to expect a login to a computer when doing supply at a school

(73 Posts)
kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:08:14

Or even a computer?
Schools are pretty good at giving you a leaflet about the school when you do supply. Tellls you playtimes, behaviour and other routines.

But you sometimes have to fight tooth and nail to get a login. Hardly anyone seems to know a supply login and sometimes they are forced to give you their login.

And asking for access to the internet to get resources - well that's just a whole new password.

Been to some schools where the teacher has a laptop which they've taken home. And no laptop has been available in the school. There is no whiteboard in the class as it has been replaced with the interactive one.

I sometimes think teachers should all have experience of supply just so they know how to help a supply teacher when one comes in.

snotfunny Thu 20-Jun-13 22:10:55

Well I'm an ICT co-ordinator and I made an ICT pack for supply teachers containing log-ins and information about equipment and so on. The office staff give it out to any supply teachers. We're not all bad!

OrangeLily Thu 20-Jun-13 22:11:06

Surely log ins are a management issue and not a teachers issue. If you are paid to so supply then do it but sit expect someone else to a management job.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:34:44

I think that you are missing the point OrangeLily! Every classroom I have done supply in has an interactive white board and you need to log in to use it. I agree OP that you can waste no end of time trying to get on and I have often had to have another teacher's log in. Schools that are on the ball have a special supply log in- I don't know why they all don't.
Taking the connecting lap top home is inconsiderate and not the sort of school I would go back to.

Spikeytree Thu 20-Jun-13 22:39:27

Supply only get a laptop at my school if they are long-term. You wouldn't get one for the day and the staff leaving cover wouldn't leave cover that required one. Every teacher has their own laptop and is expected to take it home - each laptop can only be logged onto by the person it is allocated to.

I have done supply in the past and it was ever thus in my experience.

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:39:54

Fortunately many schools have a very simple password to get on to the system so I can often guess it grin

Or I ask a pupil.

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:41:34

spikey Some schools which are on the ball have spare laptops for supply teachers along with access codes as well.

Some look at you and wonder why you need to use a computer and the whiteboard when you have a completely new class for the day.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:42:13

I would go to your school once, spikeytree and not go back.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:43:11

I use the interactive whiteboard whatever work is set.

OrangeLily Thu 20-Jun-13 22:45:12

I didn't miss the point. I just think you should deal with management rather than moan about teachers.

If the teacher has left cover work that needs access to a laptop then YANBU. However, if they have left written work or something else then of course they will take their laptop home.

Spikeytree Thu 20-Jun-13 22:46:14

Some schools must have lots of money then. If our laptops break we don't even get a spare! We also have our own cables for connecting to the boards so you wouldn't have access to those either as we take them with us because no-one has their own room.

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 22:47:35

It's the biggest problem I have as a supply teacher. Very often the plan says use so and so on the IWB or use xyz PowerPoint as a starting point. How? With no laptop attached to the said IWB it's very very tricky!!
In my experience very few schools have a reliable system for supply teachers to use their ICT equipment. Even if th e class teacher logs on for me invariably I have to seek her out later in the day to redo her password. If she's not on the premises that's the end of ICT for the day.
I have raised this several times with various head teachers but nothing has improved.
Ah well, good job I always have something up my sleeve as a backup!

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 22:48:22

We have a login and password that is specifically for supply, which also limits their access to secure data on the school intranet but allows all the shared drives for work, as well as the IWB and classroom laptop.
We have a supply file for every class, with information relevant to the school and the class. it's inefficient not to.

Spikeytree Thu 20-Jun-13 22:50:37

I think this may be a primary/secondary divide.

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:52:09

Maybe you have big schools OrangeLily- in a small village school it is quite likely to be a teaching head- there is no management team. Quite often there is a friendly TA who has been there donkey's years and knows everything!

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 22:52:31

My experience is only within primary so don't know what happens locally in secondary

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:53:02

Maybe OrangeLily is secondary with talk of 'management'.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 22:53:38

Have we got a difference here between primary and secondary supply?
If the teacher had taken the laptop home, we just take one from one of the three IT trollies..

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 22:54:06

xpost Spikey! smile

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:54:21

It confirms my opinion that your school is one I wouldn't return to Spikeytree .

exoticfruits Thu 20-Jun-13 22:56:30

Three IT trollies.......if only!

