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"Mean" Supply Teacher Advice Please...

(11 Posts)
rockinhippy Wed 28-Nov-12 21:38:04

I'm a bit peed of to put it mildly after a conversation I had with DD today, where she as wittering on about not liking supply teachers, as they've had a few where she feels they've behaved unfairly towards the class/individual DCs & how she hates it when her teachers are away, because they then get some awful teachers.

She starts off by telling me about todays ST treating the class yr5 class like year1 DCs, lining them up to leave class for lunch etc, cutting into a lot of their lunch time. Then taking away what amounted to nearly 2 weeks worth of a class award scheme for good behaviour - because of one incident where she clapped to get their attention to do something or other, no warning, just what does sound like a bit of an overreaction - but I chatted with DD about how difficult it must be to go into different schools/classes & not know the school or system properly & also hard to get a class to pay attention when some DCs will play up because she is new etc so hard as it is, maybe it's best just to look at it that way -

So I am not ST bashing in general, but I was pretty darn cross & now wondering what to do about it when DD followed that up by telling me about an incident with Fridays supply teacher - with hindsight DD was upset & very quiet on getting home on Friday, but didnt want to open up about it then. Turns out she was very upset because during a writing excersize, this teacher had looked at DDs work, complained DD hadn't written enough, DD apologised & explained she had a bad headache, so was struggling with concentrating & that her hand was acheing - the ST scolded her, telling her that's not an excuse & if you were in my class in London you would not be in the top setangry .- not only belittling DD in front of other, but undermining her very experienced & fantastic teachers too hmm

According to every teacher DD has ever had, she is a model pupil, loves to learn, is very bright & cares very much about getting it right, so this upset her deeply - if that wasn't bad enough, DD is anxious by nature, is still in recovery from a neck injury, which adds to the headaches & has only recently been diagnosed with a medical condition that affects her joints, makes her vulnerable to injury & causes her pain, so not only does she get bad headaches, her hand can often genuinely be very painful if she writes for long, it also makes her sensitive to noise etc, all of which her usual teachers are aware of & deal with well - I have an appointment this week with the school nurse to start the ball rolling on help for her, but its a complicated condition, & we still have OT & Phsyio appointments to go before we know the full picture IYSWIM.

I am really angry about the STs comments to. DC she obviously knows nothing about - am I over reacting, putting DDs medical problem aside is this as bang out of order as I think it is & should I complain - gawd I would love the agency details right nowangry

Advice & opinions appreciated please


LindyHemming Wed 28-Nov-12 21:53:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

learnandsay Wed 28-Nov-12 22:00:12

Yes, the supply teacher needs to be sorted out as soon as possible. She doesn't know your daughter and needs to be filled in.

Blueschool Wed 28-Nov-12 22:00:58

I would not focus on anything but what the st on Friday said. That is just nasty, medical issues or not. Poor girl.

I would go and see the ht or email her if you cant face a meeting.

In the meantime , lots of hugs and reassurances to your dd that the teacher is plain wrong smile

clam Wed 28-Nov-12 22:02:03

I'm also torn on the issue. But this seems unacceptable. Your poor dd.

But actually, I think I'd be wondering why there've been so many supply teachers. Is there an unusually high absence level in the permanent staff? I couldn't tell you the last time I've seen a supply teacher in our school.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 28-Nov-12 22:03:03

I'd speak to the head. Any time we have a new supply in, we are asked to fill in an evaluation form. Then that forms the basis of whether we employ them again.
I've done supply, it is hard because you don't know the children. Therefore you never make snap judgements about their capabilities and current situations.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 28-Nov-12 23:42:52

Often ST have to deal with very bad behavior from classes. I think it sounds like the ST has her work cut out with your DD's class. Lining up and paying attention are very simple straight forward requests that a 10 year old should be able to do easily. I can't see the problem with waiting till the children fall in line before having break. They will be quicker next time as a result hopefully.

