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Supply Horror Stories

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by helenemdee, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. helenemdee

    helenemdee Occasional commenter

    Lovely day at work today. KS2 child put his fist through a window just because he didn't want to go into the hall to do PE. He was hustled away with blood dripping all over the floor. Subsequently excluded for the rest of the day but allowed back to class for the next hour until someone picked him up. In class, doing work as if nothing had happened! Surely that can't be right?

    I've seen a lot of difficult behaviour but never that - and I've worked in SEN and secondary PRU... I can't believe it of mainstream primary!!

    What's been your most "interesting" experience on supply?
  2. tashpink

    tashpink New commenter

    Accepted a day teaching Y4 in a "Good" school in the neighbouring city, 25 minutes' drive.

    Actually took 75 minutes, arrived at 8:45, children at 8:50. Couldn't ring the school to ask directions as they were on the phone to my agency complaining that I'd not turned up,

    Children immediately asked, "Are you our new teacher?", which seemed an odd thing to say.
    Difficult class- lots of swaggering tough boys- and boring work left meant I was on crowd control and, frankly, winging it in my second month on supply. Shortly after starting the last lesson of the morning, the Deputy Head brought in a stranger to introduce the class to their new teacher.

    All bar two children burst into tears. Stunned silence from the two. Class devastated that their teacher had left, aggression between several about the sincerity of their emotions, Deputy Head left. Thanks!

    Lunchtime. Fights, crying, more fights.

    Afternoon: strangulation attempts and fist fights. Sample conversation:
    Me: "Why are you crying? What's happened?"
    Child: "She punched me in the face!"
    Me (to other child): "Did you?"
    Other child: "Yes. He touched my hair."

    I sent for help and the child I'd asked didn't know what to do and sat back down. Deputy Head came and had to take over, as I'd simply lost them. I reckon the only thing I taught them that day was that if they're all fighting, the teacher can't do diddly squat.

    Some googling a couple of months later revealed that they'd gone from "Good" to "Inadequate" the week before I was there, mostly due to a failure to manage behaviour and safeguarding. (I know that many teachers deal with that on a daily basis, but I was used to teaching EYFS and KS1 in genuinely "Good" schools, and it was one helluva shock to the system. I've been robbed at work before, and that was preferable to that day teaching.)
  3. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    Last July I went to a school to teach a Y5 class. The area that it was in looked lovely, the school was a C of E and looked very nice.

    However at 9:10 I had walked out as the behaviour was awful and the children just didn’t want to listen. I had been put into a Y6 class from hell. Their normal supply teacher was off that day and they just didn’t want to be cooperative.

    I won’t be going there again.
    agathamorse, pepper5 and tashpink like this.
  4. freshfriesan

    freshfriesan Occasional commenter

    Didn't realise primary schools could be like this. What is going on? This sounds terrible. What is going on? How has it got like this?
    Did I ever mention the time I turned up to a class many many years back and a girl stood at the front with a queue of 3 "or 4 lads waiting to feel her breasts? That was a real shock moment I had, must be near 15 years back, I may not have hit 30 by then... I couldn't believe it... I think my first words o. Entry were you, you, get your hands off her and you have a bit of respect for yourself... It looked like that was the norm for the lesson, or had been... One of them absolute wow moments...
    I'm thinking about this now and if I came across such a situatiin I'd be alerting someone pastoral about that behaviour... I'm so thk king that that would be a case of agency being told I'm not needed anymore, because if the experie ce I've had so much of schools not liking being told by the supply what goes on in the supply lessons. They'd really rather not know .
    That primary stuff is very frightening to say the least, they are just little children. If I was head teacher of that school and knew that was going on I'd suspend all meetings and what not else, and be in that class myself, with ie without the supply... I'm sorry , but the old standard (rather the new standard) that I apply to the world regarding "national awareness day...." legislation and talky talky time, documents and whatever, big hullabaloo and banners saying tat "we are hot on this" going the other way. They're all talking a, safeguarding talk but seem more interested in "every parent or carer is a potential abuser, every child is being potentially abused" safeguarding side of things than actually keeping children safe from harm.
    The way I've seen in some schools, secondary how certain bullying individuals try run the show and create mayhem and chaos in classes during cover to the total discomfort of other children. The ones that get up and will punch another kid, I'll get them put on another room when they don't move , coz I won't have that at all, to get looked at by he permanent staff like I'm in the wrong and blowing stuff up... Yeah that's a memory from the last year come back to me, "leye rolling staff member when I removed this child, what the actual flook?
    All this safeguarding chat and kids not actually safe from each other in the class. What the hell is going on... Oh its because your e supply.
    No it damn well isn't because I'm a supply, it's because of the way you lot are mismanaging this place, somehow insidiously permeating a culture that this is OK on supply, or you've allowed conditions to get so bad with the class or school that that's how they believe they can behave. Where is the discipline going? Where is the actual real safeguarding?
    Its all a stupid hypocritical line of "we are scared that parents will complain" "oh, wait a minute, every parent is a potentially dangerous person to the child"
    They talk nonsense. The first day of this term I had to spend a day listening to all that safeguarding stuff. Deputy head jyst reading his PowerPoint he had made from the giv document, which we could've read. Yet it transpired they didn't want their behaviour policy followed, total tosh.
    This is eating me up. I've got to find an outlet for this. Its an awful education system.
  5. blue451