Movingtimes Thu 20-Jun-13 22:56:55

I have done secondary supply and never get access to the IT system, but that is not a particular problem if cover work is left and paper registers etc. I say IF. Sometimes of course it isn't and that's a whole other story. But covering a primary class for a whole day without access to IT would be quite a challenge I reckon.

ihearsounds Thu 20-Jun-13 22:57:21

The log ins are down to the management/ict person. They are not set by teaching staff, who will assume you know this info.

Maybe schools relying solely on tech should look more at desktops than laptops? THen there will not be the problem of not being any in the class.

Maybe some teachers should lesson plan for an entire week, and leave it in an accessible place.

Maybe some supply teachers should be a bit more honest aobut the type of work they are capable of... We have a massive problem with this. Supply teachers coming to us, who claim to have extensive experience of various sn schools, but reality is they don't.

Spikeytree Thu 20-Jun-13 22:59:10

I don't think access to IT is the norm for secondary supply. Our supply teachers are given class lists in the morning and send a pupil to the relevant key stage office. All work is from a worksheet/text book for cover - you rarely get a specialist so you wouldn't set anything that isn't fairly obvious to work out.

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:59:20


Electronic registers are quite common now - but again, it seems a surprise to the school that you expect some kind of login to do that as well.

Primary - even cover work normally requires a board to write on and actually teach a lesson. Many schools no longer have boards or have covered them up with lots of displays.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:00:36

'But covering a primary class for a whole day without access to IT would be quite a challenge I reckon.'

Not for some of us. grin

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:01:08

"Maybe some supply teachers should be a bit more honest aobut the type of work they are capable of."

I'm quite capable of teaching a whole range of lessons - most of which require a board, often visual resources, internet access - just like a class teacher has and expects.

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:02:25

"All work is from a worksheet/text book for cover - you rarely get a specialist so you wouldn't set anything that isn't fairly obvious to work out."

Arent they expected to teach stuff? Or do anything on a board?

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:02:38

Kim, newsprint sheets and big felt markers. smile

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:02:55

As an experienced teacher I'm perfectly capable of following a plan or making my own up on supply, but it's tricky doing what the regular teacher hopes for if the relevant equipment isn't available

Movingtimes Thu 20-Jun-13 23:03:14

But don't you just let them watch DVDs all day Eyes?

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:04:58

I agree with the poster who said all teachers should have a go at supply, good experience for them.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:05:22

Sweetie, I started teaching before DVDs were invented.
So that would be a no.
Left to my own devices, I go off piste and we have a fab one day experience.
If you want me to follow the plan, I will, but only if the resources and access is there, otherwise it's a waste of a good plan.

Movingtimes Thu 20-Jun-13 23:06:18

Kim - as a secondary teacher I hated doing supply. Even when I got work in my subject specialism the cover work left was never of a very high quality - as though the the class teacher didn't trust you to actually teach. It felt like crowd control or babysitting a lot of the time. Very frustrating.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:06:20

is there?
are there.

Don't change your mine half way through a sentence you nana.

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:08:17

Eyes, you are my kind of teacher! Off piste, I love that expression, I'm going to adopt it. I will use it tomorrow if I arrive at yr 2 classroom and there is a big gap where the laptop should be!

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:11:12

Most schools expect you to follow the plans left by the teacher and to teach to the objective.

So you pull out the detailed weekly plans and then realise that the resources for the lesson are stored somewhere on he school network in a hidden place or it is some book / special resource the teacher has hidden somewhere.

I can go off piste if I need to. I just appreciate having access to the same resources a class teacher has - especially if they expect me to follow their plans.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:13:44

I have a number of days that are based round a book, a fossil day, China, Russia, plants, Australia, several linked to 14th century history, science investigations, maths puzzles. African masks.
Cover appropriate levels of E/M/S, not IT though.

Fun fun fun. grin
I mark all the work too.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:16:17

Absolutely kim, but if you don't have access, if the rest of the team or the TA can't give you access, I think it's better not to cock-up a lesson that the teacher has planned as a stimulating, exciting and key focus for their week.
So you teach what you can do effectively, but we all know that satisfactory is no longer enough.

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:19:39

I keep a selection of fun one off activities in my supply bag that can be matched up to the various key stage one topics like Katie Moran, great fire, etc and just use those if the laptop had gone home. Also, being a music specialist I find that helps fill the gaps? If in doubt sing a song or two about the topic

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:20:10

Not ? Ipad

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:21:22

You're probably the kind of person who brings in a guitar !!You don't want to hear me sing grin

I've got lots of drama stuff though.

Movingtimes Thu 20-Jun-13 23:22:39

If in doubt sing a song or two about the topic
See that's why I could never be a primary teacher. grin
Can't fucking sing.

