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Totally demoralised...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by tobychainsaw, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. I have been with the same agency for over 6 years now and I have just had some shocking and demoralising news. When wondering why I haven't had any work for them this term, I used to be considered one of their favourites, I was told by this newbie in the office that 14 schools have me on their "Not Preferred" list. I knew of a couple and I realise that not every school is going to like you but 14 came as a total shot out of the blue. Some of these were schools I have been going to over the years and everything seemed ok.
    Obviously this newbie has said that he can't help to think that I must be a **** teacher, however, he could not give reasons why most of these schools suddenly didn't want me. Apparently, there were a whole slew of schools in 2009 who said this but nothing was ever said to me. So my question is what changed in these schools? Because I don't know.
    One theory is the changing face of supply teaching. Ten years ago, schools would support and even develop supply teachers. Now it's a "sink or swim" type situation, where the supply teacher can sink at the first thing the school perceives it doesn't like. Something needs to be done but what?
     
  2. I have been with the same agency for over 6 years now and I have just had some shocking and demoralising news. When wondering why I haven't had any work for them this term, I used to be considered one of their favourites, I was told by this newbie in the office that 14 schools have me on their "Not Preferred" list. I knew of a couple and I realise that not every school is going to like you but 14 came as a total shot out of the blue. Some of these were schools I have been going to over the years and everything seemed ok.
    Obviously this newbie has said that he can't help to think that I must be a **** teacher, however, he could not give reasons why most of these schools suddenly didn't want me. Apparently, there were a whole slew of schools in 2009 who said this but nothing was ever said to me. So my question is what changed in these schools? Because I don't know.
    One theory is the changing face of supply teaching. Ten years ago, schools would support and even develop supply teachers. Now it's a "sink or swim" type situation, where the supply teacher can sink at the first thing the school perceives it doesn't like. Something needs to be done but what?
     
  3. bigpig

    bigpig New commenter

    You never know, maybe it's the agency saying this, the schools might still actually want you. If you've been doing it for 6years I assume you're getting paid more than an NQT so the agency might prefer to put them in so they get more money out of it.
     
  4. Ask what reasons were given for putting you on the 'not preferred' list, and bear them in mind for the future. Then change agencies. This one has not been upfront with you. You should have been told about the schools' comments as they arose.Also find out what comments to the agency would warrant someone being put on this list. It could be something as simple as a harassed cover organisation person being less than gushing when quizzed by the agency, perhaps not quite being sure which person they were asking about or not having had feedback from others about how you got on. And it sounds as if someone in the agency in 2009 was being a bit over enthusiastic about seeking school judgements.
     
  5. I'm on the do-not-send list of several schools. For one, the junior school don't like me, yet the infant school TAs greet me with "oh thank goodness it's you - someone who knows what they're doing with our kids" when I go in there... I simply was the victim of a miserable class teacher who was having a bad day in the juniors who bad-mouthed me to the office... with another - I actually worked in the school for a year, the head rates me highly as a teacher, the dragon in the office just doesn't like me cos I spent the year doing work and not kissing her backside in the office.... for another - my mind-reading skills failed and I didn't realise the kids are expected to do PE in silence - and that school I know goes through supplies like I go through chocolate.

    I'm sure there are others I'm on the list of as well - that's just what I know of from one agency who showed me my file. Some schools look for a scapegoat, some schools expect miracles, sometimes you just hit someone having a bad day looking for someone to kick out at, sometimes schools don't have a clue who the heck you were!
     
  6. You need to be aware that agencies aren't ones for telling the truth- at all. The agencies claim you are on these lists-so, as mentioned by another poster, why haven't they told you? The agencies claim schools are ALL asking for CS's- are they? Contact these schools yourself. Agencies are paying CS rates yet charging schools normal supply rates. It's not rocket science- I worked at a school, got friendly with many of the staff, including the persons responsible for cover. I found out the actual rate the school was charged for my professional expertise. I understand the need to make profit- but charging twice my rate of pay, I think, is ultimately greedy. Supply agencies and they're dishonest 'agents' will all get what's coming to them. And, if reading this irks you- please feel free to do something to prevent all these horror stories from happening. Just because it hasn't happened to you, or your circle of friends- it doesn't mean that it isn't happening to supply teachers up and down the country.
     
  7. Thank you to all of you for the comments you posted, I feel a bit better now. Furthermore, I am now looking at other agencies including other branches of the agency I've been with. The agency rep the newbie replaced and is now running another branch. I've contacted him and he is interested even though it means more travelling for me.
    I think there is a bit of truth to all the suggestions put forward as well as my "sink or swim" theory. Another theory about 2009 is the fact since 2008, supply teaching has been more of a second job for me. I still care about the profession and supply teaching is how I keep my hand in. However, I have mentioned this in passing to teachers in school I've been to. I know there are those out there who think people like me should get out of the profession on the belief that I'm not committed and that I see supply teaching only as extra money. That is not true, although the primary job does make me less available and maybe schools or the agency don't like it.
     
