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My Horrible Day

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

  1. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    I was lucky enough last year to go a lot to a school with a very deprived intake but fantastic head - he was everywhere, and even taught some of the tougher classes himself. I have only had a few odd days there this year as I am concentrating on my direct schools, and that school pays less as an agency school, and is further away. But I was back there today as I had been asked for by name my own subject specialism ( treat!) and it was like going home - greeted by staff and kids, and system that works. Not perfect, but you feel supported. So those schools really do exist out there - if only that head could be cloned...
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I realy like my HT but he could not be more invisible if he were wearing the ring of power.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Today was not so horrible - only partly.

    Lesson 1 a smallish group some with statements. Last week I taught this class without a TA, but today I had a T A and what a difference. With a T A I felt like royalty- I could actually get around to everyone and the group produced some excellent work. My heart was singing as I left for lesson 2.

    Lesson 2, group of delightful year 11s polite as pie. I danced away after the lesson, my heart full of joy.

    Lesson 3, year 9 noncore topic, not delightful as above, but not hanging from the cei!ing. Had a coup!e of tricky moments, but got to lunch unscathed. Great, I thought. One lesson to go and I will be home and dry.

    After lunch, I went to set up for year 8. When they came into the room, I knew there was going to be trouble. Some were eating and they were not getting settled quickly. It was obvious they weren't used to routines or behaving sensibly. It wasn't the entire class - about 10 students out of 25.

    I always insist on silence when I take the register. One kid in the front kept making noises, so I sent him out. I think he was one of the school's well known trouble makers,

    The real problem was that I had been given the wrong books for the work set and then when I realised it, the class became unsettled again. I can't to into everything here, but put it this way, by sparkling day suddenly turned into a somewhat horrible lesson. I am going to say somewhat since I had 15 wonderful students out of 25. I would bet that the ones misbehaving are just lthe same for their regular teacher.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    If only indeed. I've worked for a couple like that too, to add to the 'cloning' list.;)
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Today, again I had a partly horrible day.

    I had three lessons which went brilliantly, then I was sabotaged the last lesson of the day.

    There was a change and I was asked to cover a class where the work was not suitable and just an awkward bunch of students. It was 75 minutes of hell.

    Where am I going wrong? I tried carrying on with the work, but they just did not want to try. I couldn't change it, but I couldn't let them sit and do nothing for 75 minutes. What am I doing wrong? Why am I getting these horrible classes?
  6. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Pepper, one reason might be that you are more competent. I had the (perverse incentive) last week of having a class swapped around from another supply teacher because 'she is not likely to be able to cope with that class - they know you' - so a day of geography with one solitary swapped drama class. I bet you are me!:eek: (and she had the 6th form geog I should have had....
  7. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    btw - have noticed that you have four lessons in a day? not seen that - 5 is minimum ime.
    (My own DC in an independent school have 8*35 mins - which I remember form my own schooldays many years ago, but never seen in a state school on supply)
  8. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I might stop working on Fridays. There appears to be a pattern since kids don't want to work on a Friday afternoon when they see a supply teacher. Like I always tell myself to cheer up, "At least I am not their parents."
    PizzoCalabro likes this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Most common day for supply work though Pepper, more teachers seem to be off on Fridays than any other.

    If it makes you feel any better I had two grotty classes this afternoon and they're my regular ones - I have one boy who seems to think any form of normal behaviour is optional and the sanctions available to us are so weak as to be almost useless. One teacher removed 7 pupils from one class (that mut have been tough to watch).
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Pizzo

    Several schools around here have 4 x 75 minute lessons. About 3 years ago, some had 100 minute lessons which I hated. The 75 minute lessons are in some cases still too long, so I like the 60 minute lessons.

    I forgot to add, that after today's disastrous lesson, I went to the department office and handed the work to the class teacher whose class I was covering and she glared at me, since she had come into the room to see what was going on. She didn't say anything...just glared. Has anyone else been glared at?
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I am truly sorry to hear of your horrible two classes and those of your colleague. Thanks for posting since it makes me feel 100% better and to know that I am not the only one and losing my mind.
  12. bonnie1

    bonnie1 Senior commenter

    I love teaching, I really do, but whenever I had a horrible day, I just imagined the cash register ringing with my wages going in it.
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  13. splinters

    splinters Established commenter

    Whatever happened to 'we don't teach for the money'?

    I agree of course, its the only consolation after a bad day!
  14. bonnie1

    bonnie1 Senior commenter

    We all teach for the money, we're just lucky we get money for doing something we like.
  15. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    It is official: I have a kind face. A year 7 with autism told another member of staff he would speak to me because he thought I had a kind face. I am thrilled with the compliment and that made the horrible lesson 4 just a bit more bearable.

    Thanks bonnie....kerching ...kerching...kerching...yay! Thanks all my friends who cheer me up after a horrible day or in the case of today my horrible lesson 4.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. supply287

    supply287 New commenter

    I have been glared at and talked about , I imagine, not that i cared ; It happened a number of years ago in one of those seemingly lovely church connected schools...

    The teacher wanted me to make musical instruments with the kids but one child was not allowed to do it, because of attitude reason. Anyway the child turned up with what looked like the bottom half of a guitar that her dad had made with her. It was homemade but would have taken a good number of hours requiring a high level of skill, so I thought of the dad, the time , relationship of father and daughter so decided '********' and let her make the neck etc. anyway. The coldness and looks from the teacher wouldn't have been something that Jesus would have gone for - I don't think, anyway. Might find out one day.
  17. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    What a womderful story. You did exactly the right thing and Jesus would have approved!
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    At times during my year on supply it was only the money factor that kept me going really. That's the only time in my life I've ever worried/thought about money in that way.

    I'm in an OK school now - not great but surviveable and I'm starting to get established now. One kid said something really nice to me yesterday and I even got an email from a member of SMT with some nice comments about my book marking.

    Two school weeks to xmas everybody
  19. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Well done peakster. I am glad to know you have found a school that you enjoy working at and it is encouraging to get kind remarks from students and staff - it makes it worthwhile.

    Many teachers in schools have never worked on supply at all let alone six years. I am not sure how I have kept going really. It is my faith in God plus the thought of the alternatives, but mainly my faith.

    Yes, two weeks to Christmas... Yay!
  20. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Every teacher should have to spend a period of time on supply - it would be too much of a shock for most of them.
    PizzoCalabro likes this.

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