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Is honesty always the best policy?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by zippycfb, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. zippycfb

    zippycfb New commenter

    Just come to the end of a two week stint of my first ever supply booking after qualifying in June. Being new to this supply malarkey, to say I was shocked by some of the things I've encountered over the last two weeks is an understatement. However, having trawled through all the previous posts on here, I'm heartened, but at the same time dissappointed to see that this is norm for supply teachers. I've come to realise that we are the lowest of the low in school when it comes to pupils and staff alike.
    Anyway I was wondering what the stance on leaving feedback about the school and pupils, in particular to SLT. Today on my last day, I approached the Deputy Head who is one of my old teachers from a different school (back then she was an NQT) and asked her if she remembered me. She said she'd seen me around over the last 2 weeks and was wondering why I had been looking at her funny! Anyway, after all the usual niceities she asked me how I had found the school and the pupils. After doong nothing but complain to my friends and family about the pupils/staff for the last 2 weeks, here was my opportunity to tell a member of SLT exactly what I thought of her pesky school and ill-behaved children, but instead I found myself making excuses for their behaviour (I'm trying to teach them maths, they've been messed around with supply for months, it's the end of term, etc, etc.)

    In all honesty I have never ever come across a school with such rude, impolite and disruptive students. I have literally been stood open-mouthed in shock in most lessons because of their behaviour and the only thing that kept me going was knowing that it was only for two weeks. The children basically do what they want, when they want. I feel like I've been wearing an invisibility cloak for the last 2 weeks. The Department I was working in wasn't much better either. Each time I asked for cover work from the Head of Maths the response was, "Do what you want, I don't care." I can partly see the kids frustration if this is what they've had to put up with for the last couple of months, God knows the last time they actually had a proper Maths lesson but that doesn't excuse them from the most basic of manners.

    Back to the post title then, should I have told her exactly what had gone on in the last two weeks or was my heavily watered down version the best response? How do others handle the question, "How have you found the school?" Having come away and reflected on my chat with the DH, I can't help but feel I should have told the truth about my experience because I think she would have valued an opinion from an ex pupil of hers whom she has no reason to disbelieve, but I wonder if she would have taken my concerns seriously or just dismissed them as I was only 'supply' after all. It's a tricky one because as I'm new to it all like I said, I'm very aware of what I say getting fedback to the agency and not been used again for work so I'm just wondering how to play this one in the future.
     
  2. If I am ever asked I start with the positives and comment from a strictly supply teachers view.
    So my first positive is, yes the staff were very helpful. Or I say it was a difficult school to get about in. If they ask Why, I say the staff seemed very busy.
    There was generally always good cover work left. If this is not the case. I say so, It needs to have happened a lot for me to say so. Mess ups always happen.
    I may talk about the cover systems, and if another school does it better I offer ideas for improvement, based on other school experiences. In particular registers SIMS and log in codes.
    The children, I avoid talking to much about them. I say things like they were in the right place at the right time. Or mention that some of the children seem to be arriving late a lot.
    If it has been a good trip, and I am with a good agency, I name drop the agency I am working with. I do this to hopefully be given the chance to slag off some of the bad agencies in the sector.
    So generally I give feedback from a supply view. If the school has been fantastic I say so, if not I do not give generalised views, they will know if they have problems and don't need to be reminded by me the supply.
     
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Excellent advice geffone- as usual.[​IMG]
     
  4. Honesty is not always the best policy. One example from working in industry many years ago. If you have slept in on a particular morning but still go to work, you would be asked why you were late. If you told them you were sorry but you overslept you would be told not to do it again as you may get a warning. If you phoned the company and said you are sorry but you would not be in today as you are feeling very unwell the would usually say I hope you are better tomorrow and thank you for phoning.
     
  5. I was in a school the other week for a day and was surprised knowing the area that it was the worst school I ever went to. Imagine the street up to the school lovely big detached mansion type houses just off the sea front not far from a previos school I visited which was lovely .I arrived to sign in on a supply register rather than visitors register to be td y3 and the secretary walked off. Huge school I piped up where is y3 as I am new here. She huffed and showed me to class and gave me a print off of lesson plans which she need back at the end if the day fir their usual supply tomorrow. On the walk to class I noticed there were no times on the sheet so I asked and she huffed and said it should be on the desk. In class I found nothing and then the teacher wandered in. I was her ppa supply. I asked her for a quick run down of the day and she rudely told me she didn't have time but that the come in at 5 to 9 and the kids can tell me the rest. I met another supply looking list on collecting kids but she had a list if times which she nicely sent through at registration. After being told there was assembly then dragging kids to find no assembly I was a nit annoyed. I was also on break duty so sipped my water and went out.at lunch time the other girl came and said she was going home as she couldn't believe how rude the staff were to her at break and she went to that school as a child and it used to be lovely. I went to staff room and made conversation with 2 staff there then to next clas for afternoon. The y6 class had been through list of supply , their teacher on long term sick and my lesson was aboriginal art with no resources left so I spent silent reading tine getting kids to gets art stuff from various places. We did lesson. Kids rude etc, even told me when I said if I was their regular teacher they said I would be dead!

    Anyway after leaving school I diplomatically told agency what had gone on and they were shocked bur after I asked if there was often supply there and they said yes she suddenly clicked as to why! The agency were glad of the feedback and asked if I would rather not go there again but I said I couldn't afford to be that choosy and now I knew I could NE more prepared.

    Not sure if this was right thing to do and if agency tell the school!
     
  6. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    I always intend to be diplomatic but get so incensed about behaviour thta I'm determined not to let the little ******** get away with it. I am, basically, a snitch!
    I 'grass them up' to HOD and SMT alike!
    I don't mince my words either and say " He told me to eff off ". I repeat it in full technicolour.
    A few weeks ago I told an SMT bloke about the verbal sexual abuse I'd endured from a Yr 8 boy and about the detailed picture I had built up of the sexual practices of the Yr 8 and 9 pupils. Girls, especially, are quite open (in my hearing) about telling friend who they $ucked off last weekend and which boys will reciproocate. They rely on me not knowing their names and probably being unable to identify them later from their sweet Yr 7 photos.
    I fell lucky at that school as they were desperate to keep me and did not regard me as being a weak teacher. They had had several decent and half-decent pupils asking them if I could be there permanent teacher.
    At some schools, though, the supply teacher is almost seen as the cause of any discipline issues. there is resentment in some quarters as some teachers actually think we earn more than they do for doing less work! They'd clearly fail the NQT Numeracy skills test if they had to take it! tehy pass this 'knowledge' of out excessive pay onto the pupils and that feeds their disrespect as they think the rubbish lesson notes left by their permanent teacher are evidence of our poor planning!
    I ditch most 'prepared' lessons a.s.ap. I give them the starter and plan something more relevant to their recent work. I can't plan before arriving as I don't even know which subjects and year groups I'll be teaching, even if booked the day before.
    It's long been my opinion that SMT shouls have to be a supply teacher at a school where they are not known for at elast a week every 5 years. IKt should be part of their performance Management. I guarantee that they will be shocked to the core and will return to their normal duties determined never to resign inorder to have the easy life of a supply teacher! They might even be more supportive of supply teachers in their school. We would have more status, for instance, if pupils were told that any detention awarded in a lesson taught by a supply teacher would incur a double sanction; one for the offence and one for showing the school ina bad light to a visitor.

     
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Lead commenter

    oops! their permanent teacher.
     

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