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Why are teachers so horrible to supply staff?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by jubilee, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    There are also permanent staff out there who tell the pupils that supply teachers get paid more than they do! It's the common misunderstanding about how LAs pay permanent staff (annual salary divided by 12) and how they pay daily rate supply teachers (annual pay divided by 195).
    They calculate a week of daily pay and multiply by 52 (not 39 school weeks) and reach a fictional annual salary far in excess of theirs ... and all for not having to do planning, assessment and meetings.
    It fires the kids up to give us even more stick than usual.
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    We've just had a supply for 4 weeks in our school. Our school is very supportive of supply staff and we have made full use of her as she seems to be the only one who can sing in KS2. Been good practise for the Christmas Carols. Not sure which of us is going to lead "Ding Dong Merrily on High" - the chorus - when she goes.
    Some schools can be very supportive. Some not.
  3. I have thirty years full time teaching experience and certainly do not look like an NQT (I wish I did!) but I still get asked patronising questions...
    a Y3 teacher asked if I could do a particular, commonly used, method of subtraction
    a TA practically freaked out when I asked what the end of day routine was, reacting as if I was going to send the R children out without supervision. They don't seem to realise that every school has it's own routines and how am I supposed to know what their's is.
    a teacher asks me at the end of playtime why I wasn't on duty. I reply that I wasn't aware that I was supposed to be. Then she says she was going to mention it but didn't. I reply I would have been happy to do a duty (even though I had done one the day before) if I had known and she gives me the cold stare and goes off to mutter to her cronies.

    robyn147..... I notice that you said 'We've just had a supply for 4 weeks' not a 'supply teacher'. Even schools who pride themselves on how well they look after supply teachers can fall into this trap. I've sat around a table in the staff room and constantly been referred to as 'the supply' even by teachers who know my name.

  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Don't worry - I do know her name and we have very good chats. In fact - she shared the same surname as another teacher at the school. It's something you do when you are typing on the internet. She has been invaluable in the class.
  5. I had one regular school for a while (before, as is usual, it vanished into the ether as these tend to do when something newer, shinier and cheaper comes along) where I actually commented at one point, "you know, I really like coming here - I actually get my name instead of 'the supply'" and they were utterly horrified that schools still treated people like that!
  6. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I have said this before, some schools and teachers treat you as fellow professionals, other schools and teachers treat you with disdain. I have been in some schools were the support as been fantastic, you are given passwords, advice and support on detentions, told that drinks are free and told please have one at break time, etc
    In other schools, many teachers treat you like sh*t and look down on you, regarding you as some form of lower life, who deserves no respect, no support and this unprofessional ethos encourages the kids to treat you the same.
    I find that the older teachers or those who have worked on supply, recognise the value of supply teachers, but there are many teachers, brought up with the idea that you are no better then a CS, are the ones that looks down on you. I may be wrong and other people may have different experiences, but it varies from school to school, and this can be due to the ethos and leadership of the school, and how they view supply teachers.
  7. I have never encountered the same level of rudeness in any other industry, having worked in several. Is it something about state school teaching that attracts bullies and the impolite??

    I remember as a permanent member of staff myself not talking to supply staff in the staffroom as they were never around for long, but I was always polite and welcoming when I was working alongside them. I always went out of my way to make sure I made their day easy if they were covering for me. I know a lot of staff in schools are incredibly supportive and welcoming, but what is it about some teachers, are they like that with the kids too???
  8. I have found this too, generally from women teachers, (I am a woman, before anyone picks up on that!). I am not on supply and was on a contracted post last year but have never worked in such a gossipy, b i t c h y place. I felt like I could not say anything to anybody for fear of it being repeated behind my back. So glad I am not there anymore, and have heard that several other staff members will be leaving at Christmas.
  9. bigpig

    bigpig New commenter

    The cups under the sink with NASUWT on are for supply teachers, they probably need a wash before you use one.... -Good job I don't drink tea and coffee and brought my own drink then.

    Is there a reason why we're using paper and they can't do it in their books? This is normally for best. - I'm not entirely sure what they are doing is correct so thought paper would be better than books but as you're obviously a higher being we'll use books.

