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the quality of cover work!

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by telephonejunkie, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. telephonejunkie

    telephonejunkie New commenter

    I have been off sick twice this term, for one day, for
    different reasons. Today my HoD "had to talk to me about the standard of
    the cover work I emailed into school earlier this week when I was sick. He emphasised
    that this is the second occasion that this has occurred and perhaps I should
    have a set of books at home so this does not happen again.

    I have been off sick twice this term, for one day, for
    different reasons. Today my HoD "had to talk to me about the standard of
    the cover work I emailed into school earlier this week when I was sick. He
    emphasised that this is the second occasion that this has occurred and perhaps
    I should have a set of books at home so this does not happen again.

    I think I should have a chat with my union rep, who is in my
    dept. Have I got it wrong or is this a territory that goes with the HoD job?
  2. telephonejunkie

    telephonejunkie New commenter

    sorry, just realised I double pasted, well it was last day of term.
  3. telephonejunkie

    telephonejunkie New commenter

    Thanks for your replies. The HoD was an internal promotion and when he was il,l he came into school to write his cover before returning home( I work on the assumption if I can drive, I can teach). I don't think he has realised the additional legal frame work he now has to work within.
  4. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    If you are too ill to attend school then in my opinion, any work that is produced early in the morning when you are feeling poorly is never going to be top quality.
    When I phoned in sick recently, I was asked if I was well enough to email cover work. There was no obligation for me to do so. At 6am in the morning, tired and trying not to throw up (sorry for the graphics lol) I was writing cover work for the day and it was tough to do when feeling ill!!
    I think your hod is totally out of order.
  5. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    Your HoD is being an a*** . I always try to send in cover work if I am off sick but noone would bat an eyelid if I didn't. Second in department takes it on himself to set cover work if needed and would only ask you tell him what topic the class are working on.
    Last week one of our department was off with pregnancy complications and we all rallied round to sort out work for her classes. Why wouldn't you your HoD should remember he may need a bit of help in this respect one day.
  6. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i agree with all that, but...
    i've never understood why plans aren't already in place so someone can pick up the classes? i have weekly plans for people to work from if i'm off sick midweek or something.
    just puzzled. am i missing something?
  7. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    My plans for the forthcoming week would include explanation of grammar points, listening exercises, setting up a speaking exercise - all things a non-specialist who doesn't have access to the resources or who cannot read my mind would not be able to do.
    If we are off unexpectedly, we do try to email work, but sometimes it is just not possible. We therefore have a bank of worksheets in the Dept which can be set as stand-alone lessons if necessary: none of them moves the learning forwards, but the do consolidate/flag up areas of weakness.
  8. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i've only ever had to say where the plans were and give a few details - but i wasn't asked to do that. perhaps it's easier in primary?
  9. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    as a linguist, I wuldn't be able to just leave a plan. i would need to leave work that could be done by a none specialist. Emergency worksheets are usually kept within the department
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I think that this is a key point. You cannot expect your colleagues to know exactly where you are in the SoW unless you do this. So, it seems reasonable that you be offered the choice of giving in your plans in advance or setting cover as required. I know which I prefer!

  11. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Are you saying that you have an entire week's written plans for every lesson, a week in advance, and that these plans are in sufficient detail that a non-specialist could carry them out?

    Surely you must do some lessons that require your specialist expertise. These wouldn't necessarily be suitable for a covering teacher. I teach music but I'd never set a practical percussion lesson as cover.

    Perhaps you were kidding.
  12. ellbee

    ellbee New commenter

    I totally understand this "leaving work" issue.
    As the only music specialist, it would be difficult for me to say "students are being assessed on their singing today as per SoW. Please allow them 10 mins to rehearse their group (some cover teachers don't even like the noise of them "creating",) then use the assessment sheets in their booklets to self and peer assess each group, giving level and feedback" or "continue with the keyboard piece from last week and peer assess each group, giving help to students who need it/ demonstrating higher level work for those who are MAT".
    So as someone said, I suppose it probably is easier leaving work in primary but on the odd occasion I have had to cover, even that slight step out of your own little comfort bubble can be difficult to pull off. I know when I have done a maths cover, I'm always thankful of the "page 5 in the textbook (answers on page xxx if you need them) type of lesson.
  13. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    Do you not also find that if you plan too far ahead you have to re plan? Eg If for whatever reason the lesson didn't go to plan. Fire drill, nurse comng in, pupils not fully understanding.
  14. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    yes, i do a week's planning in advance. they're not in huge detail but quite enough to be followed by a supply teacher. there's also my TA who can tell anyone who covers what we're up to. of course i need to plan a week, i need to know where i'm headed and what activities we're doing, or resources etc won't be ready. and no, not everything gets done, we do go off on tangents and things are amended accordingly. however, mostly, things stay on track, and anyone who comes in should be able to see that we've started something, this is where we got to, this is what we're planning on doing today.' it's not rocket science to pick up plans and continue them, in primary, is it? i managed it perfectly well when i did supply!
  15. sdm79

    sdm79 New commenter

    In my 8 years so far teaching secondary science, my cover work when ill has always been a quick e mail or phone call before school giving textbook pages and questions and/or worksheets so an covering eacher can easily tell pupils what to do and only need supervising, not teaching. Whenever I have had to cover other lessons of other subjects same thing. This has always seemed suitable, never had complaints. Assumed it would be like this at all schools.
    My current school has a policy that if it is unplanned absence then we do not even have to do this! Can just call in sick then go back to bed :) although i have never done that.

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