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**** WARNING RANT**** I've had a bad week and its only Monday!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by hayleyrm, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. hayleyrm

    hayleyrm New commenter

    Well you might have guessed from my title that I need to let off some steam!!!
    Here it goes....
    Supply teachers are not the font of all knowledge so why is it that we are expected to have a lesson in our heads for any give year group and topic with less that ten minutes notice! Iam fed up of turning up to schools only to be told 'There's nothing left but I'm sure you'll think of something!' and given no help what so ever!
    A school would not expect a teacher employed at their school to be able to walk into a classroom with ten minutes notice, not knowing the children or the routine of the class and be expected to deliver a whole day of lessons! So why oh why is it expected that a supply teacher can!!! We as I keep informing the children are no different to their normal teacher so why is it that we are left so often in the lurch!!!
    Also.... why is it that all of the schools I have been to lately do not seem to have planning anywhere in the classroom. I have been appalled lately of the lack of planning I am seeing nothing on the walls, no file in sight and nothing that could possible be considered to be helpful in way of plans anywhere in the classroom.
    I have even been to schools recently that have said to me ' for maths were doing shape... you'll find something to do!'. It is shocking that this is happening! When I was a class teacher I always made sure planning was available to be seen if I was planned to be off! I always planned each lesson as though I was delivering it and had these plans available to my supply!!
    Basically I am fed up of turning up in classes and there being nothing or little left for me to do. I am not as much as I would love to be a miracle worker nor a mind reader!!! And Iam fed up of feeling like the work Iam doing with theclass isn't important so why plan for it anyway!!!
    Okay deep breath and counting ten now!
    Rant over!! feel free to add your own if you need to blow off steam... I am done... for now... :)
  2. I agree with you entirely. I have been in the new academies since Christmas (glad of the dosh)
    No work left all of the time. No resources to access, (by resources I mean like paper) I always carry 30 sheets of plain and lined. However I run out and find it difficult to re supply.
    Academy cover rules on cover seem to be.
    Planned absence the teacher leaves something. (I only get called for unplanned absence at the last minute.
    Unplanned absence nobody gives a hoot.
    No such thing as a HOD, just faculty managers in an office as far away from a classroom as possible.
    I am deployed by a CS cover co-ordinator, I do not ask questions.
    More than my transient job is worth.
  3. Anyway a supply teacher is someone a school buys in when they have exhausted every other opportunity. In secondary the call in the morning.
    What I find sad is I feel unoticed. I have to get it right all of the time. Because if I get it wrong they will notice quick enough!
    However I have a regular two days in a nice school were I am valued.
    But I bet the sodden teacher comes back after half term.

  4. No wonder we get the likes of Gove on our backs when some school does this !
  5. Nu labour set the scene for insanity in schools, Gove and the coalition are just finishing it off.

  6. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Ah but Supply Teachers are the trained elite of the Education profession.
    They can be dropped into any situation when the regular staff have all jumped ship or are running about losing the plot and calmly take over.
    They can teach any subject, to any age group, at any level at a moments notice.
    They can handle different different schemes of work, different discipline proceedures. different timings of the school day and find their way around different schools on a changing daily basis.
    They have wider experience of a range of SEN needs.
    And they can survive on less money.
    We really all should be wearing "winged dagger" berets. [​IMG]
  7. WeeMcBeastie

    WeeMcBeastie New commenter

    This really annoys me too!
    When I had my own classes, I would leave detailed notes, planning and all resources copied and available. If only this was the case with the majority of the teachers I was covering!
    The worst planning note I have encountered in a Year 1 class simply said 'Read, Write Ink - Yellow book' I've never heard of this and surprise surprise there wasn't an even remotely yellow book to be found in the classroom! I asked the LSA, she had no idea either. To make matters worse, I am KS2 trained and my knowledge of KS1 consists of about 3 days recent supply and a 4 week teaching practice around 8 years ago (back in the days when they were taught as a whole class and sat at tables!)
    Of course, when I informed the class teacher (very politely!) that I was unable to teach this lesson she looked at me as if I had 2 heads! Sorry, of course it must be my fault for not being able to follow a non existent book and teach a lesson on something I've never heard of!
    In another school, I arrived 40 minutes early for an afternoon's work and couldn't find any planning left. I enquired and was told that the class teacher would come and discuss planning with me. When he finally turned up (5 minutes before the start of the lesson) I was told just do PE - throwing and catching (with class from hell!) and ICT lesson 3. When I asked what lesson 3 was I was rudely told that 'he usually finds most supplies know all of the lessons' Excuse me for not knowing every ICT lesson for every year group for an entire year!!
    Needless to say, I won't be going back to either of those schools! Don't get me started on the 'design a poster' activities, mind numbing comprehension lessons and of course, all work having to be completed on paper because supply teachers obviously can't teach work that is good enough to go into their usual books! Rant over!
  8. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    I've mainly done subject specific supply work, but last week I ended up covering languages (French and German) for a day. The cover work left for two of the lessons was great, lots to do and I managed to make up a small extension task that kept some of the kids busy for the last 5-10 minutes.
    However, the German class was a top set with some very motivated students. About half a dozen of them rattled through the work and were done after half an hour. I wasn't sure what I could have got them to do, maybe some extended writing on their current topic or about their plans for the summer. They had already done that last week so I sent one of them to their HoD who very helpfully came down and set them off on something else. I apologised, saying I was a science specialist and I tried to give them a writing task. She said it was fine and she wouldn't have expected me to know what to do, as she would have been clueless in the science block! She was impressed that I knew the answers to all the questions they were expected to answer and we could mark the work!
  9. I agree with the lack of planning moan wholeheartedly!