  8. If this is a case of character assasination then the perpetrators must produce WRITTEN EVIDENCE. Otherwise it's all lies, backbiting, backstabbing and gossip!
    Write a sternly worded letter to the agency and request documentary evidence otherwise threaten them with court action for defamation of character...

     
  9. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    I agree with the other posters, I would ask why have you been blacklisted by the schools in question and get details, because it may be the agencies looking to get their new favourites into schools. Also it may be the moaning of individuals, like TA's who believe that they should be teaching, instead of a qualified supply teacher. As I see it, if it was something serious then the agency would have dropped you like a hot stone. So do not put yourself down, because in some schools if your face fits then you are okay, but if you show the school that you are better then the normal teacher or your face does not fit, then you are bugg ered, no matter how good you are.
     

  10. Agree with Historygrump et al..This is a secret Santa from Satan!!! An SSS!
    I would wanna know why I had been blacklisted. Maybe someone made an accusation against you!? These things happen and can ruin whole careers/ reputations..Heresay..Blown outa context and we supply teachers are easy faire! Could be something and nothing!? Even a misunderstanding? Understand that supply teachers are easy targets and schools wanna keep parents happy and supply teachers are two-a-penny-second-rate-bods! Dispensable commodites.
    Ask for this in writing. The written word vastly outweighs the spoken word..And there you have it..
    I personally, would write and ask for a reply in writing - just ask - why have I been put on the not preferred list? I am at a loss and have never heard anything negative about my teaching and am very worried about this. Say that you always given your best, set yourself high professional standards and if you have failed to deliver then you would like to know why and how so that you can improve your performance.Put the ball in their court! Take control.
    You cannot accept this lying down!
    I would also wait a little and then contact your union..if you hear nothing! As aspertions and allegations have been made and you should like knowledge of them..
    I would not allow or accept anyone scarring or tarring my name so..
    Take control.
    You have nothing to lose if this is done in a professional manner.
     
  11. Thanks again for the advice everyone. I will consider writing to the schools however, it seems that most of this happened back in 2009 after I stopped working as a full time supply teacher. The other thing I find a little strange as that many of these schools who have blacklisted me are the agency's regular customers. Could something fishy be happening here?
    I did contact the former rep who now runs another branch and he claims that the schools I had problems with he told me about, I seem to average about one a year before this news. Is it more fishy dealings?

     
  12. I'm wondering if their "not preferred" list includes those whose daily rate is above what the school's renegotiated down to?
     
  13. Good point, I probably was sacrificed for teachers with lower rates. However, the schools nor the agency will ever admit this
     
  14. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    Do not contact the schools directly. The agency will almost certainly drop you if they find out that you've done so and you might then find getting a reference from the agency difficult.
    If you happened to meet someone from the school you could ask if they still use X agency as you loved working there and haven't been booked for some time! Otherwise, leave well alone.
    They probably have all their registered teachers on the 'Do Not Send' list for some schools as many schools specifically say thjat they only want CS cover these days.
     
  15. By the highly scientific method of running into the school secretary in Tescos I found out one <strike>set of lying, cheating s c u m bags</strike> supply agency had told the school when they asked for me by name that I was no longer doing supply!
     
  16. Excellent, Mr Fibble.
    Second hand car dealing spivs have more integrity than supply agencies - any supply agencies !
     
  17. My experience of 'working' for agencies leaves me with the firm conviction that their actions are governed by expediency and the maximisation of profits; little else. Agencies seem to regard teachers as being as expedible as pearl divers. If you have been told by an agency that you are not on their 'preferred list', ab initio this is unlikely to be true and, if it is, the reason for you being on it is almost certainly to do with your cost, or your lack of 'compliance' (from the agency's point of view), than due to you capabilities as a teacher.
    To misquote a famous by-line, 'agencies lie and they lie and they lie'.
     
  18. I got booted off one agencies list for 'being an NQT for too long' (I've been teaching overseas- not hard to figure out really). I haven't had any negative feedback as a supply teacher so reckon they were the ones to loose out. Do not take any of this nonsense personally.


     
  19. I agree, a tapeworm has more integrity and validity than most trecherous, verminous agencies.
    They are the very bottom of the food chain IMO.
     
  20. I've fallen from favour for being ever so polite but refusing to do their free trials or pay a morning get the afternoon free, or buy one second get one second free schemes!
     

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