Euphemia Thu 20-Jun-13 23:25:59

I did four years on supply - hated it.

My biggest problem was not knowing the school's discipline code. For example, how many verbal warnings before a yellow card? Is there some system other than yellow and red cards? The children run rings around you if you're not confident on this.

Also, where do the children come in? Do I bring them in from the playground? How are school lunch choices administered? How do I take the register?

No wonder I didn't sleep the night before a new job, and had lots of migraines!

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:26:22

Haha, no guitar. Seriously though, music, drama, art, dance, all the subjects which are squeezed due to pressure, lack of time. In my experience regular teachers are grateful to have these covered or added to by supply teachers.
By the way, anyone can sing with key stage one, they don't mind what you sound like!

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:27:09

"How are school lunch choices administered? "

So many possibilities. So many ways to make a mistake.

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:28:09


Did singing and dancing today with Year 1. That was entertaining for them.

Euphemia Thu 20-Jun-13 23:28:21

Indeed - then moaning kids and catering staff to deal with.

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:29:34

There is nearly always an excellent ta at key stage one, I always make friends with her! They know all about green red yellow dinners/cards etc.

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:30:13

Unless they've mysteriously got other jobs to do instead.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:30:56

You'd think that all schools would have worked this out though, that each class should have a supply file designed with the basics in it.
Why create problems for themselves?

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:31:34

Kim, they will remember next time you have them! One of my secret aims on a days supply is...... To ensure the children have.......FUN!

kim147 Thu 20-Jun-13 23:32:50

You'd have thought so.

I was once given 3 sets of worksheets labelled high, medium and low ability.

But no clue who the actual groups were. And no notes anywhere. I did manage to find out by tactfullyish asking the class.

storynanny Thu 20-Jun-13 23:40:31

However, despite the lack of login, mysterious class routines, I would rather be doing a couple of days supply a week than go back to the full time slog.
Over the last 2 years of supply since taking early retirement, I've gradually changed and adapted my work. I no longer worry about covering everything which has been set for instance. I just do my best job, smile a lot at staff and children, keep order, mark everything, leave short notes for the teacher, volunteer to do the payground duty, thank the ta, tdy up and go home.

Eyesunderarock Thu 20-Jun-13 23:54:32

Wonderful, isn't it.
I love the fact that all the politics are ephemeral to me, I'm much poorer on supply, but I will live long and prosper. smile

BlackeyedSusan Thu 20-Jun-13 23:57:48

it was apain back in the day when therre were no interactive white boards... cut out and stick this worksheet to that worksheet... with one fucking glue stick per 6 children...

oh and johnny there has x problem and his support will not be in until after playtime...

Eyesunderarock Fri 21-Jun-13 00:08:50

Easier not to use worksheets.

McGeeDiNozzo Fri 21-Jun-13 04:07:36

'If you are paid to so supply then do it but sit expect someone else to a management job.'

What does this sentence even mean?

OrangeLily Fri 21-Jun-13 06:27:39

My apologies, my typing wasn't up to scratch as I was very tired.

All I meant was that it is not a teacher's job to provide you with a log on. It is management/ admin/ head teacher/ council.

Lessons can be carried out without IT if appropriate cover work has been left.

exoticfruits Fri 21-Jun-13 06:57:34

Apologies about saying that I would never go back to your school spikeytree- it now transpires you are secondary. I am primary- you do not get left worksheet/text book cover- you are expected to teach! You need the same access to resources as the teacher. If the teacher is off ill you get their plans and if it is referring to use of the Internet/whiteboard resources it is a real pain if you can't log on - it either leaves you at a huge disadvantage in the lesson or you waste valuable time finding someone who will log you on. Finding that the computer attached to the whiteboard is missing means you are completely stuffed!

exoticfruits Fri 21-Jun-13 07:00:42

Secondary and primary supply work is obviously poles apart - a different role entirely - as is talk of management/admin etc. It doesn't work like that in a 3 teacher village school with a teaching head, where you are in because they are down to 2 teachers!!

exoticfruits Fri 21-Jun-13 07:02:44

In that case the admin may not arrive until 9am and the IT support probably comes in once a week- and not the day you are there! It is a different world.

kim147 Fri 21-Jun-13 07:04:05

I arrived at a small village school and it was locked. The other teacher was late and she had the keys.

Euphemia Fri 21-Jun-13 07:04:20

Most Scottish schools have only a few classroom assistants in the whole school, if they're lucky. I've worked in 20 schools in three different local authorities, and never once come across a class with a designated classroom assistant.

