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Long Term Supply Anxieties

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by pleasemiss__, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. pleasemiss__

    pleasemiss__ Occasional commenter

    Hello.
    I've been working as a supply teacher since September and was lucky enough to be placed in the most wonderful school for a half term's cover. The experience at that school reminded me why I became a teacher in the first place and allowed me to enjoy the magical, inspiring side of teaching.

    Unfortunately that placement ended (and although the school took my details & claimed they would be in touch), I have started another role. It is a very different role at a school on the other end & frankly, I'm already considering cutting my losses & not going back next week. Behaviour is poor & department organisation is poor.

    Do you think I should stick out the supply role until Christmas and then find something else? Or should I leave and let somebody else pick up the pieces that I am struggling to work with?
     
  2. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I would give it another week to see if things improve. If they don't and its really that bad you can reconsider then.
     
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi pleasmiss

    Glad to hear from you and thanks for posting.

    It is not that far until the Christmas break, although in your mind if it a very challenging school, it seems like eternity. Working on some of the most horrendous places in terms of behaviour I know exactly what it is like: watching the clock and praying to get through the day intact. It is not a pleasant position to be in. If you are able to stick it out, you will have the security of money and work leading up to Christmas and if you have been reading the threads on here, you will know it has been unusually quiet, so you may want to try and stay until Christmas.

    If it is so bad that you feel like walking out, then that is the time to say "enough" and tell the agency you will not be going back. If the school is that bad, the agency will know its history and the school will have probably have had many, many supply teachers through its doors - especially if the organisation is poor.

    Regarding behaviour, if you can manage that enough to keep your sanity, then you might be able to get through. What I would suggest is that you might want to take a firmer approach since what do you have to lose? Have 3 rules that you stick to, give 2 warnings in a calm manner, then if the students choose to break those rules, then they choose to work elsewhere. The three rules are:

    1. Folllow instructions fast
    2. Stay on task
    3 Work without disturbing others

    Have a couple of scripts in your mind that you will say to give warning in a calm and clear manner then when you see behaviour that is not according to the 3 rules, then give your warnings.

    Supply teaching is one of the hardest jobs in a school and this is all god experience for you, but don't stay if it is affecting your mental health. I've worked in schools so bad that it wasn't uncommon to see teachers crying when they left for the day. Believe me, I was one of those teachers, but now nothing would make me cry, since now I know I am the boss and it is my way or the highway.

    Take care and let us know how you get on.

    Pepper5
     
    rachelpaula008 likes this.
  4. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    In my experience just knowing that you can say "That's it - I'm not coming back" can make a big difference in your attitude to the job and help you feel more relaxed. If you give it another few days and think "They have to make it worth my while to stay" you might find it's not as bad as the first few days. If it stays awful, leave as les25paul says. Nothing is more important than your health.

    Bear in mind what Pepper says as well.

    You are not responsible for the poor behaviour/attitude of the pupils. They are responsible. You are visiting and helping out. If you could turn things round in a day you should be being paid the mega bucks of a "SuperHead". Take it day by day. One of the worst schools I went to I'm now quite fond of.

    Hope things improve soon.
     
    rachelpaula008 and pepper5 like this.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Deirds is right ....you are not responsible...the students are responsible and the HoD is responsible for ensuring sanctions are in place for those who choose to break the rules.

    I forgot to mention to take stickers and reward those who you see are doing what you have asked and who are working hard. If you really observe things, it is usually only a small proportion of the class who are off tack; but those few seem like the entire school when you are with them!
     
  6. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    I was in a similar situation once. I went to some challenging places during supply but this one was truly the pits. Appalling behaviour is one thing, but when you get zero support the task becomes very grim indeed. I had to tell the agency quite firmly that I would not be returning. They found someone else, I found somewhere else and everything moved on. Of course, it may depend on your financial situation but go with your gut feeling on this one. Best wishes.
     
    m56phil likes this.
  7. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Yes I agree with indusant. Go with gut feeling. I have regretted not listening to my gut feeling before and ended up regretting it.
     

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