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Very difficult school - advice please? Want to leave.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by dominant_tonic, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    Have done a month in a very very difficult school, where the previous supply teachers lasted a day maximum - probably because they ahd more sense than me!
    Anyway. This is the situation now.
    Through an agency, amd in a really really difficult school. Have been there a month, and due to go back a week today, after Easter.
    Don't want to. Behaviour is apalling, have been in tears twice, and am just dreading going back in. Cannot face it anymore. getting sworn at and shouted at, and shoved out of the way, by kids who don't want to learn, and are playing get rid of the supply teacher, as they have succeeded before, and told me I wouldn't last.
    I really do not want to go back, I think I have done my bit, including writing schemes of work because the schemes of work I were given had a title of study on it, nothing else.
    I know I will be unpopular, but what would you do? I have tried, but that's it. Had enough of this particular school. Plus it is travelling two hours each day, and 80 a week in fuel - so basically working for four days after fuel.
    What do people think - would you put up with it given the scarcity of work?

  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Tough one dominant_tonic and a decision only you can make.
    Would depend how rare work is in your area.
    You've survived a month and sometimes once you've proved you won't just 'walk and give up on them' as the other supplies have done, students can respond well beyond your expectations.
    The 2 hours travelling must make it feel tougher too, apart from the financial aspect.
    On the other hand if it's starting to affect your own health, you must consider that to be your first priority. The school and the students will survive whatever you decide.
  3. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    Thanks lara.
    Well work is pretty good here - Previous to that I had four weeks in a school 20 minutes away, going straight to this one, so had 8 weeks full time. Just looking back online now, had 30 days between the start of jan and March 12th, so pretty much daily.
    I though by now they would have stopped pushing, but not yet. I really don't know. I don't want to give it up security wise, and letting the school down wise, but palpitations setting in at the thought of going back, and I still have a week left. :-(
    Thanks for replying - I will see what others say, and make a decision based on everything.
    Thank you.
  4. One of the advantages of supply is that you don't have to take this sort of stressful situation. On the other hand, having mulled over it during the holiday you may have built it up to be worse than it is. Only you can decide, but put your health first.
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    If you are confident that you will pick up work then consider giving this one up. I'm happy to travel a long way for a decent school or put up with poor schools if they aren't too far away but not going to travel to a bad school (done that for a term and will not again).
    But if you do decide to leave its only fair to give the school and your agency some notice so they can find a replacement, maybe a week.
    Well who's losing out here? you or the kids. I guess that they aren't bright enough to realise this.
  6. Mrs-Pip

    Mrs-Pip New commenter

    Leave! If you have another week off work until you go back then if I would you I would ring the agency ASAP and tell them that you are not going back and this is your weeks notice. I doubt that I would have put up with such abuse for a week!!! Don't feel bad about it, put yourself first :)

  7. If you are not happy or enjoying what you are doing..
    ~ then why bother?
  8. Unless you are genuinely desperate, I think that you are perfectly entitled to tell your agency that you are not going back. The major benefit of supply work is that you don't have a long notice period so if things are not working out you don't have to keep at it. Schools have no qualms about letting supply teachers go so you shouldn't feel any guilt either.
  9. Has the school given you any support or advice? If they haven't, then that's all the more reason to bail. You've survived a lot longer than many other supply teachers so there's no way you're a failure here. It's the sign of the times. Pupils like to have the reputation about their school that, "We're so hard, supply teachers won't come back." Nothing to do with you personally.
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    the whole point of taking the disadvantages of supply is surely that you can walk away from such poor situations. If the head is weak enough to allow this to continue, then they deserve to have no one to teach the class (es) in question.
  11. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    Thank you to everyone who replied - it did help to clarify things somewhat.
    I left :) Broke, no work planned for next week, but sooooo relieved! I just don't care" I have offered to email them lesson plans and schemes of work etc., to keep all and sundry happy. They were not very impressed, but in fairness they weren't too bad either considering it would have made a stressful day for them, especially as subject specialists around here are thin on the ground.
    Freedom :)
    Thanks for all your reponses.
  12. If you feel better having made your choice, you obviously made the right one.

