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upset-was this a bad choice?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by cleocleoteacher, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Grr, had a tricky day today as last minute call at a school I work in a lot and who ask for me by name. I was covering the sports coach so did P.E all day with two year 5 classes and two Year 6 classes. The teacher suggested dodge ball and I chose to do this as it's easy and a game I know the children enjoy. It was a bit loud and they were being a little cheeky. I couldn't find proper soft balls (the fluffy ones) so we just a couple of soft balls and a couple of soft plastic balls which were de-flated. There were a few injuries and some hurt children who sat out. I checked each child in what I thought was the appropriate way and they sat out until they were ok to join in again.
    Anyway, all ok as far as I was concerned. Then I got a call from the agency saying that a number of children had complained about me and the school didn't want me back. I feel really upset by this but I guess this was a bad choice of activity and as hubby said I didn't help myself (the story of my life) Apparently, I didn't check the children who got hurt and just left them. More seriously, I said I like the idea of hitting children and then threw a ball at a child in the stomarch. I explained to the agency about the context of the situation and that there were quite a few injuries and perhaps it wasn't the best choice of activity. I said that I didn't play dodge ball as I was watching them but at one point I did join in and threw the ball to children on the bench to get them back in the game so the game wouldn't finish.
    I guess my most poor judgement was in a warm-up dodge ball type game which was with a soft ball. The children accidently hit me with the ball and so I picked it up and was like right and then in the spirit of the game threw the ball at one of the children, aiming at his legs and actually I don't think it hit him anyway. This was a joke and the children and myself were laughing during it. This is the only place I can think where this could have come from. Also, when they were explaining the idea of the game and how you have to hit each other with the ball I said I like the idea of this game but only as a joke and because I thought it sounded like a good game.
    The agency were sympathetic and fair and said the receptionist was upset making the call and telling the agency they didn't want me back. I feel upset because I thought I had a good relationship with the school and enjoyed going there. This is going on my recold with the agency which worries me in terms of references and future work. Although, the agency did say they have worked with me for a number of years and think they are a good judge of chararacter and it normally turns out the truth is half way between what the teacher has said and the pupils. I feel upset but guess I need to just live and learn. Think I will give dodge ball a miss in the future.
     
  2. Grr, had a tricky day today as last minute call at a school I work in a lot and who ask for me by name. I was covering the sports coach so did P.E all day with two year 5 classes and two Year 6 classes. The teacher suggested dodge ball and I chose to do this as it's easy and a game I know the children enjoy. It was a bit loud and they were being a little cheeky. I couldn't find proper soft balls (the fluffy ones) so we just a couple of soft balls and a couple of soft plastic balls which were de-flated. There were a few injuries and some hurt children who sat out. I checked each child in what I thought was the appropriate way and they sat out until they were ok to join in again.
    Anyway, all ok as far as I was concerned. Then I got a call from the agency saying that a number of children had complained about me and the school didn't want me back. I feel really upset by this but I guess this was a bad choice of activity and as hubby said I didn't help myself (the story of my life) Apparently, I didn't check the children who got hurt and just left them. More seriously, I said I like the idea of hitting children and then threw a ball at a child in the stomarch. I explained to the agency about the context of the situation and that there were quite a few injuries and perhaps it wasn't the best choice of activity. I said that I didn't play dodge ball as I was watching them but at one point I did join in and threw the ball to children on the bench to get them back in the game so the game wouldn't finish.
    I guess my most poor judgement was in a warm-up dodge ball type game which was with a soft ball. The children accidently hit me with the ball and so I picked it up and was like right and then in the spirit of the game threw the ball at one of the children, aiming at his legs and actually I don't think it hit him anyway. This was a joke and the children and myself were laughing during it. This is the only place I can think where this could have come from. Also, when they were explaining the idea of the game and how you have to hit each other with the ball I said I like the idea of this game but only as a joke and because I thought it sounded like a good game.
    The agency were sympathetic and fair and said the receptionist was upset making the call and telling the agency they didn't want me back. I feel upset because I thought I had a good relationship with the school and enjoyed going there. This is going on my recold with the agency which worries me in terms of references and future work. Although, the agency did say they have worked with me for a number of years and think they are a good judge of chararacter and it normally turns out the truth is half way between what the teacher has said and the pupils. I feel upset but guess I need to just live and learn. Think I will give dodge ball a miss in the future.
     
  3. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    cleo

    For god sake, don't put yourself down, we all make mistakes, I once learnt that with primary school kids never tell them that one team as won, just pretend that you forgot the score. Having said that did work, because the winning team said I favoured the losing team.
    But seriously I have learnt that talking to the kids or the TA (if you have one) and ask them what they would prefer to do, and this might mean that half are playing football and half rounders, but it can make life easier then picking a sport that many dislike or fear due to their age.
     
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I think most of us have had 'bad' days, when we've made poor decisions and you need to make sure you really learn from this experience. Even with a class /school you know well, letting your guard down and do anything 'in the spirit of . . .'
    I would personally definitely have done something else rather than Dodgeball and especially when you couldn't find the correct balls. However much can be learnt 'in hindsight' Health and safety issues are always much more of a worry for us supplies and if you din't enter anything in writing or put in the injury book, the school may well have a problem if parents wish to pursue the matter.
    You may have lost that school but put it down to experience. learn from that experience and go on. Once could be an unfortunate accident, twice and perhaps people will start to query it.
     
