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Things supply teachers hate about class teachers

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Quentin2, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. erica_c_hanson

    erica_c_hanson New commenter

    Im a supply teacher and have been doing it since September. I havent found any of the issues that you have on your rant 'list'.
    - I havent found a desk full of clutter (yet) - and its their desk - work space (your only visiting it)
    - No idea what you mean by complicated group activities (if you dont understand the work left - make something else up as long as the theme is met by the class, and the class understand the work you give them its normally not a problem)
    - I carry my own tool box full of pens pencils and other basic equipment so ive never had a problem of a shortage of equipment and no need to mess someone elses room looking for things (students also know where this sort of stuff is in most classrooms/workshops).
    - I have my own sheets covering a variety of projects/themes just in case Im unable to access the work left by staff, most schools dont give you a password unless your there for a few days and have read and signed their internet T&C's. I also carry a few KS4 ref books just in case I need to explain or expand an idea with one or two students.
    - Ive done cover where objectives have just been left - the objectives made no sense so I'd soner have a list of instructions, Then I know what the staff want.
    - More often then not staff are off sick and have left no cover work, so a bank of sheets are handy for period one lessons just in case other staff have been unable to print stuff in time.
    I was advised by my supply agency to carry a few pens, pencils and a couple of worksheets just in case cover work hasnt been left or students finish it quickly. A small tool box with some work in isnt that much to carry and makes it easier for you to deliver work if you know it. [​IMG]

  2. As a mother of five children , who has taught in permanent and supply positions across a range of schools in the Inner-city and Outer london boroughs, I feel quite sad to read the posts of some teachers !
    Teaching has increasingly become a very challenging profession with the lack of discipline and respect encountered from pupils who view a supply teacher as someone who is not really a "proper" teacher and will attempt to disrupt lessons because of this view.
    Class teachers may also at some stage in their career be on the receiving end of this with a particular pupil /s whose parent feels that they can speak to us in whatever manner they wish, in front of other children/parents This is like an open door for disrespect towards us from pupils who witness these incidents,(to give but one example)
    We do not any of us deserve to be held in such disregard. As a class teacher , I always reminded my class how invaluable a supply teacher was and how they deserve our respect.Something that I taught my own children. Teaching is a chosen profession. We will always have difficult parents/ pupils . Surely we should work together to ensure that the children we teach are influenced by the "caring" profession we have chosen to be a part of?
    I can honestly say that the classes that I have taught throughout the years ,regardless of location,that I have felt happy to return to or remain in have been those that first and foremost instill in their pupils , that teachers, all teachers deserve respect .After all we are adults,they are children . We are there to guide them . We lead by example. Dont we?

  3. Ive been supply teaching for three months now after working a maternity cover from September. Ive have found some schools to be completely ignorant of supply teachers...esp me as ive an extrememly young looking face. I love having basic guidance and routines, and oftern dont mind if no planning is left but please please please attempt to leave literacy and numeracy tasks!!!

    Ive been in some real ignorant schools where 'dionosaurs' of teachers have no repsect and think that you have completely no brains or training. Where in fact i have come to the conclusion that some have no idea of the New curriculum that now exists in Northern Ireland.
    I also hate when people leave notes saying
    - this is a systematic and reasoning task...
    -please ensure work is of Primary 7 standard
    use capital letters and full stops.... any human being who hadnt trained as a teacher would know this!!!!!

    I do love it when someone checks in on you
    When a note of particular children to watch is left
    When you and the children have a happy productive day!!

  4. Erica, I wish all secondary supply teachers were like you! I realise that most of the posts on this thread seem to have been about primary supply, but as a secondary teacher the thing that I find really difficult is knowing where to pitch a cover lesson in terms of what the supply teacher will be able to deliver. I teach music, which I realise is quite a specialist subject, and therefore I tend to avoid any sort of practical lesson activities in cover lessons, and stick to writing/research tasks instead. However, I know that these don't make use of the supply teacher's abilities - but not knowing who is going to be covering my lesson before the day itself, it's impossible to tailor a lesson to the teacher. I'd love to be in the position where I could give my lesson plans in so that the scheme of work wouldn't get disrupted due to my being away..!
  5. Having recently started supply after a long term position as head of department I am really enjoying the work I do. It is intended for a short period and the new experiences will come in handy for the future. I have seen objectively the stress and impact that some difficult teaching and learning coupled with all the other responsibilities which have to be taken on board can have on the morale and health of staff. Previously being immersed in the issues I might not have seen the wood for the trees.
    One point I would like to add that would make my life easier and initial classroom discipline more effective with unknown students would be to leave your seating plan (Good practice would suggest you do actually have one). As the regular teacher you of course know your students so much better than I possibly could and you know who they work best with and perhaps school policy states particular types of seating plan (girl/boy for instance). Good supply teachers can be a real asset particularly if the work set and standards expected are clear. It is only by good communication between cover and regular teacher that the best learning experience can be gained by the students who are of course at the heart of this discussion.
  6. No less than the fact that all too many teachers ought no to be teaching. They don't have the character, nor the talent, nor the intellect, nor the manners to be one. And that neither society offers to the inmense majority of children an appropriate learning platform. Both teachers and unions are guilty precisely for been such silent subservients because they witness daily dead-end situations and saying "yes" when they ought to say "no" and "no" when they ought to say "yes". And because there are too many teachers who, protected by their own constructed halo of "experience" and "seniority" are in reality villans to children and to other teachers - and especially to supply teachers.
  7. please don't be upset Iamagoodgirl. I can tell you are sorry and didn't mean to cause such offence. I do think some people have been a bit harsh in their comments. Let's all try to forgive and understand. Teaching is a demanding job for us all.It's the end of a tiring day..... etc. chill

