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Assistant Head told class their behavior resulted in supply teacher being fired

(218 Posts)
Rockingaround Tue 04-Dec-18 23:10:52

Ok - the class had a supply last Wednesday . Whilst there, a few pupils (grade 4) wrecked the craft area ... made slime, cut up ping pong balls, wasted resources and stole craft items.
Today the Assistant Head comes to speak to the class about their behavior. She says how unacceptable their behavior is. How in future if they see any pupils behaving inappropriately they must tell a teacher. A little boy in the class says “but the teacher let us do it”, she replies “yes but he wasn’t a real teacher and he has been fired because of your behavior.
My little girl comes home crying saying what if the teacher has kids, what if he can’t afford to live, it’s just before Christmas etc. she also said “it just as much my fault as I should’ve told another teacher what they were doing”.... so I call the school, speak to the assistant head who talks about how appallling the children have behaved for 5 minuets; when there’s a pause I say “it’s not their behavior I’m concerned with, did you actually say that their actions caused the guy to get fired?” ... “well I told them he wasn’t coming back”. I said “my little girl told me that you said he was fired because of their behavior”. She said “well yes, because children need to understand there’s consequences to their actions”. I said “well that’s just not acceptable, they’re too little to have that responsibility, plus the supply teachers confidentiality - it’s just not fair, I’m coming into school in the morning to speak to the Head”

AM I GOING INSANE!!! Am I being unreasonable, this is not okay right????

Ginandsonicscrewdriver Tue 04-Dec-18 23:14:15

It’s not ok, if the teacher got fired it’s because they didn’t a) control the class b) ask for help when they needed it.

Yes, the kids should be in major trouble - but it’s not true or fair to tell them a teacher got fired because of them.

Littlefish Tue 04-Dec-18 23:14:33

How old is grade 4?

FloydWasACat Tue 04-Dec-18 23:17:13

8-9? If it's the same as 'Year 4'

DocusDiplo Tue 04-Dec-18 23:18:47

What horrid behaviour. I would back the school up & explain the teacher will find a new job. I am sure the Head has more important things to be worrying about than you.

MarklahMarklah Tue 04-Dec-18 23:25:26

I don't think it's okay at all. Yes, the teacher should have had better control of the class, and/or the kids should have behaved but for the Assistant head to say what he did is out of line.
The school should be supporting teachers, not firing them; if they are a supply teacher then the should not have been put in such a difficult position in the first place.
To then tell children that a teacher was fired because of them - again not on.

BookWitch Tue 04-Dec-18 23:26:35

I'm a supply teacher.
I wouldn't expect to be asked back to a school if the class were completely out of control and I was not doing anything to at least try and regain control. Supply teachers are handed the school's behaviour policy with their file for the day. If it isn't there they should ask for it.

A headteacher can't fire a supply teacher though, he/she can mutter to themselves they won't have them back.

Horrible behaviour by the class and the head.
This is why I now have my preferred schools to go to, who treat their supply properly and know when they need support.

bunnyup Tue 04-Dec-18 23:31:28

I really despise whole class telling offs/ punishments. As adults we are often given training to teach us how challenging it is to whistle blow or go against company culture. Yet we expect children to do it with ease and have teachers telling a whole class off rather than the minority of culprits, so the other children will be terrified into doing their jobs for them! Seen it again and again.

rededucator Tue 04-Dec-18 23:35:01

I am missing your point OP. The supply teacher was fired as a result of the class' behaviour.

Ginandsonicscrewdriver Tue 04-Dec-18 23:40:21

No, they were “fired” because they didn’t handle the poor behaviour. That’s on them, and the school, not on the kids.

covilha Tue 04-Dec-18 23:42:51

Do you think you should make an appointment to see the Head, just in case the Head is busy, so you don't waste your time?

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 04-Dec-18 23:44:43

WTF? That's absurd, and really nasty.

Sounds as if the assistant head has serious problems.

rededucator Tue 04-Dec-18 23:52:23

Or going back further maybe it's the parents fault for raising their children so poorly?

RCohle Tue 04-Dec-18 23:59:47

I agree with you OP. I think that's the sort of thing that would really upset some kids (probably the one's that are least responsible). I'm not sure that guilt tripping is a particularly productive disciplinary technique. Presumably it leaves some of the worst behaved kids with the impression that the consequences for their own bad behaviour will be felt, not by them, but by the teacher.

Frozenteatowel Wed 05-Dec-18 00:06:01

Nope not ok imo. It’s the same as telling a toddler that it was their tantrum that made mummy/daddy/grandma or whoever, leave. If anyone left the house in such a situation, it wouldn’t be the child’s fault.

The supply teacher is not being asked back because she couldn’t control the class. That’s not to condone kids behaving terribly, but managing behaviour and controlling it when it’s unacceptable, is a hugely important part of any teacher’s job. It’s not ok to guilt trip them in this way. Inappropriate.