    Yesterday I was covering secondary Welsh for 1 lesson, tagged onto a day of my specialism, English. Turned up to the lesson 10 mins early, no work set, no teachers around, no ideas!! Given that I don't even speak any Welsh myself i was completely flummoxed. Luckily I begged a French teacher, who also spoke no Welsh, but was at least a language teacher to set them something.

    Needless to say, the year 9 class, were badly behaved given the ramshackle start to the lesson, and I ended up having to call for a senior management cover staff to sort out various issues.

    The best bit though, the class teacher actually turns up, 25 mins after the start of the lesson, once all the drama is over saying, "so, sorry, I was held up, here's the work".

    "Gee, thanks!" Why they couldn't have spent 5 mins the day before, or earlier that day sellotaping some simple instructions to the desk, goodness only knows. But hey I am only a supply teacher - what I do with the class and how I cope is far less important than whatever the class teacher was doing!

    I sound bitter already! But lack of organisation, and just plain rudeness really, really annoys me!

    Great rant thread, thanks!
  10. Late arrival of work is probably one of the worse stunts. You arrive, go through the hassle of no work set, start something,, then some school bod turns up with the work so you may have to change the whole show again.
    A new generation of teachers who have never done any supply are running the show.
    Olympic year this year, so be prepared for design a poster!

  11. Here is an essay length post I posted a few years ago. It is a long one. L2L (learning to learn cover two periods)
    OH How lovely it all looks L2D on those reams of schemes of work and strategic initiatives, and how I wish some of the authors of this stuff would have a go at teaching their lovely ideas as a cover lesson!
    L2L lesson last year (secondary) walked into P1/P2 double on a last call in the morning to a school I had never been to. Girls to design clothes for a fashion show out of recycled CARDBOARD and masking tape! I was to spend the two lessons then I KID YOU NOT! march them up to Year 10 assembly in my morning break So they could show their creativity to the whole school. (I also knew I had a geography cover after break)
    The L2L co-ordinator left us a coupla battered computer cartons to play with (no scissors), like rough corrigated stuff. Had a few pairs of little tiny scissors in my bag - completely useless to cut the cardboard. Anyway we did some OUT THE BOX thinking! and just ripped the stuff up. Room degenerated into a war zone. I wound the lesson down early and tidied up (dont want any dodgy calls to the agency about leaving a mess)
    One girl made a really nice sash out of a keyboard box, one attempted boots and kept tripping up as we marched through the corridors. Some ended up looking like cyberwomen off Doctor Who. So we marched into the assembly hall looking like a troupe from the WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ. Assembly in hysterics- girls screeching.
    L2L co-ordinator who was supposed to do the lesson breezes in. (called to do important meeting at the last minute) dismisses me at THE END OF MY BREAK WHICH I NEVER GOT,
    I did not even get to see my own cardboard fashion show THE ROTTEN MISERABLE SODS.
    For my heroic efforts I should have sat with the headteacher and SMT for the assembly for this super empowering creative mission and watched MY FASHION SHOW (it was the girls as well I suppose)- AND BEEN GIVEN A CUP OF TEA
    I approached snazzy L2L co-ordinator and said I have to go and cover a geog lesson now. She looked at me with a what are you telling me for look on her face. Then said oh you will find it in the mobiles near the gym. Thank you MIss I thought!
    And the schools and agencies moan about me wanting good supply day rates!
    A postscript - a few months later I was in the school. In the foyer pictures of my cardboard fashion show in THE FOYER with THE L2L co-ordinator at the centre of the photograph beaming such a lovely warm smile, dressed in a snazzy black business suit, a demeaner of both authority, and warm altruism! The girls looking toward her the great leader!
    I bet she put it in her CPD portfolio as well! - I should sue her for PLAGERISM.
    However what really miffs me is uncreative teachers trying to do creative lessons when they do not have a clue!
  12. A Westwood-esque experience Geffone !
  13. historygrump

