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personal insults

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Abadie, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. Abadie

    Abadie New commenter

    Just had a 'delightful' day with a Year Six class in North Birmingham where two children thought it was ok to make insulting comments about my appearance.

    In their rush to cram for SATs this school seems to have forgotten basics like manners and that visitors should be treated with respect.

    I really didn't go into teaching for this and wonder sometimes if I am wasting my life away in this profession.
  2. needabreak

    needabreak Star commenter

    They could be in training to be online trolls. Sorry you had a rubbish day, hope you dealt with the poor behaviour.
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Y6 in July - bad enough for their class teachers, b l o o d y nightmare for supply. Well, buy yourself something nice with the money you earned today. Take care.
  4. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    I was with a class of Year 1s on Monday, when one of the children came up to me and said (with a smirk), "Kaden says you're fat."
    I said (in a fairly unconcerned manner), "It's true. I am."
    The boy thought about this for a bit (obviously disappointed that Kaden didn't get a rollicking).
    "You're all right though," he said.
    "That's true as well," I said.
    He shrugged and went off. I shrugged as well.
    I find the 'tell-me-something-I-don't-know-because-I've-got-the-skin-of-a-rhino' approach works for me.
  5. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    @lulu57 I logged in specially to 'like' your post. I thought you should know.
    gingerhobo48, pepper5 and lulu57 like this.
  6. peakster

    peakster Star commenter


    The standard reply to that question is......

    I may be fat but at least I'm not ugly.
    frangipani123 and pepper5 like this.
  7. Abadie

    Abadie New commenter

    Thanks but really I wasn't bothered personally. The HLTA I was working with commented on how calm I was when dealing with those children. What made me comment was that I just feel so tired of the fight.
    needabreak and pepper5 like this.
  8. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    This is one of the reasons one needs a very thick skin when on supply. I can't count the number of times I've been walking between lessons and heard a student call out something like 'baldy' or 'bonehead'. The few occasions when it really has been out of order and I've been able to identify the culprit I have included it in my feedback notes.

    It runs in the family so I'm not bothered most if the time, but the lack of respect (not just to teachers but to adults in general) is shocking.
    Landofla and pepper5 like this.
  9. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    Abadie - it's true, it can be tiring and I do sympathise.
    Kids like that just want to get a rise out of you. If you can think of a pithy comeback in time (that won't get you sacked!) then it makes you feel better for a bit, but it just perpetuates the game. I just give them the withering/pitying stare o_O(depending on my mood) and move on quickly.
    Of course, some children don't give a monkey's how withering your stare is, but at least they won't have hijacked your lesson.

    As regards teaching Y6 in July - that was always my favourite time! All that SATs c**p was over and done with, and you could actually do something fun together. Of course, it's different if you're on supply and the class teacher has left you something boring to do with them. Then you might get boredom-related bad behaviour. I tend to act up a bit myself if I'm bored! :eek:
    gingerhobo48 likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    You are probably wasting your life - but it is money and you probably need the money.

    If I were you and you are young enough and can do it, find an alternative profession you can train for.

    I have been sniggered at, laughed at, mocked, had crude and obscene names an gestures directed towards me in secondary schools as a supply teacher and I put up with it because I get better money than in an office making about £6.00 an hour after taxes.

    There is absolutely no way I would continue if I could find something better.
  11. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    It must be awful to be spoken to like that regularly. I don't get it often, so I suppose it's easy for me to be laid back about it.
    pepper5 likes this.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    It is awful and sometimes I get very depressed about it and that is why I enjoy this forum so much since there are understanding people on here. There are things that I have seen and heard that are unprintable on this public forum and one particular thing so obscene I am too embarrassed to describe it to my husband.

    That is the state of some secondary schools in this country and there is so much of it, schools just don't have time or resources to deal with it and people become hardened and just laugh it off or put it down to students "being kids".

    Yes, we have to have thickmskins and brush comments off, but schools could go further in insisting upon basic manners. Some do, but many others do not and you can observe the SLT and see why that is the case.
  13. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Supply doing yr 6 at this time of the year?
    A big bag or two of Jelly Babies works every time. Set the (structured) task. Get them working. then go round with the bag. One for each child. Do it again 10 mins later. Then again. Then again.
    A couple of quid spent on Jelly Babies will make your life much easier at this time of the year.
  14. gingerhobo48

    gingerhobo48 Star commenter

    I thought you meant jelly babies for yourself, I love jelly babies:D.
    rolysol and pepper5 like this.
  15. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    Me too! (Tom Baker moment!)
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I used to work in a PRU on supply and there was a teacher there who had an "emergency stash" of sweets. When all else failed, she would dip into it to give to the kids to calm them down. I never saw her do it - only knew where the "stash" was kept.

    A long time ago on my first year of supply, I saw another supply teacher with " a stash" - a bag of lollipops to use as bribes. LOL.

    In all my years of supply, I have never given students sweets although I have seen plenty of others do it. Maybe I should buy my own "stash". Very tempting.
  17. gingerhobo48

    gingerhobo48 Star commenter

    They seem to give out sweets at my sons school. I find it quite puzzlingo_O My daughters biology teacher tried to entice them to revision lessons by offering home made cake and tea which sounded lovely:)Daughter wasn't impressed:D.
    pepper5 likes this.
  18. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Maybe pop corn and milkshakes would have been a better 'bribe', but students see through it as your daughter clearly did. LOL.

    Thanks for sharing your story gingerhobo48.
  19. lulu57

    lulu57 Lead commenter

    I've got a tin of treats - sweets/rubbers/pencils/'well done' cards/stickers - I don't give out many, but I do use them regularly. A lot of children couldn't give two hoots about house points or golden time, or even smiles and adult approval, but something from the tin does the trick. I'd much rather offer the carrot than use the stick any day.
    When I worked full time, I only rarely used this kind of 'prop' - the children knew me and wanted my approval, or I made a big fuss of them in front of their parents, which strengthened the bond between us. But on supply, I haven't got the luxury of that mutual relationship with the child and the family. I find that small rewards give the children an immediate motivation to do well for someone they don't know (and don't care about!). It works with primary aged children, but I imagine secondary aged children might find it patronising.
    You could say it's just bribery and that it stops children developing internal motivation to learn and behave well. But I'm not going to destroy a child's integral love of learning during one day of cover with a jelly baby. And if they haven't got a love of learning anyway, they might have learnt something despite themselves - because they wanted a jelly baby(!)
    After all, there are lots of adults who don't like their jobs and the only reason they do them is the wage at the end of it. Some people need extrinsic rewards - a sense of achievement isn't enough for them.
    CaroAlvarez and pepper5 like this.
  20. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I can totally understand why people use rewards like sweets on supply. I tend to use stickers or stamps in years 7 and 8 and depending on the group with the older students.

    One time about 4 or 5 years ago I was taking this distance learning course and the tutor had a doctorate degree. Anyway, she returned one of my assignments with a message written on it and a sticker in the form of a star! After that, I thought if I am not too old for stickers neither are the year 10s and 11ss.

    I don't think I ever would use sweets in secondary one reason being a lot of students eat too many sweets anyway: it is not unusual to see bags of sweets, biscuits, crisps tumbling out of bags and a lot of the time, they try to eat them when they think I am not looking as the "evidence" is on the floor in the form of the empty wrappers and bags.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
    lulu57 likes this.

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