  8. hkiinh - But the longest contribution! Good one!
    Did you actualy read any of it?
    Pointless in the sense that it's just got both sides of, supposedly, one team attacking eachother, which is what I was trying to point out. My long post reflects my strong feelings on the subject, and I was trying to be fair and balanced (NOT in the FoxNews way either). Something many people on here would do well to try.
    I personally don't do this job for children (and to be honest I find that a particularly twee statement), I do it for myself. I get a lot of pleasurefrom being in the classroom, helping children and being a teacher. That does not mean I 'do it for the children'. I do it because it makes me feel good and happens to benefit the children too. There is no way I would put up with all the **** in the profession all for the benefit of someone elses kids. Sorry to burst your bubble.
    I'm not sure why I bother posting at length, trying to engage with the isues being raised, when all a lot of folk seem interested in is putting down contributors or making sarcastic comment.

  9. Wow, what a comeback! First class!
  10. kirstenly

    kirstenly New commenter

    I supply taught for the first term when I first qualified and found I much prefered to teach my own lesson from an objective.
    Since having my own class, I have made up a supply teacher file with timetables, names of adults, seating charts and class lists, routines, home time prayer, passwords...as I found I was writing the same things out over and over again each time I left work for a supply teacher for the day.
    Now I just leave the folder and the work for the day - with a note to the supply teacher saying I won't freak out if that particular work isn't done, so long as they teach the objective - it may be that they have a good idea for that objective, or they're specialists in a particular subject...
    I will confess though, I do tend to leave grammar work [​IMG] I apologise!
    I do really like it when supply teacher leave handover notes too - so if there have been any problems with any children or any work I left, I know for next time!

  11. I don't have a white board and quite frankly when mine is installed. I
    will not be letting a supply teacher near it. No offence but these are
    expensive machines and I am sure that suppy teachers are perfectly able
    to use one but i would be concerned if a teacher turned up and stuck
    thier own usb pen into it, risking a virus. Especially if they go from
    school to school. Surely it is not beyond a teacher to teach without
    these days. I do !. ( I know the benefits too but it is hasn't killed
    You sad girl! If I were to cover your class and were denyed the use of the <u>"Children's Whiteboard"</u> facilities, I would complain to both the head teacher and the school governors. What gives you the right to deny your pupils access to this resource. As for virus protection, have you not heard of software freely available to protect against such eventualities.
    As a former head, with over 34 years experience under my belt, It is my experience that the vast majority of Supply teachers today are extremely resourceful, well equipped and eager to earn a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. Supply teachers are not weighed down by internal politics, planning, endless, frquently boring meetings etc.. so they can devote their energies into working hard with the children, perhaps offering a well deserved break from the oft times regimented work routine they have to endure and put a little excitement and wonderment back into their education.
  12. I suppose we can all find things we dislike about each other. I believe we should be tolerant of each other and realise that regardless of what type of teacher we are we all have difficulties and obstacles to overcome and at the end of the day it is about doing the best we can for the children we teach. Most teachers, on both sides of the employment situation, do what they do because they believe it will be beneficial for their students.
  13. I think the problem is when supply teachers don't have much teaching experience or are only doing it until they find a permanent position. I am a PGCE student of music - a very hectic subject. I was asked to go in and help the supply teacher with a very difficult year 9 class as they were running somewhat riot. The supply teacher was very young, perhaps in her mid-twenties. She took one look at me and handed the class over and went to chat in a corner with the TA about the shopping channel. Within about ten minutes, the two of them had left and I was left to deal with a very rowdy bunch of year 9 boys and no lesson plan or learning objectives (she had taken them with her).
    On the other hand, I have seen older supplies handle a class brilliantly, the trouble is that alot of people go into supply teaching as an interim measure.
  14. far too many 'very's' in that but you get my meaning I'm sure.[​IMG]
  15. I am guilty as heck about leaving my desk full of clutter. Sorry. I have ADHD, and what seems organzied to me may seem cluttered to others. I always leave a work surface, though, and never forget to leave lesson plans. I have emergency lesson plans that don't require a whole lot of new initiative from the students, therefore help the supply teacher keep control of the class. I am an Art teacher. I would never, for instance, require that the ST mix up papier mache, or instruct students on a new technique. I always have a whole box of sharp pencils, each marked, "Art," so they don't go walking. I don't leave a laptop because I don't actually haveone. Or even a computer in my classroom. Whiteboard? What's that? I heard some of the rich schools in our school board have them in every classroom, but we don't. My whiteboard requires markers. I have lots of them.
    All that said, 99% of my supply teachers have been just excellent over the years. Thanks to them! Two bad ones only that stand out (for the laffs, I swear!) are, just lately, the one who came into my classroom, said, "I can't stand the clutter!" and proceeded to completely reorganize my classroom , lost some important documents, including, believe it or not, my entire daybook, managed to *** off colleagues, keep great students in for detentions, and make racist comments. She won't be coming back.
    Another was just useless: I am going out on a limb here, but sending a woman who wears a burqa--yes, full, head-to-toe, over-the-fingers black covering, into a classroom full of rambunctious, poorly-behaved boys is just inviting trouble. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING??? Or were they? I don't wish to get into a discussion of right/wrong moral/immoral, freedom/bondage. That being said, I teach in Toronto, Canada, and, at least in my part of town, virtually nobody wears a burqa. The kids ate her for lunch and she wrote a terrible report about them. She scared them, too. Not enough, I'm guessing. Haven't seen her since, either, though I suppose she's still out there.
  16. That was completely unprofessional behavior on the part of the supply teacher.