MiaowTheCat Fri 21-Jun-13 09:03:21

I did years of supply - loved it, was fucking good at it, got asked back to about 90% of schools as a regular bod. I only don't do it now because of the way it was dying out, coupled with having the two kids and it not being financially viable to pay out for childcare for them with the way supply work was going. (Plus not having to deal with smarmy agency shitbags at 8am is bliss)

I could deal with the "they know what they're doing" lesson plans, I could deal with the "design a poster" crap or no planning at all, I could wing something as well matched as possible with my eyes closed. I could generally guess the login for the IWB computer (in primary schools try: teacher, staff, adult, the school name, the class name or password - they work about 95% of the time)

What consistently drove me nuts were classrooms where the normal whiteboards had been removed to ONLY have an IWB on the wall, and the teacher had taken the laptop that powered the IWB off on the course with them. There's nothing quite as fun as having to teach the day with a combination of a child-size individual whiteboard and blu-tacked sheets of A4 paper to the walls (for added fun do this on a hot and windy day when you need the windows open and the wind blows your impromptu whiteboard off the walls repeatedly).

I always advise supplies in primary at least to have some activities ready that assume you'll have no IT facilities, no access to exercise books (some schools refuse to let supplies do book work or the teacher has them at home to mark and has been taken ill overnight) and no code for the photocopier or time to run a set of copies off if it's a last-minute job.

Oh my other pet hate was that our council has been merging infant and junior schools all over the shop - and there's nowt as fun as the agency sending you to Somewhere Infants, and you spending hours looking for it - only to find it's now become Anywhere Primary and the infants has moved onto the old junior school site.

storynanny Fri 21-Jun-13 18:33:43

and best of all... on Mondays I can go home instead of going to a staff meeting. In fact I try not to go to school on Mondays so I dont get that sunday afternoon feeling. I can also now avoid infant sports day, another saga which could fill a whole thread.
my dear old dad has a good phrase, "Smile and take the money"

storynanny Fri 21-Jun-13 18:35:56

ps I had great fun today with year 2, no IBW needed according to the plan, good job too as I spotted a gap where the laptop should be. Didnt have the chance to try out my new favourite phrase "off piste" though.
re photocopiers, what a palaver in some schools.

kim147 Fri 21-Jun-13 20:11:49

Photocopier codes - because supply teachers don't need to use it.

Or even a code when you press print when you are on the computer.

So many codes.

Spikeytree Fri 21-Jun-13 20:26:54

exotic, I wouldn't go back to my school if I could avoid it!

TBH, most cover is done by cover supervisors and I would never set anything vital as I know that most of the work won't get done.

Movingtimes Sat 22-Jun-13 09:40:22

Spikey - I walked into the staffroom at break when on supply on one school to find the cover manager holding the work my previous class had done and saying in tones of shock 'They actually did the work for her.' Don't know what they normally expected from supply! Have a full time job now but I would not go back to supply as ime even when booked to cover your own subject you were never trusted to teach, but just supervise the completion of achingly dull worksheets.

TwllBach Sat 22-Jun-13 09:57:41

In our (primary) school we aren't really allowed to take our laptops home with us for (partly) this reason. We also don't have codes to stop people using the laptops and we an IWB as well as an actual whiteboard.

I'm beginning to think that should I be successful and get a full time position I will compile a special file for supply teachers, should I need to use it. Brief class list with info and brief outline of school day with timings and discipline system? Maybe a birds eye map f the class with everything labelled so they know where to find things?

Maybe I will so it anyway for my own entertainment... <NQT>

Euphemia Sat 22-Jun-13 13:31:10

It's amazing how often I went into a classroom and there was no teacher's planner on the desk, or a planner with nothing written in it. Or worse, next to "09:00-09:30": "Spelling". hmm

Eyesunderarock Sat 22-Jun-13 14:34:49

See, this is what wastes so much time in schools. reinventing the wheel.
Like hundreds of tiny, independent kingdoms scattered across the country.
That's a good idea Twilbach, but it's been standard practice in my school for the last 15 years. A supply file with what you need in it.
Class lists, groups, seating plan, timetable pin number for the PE shed, IEPs, the lot.
Likewise having a supply photocopier number and a laptop login that is just for supply.
Why aren't all schools doing it? Inefficiency annoys and flusters the teacher, impacts on the children's learning, pisses off the usual teacher when they come back...the answer is so simple. confused

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