    Our meeting went on longer than we thought, did child X (sen) manage? - Not really, but we would have managed had you found the resources you said you were going to for them.
    Just some of the comments I've had this week in a school. Mainly from the TA in class. I usually find lovely TA's and they are really helpful. I think I was also pretty much ignored in the staff room and don't think I had the usual 'how have they been?' when sat in there.
    I used to work as a TA in a school before becoming a teacher and was always helpful when we had supply teachers in and the whole staffroom was friendly to them. The majorityof schools I go to are lovely, but I didn't like this one.
  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    So there I am sat at the front desk having settled the group onto the computers with the work set by their teacher and everybody knows what to do. In marches another teacher, who without any introduction or acknowledgement barks at the class "Right you lot, off the computers, you're doing this now!" and proceeds to outline the new work before briskly marching out of the room, again without any acknowledgement. In a later conversation she says "You're not a subject specialist are you?" to which I responded "Well actually I ran the subject for 16 years at the school down the road if that helps". Instant change of attitude, needless to say.

    On another occasion I'm introduced to a Y7 class by a young female teacher with "Don't worry, Miss XXXX will be back tomorrow.." and I'm thinking why should they worry dear? I've been teaching your subject 20 years longer than you.

    I've got to the point where I just let it wash over me.
  11. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett New commenter

    The answer to that is
    complex but I guess that a lot of the time permanent staff imagine
    that we as supply teachers are on some kind astronomical wage do
    *** all and then disappear into the sun at the end of the day. I remember once
    in secondary school across a dining table a PE teacher accused me of
    being a mercenary this still angers me when I think about it
    years later there are plenty of other examples. I wonder who hasn’t been quizzed by
    permanent memebers of staff who are 'thinking of going on supply' Well tell them truth if you can overcome the shame. I imagine
    the reality for all too many of us who do our best within this shambles is that we barely scrape out an existence. I reckon albeit with not much
    other than anecdotal evidence is that most supply teachers who manage
    to stick at it are earning in the region of between 5000 – 8000 but
    simply out of pride will not admit to others myself included. If you get work over year equating to
    9000+ I say that that is pretty good nowadays and probably as a
    result of you being a core subject teacher or a primary teacher but
    there are also exceptions. Off topic slightly . . . I wonder what
    supply agency consultant Agency X is earning on another topic in the

  12. Hadn't considered it from that point of view

    Makes far more sense when viewed that way. The HoD at the school where the staff are less than friendly is really testing me at the moment. Keeps giving me work to do as I enter the classroom, which I then end up reading for the first time and teaching simultaneously, a pretty nifty skill if you can do it!! A classic today was, "will you just take this year 10 top set through annotations on the "Of Mice and Men" exam extracts, and then discuss this exam question with them?" . I have taught the book, but 11 years ago, and even a super teacher would need more than 10 seconds to prepare an unseen exam question properly. I am just hoping that she's testing me because really she's grooming me for that full time permanent post she has up her sleeve for sept next year (ha ha ha).
  13. Mrs-Pip

