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

"I hate that supply teacher." - Bothered?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Lilybett, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. Haha. Sickness cover for a PPA teacher at a primary school in an extremely socially disadvantaged area. Behaviour is poor and, in my opinion, the behaviour management policy is not up to scratch. It's weak, unclear and patchily reinforced. All tha you get is arguing from the kids (as in, kids coming and 'getting in your face' lol) - "that's not a warning", "that's not an amber", "I shouldn't be off green", etc. instead of any kind of engagement with what behaviours are encouraged and discouraged and why they have been given a sanction.
    This has been my first job as a fully-qualified teacher and I can't help but reflect on the behaviour management. I feel the work I set was fun and meaningful but the B.M. is where I need to improve. Throughout training, in every placement, I was told: stop being too worried the kids like you. Don't be afraid to be a ***. Don't be afraid to shout,etc.
    Particularly in upper KS2, behaviour has been a real issue on this supply job. Kids throwing furniture around, swearing at me, threatening classmates, attacking classmates, and so on. I work with the school's 'traffic lights' system but it only goes so far. You give a child a 'Red' for attacking his classmate and there's nowhere else to go. In one Y5/6 class, I shout myself hoarse every time I have them. I have even been reduced to sending a child with a message to the Assistant Head, asking him to come and remove a child having a massive temper tantrum because I moved her away from her friend for repeatedly dicking about and disrupting everyone else. Often I don't feel in control - I pretend not to hear inappropriate answers/comments because I'm not sure how to react and I constantly use bribery to try to keep order:

    Child: Miss, are we doing PE?
    Me: That depends upon your behaviour. I don't mind - I'd be just as happy in here doing some written work...

    Me: ERR... We have now wasted 3 minutes of your PE lesson because you are ignoring me... Now it's 4 minutes... Now it's 5 minutes... Now it's 7 minutes of rounders time you have lost, etc.
    Then I was walking across the playground to get into school on a morning and I heard two of the Y5/6s talking about me - one said "I hate that supply teacher" in a voice loud enough for me to hear. I wanted to wheel round and reply that teaching him is not exactly the highlight of my week either, but then thought: I'm not getting into an argument with a 10-year-old and just pretended not to have heard.
    I bet I sound absolutely hopeless lol. I just can't help but wonder if I took all that advice while I was training (' don't be afraid to be a ***') too far. Thebehaviour management for supply teachers is so hard - I knew it would be - I used to enjoy having supplies who had no idea of the seating plan or the rules! [​IMG]
    I do use raffle tickets and draw every day for a little prize. It works really well with Y2-4 but Y5/6 are way too cool for that.
    I suppose what I am asking in the LOOOOONGEST-WNDED WAY EVER! is: would you care that kids say they hate you? And have you worked out any behaviour management gems that work when you're only teaching the class for the day?
     
  2. Haha. Sickness cover for a PPA teacher at a primary school in an extremely socially disadvantaged area. Behaviour is poor and, in my opinion, the behaviour management policy is not up to scratch. It's weak, unclear and patchily reinforced. All tha you get is arguing from the kids (as in, kids coming and 'getting in your face' lol) - "that's not a warning", "that's not an amber", "I shouldn't be off green", etc. instead of any kind of engagement with what behaviours are encouraged and discouraged and why they have been given a sanction.
    This has been my first job as a fully-qualified teacher and I can't help but reflect on the behaviour management. I feel the work I set was fun and meaningful but the B.M. is where I need to improve. Throughout training, in every placement, I was told: stop being too worried the kids like you. Don't be afraid to be a ***. Don't be afraid to shout,etc.
    Particularly in upper KS2, behaviour has been a real issue on this supply job. Kids throwing furniture around, swearing at me, threatening classmates, attacking classmates, and so on. I work with the school's 'traffic lights' system but it only goes so far. You give a child a 'Red' for attacking his classmate and there's nowhere else to go. In one Y5/6 class, I shout myself hoarse every time I have them. I have even been reduced to sending a child with a message to the Assistant Head, asking him to come and remove a child having a massive temper tantrum because I moved her away from her friend for repeatedly dicking about and disrupting everyone else. Often I don't feel in control - I pretend not to hear inappropriate answers/comments because I'm not sure how to react and I constantly use bribery to try to keep order:

    Child: Miss, are we doing PE?
    Me: That depends upon your behaviour. I don't mind - I'd be just as happy in here doing some written work...

