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Treated badly by school and agency...do I stay?!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by loveparis77, Jun 30, 2015.

  1. loveparis77

    loveparis77 New commenter

    The experience I've had at this long-term supply position this term just goes against everything that I stand for, and believe in, and am really unsure whether or not to stay or go. Relative job 'security' until Christmas, or leaving somewhere that is making me unhappy?

    I don't want to give too many details, but basically I've been working part-time since Easter and paid on a day-to-day basis, but working 8-6 with hours in the evening plus probably 5-7 hours additionally on my days off/weekends that I obviously don't get paid for. Have fulfilled the role of class teacher, with all of the end of year reporting, assessments,data, marking, parents evenings, after school meetings, emailing/calling parents, rewards,sanctions, working through every lunch and break, etc.

    Classes have been very difficult settling with a new teacher, particularly one group which has been really resistant to change, but it's an exam group so school has kicked up fuss about it.

    Agency 'consultant' did not contact me again after getting me the role - never replied to texts, phone calls or emails. Eventually I emailed asking if she was getting my emails or not as I had never heard from her again, and she didn't reply (again!) Eventually she texted me offering 'consultant support' for issues I was (allegedly!) experiencing in the role, without having spoken to me at all about my experience, only having evidently spoken to HR. I told her that I would have preferred that she spoke to me before making assumptions, which she ignored. I then said that I was reconsidering staying with the agency and the school, which again she ignored, but obviously then told the school that I was leaving, without speaking to me personally at all.

    Yesterday, I got a call from another agency offering me my position from September. I emailed HR at the school to ask them if this was my role readvertised, which they ignored. HoD spoke to me this morning telling me he thought it was best 'not to be honest' and that I can stay if I want but they will have a 'back-up plan' in place if I decide to leave.

    All of the under-handedness and going behind my back and no-one speaking to me directly and finding out that my (albeit temp/supply) job is being readvertised from another agency leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. I don't feel unhappy or stressed in myself because I can put the job in perspective and know that it's just the nature of supply and that I can leave if I want- realistically I know that all of the issues that I've been experiencing, particularly after regularly reading this forum, are just par for the course for supply teachers, but the way things have been handled, and all of underhanded behaviour and blame that has been piled my way goes against everything I believe in, and I think it's just the most unprofessional way to treat someone which I strongly disagree with. What would you do?

  2. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    If you look at the Workplace Dilemmas forum, you will see that this sort of disrespectful treatment is very widespread. Schools are not employing staff full time and hedging their bets on retaining staff. Times are hard.

    Sadly, we are not people, we are human resources.

    This year, I have been on a long term placement and things have gone well. The school appreciate that I have kept things going and got students through their exams. I got a few words of thanks. That's the best it's likely to get.

    Put it behind you. See it out to the bitter end. At least you're getting paid (hopefully at the correct rate), even if there is decreasing satisfaction. It happens in so many jobs now, not just teaching.

    There is work out there. Teachers in some subject areas are walking off at the last minute and some schools are pretty desperate for staff who can teach exam courses without support. Cash in on that.
  3. PizzoCalabro

    PizzoCalabro Established commenter

    NearMiss talks sense ( as always :) ) - there is work out there, which is why it amazes me that people are ( out of the kindness of their hearts) willing to put up with unacceptable treatment. The massive advantage we have as Supply is that we can walk away, and we should. We are not trapped by a ridiculous notice period. Use that power to accept only jobs where you work hard and professionally, but only the hours you are paid for and are treated fairly. If you work more or longer, you do no-one any favours - conditions will never improve for anyone.
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Why are there all these emails flying about? Someone hasn't replied to several emails so you email them to ask if they are receiving your emails? Why would you call? Or go to the office?

    Not saying things haven't been handled badly, but I don't think emails and texts are a reliable way to run a business of any sort.
  5. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    I only wish this was true.
  6. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    Somehow I managed to accidentally leave this group without knowing. I couldn't find reply button for 2 days. Anyway,....

    If you are unhappy, leave. The school are not treating you well and by advertising your post with other agencies have shown you how much they value loyalty and going the extra mile - not at all.

    If you do stay for financial security be less generous with your time. If they do not value you going above and beyond why would you do extra out of goodwill? If they blackmail you by appealing to the children's needs tell them you will if your agency pays you a decent rate. Or they could offer you a permanent post.

    Sometimes you have to stick up for yourself even if it means taking a financial hit. Your physical and mental health must come first.

    Good luck.
  7. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    Like so many schools, this one seems to think that 'goodwill' is a one way street, running 'you to it'. If this is the way the school does business, you are better off with out it. Exercise the only prerogative the supply teacher has: walk away.
  8. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    If the school is giving you a hard time then there is no obligation for you to stay, thats the advantage of supply over contracted teachers. Likewise do not accept the offers of long term work as set in stone. Such a placement could end tomorrow if the school decides as such.

    There are other schools and agencies that will appreciate the effort supply teachers put into their work.

    PS, if you spend an excessive amount of time working outside of your contracted hours, particularly on non-school days submit a record of these hours to your agency and they might bill the school for extra cash.
  9. that's why I do day to day!!
  10. horseykitty

    horseykitty New commenter

    I tend to agree with nearmiss. You seem to fully understand the mire that is supply teaching, and if it isn't stressing you out too much then I'd go back In September and see how it goes. However, should anything better come up for you then I'd take it - you owe them no loyalty and must do the best for yourself.
  11. loveparis77

    loveparis77 New commenter

    thank you so much everyone for all of your advice, and sorry for taking a while to come back to this thread. The good news is that on Friday, I was offered the job of my dreams at an amazing school which I promptly accepted so just have to hold on until that one starts in January which makes things a lot more bearable! Thanks for all of the advice and support.
  12. loveparis77

    loveparis77 New commenter

    ..and it's a permanent part-time job which is perfect for me so am over the moon! I'm just weighing up now whether to stay in this job on supply which is stressing me out until Christmas or to take up my agency's offer of 5 days GPS for a term and get more experience in primary day-to-day (as I'm moving into primary). I'm leaning more towards that now to be honest!
  13. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    Well done getting the job!
  14. loveparis77

    loveparis77 New commenter

    Thank you! :)
  15. horseykitty

    horseykitty New commenter

    Congratulations on the job. I'd take the 5 days GPS if I were you.
  16. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    leave this job. Don't be a martyr. The exact same thing happened to me (but mostly it was the school treating me badly - because I think I simply did too much. Like you. I now have learnt to communicate the expectations a lot more very early on.

    There is no loyalty no matter how hard you work. Schools don't really give a damn and you are replaceable.

    PLEASE put yourself FIRST. You need to LEAVE this school. You an also change agencies if you aren't happy with this one. You can maybe speak to another consultant?

    I have been through this sort of thing TWICE and each time it really hurt me emotionally as I had worked so hard. I have learnt that there is absolutely no loyalty whatsoever and some people are very underhand and sneaky.
  17. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    A few typos in my post. Apologise for that.
  18. I would leave if I was in this position. The school doesn't deserve good teachers if they treat them this way.

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