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Stories wanted

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by enquiries2, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. enquiries2

    enquiries2 New commenter

    Hi, I'm a former supply teacher and now a qualified coach working in schools to help school leaders become more aware of the impact of their actions on those around them. I'm writing a book about my experiences and I have seen some shockers! The stories will be written anonymously and without judgement, the purpose is to help teachers become more reflective practitioners. If you have a story you would like to share about unskilful actions of school leaders that you have observed I would love to hear from you.
  2. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Sorry, I've saving mine for a book of my own. Unless you wish to cut me...I charge very reasonable fees ;-)
    emmalcm1 and PizzoCalabro like this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    You don't have to look very far to get stories about how the actions of leaders affect those around them. You only have to read a few of these threads to get the picture. Also, there are many, many sad stories over on workplace dilemmas.

    It is my view that the "leaders" know what is going on around them, but either they can't or won't fix things. It isn't rocket science nor does it take two masters degrees to realise that if you have teachers in a school and an on call system where sometimes there is no one to go to a class, that that situation could affect a teacher who is having real trouble settling a class; and I am talking about permanent or supply staff where classes are unmanageable. Those are the type of leaders unlikely to read your book.
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  4. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Like @eva Smith I am working my on my own - race you to the publishers! :)
    emmalcm1 likes this.
  5. emmalcm1

    emmalcm1 Established commenter

    I've often thought that I could tell enough stories about supply teaching to write a book. As Pepper said, you don't have to look far. I'm sure that if a supply teacher wanted to share their experiences in a book, however, they would probably write their own.
  6. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    OK, here's how I see it. Bottom line is, unlike junior doctors, we don't have public sympathy. A book of what many tabloid readers will regard as whingeing tales of self pity will not serve the interests of supply teachers well.
    Conversely put a humorous spin on it all and it is still shooting yourself in the foot by portraying us as stoics who think being patronised, underpaid and exploited is a joke.
    Who is your target readership?
    Mumsnet Waitrose shopping, Joules wearing, book club worthy soul maybe, but what difference would that make?
    I wouldn't buy it. I live it.
    Better expend paper, ink and cyberspace lobbying MPs, local councillors, school governors, head teachers, newspapers, radio channels and ask them how much longer is good money going to be thrown after bad on agencies. How many more NQTs are going to be handed the poison chalice, how many more experienced teachers need to be culled before it sinks in that you can't fix a haemorrhage with an elastoplast.
    This is radical politics, not a good read.
    les25paul likes this.
  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    On the contrary, I think the OP would be writing exclusively for other teachers. No-one else interested.
    pepper5 and PizzoCalabro like this.
  8. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    Completely agree with Eva. We all grumble amongst ourselves here but no one else is interested. Are any of us her agitating on behalf of over-worked an exploited call centre operatives/shop workers/paralegals/estate-agents...?
    Hannadelaney likes this.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    From the OP I was under the impression that the target audience is other teachers/leaders who need to know what is happening in their schools so they can reflect about how it may affect others.
  10. enquiries2

    enquiries2 New commenter

    Yes Pepper, spot on, this is actually a positive book and not a grumble! I am using my experiences as lessons for teachers and school leaders. I currently work as a coach and this is intended as a resource so I think it will be very different to yours @Eva_Smith! Good luck with yours too :)
    I don't have time to trawl through all the posts for stories and get people's permission which is why I created this thread.
    Thanks for your replies :)
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    I don't see how writing a book about teachers' stories about supply will help school leaders. Most of the leaders probably know what is going on under their noses. I don't mean to be negative, but I don't see many SLT learning anything from supply teacher experiences, since most would not care to know and if they did know they probably would not make any changes anyway.
    emmalcm1 and indusant like this.
  12. indusant

    indusant Senior commenter

    I suspect that most supply teachers (present and past) could write a book about their shocking experiences - I know I could! Some may do it for cathartic reasons, which I can understand. All the better if anyone buys it. A compilation of such experiences would reach to the moon and back.

    School leaders probably don't need a book to tell them about their unskilful actions. They don't ask these questions, because they already know the answers. Acknowledging them is another matter. Most bury their heads (Heads?) in the sand and create an 'illusion of greatness' through spin. A lot of 'leaders' are actually administrators, not teachers. Another part of the problem - they are just not interested in 'reflecting'.

    The most satisfying school I worked in had all the basics in place (respect, good behaviour, manners etc). All by doing simple things. Simple does not necessarily mean easy - it takes years of consistency and commitment. It requires the students to take responsibility for their effort and behaviour. Unfortunately most schools seem to want instant results which leads to constant change. It leads to a lot of confusion and unrest, and the whole thing becomes unhealthy. Many schools resort to all sorts of dubious practices to cover up the reality of the situation. School leaders know this, because they are the ones doing it. Reading a book about all of their ugliness would only work if they were feeling particularly masochistic.

    That being said, I'm all for books that try to expose the shortcomings of the education system. Perhaps a re-think in focus and target audience is in order. Good luck.
    wanet likes this.
  13. enquiries2

    enquiries2 New commenter

    Thanks for you feedback but I do happen to know what I'm doing, I have over 10 years' experience in business too. I'll go elsewhere for my research.

    Enjoy half term! :)

  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We don't need "coaches" we need a government who wants to improve the lot of practising teachers.
    pepper5 likes this.
  15. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The fact that someone can be employed as a "coach" to "teach" school leaders that being nasty to people hurts them tells you everything you need to know about our current education system.
    pepper5 likes this.
  16. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I have to agree with you peakster.

    I feel very, very sorry for some of the teachers after covering their classes and thinking about what they face every day: large class sizes, not enough TAs to go around, challenging behaviour and gruelling workloads in terms of planning and marking.

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