
    Curae likes this.
  2. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    This is sad and depressing. I will reply at proper length later this evening.
    Meantime sympathy.
    Curae likes this.
  3. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    This school sounds like one to stay away from! At least you are only supply. Well done for getting through all this. Refuse to go back to that school - any secondary school where the SMT don't support the teachers in behaviour management is doomed to fail. Try other schools in the knowledge that if they're awful, you can walk out at the end of the day with your head held high.
    But yes your story is really depressing and a sad indictment of how teachers are viewed in our society. Best of luck.
  4. Flowersinspring

    Flowersinspring Lead commenter

    What an absolutely hideous place. It is NOT you. The kids were absolutely out of order. A classic pack mentality for which you would never be prepared or would ever "overthrow". Hope you're able to find somewhere a lot better. Also hope you have something nice to eat or drink while you give a two fingered salute to that hell hole.
  5. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I just found this thread which is a related sentiment to what I have just posted myself.
    Poor behaviour is endemic in this profession and it makes me really sad that somebody new to it as a career needs to beat themselves up about it as in the OP.
    It is chipping at your self esteem because that is the nature of the beast.
    Contrary to being a failure, look again at your post-it describes a success story over time in terms of getting to where you are now.
    I hope you find a way to see this poor behaviour is not a reflection on you, and that you will soon find somewhere where it is managed in a more productive way.
    It's not your fault.
    Curae, steely1 and agathamorse like this.
  6. thebookyouwish

    thebookyouwish New commenter

    I’m sorry that your confidence has been shaken.
    It’s not you, it’s them.

    Refuse to go back there and look at your successes. You’ve had a long period as a cover supervisor, you know you can do it when the environment is good and your confidence is high.
    Try to find those two things again.
    Best of luck xxx
    jlishman2158, steely1 and agathamorse like this.
  7. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Ouch. It is somewhat discourteous not to reply to a job application from a stranger. It is more than somewhat b****y rude not to reply to someone you know.
    It's probably the time of year for maximum disruption, and some of those year 11 may be lacking in cognitive and social skills but they certainly can press all the buttons.
    It's also "never" their fault or behaviour choice.
    If you plan to remain in this school, you need a long serious chat with whoever is responsible for behaviour management. Teachers have to take a big responsibility for behaviour, but some of is down to school ensuring consistent behaviour. If you abandoned a class, there may be an uncomfortable conversation as well.
    Remember, they failed to support you.
    Good luck.
    Curae likes this.
  8. christubbs

    christubbs New commenter

    Sorry to hear of your trevails. Two pieces of advice that have stuck with me are

    a) For some lessons/classes I accept that I am simply a glorified babysitter - I focus my efforts on individuals who want to learn = minimal whole class teaching.
    b) When a student is being rude I simply remind them of how many times I have spoken to them in a rude manner or other students/staff etc. Normally causes them to think for a nanosecond.

    Take care and i hope you find better pastures to graze (so to speak!)
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  9. maliboo

    maliboo New commenter

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it. I am going to take time out until after half term. It's not ideal but think I need it.
    roman_eagle, Curae and agathamorse like this.
  10. Penguin47

    Penguin47 New commenter

    You have my sympathy. I've suffered abuse at a school and received no support for it. It's no surprise that people are encouraged to stay away from the profession.

    Find confidence in the fact that it's not you. It's them, and the system.
    jlishman2158 likes this.

    LINGUIST2 New commenter

    I empathise with you. I had the guts to mention that the behaviour of a particular class was poor instead of supporting me a member of SLT asked what work I was giving them and told me to think about rewards / motivational activities. This was after me sending a pupil out for being constantly on his phone. Some teachers are just putting up with things due to this attitude from senior staff as
    they know they won't be supported.
    jlishman2158 and Curae like this.
  12. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I asked for support from a passing SLT member on Friday. I was trying to cover a year 9 form. Registration should be fairly straightforward. My expectations at this stage in my career are fairly low. I just wanted the class to come into the room, sit down in a chair, coats off, phones away and be quiet for two minutes while I take the register. Simple.

    Unfortunately this class seemed to be under the impression that the school rules don't apply to them! I had 3 or 4 kids arguing that they are allowed to have phones out, others sitting on tables and refusing to move. Constant talking over me, verbal abuse and mass beligerance.

    The SLT member came in and asked why I hadn't managed to take the register. I explained that the class wouldn't be quiet or follow any instructions. Rather than b*llock the kids this slime ball was more interested in point scoring and trying to treat me like a lackey in front of the kids. This to my mind is a sure sign of a toxic school!
  13. Morninglover

    Morninglover Lead commenter

    As a former SLT member I agree 100%. Time to review your CV, I suggest.
    jlishman2158 and agathamorse like this.
  14. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    You are not the one that needs help. That school is totally dysfunctional. The management is letting their children down very badly indeed. I hope that some day they will be held to account for it. maybe when a group of young adults realise they were denied their right to an education, and start court action.

    Meanwhile, there is nothing you can do. You don't get any back up, so you don't have any power at all.By all means, follow up with detentions and calls home, you never know, you might get through to one or two kids. But basically, Just get out as fast s you can.
    jlishman2158, agathamorse and Curae like this.
  15. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Horrible experience. This class needs to be monitored by management and policies need to be actioned by THEM. Sounds like some students may t need to be removed.
    It IS NOT you it is poor mangement by SLT.
    Good luck but seek support and or leave esp if supply.
    Good luck.
  16. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    I walked out of a HOD role with one day’s notice, whilst on supply. The school was a dangerous place to work. There was no support and the HT (fired the year after) was dangerously out of her depth. We’d get emails saying to check our car tyres in the car park because of rumours of kids slashing tyres on staff cars (YES, this really happened, this was inner city Cov).
    Sounds like the kids needed a wake up call. Don’t look back! Good on you for standing up for yourself.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

    Supply teaching is one of the hardest jobs in teaching. Look for a permanent job asap and keep applying.

    I recall starting in a new school years a go. The students gave me hell and there was no back up. I walked out on the spot.

    You will find the school that is right for you.
    agathamorse and jlishman2158 like this.
  18. maliboo

    maliboo New commenter

    Thank you for all your advice. I don't understand why adults cannot support each other. Surely that would benefit everyone especially pupils. They would know exactly what the consequences would be no ifs or buts!! If you throw glue across the classroom you are getting a consequence there is no point going to Mr Y or Mrs X and complaining because they will not be sympathetic and tell you the other teacher is wrong. They will tell you that as they weren't there they cannot comment and will not be going to have a 'word' with the other teacher.
    The whole problem is adults treat each other differently depending on their place in the school. Pupils act on this too.
    I am not really sure where I go from here. I feel ashamed that kids treated me like that and I couldn't do a thing about it. Someone mentioned a 'pack mentality' and in some lessons this was true. I love teaching but I will not put up with being treated this way by anyone.
    I have to say though there was lovely kids and staff there too.
    agathamorse likes this.

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