    Mrs-Pip New commenter

    I always take my own mug as well as tea bags! I was asked once to contribute to the staffroom coffee/tea. As I don't use milk or sugar I wanted to ask how much do they charge for hot water...!
  14. I'm on long term supply at the moment and I take my own cup and tea bags as visitors are asked to contribute and the visitors tea bags are awful. Milk is the left over kiddie little bottles so I just use a drop of that. All the teachers seem to have a locker which they keep supplies and crockery in! This week after being given an impossible task if a thirteenth century French song to teach y5 I sat them all round the piano while I banged out the melody. I am not a pianist and the student teacher downloaded me some sheet music, in the wrong key, as I later found out the backing track was recorded by the head teacher so there must be sheet music in school. I am a musician but last did French 16 years ago. The young nqt who had previously told me to ask for jobs stated in my lesson and I swear she was glaring!!
  15. Hi, I agree.I have just managed to secure my 1st days supply this term.I did 4 days in the same reception class last week and am back to do the same this week.I have wanted to work in this particular school for a while now as I knew they did use supply teachers.I was aware that some of the children can be challenging they have an above average percentage of statemented children etc and I can appreciate that the permenant staff are stressed but I got into my 3rd day and it seemed like the wheels had come off with my classroom and time management and I just wanted to cry(I know pathetic).The lead teacher is all smiles, swans in , says you are doing X,Y, and Z and swans out again leaving me thinking "what?" I then try and find the resources.I don't find her friendly at all.The other reception teacher seems nice, she has spoken to me and the nursery nurse I have worked with a little is fab.The TA seems o.k, I think she warmed to me as the week progressed.I know they are all missing the regular teacher(the kids especially) but if it were me I would go out of my way to pop my head round the door to check you know, and I know you would all too.It takes minutes and can make your day.The HLTA is scary from what I have seen of her too.
    There are codes too on practically every door and on my 1st day as I got the phonecall late I didn't even know where the toilets were.No-one has shown me round there is no booklet, it's just you should be in the playground now, get on with it.
  16. I've been doing supply for a while and most of my experiences have been excellent. I had two horrible ones however.
    I was at a school with a lovely head but horrible staff (ten minutes from walk from Islington tube). I had been allocated a room for an afternoon class. When I arrived, this horrible, fat, blonde, American sow of a geography teacher told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn't doing the lesson in her classroom and practically slammed the door in my face. Bear in mind that I had thirty children behind me. Luckily, I found somewhere else. I should have complained and wish I had. I was slightly bewildered, given that I was sure that I had in no way offended her. Perhaps my breathing was inconvenient to her. Poor woman. Hope a boardmarker doesn't accidentally get rammed up her backside.
    One school I didn't go back to because it was the only place I'd ever worked where when I said hello to people in a friendly manner, they looked at me embarrasedly like I had poo on my face. Unfortunately, there are lots of horrible people in this old world. Luckily, I've met lots of nice ones too and I have done supply at lovely schools.
  17. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I think we have all encountered those sorts of teachers, but I agree that some HT's and staff are nice, I have HT's address me by my name and ask, if I need anything, one in a primary school told me that she would do my playground duty, so I could get a cup of tea, I have had TA's make me a cup of tea and bring it to me, while I am marking work. But there are too many teachers and HT's that look down on us, like we are ****, because we are not in a permanent post. It is only those who have done supply, who understand the problems faced by supply and this may sound arrogant, many teachers who have left a permanent post, find supply a culture shock.
  18. I have forgotten what it is like to be looked down upon by permanent staff or even to be considered bby them at all. I have just not been able to get into schools at all. But I am aware that politicians and officials at the DfE do not care a jot about the concerns being expressed by so many supply teachers.
    I am also now convinced that many teachers in full time work do not know what the real situation is and are not aware of the possible threats to their future due to the advent of free schools and academies and the increased use of support staff for teaching purposes,

  19. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I agree.
    They are trying to use supply teachers as the guinea pigs for the staffing of schools on th cheap by offering us Cover Supervisor pay for doing what used to be teacher pay. As work dries up, more and more teachers are likely to give in and take the reduced pay on offer. Schools thus get teachers who will end up teaching, not just supervising.
    Eventually, as more schools break away from LA control, the idea of employing qualified staff at unqualified rates will appeal even more and they'll try it on for contract posts. They'll give it a different title ... something like Higher Level Teaching and Learning Supervisor.
    I had a text this morning (clearly posted to multiple teachers on the LA agency books) asking for someone to go to a school this afternoon as a Cover Supervisor for ONE HOUR! I sincerely hope thta no-one responded. Imagine having to spend time and money travelling to work for only one hour of pay at less than double the minimum wage!
    What was that pearl of wisdom about graduates earning more than unqualified people? We'd be better off working a whole day at minimum wage than accepting the supply game crumbs of one hour as a Cover Supervisor, with a disproportionate amount of the pay spent on travel!
  20. I haven't really experienced permanent staff being horrid, but I just go in , do the job as best I can and leave. Have met a couple of TAs who have been less than helpful in a challenging class, but maybe they were having a bad day. Listening to staff room conversations, however, I do often think these people should step out into the real world for a while.

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