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Who do these kids think they are!?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by suertesamp, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    I am a secondary supply. and sometimes do exam invigilating. I had to go back to supply so that I could do my Masters full time. The behaviour of students in schools is starting to make me want to leave the profession.

    Last week while invigilating year 11 mock exams the behaviour was really bad. Students were giving me attitude, some of them actually glaring at me during the exams. Once, I was invigilating a group of 30 students and they wouldn't stop laughing and being disrespectful. This doesn't seem to happen with the other invigilators so I am thinking this is something to do with me.

    Today while on supply, I had a year 11 boy aggressively confront me for confiscating his snacks which he was eating during the lesson. He became very argumentative and even refused to leave the classroom. Student only left when a teacher visited the class and removed him himself and TA was no help at all. Then I covered year 9 English. Absolute crowd control. Worse lesson I've ever had. Here's what happened:
    • Had the misfortune of meeting an annoying as hell trans student ("I get it, you like boys, and want a boyfriend, you're horny shut the f*** up about it and stop shoving your sexuality down everyone's throat, CHRIST)
    • Students shouting across the classroom, completely ignoring all instructions, only communicating with me to ask to go to the toilet, nurse, etc
    • Year 11 boy pushing student into room before the lesson started, then wouldn't take his hand off the door so that year 9 class couldn't get into the classroom.
    I told the consultant about all this and told them to stop sending me to the latter school. I go there on regular assignments but I've lost all credibility. I have no power there anymore.

    I need to find a way so that I don't have to do supply ever again. It's not up for me to fix them.
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. hbee1

    hbee1 New commenter

    This is honestly what makes me nervous about going for supply. I'll be out of a job soon and am currently applying with supply agencies. Behaviour is such a wide spread problem throughout the country and it's not teachers who can fix it - I fully believe its to do with parents not raising kids to have respect for people in authority (unless you're in uniform and can put them in prison)

    Students know that, ultimately, we are powerless. And they use that to their advantage.

    Chin up! We're all in this together.
    suertesamp likes this.
  3. amelia8804

    amelia8804 New commenter

    Been there, done that. I suppose the only silver lining is that it makes the genuinely nice classes that much more rewarding. Those rare classes who come in quietly, make themselves quiet for the register and just do their work with just the appropriate level of chatter.

    I've had my fair share of feral classes. The worst involved one boy storming out with a flurry of expletives after being told off for pushing a girl against a wall (he also punched a PC monitor on his way out). Standard practice for that level of behaviour was for him to go to isolation - he turned back up in my class 15 mins later and wouldn't leave. Phoned for assistance, no one turned up. Meanwhile I had paper balls being chucked about, one kid burst his pen and smeared inky fingerprints all over the desk, there were sweet wrappers under chairs and one kid even emptied about a third of a bottle of pop on the floor at the back of the classroom. Again, no assistance turned up so I just had to do as best I could.

    At another school, a teacher left cover work in which Y9 students had to do MFL activities using iPads. Of course, a few of the bad kids at the back take an unflattering picture of me and airdrop it to everyone else in the class. I don't think Supply is good long-term in the current teaching environment. I consider myself to be quite resilient but after 5 months of this kind of behaviour, constantly having my status called into question by students ("You're not a real teacher though, are you miss?") and sometimes even having students walk into my classroom during break/dinner, turn the lights off and then run out again, I've got to question how long I can actually last.
    suertesamp likes this.
  4. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I haven't read this thread in ages since I am not a supply teacher anymore. I have written much about my experiences on The My Horrible Day thread on the Supply Teachers forum.

    You will never fix the problem of challenging behaviour and from reading these last posts, it would appear the behaviour in some schools has gotten worse.

    My advice would be to avoid the very worst schools but that will limit the amount of work you get.

    Even in the better schools the dangers of mobile phones and being filmed is real.

    Looking back, I had some wonderful classes and met many delightful students; but many days, it was very difficult and I am just beginning to feel human again.

    It can be a way to earn money, but manage it carefully by not going to truly awful places.
  5. suertesamp

    suertesamp New commenter

    Thank you star commenter. Looks like it isn't just me then.
    I am constantly under pressure by the consultants to go to these terrible schools. Yesterday they even called me asking to go to that same school again even though I said for them not to send me there! Idiots.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi again

    You are far from alone and if you have time, read some of the threads on the supply forum ( not just the one I started) and that will definitely assure you that you are not alone.

    The consultants have no qualms about sending you anywhere as long as they are making money - they have no morals whatsoever when it comes to money. It doesn't matter if it kills you like it almost did me.

