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Colleague emailed teacher about me

(129 Posts)
Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:30:15

I started in a new school last Monday on long-term cover. As i'm new and the students don't know me, some of them are of course trying it on, but i'm following the behaviour policy and the vast majority of students are completing the work every lesson. There is low-level disruption but i'm working on it as best as I can.
Today I had year 8 and a TA was in my room supporting (seems to be at random, some lessons I have one, some I have nobody)

They were chatty and could have been quieter, I had to tell them to stop a few times, but bar 2 students they all completed the work, and those 2 came back at lunch.
20 minutes after the lesson ended, I had an email from the teacher I am covering. She said that the TA had emailed her saying this class were not very well behaved today and not in their seating plan. She was nice about it, but I don't really understand the TA.

She must have rushed after the lesson to email this teacher given the speed of it. This TA didn't say a word to me about anything, and I really don't think it was her place to do that.
She knows I am new, and the students pretty much all did the work. I just found it a bit odd,unless she was saying it more against the class as opposed to me.
What would you think of this ? I really can't be doing with bitchy colleagues, I left a school at Christmas because of a manager like that !

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:33:46

She offered for me to have any students not doing work to come back to her at the end of the day, so I thought she may be on my side.
I had something similar when I was training 4 years ago, 2 TAs who again never said a word to my face.
I have also worked as a TA and I think they are very important in a lesson and undervalued. However a small number of TAs, can be a hindrance, one I had last week just sat and gossiped with the students and tried to be their friend.

BlueJava Tue 14-Jan-20 18:34:17

Perhaps the TA is a bit over-invested in the usual teacher so decided to "tell" on you. I'd simply respond to the teacher saying that all but 2 of the class completed the work and and the 2 remainers completed it at lunch time. I'd also add "I'll make sure I ask the TA if she has any concerns next tim". Then ask her directly! I think that sounds very cheeky of her!

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:35:55

Maybe they are close friends, but it really was cheeky. I didn't tell her that in the email but I should have done, anyway she's briefly in next week so she will see for herself that all the students are doing the work.
I could understand if I was sat on my arse and they were not doing any work, but she could see I was trying my best.

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:37:25

I can honestly do without people like that, it's rife in schools.

Michaelbaubles Tue 14-Jan-20 18:40:49

No advice but my sympathies. I hate this sort of crap. Nobody should be running to tell tales on colleagues and shame on that teacher for immediately rising to the bait. Schools really are awful for this sort of thing. It’s so childish.

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:43:45

Thank you, I agree, it infuriates me. I don't even know this woman. It is childish, i'm in my 20s and she looks to be in her 50s,and the fact that 3 emails had been sent back and forth in under 20 minutes means that she literally must have ran to get it sent.
Urgh. If you have an issue say it to my face. Should I say something to her ? I cba making enemies, just dont want her in any future lessons.

JKScot4 Tue 14-Jan-20 18:43:47

Why is she emailing a teacher who is on leave? Very rude especially as she didn’t speak to you and it’s your first week.

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:44:36

Exactly, i've only been there since last Monday ! She didn't say a word to me. Im tempted to speak to her.

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:47:53

As I said I had this when I was a trainee. 2 much older TAs who again, never said a word to my face, rushed off to email the teacher.

NearlyGranny Tue 14-Jan-20 18:48:41

Unprofessional. Very unprofessional. TA should raise concerns with you first and not in front of the class.

Sutton Trust report found that TA support had zero impact overall on student attainment. Unpicked a bit, the data showed some had a +ve impact but just as many had a -ve impact. TA support is a bit of a doughnut!

Definitely respond to teacher with the clear, undeniable facts, and tackle the TA on speaking to you first, as the professional, next time you see them.

The chatty TA who is being paid to sit and encourage distraction is bad news. DH encountered one once who argued with him openly while he was dealing with disruptive behaviour in line with school policy, as in, "Oh, give him another chance, don't be so mean!" 😠

crimsonlake Tue 14-Jan-20 18:48:47

As you say, some TA's are wonderful, others seem out to undermine you. As a supply teacher of many years I have met them all. I think in your position if you are there longer term, either speak to her or her line manager. Yes, you work as a team, but you are in charge, some do not seem to understand this and cannot adapt to change. Good luck.

QuillBill Tue 14-Jan-20 18:49:40

I once had a TA run me out of town (well school) when I was on long to supply. She was awful and I really think she didn’t like me because I was nice to the children.