    Me: ERR... We have now wasted 3 minutes of your PE lesson because you are ignoring me... Now it's 4 minutes... Now it's 5 minutes... Now it's 7 minutes of rounders time you have lost, etc.
    Then I was walking across the playground to get into school on a morning and I heard two of the Y5/6s talking about me - one said "I hate that supply teacher" in a voice loud enough for me to hear. I wanted to wheel round and reply that teaching him is not exactly the highlight of my week either, but then thought: I'm not getting into an argument with a 10-year-old and just pretended not to have heard.
    I bet I sound absolutely hopeless lol. I just can't help but wonder if I took all that advice while I was training (' don't be afraid to be a ***') too far. Thebehaviour management for supply teachers is so hard - I knew it would be - I used to enjoy having supplies who had no idea of the seating plan or the rules! [​IMG]
    I do use raffle tickets and draw every day for a little prize. It works really well with Y2-4 but Y5/6 are way too cool for that.
    I suppose what I am asking in the LOOOOONGEST-WNDED WAY EVER! is: would you care that kids say they hate you? And have you worked out any behaviour management gems that work when you're only teaching the class for the day?
     
  3. Quite funny this. Its like a mirror image as to what happened to me but really I don't care about what they say out of school/playground. As long as they behave and learn, that's the main thing. Other than that I think generally, us Supply Teachers are very good at ignoring what we need to - a very good skill to have, particularly with some of the names I have been called by pupils in secondary. I'm sure I don't have to repeat these...........hahaha!!!! [​IMG]
     
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Actually if the pupils moan about 'We've got that old dragon' etc.(add imaginative comments) I consider I'm probably doing my job well as a supply-it's when they think you're a pushover that problems escalate.
    Having said that, it is good if one can establish a positive relationship with them, they tend to work better, but at the end of the day our job is to attempt to ensure they learn something in their time with us. It's never going to be easy on supply & every day can be a struggle, re-establishing oneself each time as they constantly push the boundaries.
    Certain schools are more difficult than others & affected by the 'normal teacher's relationship' with the pupils, the more popular ones are harder to replace & where the teacher 'rules with a rod of iron' sometimes the class just lets rip in their absence. The latter are always hardest to convince their class 'would behave like that'!
    You have to develop a very thick skin I'm afraid.
     
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I'm currently on a long-term job, and a fortnight before it started I spent a few days in the school observing the teacher's lessons to get a feel for their routine and expectations. The single most useful thing for me was that she left seating plans for each class, and when I turned up I stuck to them, even to the point of getting SLT in to enforce them at the start of a lesson. It meant there was at least a kind of changeover rather than a cold start. They knew that I knew what was normal for them, and what would be just pissing around for the supply. It's not been easy all the time, but it was worth missing a few days' pay to get that slight edge, not to mention the brownie points it earns you with the regular staff.
     
  6. darkness

    darkness New commenter

    Of course everyone cares, nobody wants to be known as the god awful teacher with no respect.

    If anybody tells you they have no issues with behaviour they are lying. You always get the odd one or thing happen which can really take you by surprise if you don't get bad behaviour often. I would clamp down, that 10 year old, I would have hauled their **** into a detention. Senior management need to make their presence much more known and take stronger action if behaviour is as poor as you say. Most school here are very disadvantaged, but during the years I did supply I found the poor behaviour often ended up occurring where Senior management were either almost non existent or the HT was diabolical.

    Never shout in classes like this, god, it makes it so much worse. Practice looking at the naughty children and praising through gestures the good kids, even a look and a miming of 'well done' When the naughty ones persist, take note of their names on the board, it always grabs someone attention. Don't be afraid to pass the children to deputy or someone, it is not a sign of weakness or being sh*te, it demonstrates you are a professional and sometimes having all the kids in the one room is plain stupid.

    I am pretty old fashioned when it comes to respect, I expect kids to be silent when I am speaking. hand gestures for settle down and praising those who do is quite effective. If any child threw tables or chairs, sorry, I would be demanding letters sent home to parents and something being seriously done. If they do it and nothing comes of it, then they will think it is acceptable behaviour.

    I learnt hard and fast on supply that I was not taking anymore sh*te. It was bad enough that work was often not even left.

    I have had a colleague come into my room and ask me for help, and not once did I think, they were rubbish, when I saw what was going on, the children were to blame and promptly moved out and into my room, names jotted down.

    have faith in yourself, don't be disheartened.

    And don't say 'shut the f(ck up' which I heard once.Although it silenced the kids instantly I lost my trail of thought for 20 minutes.
     
  7. On the one day visit I inform the class that we can either have a good day or a bad day. At the end of the day I get paid the same,and wont give you lot a second thought once I've gone, so, lets go for the good day. If you are asked to stay fine. Yo have already set the ground rules.
     
