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“Like a Supply Teacher..”

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Deirds, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Getting a bit fed up of political commentators using this as an insult...
  2. FrauRussell

    FrauRussell New commenter

    Not sure what you mean, @Deirds?
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    It means that supply teachers are thickos and if you are like them, then you are thick or incompetent as well.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Supply teaching is a job with no status.
  5. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    Rather similar to teaching per se then?
    supplybychoice and pepper5 like this.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Worse I would say - and I speak as someone who has been both a full-time and a supply teacher.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    That is it...supply teachers have no status. However, it is ironic since supply teachers carry out an important function and allow schools to remain open and functioning.

    Where in the culture has this idea developed?

    Most of the supply teachers I ever met were professionals who did good jobs. That supply teachers are "second best" or are not competent is a myth.
  8. RonnieTheRedPanda

    RonnieTheRedPanda New commenter

    Unfortunately in the past, supply teachers have been considered to be "only" supply teaching because they couldn't get a permanant job. These days, however, I meet many other supply teachers who have consciously chosen it for the flexibility and variety, for better work-life balance, to fit around family commitments or as one of several different jobs alongside tutoring etc. I am one of those too - I have done long term jobs in the past and am simply not prepared to do so any more, as I simply don't want a job that takes over my life any more. I have 27 years' experience in teaching, I do as excellent job (headteachers praise my work and ask for me back) and I am trying to show the world, one supply teaching day at a time, that supply teachers are highly-skilled and should be valued.

    Having said that, I am fully aware that we are a disposable commodity, to schools and agencies, but I don't take it personally. I am charming to everyone I meet in a school, I do the best job I can and then I go home (by4pm!) to my family.
  9. afterdark

    afterdark Lead commenter

    It is the result of decades of Thatcherism and Tory government.

    A lot of people are on supply because academies and schools won't/can't pay them what they are worth. There is no shortage of experienced teachers in the UK. So it should be no surprise that most of the supply teachers that you meet are professionals.

    That is a Thatherite thing that came from the 80s. That salary alone is a judge of your worth. The elevation of sheer greed as a good thing.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi afterdark

    I see what you mean.
    afterdark likes this.
  11. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Perhaps I read the wrong papers. Jeremy Corbyn has been described as being like a Supply Teacher. I’ve also heard it being used to denigrate someone’s dress sense on Bake Off.
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Sadly, for many of us, supply teaching is a status without a job!
    BetterNow, pepper5 and steviepal like this.
  13. supply287

    supply287 New commenter

    Like a Supply Teacher..”

    in the queue?
    to know?
    agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  14. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Occasional commenter

    Where I am at present the kids seem to be of the view that: 'you're only a cover teacher'. And as such they do not have to comply with your requests nor are they likely to face any consequences for any behaviour in your lessons! Unfortunately I think this is learnt behaviour.
  15. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    ANY 'institution' or sometimes just a group operates in a triangular/pyramid model - top down
    it operates ( whether consciously or unconsciously) on a 'hierarchy'

    Those still entangled within said 'institution' operate from ego and as such will use an opportunity to elevate themselves at the expense of any 'narcisstic supply' (again whether consciously or not) sometimes they will do so as to highlight their own worth to Management, especially, as we are seeing more and more with ludicrous demands these days, if they feel insecure in their own role.

    Please don't take anything personally. It appears to be general,overall experience and therein suggest a psychological pattern.

    Lovejoy - spot on it is learned behaviour from parents and schools. Interestingly the good schools I've been in insist on kids treating suoply or cover teachers in the same way as other staff and that they must treat all adults with respect. Those who use the " It's because of the change!" " it's because of the special need"! " It's because you're a cover teacher"

    Joyfully it's not all one sided and you don't have to return to work anywhere you dont want to

    'hierarchies' and 'institutions' hold people in strongholds and forget they can exercise CHOICE
    including the choice not to play sick mind games at the expense of themselves.

    healthy individuals who no longer need to get validatin from outside sources will see through all the world's nonsense and will treat each individual as a valid person regardless of 'perceived status' and just because as a healthy person ( who has possibly gone through the experience of all the nonsense and so now recognises the patterns) you want to treat others with the same respect you would offer to yourself.
    pepper5, freshfriesan and tonymars like this.
  16. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    It really doesn't matter whether you're borne shoulder high through a cheering crowd, the corridors strewn with rose petals, to teach the adoring youngsters, who hang on to your every word, or if you're sitting alone, weeping in your car on the car park with a soggy sandwich; all teaching is a low-status job now. Parent power has weakened us all. No matter how good you are, one questionable parental complaint and the game is up, regardless of whether you are supply or on a permanent contract.
    Being a teacher is not sexy; being a teacher is not cool; we've always been figures of fun.Being a teacher is putting yourself in the way of every frustrated parent's need to vent every would-be comedian's search for a stooge. There's no need to get the hump, because a sub-section of the profession gets a bit of vigorous banter and the odd throwaway remark in the press.
    What were you expecting?
    Sadly, kids love it for all the wrong reasons when they know they've got a supply teacher. Carte blanche to go crazy, get the phone out, get the hair straighteners out (that's Essex for you!), rifle through the cupboards, pretend to be ill, "help" you fix the computer, "volunteer" to go and get the Head (via a 20 minute toilet excursion), give a false name, and blame it all on you.
    Teachers don't expect the work to be done, so they lock up anything that might get nicked, so you don't have the resources anyway. A bad day in supply is a real stinker. We know that. That's the job. Hence the bad rep.
    You just have to make sure that you are getting paid to scale by asserting your rights, float across the nonsense, accept the misperceptions and be home by 4.00 when everyone else is in another pointless meeting.
    That's the compensation.
  17. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    "healthy individuals who no longer need to get validatin from outside sources will see through all the world's nonsense and will treat each individual as a valid person regardless of 'perceived status' "

    Wise words Happyregardless.

    "Parent power has weakened us all. No matter how good you are, one questionable parental complaint and the game is up, regardless of whether you are supply or on a permanent contract. "

    Sad but true, nearmiss. I for one noticed this on the increase my last few years as a permanent. I thought it was the school... or the catchment area...
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. bella2891

    bella2891 New commenter

    I worked as a long term PPA supply at a school and remember innocently being asked by a ks2 pupil. “When are you going to become a ‘real’ teacher!?”
    pepper5 and BertieBassett2 like this.
  19. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    I had just secured a long term role in a junior school and for my first morning I was supporting the class whilst the other 'Supply' was leading the lesson. She asked me a question ('Where exactly is Mecca?') and after I replied, one of the SEN boys on my table said to me 'You should be a teacher!....'
    pepper5 and bella2891 like this.
  20. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    I have always said supply teachers are extremely skill full in that we have to have a range of teaching strategies and management skills to deal with classes we may have never met before. Also teaching classes without the knowledge of what the class as done before with the permanent teacher or other supply and teach to a high standard as well, because if we don't we are deemed useless by the brilliant permanent teachers and schools. It is amazing how kids have said we have done this work already and show the work as well, so you then have to figure out what as not be done or what they can do. Even worse it is amazing how many permanent teachers and schools set poor or insulting work, as if they think we are truly are 'thick as pig droppings', sadly I have kids ask can they keep me teaching them history for example, as they have learnt more with me, then the regular teacher, but then I am sadly an unemployable 'thicko'.

    That is the end of the rant from one of the untouchables!
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020

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