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Where to next.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by girlychemist, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. girlychemist

    girlychemist New commenter

    I love teaching but I can't keep going on Supply. I've done it for 14 years and I'm good at it. But since Christmas I've been in 3 different High Schools. In that time my lab door has been kicked in 3 times, I've been sworn at and called every name under the sun. Kids have told me to my face I'm not in charge. I've had full bottles of water thrown at me. I've had to ring reception off my mobile because I couldn't get out of lab to get on call. Schools don't give me SIMS, printing or copying access but expect me to lesson plan. On call doesn't turn up. I spoke to cover manager today and was told all classes are like that.

    I'm simply ground down by it but I love teaching and can't think of anything else to do.
    BetterNow and pepper5 like this.
  2. DexterDexter

    DexterDexter Occasional commenter

    I’m sorry you’re feeling ground down.

    I’m going to guess there are only a few high schools in your area you can cover and you’ve considered travelling further and/or not going to the worst schools.

    Are there any middle schools near you? Have you considered primary? Although, that would be quite different.

    Have you thought about tutoring?

    A friend of mine has just started work for a science demonstration company (your username suggests you are a science bod!). She goes round schools demonstrating science experiments and leading children’s science parties. It’s quite “drama based” but then again, teaching can be too. I think there are several companies that do this, done franchises or you could set it up yourself!

    I hope you find your mojo again soon.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi girlychemist

    Sorry to hear of your dilemmas with challenging behaviour. Sorry you have had to experience this but thank you for posting since it reminds me any Imlove teaching but don't want to teach as a supply teacher anymore. If you have read any of the thread on My Horrible Day, you will know I am in almost the same situation as you, but I only managed 10 years not 14.

    Dexter's ideas are good - especially the idea of primary but there is challenging behaviour in primaries as well.

    If you want to retrain and have any interest whatsoever in computers, then programming might interest you. That is a profession that pays well.

    Although I have witnessed challenging behaviour first hand and read hundred of posts regarding it on this forum, it still shocks me that there are schools where what you describe happens and is allowed to happen. Throwing water bottles at you? Kicking lab doors in? Calling you names? It makes me fill anxious just reading your description. No one needs to have to work under such conditions. No where else would that be allowed.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  4. pwtin

    pwtin Star commenter

    Shocking and I cannot believe you have stuck it out so long.
    As a science teacher of which I assumed there was a shortage I am surprised you cannot pick and choose the better schools to go.
    I may hold the record on here of 17 years and I may keep going odd days here and there to top up the income of my permanent job outside of teaching which I started a couple of weeks ago.
    As for primaries I suggest if you give that a go stick to early years / Ks1 although behaviour there can be challenging as well.
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    It really is absolutely vital that supply teachers take incidents of aggression and violence to their union. The schools that you work in have a legal duty of care towards permanent and visiting staff alike. This sort of cavalier attitude to visitors is wrong. It is a health and safety issue and something that your union can follow up on.
    agathamorse, JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  6. girlychemist

    girlychemist New commenter

  7. girlychemist

    girlychemist New commenter

    Loads of schools, but I don't get offered the good ones because I can do the bad ones. I've been in one good school in the last 3 years and I got that because I threw my toys out the pram with the agencies and gave them a list of 4 schools and said these and only these.
    DexterDexter, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  8. girlychemist

    girlychemist New commenter

  9. girlychemist

    girlychemist New commenter

    I currently do 2 to 4 hours primary a week. I enjoy it but it just isn't me.
    DexterDexter and pepper5 like this.
  10. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    girlychemist, the schools sound horrid and I have a school near me, which has such a poor reputation, that supply only go there, when they have too and I mean when there is absolutely nothing else, and even permanent teachers get a lot abuse of the tiny minority of kids, who can be feral at times. What is sad is that a tiny minority can ruin the education for the many of decent kids. I have a chance of a CS role on a permanent basis, but there is something about the school, that I do not like, I do not know what, but I just get that feeling. Now a days, I tend to just go to two regular schools, I know the kids and also the bad ones, and I must admit that after 10 years of supply and reaching mid-50, I am considering slowly reducing my days from being available from 5 to 4 days (if I can afford to) to reduce the stress levels.
    JohnJCazorla, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  11. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Yes, it is a shame that it is minority that ruin it for the rest.


    If you don't have peace in your heart about the CS role, I wouldn't take it. A CS role may even be more difficult than supply and if you are there are on a permanent basis, then it is much harder to get away.
  12. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    No shortage of science teachers, I am afraid.:(
    schoolsout4summer and pepper5 like this.
  13. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    The problem is that you seem to be taking it too seriously.

    YOU DO NOT GET PAID ENOUGH TO GET UPSET. Sadly, you can only do so much, so don't be too hard on yourself.

    I'm a chemist (also environmental/geology) and I deal with mining subsidence risk assessment for a job. It is actually one of the most interesting things imaginable. I set up my own company and it has taken years of scraping to get off the ground (supply was dead dead dead for years and Cornwall is a closed shop in terms of teaching jobs). I did some taxi driving to make ends meet, which resulted in me carrying a knife (and occasionally waving it at people) as it was that dangerous. I think supply teaching is the silver medallist in terms of being abused for pennies.

    Labwork is poorly paid, I'd consider binning your "scientist" and seeing what else is out there in terms of local authority bums-on-seats jobs, etc
    tonymars and pepper5 like this.
  14. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Or training and teaching people who want to learn and are grateful for the opportunity to learn and will say thank you and be grateful for your help and expertise.

    I am taking an online course through vision2learn.com which I highly recommend. The courses are entry level, but the point I am making is perhaps you could tutor people online. Although the course is online, it is still connected to a traditional college and I am enjoying it so much.

    The trick is that if you love teaching, find somewhere where there are people who WANT to learn and will be grateful and appreciate of your skills and knowledge.

    I wonder what kind of jobs those people will get that think it is o.k. to kick down lab doors and intimidate teachers? It makes my stomach turn to think you were trapped in a lab or water being thrown at you. It makes me cry really because no one deserves to be in a situation at work that involves intimidation and bullying.
    agathamorse likes this.

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