    I suppose some teachers see us as having a fairly cushy time, after all we turn up, teach, and go home. No paperwork, no meetings, no marking, no assessments and we appear to get paid more for what we do. However, there is no need for individual supply teachers to treat the job as an easy meal ticket.

    I have been doing supply now for over four years and (generally) enjoy it. If I am on daily supply and find a poorly prepared class I can usually rustle something up from my "bag of tricks" and provide a lesson. It may not be the one that was supposed to be taught but they will at least have done something - if only some good old English grammar!

    First rule of daily supply. Find out the school 's rules on behaviour and the person(s) responsible for enforcing it. If you're having problems seek out this person and tell them (don't ask) that you want them to deal with the miscreants. Remember that supply teachers give feedback to agencies and schools don't want agencies blacklisting them for poorly enforced conduct.

    Second rule. If there's a TA in the room use their knowledge of the class and kids. They are colleagues whose background information can be invaluable. There is a tendency amongst some teachers to treat TAs as dogsbodies instead of valued contributors towards helping to teach a class.

    Thirdly, tidy up the classroom at the end of the day. We don't have the additional burdens of full-time teachers so we have the time to spend 5 minutes leaving the classroom as we would wish to find it.

    Oh, and don't forget that a smile and basic good manners goes an awfully long way!
  17. Reading all these comments makes me glad I'm not a teacher. This sounds like a playground squabble. A good supply teacher should make full use of her/his TA. She will know where the pencils are, know the password and help you with your carousel activities. If you're lucky the class teacher might have gone through the plans with her too. If you're very lucky she might even make you a cup of coffee!
  18. This is an interesting thread. I'm surprised that people are being so defensive of thier positions.
    We are all teachers!
    Most importantly though... I think this thread is fantastic. I have only had the opportunity to do supply for 6 months. Now I have my own class. I've never been sure what supply teachers like to have left for them. This thread has given me a great insight into what I can leave to keep supply wanting to come back to my class!
    Thanks for the tips guys!!!
  19. Mitzka

    Mitzka New commenter

    I'm not saying I agree about not letting others use the whiteboard as I don't feel quite the same personally, but Gertie I also don't agree with you caller her arrogant and a twit. It may be a little over protective to some but it is also a valid reason at the same time. Also, if you're angry with her saying that a teacher should be able to teach one....well...some people need to stop relying on technology so much. What would people do if there was a power outage or glitch? In our school we have no interactive whiteboards yet every school in our province (state) has them. Last year I had the opportunity to visit a few of these schools on observations and was amazed at how much people do rely on them. One teacher gave up on a lesson entirely due to a whiteboard glitch. Other classes had completely bare walls because ALL the lessons and childrens work was done on the whiteboard. Half the kids today can't write or spell because they expect to be able to do it all on a computer where it types neatly and corrects the words for them. But don't think I am against technology, I'm actually ICT lead teacher at our school and am looking forward to purchasing boards for our classes very shorty. I just don't think teachers should be relying on them SO much.
  20. Thanks for that Quentin. Finding that statement at the top of my inbox at 7.50am this morning has really inspired me - NOT! Just what I needed. As if its not bad enough being earbashed by our local authority and by parents now fellow professionals think they are the most perfect teachers and have all the answers. Why not try working full time and see what state your desk ends up in!

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