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Supply teacher and lesson observations

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Shabas, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. I am just trying to get an idea of what the expectation is. I am doing a year 1 cover as part of a job share (with 2 days to go) I have taught the clas for 18 days so far and have had 2 pop ins by lit/numeracy leaders (no feedback given) . Now the ks1 leader wants to do a pop in. Baring in mind that my job share partner is only having her first pop in this week, am I justified to say no to a 3rd pop in. Also I have agreed for the Nqt at the school to observe me all Monday and Tuesday morning, which is a favour to her and the school. I keep being hounded for a day and time to come and observe me. I questioned the criteria for the pop in and he said to check progress (which he could surely see when observing my job share partner!?)

    Please help, feeling more stressed and like I've been backed into a corner.

    Also we've had book trawls for lit,num,science, history and geography and only had feedback for hist/geography.

  2. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    You are not an employee of the school. You are on the payroll of the agency who have already vetted you as appropriate for the post you hold. If the client school feels the need to observe your practice for quality control on behalf of your employer then it must be with their knowledge and approval.
  3. Unfortunately I can't use that argument as I'm not with an agency. I'm more cross at the injustice of being watched for a third time after only teaching 18 days!
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I was 'observed' last week following a totally passive aggressive e-mail from the HOD. I'd put my foot down about the last suggestion of observation a few months ago, so this time she just emailed with the date and time.

    To put it into perspective, I've been in the same school for a long while, but covering different roles as various people have been off sick or left and needed covering. I made it clear that I was only available for day-to-day basis supply (no marking, planning, parents' evenings, meetings etc) and although this was accepted, the HOD has been irritated because she obviously thought somewhere along the line that I'd magically be able to mark all the books in the 1hr per week PPA I get, in addition to marking controlled assessment and trawling through the schemes of work to find out what I'm supposed to be teaching - the differentiating it for the low ability groups/EAL students.

    So she wandered into the 2nd half of my lesson last week. I welcomed her and carried on with what I was teaching. After the lesson, she asked if I'd prepared a lesson pack. I asked, "Why? Am I being appraised?"

    At the end of the day, I am not permanent staff, I am not even being paid on pay parity because I want to stay at a day-to-day rate. I have nothing to gain from a 'good' observation. She can come in a watch a lesson if she wants to. It has absolutely no impact on me at all.

    Basically, she just wasted 30 minutes of her time conducting a totally pointless observation.
  5. I understand what you are saying and although observations don't bother me too much, it's the principle of why I am being watched again and my job share partner hasn't been observed! Plus I'm still waiting for feedback from the book trawls and I have very kindly said the Nqt can observe me for 2 whole mornings! I'm not having another adult in the room too!
  6. teacha

    teacha Occasional commenter

    Shabas, if you want to know why you are being observed and your job share partner isn't, you need to ask your Head teacher. Only he/she can give you the answer.
  7. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Hi Shabas,

    I worked part time as part of a job share for 6 weeks fixed term contract from Sept 2015.

    If you are being observed so frequently, I would check several things-

    1. School policy on observation

    2. Email who ever has observed you and ask for feedback if they have not given any to you. Say that it would be useful for professional development and as part of your portfolio when you apply for other posts. Also BCC a copy to your private email account.

    3. Check marking policy- have you followed it? Has your partner teacher?

    4. Compare your marking with your partner colleague- does it match the policy or is there a difference.

    5. Email a request for feedback on the book trawl-again, as it is a tool for professional development and as part of your portfolio when applying for other posts in the future. BCC a copy to your personal email account.

    6. I would also ensure my planning, differentiation, formative and summative assessments were in line with my job share partner, and that both were reflective of school policy.

    7. Ensure that both of you are consistent on behaviour towards the class, and are following the rewards and sanctions policy.

    8. Make sure you are part of a Union.

    When I was doing the job share I was very aware of the relationships between member of the staff. I presented a positively and was supportive of others. However, there was tension.

    I made a special point of ensuring my planning was on time and ensured that I liaised with the permanent member of staff professionally, however there were a couple of misunderstandings: mainly she complained that I had not done X, Y or Z.

    I did the first part of the week and she completed the second half. Unfortunately she expected me to plan, but never informed me of the outcomes of children's learning, so it was extremely difficult to plan the next week for Literacy or Numeracy. I also never had any PPA time with her at all. SO no face to face handover either. Therefore it was necessary for me to email her, requesting details of what children achieved for Literacy Numeracy, Spellings and Extended writing. I also planned Art and RE. This was done in order to cover my back, as I am certain it is easier for a permanent member of staff to "pass the buck" to the newbie/ non-permanent person.

    From my experience of job share, assuming all policies are followed, generally it is the relationships between staff that can cause most stress.

    You could ask the HT directly why you are being singled out- that would depend entirely on how approachable the HT is. As you need to put the HT on any other job applications as a referee, I would try not to rock the boat too much. However the mention of "copies for cpd and as part of portfolio for future work" in the emails, would imply that you have a great interest CPD and their observations are a key to this.

    I doubt whether this will be of much use to you, now. However it is always a good idea to trust your gut instinct. If you feel vulnerable due to the amount of observations- then I would be looking elsewhere for a post.

    After all, if you have been not offered you a permanent contract (you don't specify), there is nothing wrong with looking elsewhere even at this late stage. Check your contract- what are the notice periods?

    If you are in South London and teach primary, there is at least one HT looking for permanent staff right now. Currently, HT has not given out class lists yet as she doesn't have a full complement of staff.

    Good Luck
  8. defenceagainstthedarkarts

    defenceagainstthedarkarts Occasional commenter

    I can sympathise with this.

    I moved in July 2014 and the differences between the school holidays where I used to teach and the school holidays here meant schools were still open for another week. I signed up with a supply agency but the following day saw an old family friend at a funeral who said her school were "desperate" for an English teacher for a term and could she give them my name - I taught a lesson and was interviewed and duly appointed for a term.

    When I arrived at the school in September I was told the DBS check hadn't arrived back (this was blamed on me [​IMG]) and I had to be employed via the agency. As a result I ended up being paid on a day to day basis via the agency - in other words, no holiday pay, no sickness pay and so on.

    In December I agreed to stay until the end of the year on a fixed term basis only. Lo and behold the end of January came with no pay for me. Again, apparently, this was my fault. So I have been paid via the agency for a year!

    The school is also in SM and so I have been observed and had to attend CPD (which was not the best CPD you'll ever get - something of an earnest myth!) - I put my foot down with PM though.

    It's very irritating. I sometimes think you get the worst of both worlds.

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