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Primary School Cover Supervisor interview - Monday

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Anonymous, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Cover supervisors do not teach. They cover. They do not plan. They do not mark work. That is what you call a teacher.
    A class should have a qualified teacher. Your job is to hand out worksheets and make sure they do not misbehave. Sorry - but there are many supply teachers who are very capable of taking a class and it really annoys me that cover supervisors come in on the cheap and take their jobs.

  2. A cover supervisor in a large primary school I know of was one of only two members of staff to be graded 'outstanding' in their recent ofsed. I'm pretty sure she didn't get it by 'handing out worksheets and making sure the kids didn't misbehave.'

    Ofsted didn't even realise she wasn't the class teacher.

    Said cover supervisor DOES teach. DOES plan and DOES mark work.
    I'd much rather my child's class teacher's PPA was covered by the same person every week to allow for continuity in learning.
    Much better than having a string of supply teachers who have no rapport with the children

  3. Thank you for your responses.
    I feel that I have hit a raw nerve - I will be taking classes in the absence of the class teacher - not on a full time basis and will be using the absent teacher's plan.
    I have a degree and wish to become a teacher but I took some time out to have my daughter so I do not have any upto date experience (but have taught in a PRU). The school that I have the interview at also takes on GTP students so if I get it I have a greater chance of them supporting me.

    All I really wish to know is how you think is best to prepare for the interview and what kind of questions you think I will be asked etc.

  4. cally1980

    cally1980 Established commenter

    I expect as it is a large part of the job you will be asked about positive behavioural management techniques. Maybe a Child Protection question. Its difficult to say as have never interviewed for cover supervisor but you might be asked about how you might adapt planning depending on the needs of a class - how to extend children who have met the LO.
  5. It may be worth your while posting this on HTs section because the first thing that springs to my mind is if you get on the GTP in September 2012, then the school will be in the same position next year of having to re-recruit a cover supervisor.

    Best of luck. [​IMG]

  6. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Sorry but the job description of a cover supervisor is to cover a lesson based on the work provided by a QUALIFIED teacher. Their job is not to teach. Their job is to ensure the children carry out the work. They are paid a low wage because they are NOT qualified teachers. They have not spent years training to be a teacher at a teacher training establishment.
    Teachers are professionals - it was the thin end of the wedge when TAs started to take lessons. Teachers took it because they got PPA out of it.
    How long should a class have a cover supervisor - 1 lesson a day, a morning? A day. I appreciate you can argue there might not be much difference between having a CS for a day and a supply teacher for a day who does not know the class. Should that CS be teaching? Or should a supply teacher be teaching?
    It's a case of the further deprofessionalisation of the teaching profession. And yes - it is a bone of contention when qualified supply teachers can't get day to day work because of CS in secondary schools and yet schools do need a good pool of supply teachers when a teacher is off long term sick. Schools can't have their cake and eat it.
  7. Sorry to high jack this post Bethan [​IMG]- I will send you a message with some possible questions etc..
    Robyn - you raise a valid point about long term absence, in these cases classes are better to have fully qualified teachers.
    What if the cover supervisor/HLTA <u>is</u> fully qualified and has chosen to work at that level? Or had to work at this level as they have not been able to get jobs in their area?
  8. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    Cover supervisors... this is the future... watch how they multiply as the Old Ones Retire..... Sometimes the cover supervisors call themselves Sports Coach.....
  9. f you are part of a union you should strike if your union has balloted and that ballot was found in favour.
    For example if there are 10 staff in your school and 8 strike and the school closes it is unfair if you are part of that union and you still get paid when people are fighting for your rights and lose a days pay.
    It is different if you opt out of your pension and also if you are in NASUWT but if you are in school on 30th June you should decline any additional responsibilities for anything as simple as having 5 children from a strikers class or taking assembly or covering break duty!
    Many primary schools are less 'militant' (for want of a better word) than their secondary counterparts. Often primary schools do not have a named rep and therefore ballots can often be missed! I regularly find union post old and unopened littering the staffroom!