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Sorry to hear that you had a bad day and its a timely reminder to all of us how careful you need to be when doing supply.
    A poor suggestion from the teacher in my opinion.
    Sounds harmless to me BUT its worth remembering that kids have a different sense of humour to adults and some have difficulty in understanding what is a joke and what is not. The problem having a sense of fun is almost essential in a teacher so that they can engage with thier students. We can all remember the dull emotionless teacher from our own schooldays who could not connect with other people (I've been told that they make good HTs[​IMG] ).
    "injuries" Not a word the PC brigade like to hear in today's Health and Safety driven workplace. For your own sake try to avoid anything that could put you in this situation. Don't forget that today's kids are a bunch of wimps, need to wear goggles when playing conkers, don't know what a tree is for and wouldn't survive 5 minutes in a good old fashioned game of "British Bulldogs".
    Sounds like you have a very wise agency there, stick with them.
    Good advise I think I'll take.
    Get them to play a "shooting up zombies" game on a computer instead so the little treasures can't hurt themselves.
     
  6. Having realised the pain in the rear that finding a sponge ball can be (for infants when the pre-teenage apathy hasn't set in dodgeball can be fantastic - with very very very clear rules set down by me) when Tesco had some in stock at the start of a summer I made sure to buy a couple for the few quid it cost me and kept them in the car so I was always armed with "ammo" for that particular game! Sadly then the sponge ball met a tragic end when it met my dog.
    I also make very very clear that "outs" only count if they're between the knee and the ankle and the other rule I instigate is no sulking/arguing/stropping/chucking a mard on/fibbing that you're not out... not that I've added that rule from some bitter experience!
    As long as the agency are being fair towards you though - I had one school really turn on me, then got asked via another agency to go there when they were utterly desperate for someone (flu epidemic) and it was a very sweet feeling to be able to say that "nope, I'm sorry I will not go back to that school again" to be honest.
     
  7. I had a call on tuesday about an incident in my class on Monday. This is in a lovely school who often ask for me in particular in all age groups. I was in a Year 6 class and one boy was being a bit of a pain generally but particularly annoying two girls. I separated them but the girls said he swore at them. He said he didn't, I heard nothing. It was their woed against his. I spoke to them all but the girls felt I should have done more. It was almost hometime. One of the girls mum sent in an email complaint about me saying I hadn't handled it well enough. I did write it all down for the teacher and I spoke to the head of Year 6 so felt I'd covered myself. Haven't heard any more so don't know whether it's progressed.
    Just goes to show that you are very vulnerable on supply. It's horrible when it's a school you like though.
     
  8. Says a lot.
    . I would imagine you are a victim of some very silly children. I would not worry about it Cleo.
     
  9. stan-dards

    stan-dards New commenter

    Most of todays parents cant handle 1 child (eg their own) properly never mind a class of 20-30 most of whom have never come across the words discipline & no
     
  10. I think there's a flip side to this story. My primary school aged children always come home on PE days moaning about how boring and pointless their PE lessons are. It's not a girl/boy thing as I have one of each and they both say they have to spend ages listening to the teacher talking, then doing some insipid and dull gymnastic/dance moves. Does PE have to be so safe now that it has become deadly boring? Is this why - because kids and their parents can't cope with a child being hit by a ball during a ball game and blame the teacher instead of telling their little darling to "take their pain like a woman".
     
  11. Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate it. I am feeling better now and will just have to put it down to experience and live and learn. I think as a supply you are much more prone to these things happening than when you are on a contract.
     
  12. Pennyforyourthoughts

    Pennyforyourthoughts Occasional commenter

    ............................................................................................................ Firstly are you suitably qualified to take supply cover for PE.... in many secondary schools .. unless groups are put together and team taught with supply there for back up then the PE is transferred to a classroom and they do theory. I never cover PE unless there is another adult in the room. Mainly for reasons like you have experienced. Its always their interpretation versus yours.... and unless you put in a full report at the end of all lessons all of us are open to distortion by pupils to their parents. I wonder why so many parents think their children are angels in school and that everything they say is gospel truth.
     
  13. Looking at it another way - you've had a lucky escape. That school now has a class of kids who can proudly think they've seen off another supply and will try to do the same again with any other supply teacher that crosses the threshold... would you really want to be the next one that goes through the doors there?
     
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    This is probably another factor in why in the end many may just stop doing supply!
     
  15. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    I feel for you, it always bothers me how schools seem to take supply criticism as gospel. Although I have to say when there is any bump in any year group (esp the head) I make sure I call a first aid person as even if I appear fussy at least Ive shown I did all I could. Also, when I was on my primary PGCE i learnt 'jumpball' which is like dodgeball only you roll the ball to hit people at the knee and below which is always less hectic and has less injuries. The only way to avoid is to jump/dodge and any ball hitting above the knee doesnt count so hardly any balls fly through the air.
     
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Thanks for the reminder, I'd forgotten this variation. Very useful -IF I ever get any work!
     

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