ReanimatedSGB Wed 05-Dec-18 00:12:38

THe AHT sounds like a twat. Are you in the UK, OP? A lot of people at senior level in education at the moment seem to really dislike children and think that terrorizing and guilt tripping them is the best way to 'educate' them.

Hubbleisback Wed 05-Dec-18 00:15:10

The 'School' programme on BBC 2 tonight addressed some of the issues regarding discipline. Although yes the supply teacher should have had more control - what makes the children think they can behave in such an appalling way? There does have to be a certain amount of self control on the part of the youngsters and they should be welcoming and helpful to a newcomer.

Mrskeats Wed 05-Dec-18 00:19:45

Yep of course children’s awful behaviour is the poor supply teacher’s fault. hmm
This attitude is why there is a crisis in recruitment and retention.

SusieQ5604 Wed 05-Dec-18 00:19:56

This whole thing is stupid

FourFuxxakes Wed 05-Dec-18 00:19:58

Of course the children should not have acted up in the way your dd describes and it sounds like the supply teacher's behaviour and clasroom management skills need a massive overhaul and as a direct result of this he won't be invited back to that school. I don't think the headteacher can actually fire him though; they'll most likely complain to his employers however, and this could potentially mean they choose not to offer him as much work going forward. At the very least they should send him on a behaviour management course!

I'm wondering, however, where she was on Wednesday and why she wasn't intervening when all of this was going on? It sounds as though he was essentially left to get on with it with little to no support and has then been treated as a kind of scapegoat because the school's leadership is unwilling to accept their responsibility to him and to the children.

yes but he wasn’t a real teacher and he has been fired because of your behavior I wonder if this goes some way to explain why the children were so out of control? If a member of this school's SLT has such disdain for non-permanent staff members that she belittles and undermines them when talking to the class, no wonder that attitude has passed down to the children. She can't expect a class to respect and behave for a supply teacher if she herself has no respect for them. I don't believe she should have told them that he'd been fired because, as you say, that's personal information that the children or their parents should not be privy to. She's also blaming the whole class for the behaviour of what sounds like a select number of pupils, which in itself is bad practice. Those individual children should be dealt with in an appropriate manner and the others, who didn't destroy their classroom, should go unpunished.

Hubbleisback Wed 05-Dec-18 00:22:13

A bit concerned supply teacher was referred to as 'not a real teacher'. Are we talking about an unqualified person? As far as I know supply teachers are trained in the same way as other teachers. They have very often taken on that role because they want to work part time, do not want added responsibility etc. I don't believe they are an inferior class.

MilkyCuppa Wed 05-Dec-18 00:26:09

I was a supply teacher and was once hired to cover long term sick leave so I had the same class twice a week for several weeks. Their behaviour was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Destructive, running around, attacking each other, refusing to work. And these were 17 year olds so they were virtually adults and most of them were bigger than me. I was utterly thrilled to be sacked because I couldn’t control them.

Sadly OP it’s the nice kids like yours who feel guilty and sorry - the main culprits couldn’t care less. I would look into whether this class is regularly disruptive though, and if it is I’d consider moving my child.

FourFuxxakes Wed 05-Dec-18 00:32:56

I'm a supply teacher Hubble and I'm fully trained and qualified, the same as any long-term or permanent teacher. I think part of the issue unfortunately is that hltas and cover supervisors have been employed to take over our role in order to save a bit of money so supply teachers, especially those like me who do mostly short-term, day-to-day cover, are more often being seen and treated as though we're somehow 2nd rate, not as good, not as highly trained, not as experienced and not worth the money we are paid. You can see that in the way people refer to us: we're merely "the supply" - the word "teacher" seems to have been dropped from our job title - and then members of SLT, like the one described here, telling the children that we're not "real teachers". It's shit.

MrMeSeeks Wed 05-Dec-18 00:41:26

*Yep of course children’s awful behaviour is the poor supply teacher’s fault. hmm
This attitude is why there is a crisis in recruitment and retention.*

I wouldn't be complaining, i hope it has made the kids feel bad, may be they’ll think twice about their bad behaviour ( but they probably won’t).

I certainly wouldnt be complaining confused

Rockingaround Wed 05-Dec-18 00:47:14

Absolutely agree with most points. Behavior was atrocious. “Real teacher” comment is degrading and sets a disrespectful, divisive tone. I Am not in dispute with how awful the behavior was. I feel the school should’ve supported him (the ST). I understand the school can’t fire him, however that was the language the AHT used. This is what I have an issue with, that she believes that she was right to say that - children should be aware that their actions have consequences, and that there were five “culprits” yet the whole class is responsible for the poor guy being “fired”. The head is expecting my husband and I in the morning. I’m very emotional about this so I need some advice on which points to raise...

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