    historygrump Lead commenter Forum guide

    I agree that schools think we have lesson plans and resources for each topic and subject with us all the time, supply are able to be flexible and adopt to situations and devise work from virtually nothing. But in recent weeks I have been in to primary schools for last minute calls, with no work set or any resources available, it made me wonder did the school lock up the resources, in case we used them. Fortunately I had the basic resources to allow me to devise lessons for the day. But in secondary schools it is normal practice to leave set work, having said that I pointed out the HoD at one secondary school, I went too before christmas, that the work left in one lesson was far too difficult for the students and I then explained that I had to explain the basics to the students, which I suspect did not go down well.
    So I can understand your rant.
  14. I have ALWAYS said, that sort of flexibility is the mark of A GREAT TEACHER.
  15. hayleyrm

    hayleyrm New commenter

    One ofmy altime favourite days goes like this. :....
    Arrive plenty of time before the day is due to start.
    CT ' heres what we are doing today' hands over a note that contains absolutely no details other than maths: shape, writing: news, PM topic.
    Me: Here I select the most obvious question despite thinking ok what the hell do i do with this!!
    'what are you looking at in maths - I see you have put shape buut what woudl you like the children to learn?'
    CT 'oh I was thinking shape, I'm sure you'll find something!!!'
    I hate this how do teachers get away with NOT planning the lesson just becasue a supply is due to be in?! Surely who ever is teaching the children there is a need for a plan complete with LO and activitya nd it should not be upto the supply who doesnt knwo the children or the school to decide what that should be!!
    Call me old fashioned but surely a teacher should be planning for the whole week in the subject not just the days they are in! (I have been a class teacher just returned recently to supply and i always planned for an entrire week!)
  16. hayleyrm

    hayleyrm New commenter

    We ARE great teachers and our jobs I argue are much harder than being a class teacher, unfortunately we are not miracle workers nor mind readers!
  17. In my 17 years of teaching,I have always placed the supply teacher slightly above (and in some cases, head and shoulders) full time teachers.It is an art and a skill which is sadly, and at times, ignored .
  18. hayleyrm

    hayleyrm New commenter

    Thank You Kertesz; I'd like to stress to any class teachers reading this it is not all, just some who have wound me up to this extent. Unfortunately as I write this it is the majority so far, hopefully it will become the minority soon.
    I certainly know I wont be one of them, if anything I'll over organise my classroom and be ranted at over that! hehe :eek:)
  19. emmadrg

    emmadrg New commenter

    Has anyone had the "design a new Google homepage" lesson in art or ICT yet? I covered at lot of art lessons in my first year on supply and they always seemed to be doing that, regardless or time of year or topic.
    It is a handy thing to keep in your supply bag though - some blank Google logos, just in case you get stuck.
  20. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    At the risk of having my head ripped off and jumped on, may I give the other side please?
    (I am now a supply teacher but quite new to the game.)
    If I knew I was going to need supply cover as I was going on a course etc, I always planned carefully, but, obviously, I wouldn't know who was coming in. It might be a specialist-I teach English-or it couls be a scientist, MFL, PE or Maths etc. I always tried to strike a middle line. I found my biggest problem was if I was off ill. I din't always have tecxt books at home so it was often difficult to set something meaningful while nasty germs charged round my system befuddling my brain.
    My HoF was always hot on the setting of meaningful work, both for the kids and the supply staff. I well remember on day when a bug was making it's presence felt and only the HoF and myself were in. Between us, we had all lessons preped and taped to desks well before the staff arrived. He took one end of the corridor and I took the other to welcome the staff, show them the work and begged for their patience. This went on for 4 days! We were knackered as we kept popping in at change of lessons to check everyone was OK.
    Not leaving proper work on a planned absence is a disgrace and should be commented on to the HoF. Luckily I haven't had that situation yet, but believe me, I will complain!
    As for not having the subject specialist, I do see all sides here. My first day's supply was teaching Home Ecc[​IMG]
    Reading some of the tales here from primary terrified me. A whole class for a whole day and no work? I'd be completely lost. But this has taught me that if my agency ever offered me a day's primary, I'd just run away! Give me a class of bl00dy minded 16 year olds any time!

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