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On a terms supply at school and been accused of lying by parents. Fed up.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by giddyG2001, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. giddyG2001

    giddyG2001 New commenter

    Will try to keep this brief but really need to vent. I accepted a 1 term post in a school where I was initially told would be PPA which was then changed to a job share (which I had stated I didn't want) on the first day of term. I was annoyed but agreed to do the teaching and planning for the post but no assessment, reports displays - any of the stuff a usual teacher would do as that was not what I agreed to. I wasn't overly happy with the post being changed but as it was for 1 term, decided to suck it up just for the term.

    I've had the worst week there, I had a parent on Monday state that it's only me who has behaviour problems with his son, and that he'd never heard any complaints from another teacher (which I later found out was a bare faced lie). So that annoyed me, but I got over it. But today took the biscuit, after a lovely day, I've had 1 parent come up and accuse me of lying and not passing on information to my partner teacher about concerns about her daughter's progress in maths and another mum state that her son behaved better for the other teacher because he had a different carpet space for her - again another lie, but she backed down when my TA's backed me up on this.

    I feel very, very aggrieved about this situation as I'm employed by a supply agency, yes on a short term position, but in either case, I refuse to be spoken to like that, by anyone. I was so angry I cried after (and I don't cry often!). I went to the head, to state that being accused of lying, 3 times in a week was unacceptable. She was very nice and supportive and said that whatever course of action I wanted to take, to let her know. She was quite happy with my suggestion that the perpetrators are told that under no circumstances are they to speak to me in that manner again.

    I'm so angry, at myself, the school, the agency and the parents. I knew in my gut that this post wasn't going to well when it turned from PPA to class share (which i stated quite clearly I wasn't happy to do) and really feel I should have backed out then. I feel that by "sucking it up" I've put myself in the position where these people felt it was alright to accuse me of lying! I feel angry at the school that this isn't an isolated incident and that they are allowing this to happen. I'm angry that if I do back out now (I feel like not going back on Monday, despite me having only 15 working days left) I will essentially burn my good working relationship bridges with the agency. I'm angry I didn't trust my gut instinct and return to day to day when I had the chance.

    The only thing I can think that may push me through the next few weeks is to ask the other class teacher to speak to the parents, and set them right. And also to tell the head that if any of those 3 parents would like to address any issues with me in the future, they address it to the head, and that any other parents who may have grievances, are made aware that I am a short term supply teacher and am not really the person to talk to re: long term academic discussion.

    I know when taking on short term contract you agree to do the job of class teacher, hence why I stated I would do PPA, and now I feel I am just getting all the **** that goes along with it and not getting paid for it.

    Any words of wisdom or advice?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Don't annoy the. Crocodile until you have crossed the river. Go back to school on Monday and finish your last 15 days so that you stay on good terms with the agency and learn from this experience as you will be much wiser next time. Next time just say no to work you don't want to do.
  3. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    It will all blow over, listen to Pepper's advice. We live in anxious times so parents, teachers and school leadership are all on edge. I have had to take unconstructive remarks on the chin at times. Children are often put out by a change of teacher; they see you as an intruder and can go on the defensive. Parents often get the wrong end of the stick and become very protective of their children. After all the negative press about poor teachers and coasting schools they are worried. Give it time to work itself out. The best thing you can do is be steadfast and show you care.

    You need to distract yourself so you don't dwell on the negative. You feel insulted and aggrieved but it's not a good idea to try to exonerate yourself. Try and get out at the weekend and take your mind off it.

    I was absolutely pilloried by the year 11s I inherited just before Christmas when I took a long term cover at my current school. It took weeks to calm things down and a bit of support from other staff who took a few of my most challenging students off my hands for a while. All is well now, they've done their exams, several came back to shake my hand and make their peace. We have our highs and lows.

    Teaching reaches the places in your head other jobs cannot reach.
  4. loveparis77

    loveparis77 New commenter

    I can definitely empathise with your situation! I joined a school at Easter on a part-time medium-term (maternity) contract and have not had an easy time of it at all. I have had a surprising amount of really very negative reactions from a large proportion of kids across most of the classes pushing the boundaries and being really quite obstructive, rude and offensive towards me because they can't accept a change of teacher. My Year 10 class in particular is a real challenge, loudly vocalising their desire for their old teacher to return in the middle of my input at the beginning of the lesson, coming in and refusing to take out books, pens, open textbooks or start work, refusing to do homework or attend detentions, etc - you name it! It's been a really rough experience, and I'm finding that on top of my 3 days a week, I'm having to do all of the end of year admin so I'm doing all of the reporting, end of year data, parents evenings, attending all school meetings, liaising with parents by email/phone, dealing with loads of behaviour admin, SIMS, class assessments on top of planning and assessing and I'm not on a school contract, but on a day-to-day agency agreement so I don't really get paid enough to cover all of these extra hours I'm putting in. But at the end of the day, I just have to keep reminding myself that I do care about how well the kids do, that's why I'm putting in the extra work, but at the same time, I do have to keep a balance and be aware that I am 'just' a supply teacher and to keep perspective on it. I could really relate to something that another poster put somewhere else - you're a class teacher in every respect, until you're ill or it's time for holidays and then you're a supply teacher...! When I think about that, I have to remind myself to keep the additional work in check as much as possible - and I remind myself that I only have 10 more working days until the summer holiday! Best wishes to you.
  5. I would have thought that the head should have suggested this herself. But as she hasn't you should do so.

    Yes this is a big problem. You get none of the perks of a permanent teacher. A day off and you lose a day's pay. No pension contribs either. I would try and stick it out till the end if it was me, but keep the boundaries you have set and be prepared to stick by and defend them if something similar happens again at this school. It doesn't sound as if you are getting any support at all. Another disadvantage of being on supply.

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