  13. Dominant Tonic - hope you have poured yourself a Dominant Gin n' tonic and can breathe a sigh of relief..
    You took control. You made the right decision for you. Life is short.
    Something else will come your way. And - you will have to suffer no more stress and abuse at this place. You can sleep knowing you did what was right for you. Instinct (our Higher Voice) and Intuition are great things!
    Well done[​IMG]!
  14. what school was it in or area? i was at a very difficult school and they had 9 supply teachers between feb hlf term and easter the kids are seeing how many they can get through as well at this school, i done 3 days before half term and they had m bck over easter for one day for them to decide i was not good enough for the job and yet they cannot get any other teachers in there
  15. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    Well,I left as you know. The supply teacher they had in to replace them, told them he would not go back. He text me saying it was the worst ever. They were like animals! Definitely Right choice. The area of the school is a well kwn South Wales area. Will say nothong more,staff have a difficult enough job there as it is! :)
    Excuse grammar andtypos. On phone, laptop playing. Up.
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    "Well,I left as you know. The supply teacher they had in to replace them,
    told them he would not go back. He texted me saying it was the worst
    Sort of proves you made the right decision doesn't it!
    "staff have a difficult enough job there as it is" This is the worrying part for education, as this comment is becoming more relevant to more schools year on year.
  17. Well done. I recently did exactly the same thing....it will have little affect on your career as a whole. You only get one life! Live it as you see fit. Best of luck.
  18. merturtle

    merturtle New commenter

    Hope no-one minds if I jump on this topic? Am in my first week of supply at very difficult school and I don't think I want to continue (is supposed to be until half term, with possible extension beyond).
    I went it for one day just after Easter and didn't really enjoy it - two teachers in the Dept off on long term sick, the kids haven't had a "proper" teacher for months, and it shows. It took me 40 minutes to get there, 30 minutes to get home. I told the agency it wasn't really what I was looking for (I'm an NQT and initially signed with this particular agency because they were advertising a one year's maternity post which would have got me through my induction, but I had to turn it down because period 1 started at 8.30 and it was further than this current school).
    Anyway, agency kept hassling me about it and, after much negotiation on the days I could offer (I already work 2 days elsewhere in a permanent, much more enjoyable, but sadly not suitable for induction, job). I finally agreed to give it a try, 3 days a week up until half term.
    First day this week, took me an hour and a half to get there, only arrived just before period 1! Today took nearly as long, even though I left earlier. Don't know how I managed to get there so quick the first time, traffic is just terrible (only good thing is I can still get home in just over 30 minutes!).
    Behaviour is appalling, I spend all my time raising my voice trying in vain to get the kids quiet, impossible to teach anything. Worse school I have ever been in. Not allowed to take KS3 into one of the music rooms, and sometimes there are two music lessons timetabled at once (another supply teacher), so today I had to teach in a room with no equipment, not even paper!! Lessons are 100 minutes long, so that was interesting. I was told they needed a music specialist but I can't teach my subject like this, and one of the two teachers has now come back so I'm getting lots of general cover too (but behaviour not much better).
    I have two young children who I have to drop with family members at 7.30am and I'm just not sure it's worth the hassle. I only agreed as I thought the experience might help me get a job in September (my first and last teaching job was maternity and ended in Jul 2011) but I'm not sure it will make much difference.
    Luckily, my oh has a well paid (but stressful job) so we can manage without the money, should I just walk away? As someone else has said, I would accept daily supply in a difficult school locally, or be prepared to travel to a good school, but this just seems the worst of all worlds!
    And if I do quit, do I tell the agency before the school? I think it would be better to just quit this week rather than hoping it will get any better (which I don't think it will), as hopefully I can get my original before school care back to enable me to do some local supply instead. I think I would be justified in saying the travel is taking way to long for me, due to my family commitments, and it's an experiment that just hasn't worked.
    Sorry for rambling! Woudl appreciate advice/ kind words from anyone who's read this far!

  19. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    the whole point of supply is that you can say no!
    walk away, tell the agency as early as you can.
    The head of the school needs to know that he is not doing his job and he will only do something when he/she has to teach the classes themself.
    With the poor rate of pay and lack of full time work on supply, if you only need a second income why don't you get a cakie up job that you can do and forget. Get enough cash to pay the bills and enjoy your children.
    My wife works with the elderly, she has never heard anyone wish that they ahd spent more time at work. BUT she very often hears "I wish I had spent more time with my children"
  20. merturtle

    merturtle New commenter

    Well, I took time off/ worked part time when my children were babies, but now they are in full-time primary school I want to to do something for myself. I've retrained as a teacher, and I love it, what I really want is a long term or better still permanent job (even part time) that would get me through my induction and started in my career so that I have something when my kids leave home... got another 30 years or so of working life ahead of me...
    But yes, you're right, my kids are more important than any job. I did try to get that point across to the agency in the first place (i.e. "I don't think this job will work for me, as it's too far away and I will have to drop my kids off too early in the morning") but they were very pushy. I should've stood my ground, I have been doing a little daily supply locally, to schools I can get to within 30 minutes, and it's all been fine, and fitted around their breakfast/ afterschool club.

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