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Just Sharing The Pain

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Pontoosh, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. Pontoosh

    Pontoosh New commenter

    Hello all,

    *This may need to be moved to the My Horrible Day thread but I need to write it for cathartic reasons...

    I've been supply teaching for the last six years but have been in teaching overall for going on 25. An incident occurred today, at what I consider to be one of my "good" schools, which has induced me to making my first post. Here's the Cliff Notes:

    1. Kid wants to push desk next to friends' so I reluctantly agree - refusal will prob cause confrontation.
    2. I tell kid if there's problems she'll need to move the desk back (to retain some semblance of order and control).
    3. Arrangement is clearly not working: loud chat, unfocused nonsense and disruption ensues.
    4. I ask her to move the desk back - get an outright refusal.
    5. I go to move desk back to the original spot being extra careful not to cause any injury whatsoever.
    6. Get accused of the desk hitting her foot. (It was never near her foot - I made absolutely 100% sure - been in the business too long.)
    7. Kid puts desk back next to her friends' table and carries on.
    8. I start writing a statement in an effort to show there will be consequences.
    9. Kid decides to walk out of classroom 5 minutes later, never to return. Friend decides to leaves 3 minutes later as well.
    10. Next lesson I finish writing out my statement of what happened.
    11. Get a visit from safeguarding guy who wants to see me at the end of the day.
    12. Get to his office, give him my statement and explain the events very clearly making it plain that I was VERY careful when moving the table and that it did not strike her foot.


    Get told at the end of all this; "Well, I'm sure it was an accident" and ominously asked "...And which agency do you work for again?" as if I've done something wrong and phone calls will be made. My credibility and work prospects at a "good" school may take a hit but it's great to know that the interests of sweet and innocent 12 year old children who can do whatever they want are protected.

    Just wanted to write this to those who can identify - I share your pain.
    blazer, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Pontoosh

    Welcome to the forum.

    I know it is upsetting to have these things happen and you are kind to write about your experience. It does help other people going through similar experiences.

    When I had my accident, I was at a "good school".

    It just shows that if this can happen to someone with 25 years' experience, it can happen to anyone.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. Pontoosh

    Pontoosh New commenter

    Thanks pepper. Here's another one for y'all...

    1. Group of Year 8 lads misbehaving at the side of the classroom. Phones on, general disruption and loud behaviour.
    2. I go to stand between the two desks in an attempt to diffuse situation but there is a bag in the way.
    3. I ask boy to move his bag.
    4. Ignored.
    5. I ask him again. Ignored.
    6. Start to move it gently with foot.
    7. Boy shouts; "Don't kick my bag."
    8. Start to explain that I was merely moving it gently with my foot.
    9. Boy responds; "No. DON'T kick my BAG!!"

    Ah the joys of being "told off" by a 12 year old child. Clearly the lad missed a trick and should have gone to safeguarding to report an abuse of his property and have me stricken from the profession.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Pontoosh

    Pontoosh New commenter

    Ok, one more...

    1. Working at "outstanding school" on a 6 week stint.
    2. Classroom is cramped and tiny, low ceiling, you can hardly move.
    3. Class generally bored and not really working very well.
    4. Girl spills juice drink all over the table causing major disruption and says "It's not my fault."

    Clearly my fault for allowing it to happen. The girl should have gone to safeguarding to report the trauma she had to go through for being blamed for something that wasn't her responsibility.

    I decided to leave the school after 6 days.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    Sounds about right. There seems to be an awful lot of kids now looking to be offended or assaulted in some feeble way. And the leadership, so tied up in trying to safeguard students, lack the gumption to realise the kids are playing them like a concert grand!
    pepper5, tonymars and agathamorse like this.
  6. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    He's covering himself, that's all, the deficiencies in school management and safeguarding.
    To have kids walk out of class and therefore unsupervised supposes risks in terms of safeguarding and that's the school at fault, not you. They know it and are trying to deflect blame.
    If I ever spoke to the agency about this school, ,I'd let them know that it's the kind of school where children are able to leave class at will and wander around the school, apparently without consequence.
  7. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    Completely agree. As there is often no consequence for storming off in a strop the minute they can't get their own way it continues. Add to this the extra bonus of being allowed to storm off and then right a statement getting a teacher in trouble/sacked it creates a perfect storm for the bone idle troublemakers.
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  8. Pontoosh

    Pontoosh New commenter

    Cheers Mr Antiques,

    Sadly these sort of things are daily occurrences in the wonderful world of supply teaching. I remember one kid reacted like he wanted to punch me in the face when I dared to attempt to find out his real name by reaching for his exercise book. I mean, of course, how dare I tamper with his property! What was I thinking!?

    P.S. Thanks for responses while I wrote this.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The above incident is a really good example of the dangers we face as teachers every day and how precarious our jobs can be.
  10. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I have said before that some SMTs confuse cause with effect. They blame behavioural problems as being down to the succession of supply teachers they bring in because they cannot hang to permanent staff, rather than the other way about.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  11. cycomiz

    cycomiz New commenter

    Its okay to tell everyone about how you feel :)
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Indeed so. Over the years, more steam has been let off on this site than the Flying Scotsman ever did!
    gingerhobo48, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  13. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    That is terrible but sadly not unheard of.. as a Supply Teacher all the school can do is not invite you back.

    I heard of one Supply Teacher maliciously accused, sent away, still working in other schools...

    The agencies need us to work and they don't ask "How high?" When a 12 year old says "Jump". I think you'll get other work.

    Just in case make sure you have a written account of the incident ready to send off to LADO just in case
    I doubt school will do any more.
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.

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