I recon that the ST felt that your DD was perfectly fine and was just making an excuse for her lack of work. She is entitled to make that judgement, although she could have been much kinder in the way she approached things. It sounds like she was a little too factual.

The real fault is actually with the school who obviously haven't informed the ST of the on going issues with your DD's neck/headaches/joints. School may not have even informed ST of any other class health issues in that case - nut allergies, fits etc. Some of these could actually be life threatening.

In your shoes, I'd mention to the head that the ST did not know about her health problems (and should have). Also explain to the head that the ST was quite harsh about DD's lack of work and that it has undermined your sensitive DD's confidence.

cory Thu 29-Nov-12 08:48:12

What Rudolph said. The school should have informed supply about your dd's medical issues, but they often do slip up: dd had a lot of problems with supplies who didn't accept her SN because they hadn't been told.

As for your dd's complaints about the lining up etc, I wouldn't pay any attention to that: point out that the only reason this would eat into their lunchtime is if they're messing around, and in that case the teacher needs to treat them as if they were much younger.

rockinhippy Thu 29-Nov-12 12:41:58

Thanks everyone, I have had a word with the head today & I'm confident it will be dealt with. I can't say whether the info about the DCs was passed on & not followed or not passed on at all, but the HT looked genuinely concerned.

& to clarify my only real issue was with the ST who belittled DD in front of others & undermined her confidence in her ability & ignored her valid reasons for being slow - she already stresses about her writing, yet is doing fine, well ahead, but just not good enough for her mile wide perfectionist streak - she's also had bullying issues lately & what the ST did potentially gave more ammo to the DC who is targeting her - also as she's newly diagnosed she's still struggling to come to terms with it all, so as you can imagine being told you are not good enough & your pain is just an excuse, is the last thing she neededsad

& I do accept ST must be a very difficult job indeed & DCs DO play up for STs - that was half the reason DD had a headache - the usual suspects were being little so & so's, some had to be removed from class, but unfortunately it was all the class that paid for that & DD did feel the ST was't able to handle the situation well & over reacted - she can be scarily adult & astute with things like that & is generally on the teachers side, not the DCs.

& as regards why STs - unfortunately a lot of nasty viruses around school at the moment, lots getting sick, kids & adults, several teachers are obviously still dragging themselves into work despite looking like death warmed up, which can't be easy, but it's understandle with full on flu & stomach bugs, they can't always do that, so I don't think there's any real problem with the school per se, just that time of year & it does seem extra bad her this year - we've had 3 nasty viruses ourselves in the last 6 weeks

Thanks again

rockinhippy Thu 29-Nov-12 12:44:24

Is understandle even a word - no idea what planet my iPad is on :-/

DeWe Thu 29-Nov-12 13:32:32

My experience is that my dc always complain about their supply teachers even if I know they are lovely. They're always doing mean things and aren't fair, if I believe them. wink
I think it's because the dc have a sort of loyalty to their regular teacher, even when they're not over keen on their usual teacher. Also they can be terribly set in their ways so when the supply teacher does something differently it's obviously totally wrong.
My ds changed teacher at half term and his present teacher is horrid and nasty apparently. His reason is she doesn't call people "silly sausage"... confused. Give him another couple of weeks and she'll probably be the bees knees.

I think what I would do is go to the head or senco and ask that your daughters medical condition, and how it may effect her, is made clearly known to all supply teachers. Explain what was said, and how it upset your dd, so they can see how important it is for the medical notes to be passed on.

What she said to the teacher sounds the sort of thing my dd2 would say if challenged about not writing enough. It might be vaguely true (perhaps mild headache)in my dd2's case but it would be mostly her throwing excuses at the teacher.

I think your dd might be better if she stuck with one thing, if that makes sense. "I've got a really bad headache" Perhaps adding "I have XX condition, which gives me them" if she's comfortable with that.
The list of things could appear to a supply teacher as though she's protesting too much, and label her (if she doesn't know her medical stuff) as trying it on.

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