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What is it really like to work as a cover supervisor?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by misssunflower2, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. misssunflower2

    misssunflower2 New commenter

    Hello. Long story short, I have QTS as a primary teacher and I completed my induction year in 2017. I left teaching last Christmas due to stress, workload and generally feeling burned out (after a year and a term). I am now working as a TA in primary as my main job and as an outdoor instructor in the holidays but I find myself really missing the actual teaching part of the job. I teach phonics for half an hour a day and it is the best part of my day. Ideally I would like a HLTA role in primary but they seem pretty much non-existent where I live but I often see cover supervisor vacancies in secondary schools being advertised. I miss teaching and it says the planning is all done for you but when I was at secondary school as a teenager, I can remember cover supervisors being treated badly.

    Anyone made this move or can offer any advice? I should add that I was a TA in a secondary school for two years prior to being a primary teacher but as someone who has had their confidence smashed in my NQT year, I wonder if I should be brave and go for it or wait for a HLTA role which might never come up?

  2. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Think of it as lion taming without a cage.
  3. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    Ask your headteacher if the school would be willing to pay for the HLTA training and assessment. It is expensive.
    I would speak with the head, they might not realise you want to do it.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. maggie_piano

    maggie_piano New commenter

    Personally I think it is challenging- even when you are in one school as you have different classes and it takes longer to build up a relationship with the children and you might cover a subject that is not your specialist area- I have been doing it 10 years- everything from A level Chemistry to GCSE Arabic. Behaviour management is a big part of it. Temporary is not good- unpredictable salary and hours and no security. I would try level 1 and maybe do some training in SEN as that is a big growth area at the moment and then try for level 2 ta.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    It can be a very enjoyable way to lead classes without the hassle of marking, planning, PRP and all the other rubbish that drives teachers out of teaching. I would say that as I've written a book on it.

    If you can crack the behaviour (ruthless following of the behaviour policy for the first months at least) and think on your feet to improve/enhance the work (read pages 27-8 and answer the questions) then a permanent CS job can be enjoyable. You get to go around and chat to the kids without stressing about PROGRESS or indeed anything beyond keeping the noise down. (My favourite phrase was, "Come on look busy")
    agathamorse likes this.
  6. misssunflower2

    misssunflower2 New commenter

    Thanks for your reply. I have QTS so I don't need to do HLTA training really. It's a small school and there is already a HLTA so unfortunately it's not possible at my school as the HLTA already covers all the PPA etc.
    agathamorse likes this.
  7. misssunflower2

    misssunflower2 New commenter

    Thank you for your honest response. I'm starting think I should be patient and wait for HLTA to come up in a primary as it's a bit risky if I don't like it. I am already working as a level 2 TA (have primary QTS and did a level 3 TA course prior to this). I just wish teaching wasn't so stressful as it was all I ever wanted to do :/
    agathamorse likes this.
  8. misssunflower2

    misssunflower2 New commenter

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post. The rubbish is exactly why I left and the pressure from book scrutinies, observations and parents made me so unhappy. I would like to think I am quite good at behaviour management but I guess it's just hard to know what I'd be like in a secondary environment as I am used to managing the behaviour of much younger children and I don't think moving someone's name down on a chart or primary strategies will cut it in secondary. Perhaps I need to seek some trial lessons at a local school (if I can get permission from my current job) to see if I like it.
    JohnJCazorla and agathamorse like this.
  9. Jenkibubble

    Jenkibubble Occasional commenter

    I was a primary teacher (out of education now ) and a supply agency sent me to do a days cover work in a secondary . Let's just say I hadn't realised quite how accurate Waterloo Road was !!!!!
    That said , my daughter tells me that at her school they have in house cover staff rather than supply - I imagine this means behaviour issues can be dealt with more consiststly etc and kids know this !
    All the best !
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. misssunflower2

    misssunflower2 New commenter

    Thanks for your comment Jenkibubble. Haha I used to love that programme. I’ve decided against it in the end and I’ll see what comes up in primary. :)
    agathamorse likes this.

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