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Lesson observations on supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by holness599, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. holness599

    holness599 New commenter

    I've been with a school since November and I have a contract with them until Easter. They have already observed me teach twice and want to see me again. Is this normal to be observed as a supply teacher?
  2. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    It's normal to be observed if you have been given a contract of employment. It's not usual to be observed if you are a day-to-day supply teacher who has no contract of employment (I've argued this point several times on TES) as observation is of limited value to the observer and observee.

    You may find that being observed is a useful experience, particularly if you are seeking long term posts in the near future and require a reference from your current employer. It is also possible that the school may include you in performance management appraisal too, despite the fact that you have missed the school's normal PM cycle. I would ask to see a copy of the Pay Policy to clarify this.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    Either you work for an agency or you have a temporary contract. Just because you work long term for a school does not give you a contract. Anyway assuming you are working through an agency as Snowy has said - many times, there is no point being observed. If you are on a temporary contract you are not supply and so will be observed as part of the normal quality assurance process.
    Search for previous posts on this.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. holness599

    holness599 New commenter

    I'm definitely supply and to be honest I'm speaking to my agency about this now because i think the school is taking the P
    kellyCostello and Rajindamum like this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree you should speak to your agency about being observed. They have observed you twice and if that went well they may be willing to provide a reference. Other than that they are as you say taking advantage and observing you further does not serve any useful purpose. If they did not like your style of teaching, they would have shown you the door immediately.
    ultimatedingbat likes this.
  6. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    You are not staff. Does SMT realise that? They can observe you for quality control if your agency has requested it and feed that back to them. The only criteria they can comment on are punctuality and appropriate professional conduct. Otherwise they're wasting their own time as you are temporary staff and therefore won't need long term targets.
    Sounds like they're angling for a discount by picking flies with the person who's helping them out. How ungrateful and unprofessional.
  7. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    @nearmiss it's worse than just a few observations.

    I know of a supply teacher who works in a primary school on daily supply basis, through an agency, and has been called back to teach the same class for the last four weeks. The teacher has been advised that the LA adviser will be observing them teach this week and the books they have marked will be subject to a book scrutiny. They have also been requested to take part in after-school meetings with staff and parents to discuss pupil progress. The school have told the teacher that if they demonstrate their commitment to the school then there is the possibility that they may be given a contract from February until Easter.

    I'd be voting with my feet.
    I-tasha likes this.
  8. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I think it is important to stand up for yourself and have a conversation about the expectations while on supply. I made the mistake of not doing this and trying to please the school. So I went along with it all to my detriment.

    I generally have found that the more I do, the more the school expect and this is always to my detriment. There is no loyalty no matter how much you dedicate yourself. So now, I have learned to do my job and leave at 3.30pm. I will only do parents evening if the school pays for my time. I will always teach the lessons properly and mark the books and make sure I manage the behaviour. However, when it comes to observations I always have to remind myself to have the "conversation" about the objective of the observation while on supply.
    I-tasha, pepper5 and snowyhead like this.
  9. Erin_Rhys

    Erin_Rhys Occasional commenter

    Short answer. Nee.
  10. Rajindamum

    Rajindamum New commenter

    I am on long term supply. I have been formally observed twice in the last few weeks (once with an LA advisor accompanying SMT). I have been told that I will be observed again in the week after half term by the headteacher. I am leaving and should have done long ago! Its a miserable place where no-one ever smiles and I am at the point where depression is creeping upon me.

    SUPER.SUPPLY Occasional commenter

    oooh run for the hills Raji......On full time contracts, you only should be observed once a term (i think) if you are being observed then turn this around. You don't have to care if the observation goes belly up. They can get rid of you if they want at any time anyway. If it is ok then grab that feedback and use it to your advantage. I do. If I'm observed, ill keep the feedback if it is good for the future. Anything negative and i don't care, it goes straight in the bin and i move on to my next assignment.
  12. kellyCostello

    kellyCostello New commenter

    [This comment/image/section has been removed at the request of the poster]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2016
  13. kellyCostello

    kellyCostello New commenter

    On long term supply what is the expectation ? Classroom set up and buying resources ? Medium term plans ? Parents evening ? Marking ? Interventions ? Observations ?
  14. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    It could depend from placement to placement. On some long term placements, departments may give the supply teacher lesson plans for each lesson, but expect the work to be marked. On other assignments, the school may expect the teacher to plan the lessons as well as mark the work. It may also depend on what people consider "long term" to be; long term may be a half term or term, or longer. Some schools may require teachers to go to parents evenings - some may not.

    If a teacher is going to be in a school for any length of time, it would be reasonable to observe them from time to time just to ensure the classes are running smoothly. The observations may benefit the teacher as well, since if the classes are being taught well, the teacher may be able to get a positive reference.

    Buying resources should not be expected. Permanent teachers have to buy way too many supplies for their classes and should not have to do it; but that is another thread.
  15. applecrumblebumble

    applecrumblebumble Lead commenter

    You have to think like the agencies, you are hiring out your services, you are not working for free. If the school want something done that is important then they pay you to do it - simply really.
  16. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    The school should have a reason for observing you, for example if you are covering a vacant position and they might be considering you as a potential candidate or if you are an NQT on an agreed induction programme with the school.
    Otherwise there really is no point as you are not staff and you don't need targets.
    If the terms of your long term placement require you to plan and mark lessons they must give you full access to student records so that you can plan AfL into your lessons. You also need access to the schemes of work so that your lessons comply to the school's requirements.
    However, all this needs to have been agreed with your agency prior to the placement so the extra hours worked can be factored into your pay.
    Some schools might try to get a free day's work out of you by lodging fictitious complaints to you agency following an alleged poor observation.
    If you are being observed without notice, check with your agency that this has been agreed. If you smell a rat, ask to see the observation schedule and find out what particular aspects of your practice are being scrutinised. Otherwise, no dice.
  17. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    The school is free to observe supply teachers if they choose as are Ofsted inspectors. I have been observed a few times on long term supply placements but its not common.

    The question is why do they want to observe you since you are not subject to performance related pay or meeting targets. It might be the agency requested it, the school simply wants to see you teach or maybe its the whole department under review. Unlike contracted teachers it will not lead to capability or anything like that and might even be useful if the observers have some helpful tips.

    But if you don't want to be observed you can always vote with your feet. That might make SLT think again about observations.
    Mermaid7 and schoolsout4summer like this.
  18. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    If they are offering a job, as someone mentioned above, why not let them come in? Like anyone, I have a problem with less qualifies SMT observing just to grade and criticise, but they can't very well 'do' anything to you. You're teaching the lesson anyway, so unless they want you to do more paperwork/meetings, being observed isn't costing you anything. But of course if you aren't happy about it, just go elsewhere if they insist!
    PizzoCalabro likes this.
  19. horseykitty

    horseykitty New commenter

    I have just been told this afternoon that the department observations are starting from tomorrow and will run over the next two and a half weeks up to half term. I'm not really against being observed on long term supply, it's just that I never have been apart from Ofsted and when I first started and the agency wanted some feedback. My gripe is with them stretching it out over such a long period - they're saying its nothing to worry about and their not expecting all singing and all dancing - but still I wish they'd narrow it down to a weekly time-scale.
  20. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    It's probably more about the SLT trying to prove to OFSTED that they are monitoring progress across the whole school - no matter who's teaching. There's all sorts of pressure on the SLT to prove that their 'impact' matches their pay (I know, I've been there). Don't get paranoid about it - they're probably as hounded as you are!

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