    Ensure you draw the line of where you will go since the small pittance they pay you surely isn't worth it.
  7. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    One thing I've noticed that I find really rude is when kids talk about you in the third person whilst your still in the room. Usually this is done to get others on side and instigate rebellion. Usually with a deliberate misinterpretation or accusation thrown in!


    Teacher: please can you put your crisps away your in a lesson.

    Student (to rest of class): he's just called me fat!

    Unfortunately as many schools have stepped back from any form of meaningful discipline, the authority in the room now all to often lies with the most unpleasant, vile and bullying students. They will be rude to you the teacher as they know they will get away with it. Usually because there is some wet wipe above you who they have wrapped around their little finger. The quiet meaker students will just go along with it as they have no loyalty to you and while the nasties are giving you a hard time they're not being picked on. If a witness statement is ever needed from them it will support the bully every time as it might temporarily raise the quiet students social standing for a while.

    It's a sad state of affairs, the same in a lot of schools I've had stints at. However I feel it is getting worse as the softly softly approach gains more ground and raising your voice to a student can trigger a safeguarding concern!
  8. science_geek_2020

    science_geek_2020 New commenter

    What is the behaviour policy at the school?

    For me if a class is troublesome I create a new seating plan and really take my time thinking about it. A good seating makes all the difference. Start really strict, and slowly loosen up as time goes on. Lay down the expectations straight away.

    I think as teachers we do have to accept behaviour is something we can improve and not just blame the children. Are they bored? Are they being kept busy, and being given things to do? Are they upset about something? I know being supply makes it very difficult as we don't know the kids that well though. I kind of got a taste of being a supply when I moved from a placement to another placement. I realised very fast that I needed to read the behaviour policy word for word, and have a seating plan. I had this all sorted on the first day, and day two, my life was 10x easier.

    Unsure of the relevance of a trans student? Make sure you're anonymous here as these kinds of comments could lead to disciplinary action.
  9. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    The thing with seating plans is that they require a level of cooperation from the students that you don't always have. If you are on supply as well it's best not to ask for too much help from above as often you are seen as being there to solve a problem not create one!
  10. science_geek_2020

    science_geek_2020 New commenter

    Outright defiance should lead to a child leaving the class I think. If a child does not do something you ask them around 3 times, they are not ready to be in the class. Can you on call those ones? In my school, I will just on-call a child who refuses. You can't have a child outright refuse in front of the others or it undermines your authority.

    Is that practical to do in this school???
  11. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    In some schools I have supplied at the on call system translates to: 'send a responsible student (if you can find one willing to risk the wrath of the pack) for assistance'.

    I totally agree that outright defiance in front of the rest of the class should lead to removal. However IF you do manage to get a member of SLT down to your room, all to often as long as the child complies for them everything is ok and the child is put back into class with a big smirk on their face as they know they have won!

    Unfortunately on supply you are all too often an authority figure with no authority. One complaint from a parent (or in some schools even from a child) and you are out the door. The kids you are supposed to be in charge of hold the whip hand over you and they know it.

    This means that the most unpleasant and bullying children rule the roost. While the quiet students just have to sit there and watch their life chances go down the toilet. You are powerless to stop this happening.

    I think I have mentioned this in a previous post somewhere on here, but I will repeat the story. In the last school I was at on long term supply I had a group of stroppy girls making it clear they didn't like me and wouldn't do anything I said. I made some comment in response to being told I was disliked such as: "I won't be losing any sleep over that". Straight away the kids accused me of inviting them to a sleep over at my house and this was followed by threats to get me done and get me sacked etc. I asked them out of interest how many teachers they'd managed to get sacked since they'd been at the school. They said 4 or 5. These girls were half way through year 8.
  12. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    Hey, hats off to you for realising that the schools the problem. Sounds like you’re better off out of this progressive utopia:rolleyes:

    Don’t give up just yet. Remember the best schools have less need for supply, that’s how it is.
    Last time I was temping, I approached about 40 schools directly starting nearest first. Several came back with interview offers (including two really lovely public schools!)
    You can negotiate days, length of contract (min three months it seems) etc and keep holiday pay and pension!
  13. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    This is the brutal truth. It’s a high risk profession. If I knew back then what I know now I would have been builder or underwater welder or pretend robber at a police dog training school or some other less risky job.
  14. science_geek_2020

    science_geek_2020 New commenter

    Have you considered that this job is not for you? Why carry on doing something you hate?? Genuinelly interested to know why people stick out jobs they hate. I'd rather eat boiled potatoes everyday than hate work
  15. alex_teccy

    alex_teccy Lead commenter

    A fair point. I'm not in those types of schools anymore, though I am teaching.
  16. lovejoy_antiques

    lovejoy_antiques Senior commenter

    People generally stick out jobs they hate due to financial necessity.

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