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    funny how schools within a mile of each other can have totally different behaviour as a result of different management and expectatations.
    Personally I would no longer put myself through the strife of a school like that. There are plenty of good schools out there that have basic expectations of pupils being polite and helpful.
    If the management cannot be bothered to get the behaviour sorted, then let them cover the lessons!
    One of the things that really gives me a bad feeling after experience of days in many primaries, is being told that I don't need to collect pupils from their line in the playground, as they "make their own way in" That usually means an ill disciplined start to lessons three times during the day. I am also wary if told that I am teaching a class "out there in the hut" as they often seem to be a class of misfits who are out there to keep them away from the rest of the school!
     
  9. A year 3 child called me Mrs Battleaxe which caused a little ripple of amusement around the class. I told them to stop, put down their pencils and look at me. I showed them my name on the board and got them all to repeat it. Then very sternly I told them that if they thought I was Mrs Battleaxe they hadn't seen anything yet and that as I was in a good mood I was actually being quite nice. They behaved well for the rest of the day.


    Nobody wants children to hate them but firmness pays dividends. After a few visits I find the same children that groaned at first will now ask if I'm teaching them today and actually seemed pleased when I say yes. Result!


    Although there is one school I've been to where nothing seems to work with any of the classes. So I've put it down to experience and I won't be going back there again.
     
  10. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    Let it run over you, in deprived areas such as the one you describe being tough.hard and downright rude is
    the only way they know when they're unsettled (ie normal teacher out of class). I know it is so hard, but try and introduce a bit more humour or positivity in your day, even if its a small joke comment or praising their work. I too struggle with BM at times but I've noticed some more difficult classes respond very well to positivity, as long as your 'taking no ****' side and that are clearly defined. I've never hard any negative comments from pupils but I don't like it when I know my personality doesn't gel with particular children I teach.
     
  11. I usually reply with a smile and a "oh well" when they try it.
    They don't hate ME anyway - they hate the fact I'm not letting them do what they want to do.

    With more ameanable kids who are just pushing the boundaries a bit I tend to lay it on the line that they get the power to choose the kind of day they have and teacher they get - that if they want to be rude, muck around, push their luck and not get anything done, then I will have to be a strict stern teacher which neither them nor me will enjoy... if they get the work done and act sensibly like I know they're capable of - we can get the work done, have a bit of a giggle and a joke and a chat and have a much nicer day on both sides. Sometimes pitching it like that makes a bit of a difference to how they see the dynamic... sometimes of course you're just on a battle of surviving the day!

    I had it with a Y6 bunch once - looking in the classroom windows and shouting "Awww we've got that dead mardy supply teacher again today." Brushed it off (it was a kid who never behaved anyway) and continued as normal. Through a series of coincidences and being hunted down by the head when I tried to quit teaching (that woman had tenacity beyond anything I've ever known bless her - incredible head I've got a tonne of respect for) to do a maternity leave there, by the end of the year I was back in the school teaching full-time lower down the school. Guess who was there on the last day of term, one of the first at my classroom door to beg me to sign his shirt? Mister "aww we got the mardy supply teacher again"! (Incidentally he'd complained about how wronged he'd been to every single supply teacher he had for the entire year)
     
  12. I once worked in a school where the headteacher wanted to be liked. He was weak and indecisive on discipline and criticised teachers to parents. Incompetent fools were promoted, while hard-working members of staff were down-trodden. In other words, it was a **** school. My feeling is, if you want to be liked, work as a children's entertainer with clown make-up, slapstick comedy routines and balloon scupltures. It may be an old cliche, but if you want to teach, be firm, fair and friendly. Any child who has a problem with this is unreasonalbe.
    Having said this, when I started teaching, children expected firm control and despised weakness. These days, children are brought up by parents who want to be their friend and who do not expect to behave like the adult in the relationship. Schools are often concerned with child-centred education. Therefore, children in my experience are often unreasonable.

     
  13. As you gain more experience in schools, you'll find it is not just the socially deprived areas where you will encounter bad behaviour, you will also meet it in the higher economic areas. You will encounter over paid boorish parents coming in to put you right about your unfair treatment of their off-spring.
    So, unpleasant classes give you a hard time, does it really matter so long as you get paid?
    BM gems that work, well, never shout, once you shout, they've won! Bribery?. That won't work either not with Y5/6 classes who have spent the last 3 years baiting supply teachers. Sadly the obvious holds true for these situations, get support from the school or either accept the **** or leave. You cannot win
     
  14. Uuurgh!
    Thanks for all the replies. It's reassuring to hear that it's not actually really easy and that I'm just making a complete hash of it.
    Not very proud of this, but actually made a child copy out of a dictionary today instead of doing Art. Whatta ***!
    xx
     

Share This Page