    blue451 Lead commenter

    If only more of us felt able to do that.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I agree with you blue451

    In 10 years of supply I had many instances of where I should have just walked out of out of control lessons but didnt because I was frightened of not getting work from the agencies.
  7. tonymars

    tonymars Established commenter

    I completely agree freshfriesan.

    These days supplies can be between a hard place and a rock.
    pepper5 likes this.
  8. Proyector

    Proyector New commenter

    Agree with all of this. Had a terrible day today which is a shame as generally my supply has gone well. I am so glad I’m leaving teaching. What a sad state of affairs it all is.
    BetterNow and pepper5 like this.
  9. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Proyector

    Sorry you had a tough day today. It is a dreadful feeling to get home and think about it.

    It is a very sad state of affairs since excellent teachers have been driven out by the thousands - they leave to work abroad or in another field.
    Proyector likes this.
  10. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    The blowwjobb story. 3 lads. One on his knees, one stood up unzipped, another filming. Sent nice girls to get SMT, they disappeared. I tried to locate SMT, failed. They were gone at 15:00:01 Got a phonecall from the agency, complaint against me.

    Got a class of unteachable gibbons spin the safeguarding wheel of fortune on me. Got suspended by agy for 3 months. Allegation was totally made up (outrageous). Wrote to agy and headmaster and said "I'm giving you a chance to rethink this before I go to the police. Head replied and said his school had robust measures and he trusted their procedures. Vermin infested failing hole of a place. Trump would build a wall around it.

    They are my gold and silver respectively.
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Couple of years ago. Late call (8.30) because the supply who should have gone had a car breakdown. Dressed and raced to the school, got there for 9. Went into admin office and handed over my driver's licence and DBS certificate. "have you got a gas bill"? My reply was no, why? "Or a rates bill or a credit card statement". Still no. "Well without secondary proof of identity we can't use you". So I asked for my paperwork back and said I would be going home. You would have thought I had slapped the woman, she went spare. Refused to hand over my stuff and went straight on the phone to the agency to complain I was being aggressive! I again asked for my stuff back but she refused to hand them back, instead she said she would check if the school could use me. She left, 5 minutes later she came back to harangue me about making her job difficult and left again. After another 10 she came back, handed me my stuff and told me that the chap with her would be escorting me from the premises. Now I'm in my 60s but the bloke she was using as a bouncer looked old enough to be my dad, I had to walk slower so he could keep up! Her parting shot was that she would never have me back in the school, I was able to shout back at her that if she asked I wouldn't come!
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    Thanks for sharing your story as it made me laugh although I am sure you were not amused at the time.

    Silly woman should have known tbe agency woulf have vetted you and you had the most important things- DBS and picture ID.
    agathamorse, ms honey and tonymars like this.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    This story isn't a horror story, but a somewhat funny story. I do have a horror story, but will tell that later.