  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Good question - and one for a whole new debate. The argument is though that the school is paying for a Cover Supervisor at CS pay. They should not expect you to "teach" because that is depriving a qualified teacher of that work. That's why people go to teacher training colleges. In a workplace, should you do some electrical work (replacing a light fitting) because you know how. It's not your job - it's the job of a qualified electrician. Unions of course don't seem to care about this little technicality. Nor does it seem do qualified full time teachers. Just as long as they have someone in their class, that's fine.
  11. Thank you to everyone who has given me advice and feedback and thank you to those who have pointed out what a bone of contention a CS seems to be - it has certainly opened my eyes to new views and opinions.xx
  12. Good Luck [​IMG]
  13. Thank you:) xx
  14. Hello,
    I was offered the post of a Cover Supervisor at a grammar school on Friday and will outline what the day entailed, as its my way of saying thank you to the teachers who shared their tips online that helped me! Bear in mind, I was given my 'lesson' 1 minute before I was teaching nd I did not mark any work.
    The trick is to act as confident as possible, like you own that room and anyone who crosses you will be sent packing!
    1. I covered a 20minute English lesson that had only 3 instructions ona lined piece of paper for a 'lesson plan' for the pupils:
    - Read 4 pages of the book they were studying
    - Make notes about the new character
    -Create a Crimewatch appeal about the villain of the piece
    As I have just completed a secondary PGCE (Citizenship), I used suitable teaching techniques/strategies to get the class's attention by first standing in the middle of the room by the nearest table and saying 3-2-1 with a raised hand, counting down; introduced myself and put my name on the board and repeated each instruction at least 2 or 3 times.
    You NEED to repeat instructions several times, and then ask pupils if they understand what they need to do; if not, then you explain as many times as necessary until they are clear about what they need to do. (my lesson observer, the Assistant Head, told me that this was why I had got the job as my instructions were the clearest out of all the prospective candidates she observed).
    I also gave the pupils timings of how long I was giving them for each task, and then asked pupils to tell me what they had learned. I used questioning and praised pupils for answers to establish a positive learning environment. I also took my own pens, paper and whiteboard marker to display my organisation, as well as to write on the board and give pupils paper, which I did!
    I saw the Head's PA hovering by the door after the 20min period which was my signal to leave, so I made sure to tell the returning class teacher which task they had reached; make no mistake that this teacher will be asked how you interacted with them so make sure you thank them!
    The Assistant Head later told me that I was offered the post as I looked like I would make sure that the pupils completed their work (there's my behaviour management coming to the fore!), and I came across as the obvious teacher.
    She said one candidate wouldn't stop talking, as if he was trying to show off his teaching skills- so don't talk too much. Remember, the lesson is about the pupil learning, NOT hearing the sound of your own voice.
    2. I was then given a school tour where I made sure to ask at least 2 insightful questions to show how interested I was in the chool and its developments, as well as making you stand out as an intelligent candidate which were:
    - Do teachers contribute to curriculum review and integration?
    - What traning opportunities are available for staff?
    3. The 30 min interview was with the Deputy Head, the Business Manager and a school governor and they were sitting in a semi-circle with my seat in the middle at a suitable distance.
    Below are a list of all the questions I was asked so I would recommend preparing answers ro all of the following if you are serious about the post!
    1.Where do you see yourself going in future, what are your career goals?
    2. What are the good and bad things about the school?
    3. How would you leave a classroom for the next class (ie. would you tidy it?)
    4. What would you do if you arrived at a class and no work had been set?
    5. The person spec mentions the job is 'physically demanding,'- how do you interpret this? (obviously this was unique to my job ad but you never know!)
    6. Give me an example of a situation where you dealt with difficult behaviour/pupil and what was the outcome?
    7. If you saw a Yr 11 pupil, towering over a Yr 7 pupil who looked weepy in an isolated playground, what would you do?
    8. What would you do if a pupil said they wanted to speak to you after class bit I wasn't allowed to tell anyone else? (typical safeguarding Q!)
    9. Tell me 3 words that people you know would use to describe you.
    10. Where would you draw the line if a pupil began asking questions such as, what do you do on the weekend Miss, or asked about your boyfriend etc? Where do you drwa the line professionally?
    10. Do you have any questions for us?
    This is a faithful account of the entire interview experience, and I really hope it helps anyone out there who is looking for a similar post. I was struggling to make ends meet as teaching jobs in my subject are scarce, if not non-existent, so if anything, I am aware I was somewhat over-qualified for the post.
    However, it was my conscious decision to take the job as I do have bills to pay, like any other person, and this post is a fantastic opportunity to build my classroom experience and will help schools see that I have been utilising my teaching skills when I do finally manage to land my first teaching post! Plus the school is superb with delightful pupils so I have no regrets.
    The best of luck to anyone who is applying for this post, and all I can say is: make sure your behaviour management skills are strong and really emphasise this in the interview!
    Onwards and upwards!


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