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My Horrible Day

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by pepper5, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. snowyhead

    snowyhead Lead commenter

    Just to echo what other posters have said @pepper5 - you always have time for others with your kind words and support. Tomorrow will be a much better day - not least because it's FRIDAY!
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Thanks snowy...yay Friday. I don't have anything booked, but will probably get a call as a lot of people tend to take Friday off for a long weekend.

    This has been one of the hardest weeks I have had in a long time.

    Last year I was working in a school where I was supposed to work for two weeks covering for someone on jury duty. The behaviour was so bad, I prayed the person would get let off their duties and come back. After a week the head came and said I have some bad news: the teacher is coming back and we won't need you. My heart skipped with glee! I had to pretend I was disappointed.
    snowyhead likes this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Today I went to a school I have been going to for a long time - not very often recently.

    I didnt have a great day, but the last period was the worst.

    There were about 27 students in the class with four on report. The main problem though was about half the class had names I could not pronounce without stopping to ask the students and they were very hard names to pronounce correctly. Of course they thought it was hilarious and were so loud and rude. The room was small as well and it was claustrophobic.

    I hope I never set foot in the place again.
  4. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Well pepper....I found myself at breaktime today being the only teacher in our dining hall with about 200 students pushing to get into the canteen, the closest I've ever seen to riot conditions in a school. Until help (eventually) arrived I just stood in the middle of the queue and dared them to shove me over. Even with two SLT there it took several minutes to get a semblance of order.

    Great job this isn't it.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Sorry you had to stand off a stampede.

    Do be careful - it isn't worth getting hurt.
  6. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Hi Pepper, I hope you're having a nice weekend. Even if the schools don't appreciate you, the TES supply teacher forum does. Three cheers for Pepper! Hip, hip ......
    Lara mfl 05, pepper5 and PizzoCalabro like this.
  7. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. I've just come back from church and that has given me strength for the week ahead.

    I appreciate the wonderful people on the supply teacher forums. People who have never worked as a supply teacher may not fully be able to appreciate what the job actually is. Without this forum, it would be very hard indeed to have anyone who understands.

    Have a great week everyone.
    Lara mfl 05 and PizzoCalabro like this.
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi everyone

    Today I one brilliant year 7 class first lesson. They worked sensibly and absolutely no problems. A sparkling morning.

    Lesson two was not too bad...had to confiscate a phone, but nothing more than that.

    Lesson three OK ...a large and a a bit noisy group, but manageable.

    Then....lesson 4...a year 9 group with five of the most challenging students I have met in a non core subject with no T A in a large group with several with mild learning difficulties.

    Is it just me, but it seems like I can't shake this pattern of getting some of the most badly behaved students. If it was just a couple in a medium sized class I could cope, but in a large class with so many difficult students I feel I am up against the impossible.

    What can I do? I could have sent them out, it with so many it just starts to look confrontational. I know it is not just me since the other supply was battling with her class as well.

    I feel that all this just makes me look like a broken old lady. It is definitely time to look for another job.
  9. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    remember pepper, bad days and good days...same with lessons within the same day. Hope your next one is better. I had a good clear up today and organised my files ready for leaving in a few weeks. Don't know why but its very good for the soul getting closure.
    pepper5 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Thanks splinters for the encouragement and I try to remember about having good and bad lessons and I do understand. I blame myself, but I know that is silly since there was another supply teacher battling with her last class of the day and she has double the experience I have.

    I just get frustrated by what should have been a simple lesson turned into a nightmare. It is the extreme behaviour and rudeness and the amount of it in classes without any support. Five very disruptive students in a group of 26 is a lot to manage.

    I've had enough of being treated like I am dirt. People say don't take it personally, but that will only go so far. I am definitely starting to look for alternative employment. Six years is a good track record. I'm sick of dealing with the rudeness, disrespect and entitlement attitude. I will miss helping the well behaved kids. I am going to get out while I still have my dignity in tact.
  11. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I do agree about the rudeness and entitled attitude. It is very hard to feel you have any dignity when you are treated in this way. It does feel like being in a zoo where you are one behind bars and the ignorant spectators are jeering at you from the outside.
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I reckon if you walked into most schools in Engalnd in particular and offered all the teaching staff alternative employment that paid, say £5k less than their current salary but didn't involve teaching you'd get about a 50% (at least) uptake on your offer.

    It's not just the kids - it's the dismal, dysfunctional management you get in some places that just lack the talent or the drive to find a way to improve things.
    pepper5 likes this.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have had something to eat and have had time to reflect on what went wrong today in the last lesson.

    One student kicked out from another school in my class, a couple of well known trouble making girls, a couple of other difficult boys, plus 21 other kids some with moderate learning difficulties who needed individual help with what they were doing. I basically didn't t have a chance. I've has enough. My husband says I only need to do three days a week, so I will try that until I find something else.

    What I like best is giving out stickers and praise to the ones doing well.
    indusant and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Today was not so horrible.

    I went to another school I have gone to for years and when I arrived, I found I was teaching classes that had not had their teacher all term due to sickness; in addition, the subject was not my specialisim.

    Despite those two points against my day, I managed to have a pleasant morning teaching. One student commented it had been the best class so far since his teacher had gone off sick. That made me feel a little better. It probably helped that I only had about 12 students in the class - bliss!

    Teaching 12 students is a lot easier than teaching 27.
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

  16. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Told ya Pepper..good days and bad days. Its all karma.
  17. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Pepper good to cling on to those good moments...
    Last week a child accosted me in the corridor and asked me if I would be teaching his class the next day for <not my subject> as my lessons are good.
    Today I had a call from a school I have not been to for a while - <my subject specialism> HoD asked for me for 3 days next week, I am only available 1 day, they will have me for that 1 day.
    Small triumphs, but for me they outweigh the bad stuff...
  18. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi splinters

    Thanks for your reply. My guardian angel was with me period 1.

    One student, already in some trouble from elsewhere, decided to heckle the technician as he walked through the room. In the meantime, one of the behaviour support staff had Entered the room and without me doing anything else said student was hauled off since the support staff lady saw what had happened. Yay!
  19. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    Six years is a long time. I dare say that many people would not last anywhere near that length of time as a Supply Teacher. It has to be one of the most difficult and thankless tasks in a school. The behaviour of some young people can be truly shocking - a lot of it has to be seen to believed. Then you've also got to deal with pushy supply agents who only look after themselves. Then there is the uncertainty of not knowing where you will be day to day, inadequate cover work, locked rooms, rude fellow teachers etc...

    It really is admirable that you have done it for so long. There is absolutely no shame in doing something different. Take the good memories and move onwards and upwards!
    pepper5 likes this.
  20. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Hey there @pepper5

    Can I just say thank you for posting this... I'm going into supply so find it helpful to get a feel for what to expect.

    Hope today was a good one!

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