It can be a strange dynamic when you are a supply teacher as you are the teacher but they know the children and routine better than you do.

I wouldn’t say anything to her. Try to get her on ‘your side’, it’s probably the best way of dealing with her. Kill her with kindness.

TwinkleMerrick Tue 14-Jan-20 18:51:41

Bang out of order if you ask me. I'm also a secondary teacher, so this would piss me right off. I would inform the head of department and ask the TA to reframe from emailing the teacher you are covering updates about your lessons. As nice as the teacher is that your covering, she wasn't there so she can not make a judgment. If you want to change the seating plan that's ur decision. U r the teacher, u r in control. Not the bloody TA who doesn't have a teaching degree! Saying that, im a strict teacher and have been described as a bit scary, no one dare do this to me because I would kick off angrygrin

wanttogo Tue 14-Jan-20 18:52:59

Yes some very petty people and unprofessional behaviour.

She could have mentioned the seating plan to you beforehand?

Is it really the end of the worldsmile

Celticrose Tue 14-Jan-20 18:54:32

Surely it the teacher is off on long term sick leave (ok I am assuming this) then no one should be contacting her except her line manager especially if she was off with work related stress. Though maybe she is someone who can't leave work at work iyswim

Emmelina Tue 14-Jan-20 18:56:06

TA here (but not yours) - hi!
Not sure why your TA is running telling tales and not helping you get things on an even keel. As the constant in the classroom with a cover I would consider it part of my job to know they’re supposed to be in a certain seating arrangement and to encourage the kids to stay there, and also to help those struggling to stay on task. As Teacher’s Assistant I am there to assist the teacher, whoever that might be.

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:57:58

Ill let it go this time but anything else and I will be having a word.
The teacher off has been emailing me daily about the work etc.
I think a very small number of TAs are resentful that they aren't the teacher, to be honest.
I've been a TA myself and sometimes I was utterly bored and wished I were the teacher !
She's only been in 1 lesson up to now and i'm hoping she won't be back. It makes me feel like i'm being checked up on.

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 18:59:45

Thank you for your answer, I agree. She did seem helpful by saying they could go to her at the end of the day if work wasn't finished.
I have the impression she's been there a long time and students know her well. I honestly felt embarrassed about the incident, i've just started and i'm trying to make a good impression, i've no idea how she worded the email.

NewloveCG Tue 14-Jan-20 19:01:11

I’m a supply teacher too also in my 20s, have had experiences like this especially with staff who think I am too young. Maybe mention you weren’t aware of seating plan and wasn’t brought to your attention. Are you a member of teaching groups on Facebook? There are some great ones especially for supply so you could talk about this with others who are in the profession.

Armadilloboss Tue 14-Jan-20 19:03:15

I hate snakey behaviour like this!!!!

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 19:04:25

Thanks for that, i'll have a look.
Yeah, i'm not far off 30 but I do look/seem younger. It just makes you feel undermined, I wish I had a thicker skin and didn't care about others as much, but I had a bully manager in my last role and I just really want a school where I have no trouble.

Sugarcainx Tue 14-Jan-20 19:05:29

It's always other women too. I know that sounds horrible, but it's always women who act like this at work, i've had it at least 4 times.

BoomBoomsCousin Tue 14-Jan-20 19:06:59

I would also be annoyed by a form of "telling tales" like this. But I wonder if the scenario could have been different - that the teacher you are covering for, knowing that there is a TA in with you on this particular period (and possibly have a great relationship with that TA), contacted the TA at the end of the period to ask how things were going and then emailed you. A teacher (who is off work) checking up on you like this isn't great either but at least it would mean the people you are actually working with aren't really going behind your back.

Maybe have a word with the TA asking her what happened? Or just leave it and see if anything else happens first - people can be nervous about being out of the workplace if they are heavily invested in their work and the teacher may just be having a little difficulty giving up control.

If you're on long term cover is the management structure useful to you or are you kind of expected to put up and shut up since you're temporary?

1busybee Tue 14-Jan-20 19:09:26

Maybe she was actually being nice? Maybe, if she s friends with the teacher, the teacher happened to say how were year 8 and she replied with well they weren’t great today or something along those lines then the teacher felt a responsibility and was offering help because she felt with this class the seating plan was important and she was worried you didn’t have it? It’s hard to tell but maybe give the benefit of the doubt? It would certainly be less stressful option.

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