    In one school I used to go to regularly, I arrived, picked up the cover work, and made my way to the classroom for the first lesson. I arrived at the room and turned on the light and as I approached the teacher's desk to put down my bag, I saw a gorgeous black and white cat in the teacher's chair! It was curled up having a nap.

    Since I am a massive cat lover I thought "wow. A class cat."

    Then I thought if the class arrive before I move the cat there will be MAYHEM and started to panic as where would I put the cat? I have five minutes to move the cat. However, I dont know this cat and it could scratch!

    The dilemma wss solved ad it jumped off the chair and made its escape out of a window in the back of the room. Probably the way it had arrived.
  14. speechcompanyinfo

    speechcompanyinfo New commenter

    There is a secretary at a secondary school that I will not name. She is notorious. I worked at the school 12 years ago and saw her in action with the Supply teachers. Basically, she got her kicks by getting them sacked as much as she could. The new Supply teacher would arrive, smile at her, give her the documentation, and then stand there perplexed as this secretary made all kinds of remarks, designed to provoke rudeness in what was usually an inexperienced 22 year old.
    Next thing to happen was that she'd let the 22 year old supply teacher have a few days working at the school, and be all smiles, so that her victim would not know what had happened. And, she'd be on the phone making up all kinds of insults and comments that the 22 year old had said to her, (all of it fiction). The school would dump Supply after Supply after Supply day in day out, due to this school secretary's complaints.
    Much later on the Supply teacher's networking circle, people began to compare notes .. and got wise to this woman..... and rather than deal with the humiliation of giving the school a go, and then being dumped, Supply teachers began to refuse to go there.
    Of course the people who were endlessly getting complaints from the secretary about "what the supply teacher said.... " didn't ever work out why it was increasingly impossible to get anyone to work there.
    Supply teachers warn each other.
    Its a good thing.
  15. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    @speechcompanyinfo: I worked in a school that had a DH like you secretary. She boasted about her links with the IoE, and she had a succession of NQTs from there, all of whom were of the same type: female, short, dumpy and shy (not the sort you would have thought would be attracted to teaching). By pretending to be this poor victim's friend, she would isolate her from the rest of the staff, while belittling her, and telling her that the other members of her department did not like her. All this only came out in the staff room, one day, when she burst into tears, and asked us why we hated her. None of these NQTs ever stayed on..
    tonymars and agathamorse like this.
  16. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    some years ago I worked at a school nicknamed "The Zoo" by local supply teachers. It was unbelievable. I rarely or never even had the correct children in the room with me. My class would be full of strangers bigger than me taking the room to pieces, and children I knew should be in with me would be hanging upside down from the banisters outside.

    SmT could do nothing at all.

    broken bones during lessons were inevitable, and I spent most of my time praying it wouldn't be a child in my room, or one who was supposed to be.

    The school was closed down the following year
    BetterNow and tonymars like this.
  17. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I think I would have just walked out if I'd landed in a place like that.
  18. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I committed to a term, I didn't want to back down on my commitment. I only just made it with my sanity intact though. And I only kept going knowing what a tiny length of time it would be
  19. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I spent a year in a really tough school a long time ago. It wasn't pleasant - I would never work in a place that again and I was miserable all the time.

    ....and yet, many teachers around the country will have to wake up tomorrow and travel to work in really awful schools

    They have my sympathy and my respect.....it's really tough surviving in places like that.

    I am so grateful my school is no longer like it used to be a few years ago.
    BetterNow, tonymars and agathamorse like this.
  20. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    I had a lesson go totally to pot on Friday afternoon. Kids wouldn't be quiet, wouldn't follow any instructions, wandering in and out the room, storming out when asked to write the date, repeatedly telling me I'm not their proper teachers so can't tell them what to do, rudeness, accusations, phones out and refusal to put pen to paper. Absolute carnage with at one point 4 adults in the room trying to settle the class down.
    Sometimes everyone in the class has a plan for how the lesson should go. On that occasion the teachers plan came last! As a result I now have the Sunday night dreads!

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