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please tell me actual teaching isn't as bad as being a cover?

(10 Posts)
stressedcoversupervisor Wed 27-Jan-16 15:59:13

Hi All,

I've got a place on a PGCE starting in September and in the mean time have been doing some Cover Supervisor work. In all honesty it has been total hell, barely any of the pupils have listened and I've really struggled with behaviour management. I've had pupils point blank refuse to do any work, things thrown across the classroom, a table thrown over in one class and just generally utter chaos. It's really put me off and made me think maybe I wouldn't make a good teacher. Does it get any easier and is it any different as an actual teacher rather than going into a school to do Cover work?

CremeEggThief Wed 27-Jan-16 16:04:02

Emm, sorry, I can't. You will probably get a bit more respect from most students as a teacher; but the workload, the planning, the marking, the target setting, the paperwork, the data, the meetings, communicating with parents, carers and other professionals, such as educational psychologists , dealing with SLT, is going to be so much more.sad

noblegiraffe Wed 27-Jan-16 16:06:32

You'll hear students in corridors saying 'yes! Miss X is off, we've got a cover lesson!' And by cover lesson, they mean a doss lesson. Kids see a cover teacher and instantly slack off/mess around. If you don't know what you are doing and don't know the kids then it can be carnage, they take advantage.

It's much easier being an established teacher with a class that you know.
Kids do still test students/NQTs but then you see them day after day so can follow stuff up, phone parents etc and so it's not as bad.

noblegiraffe Wed 27-Jan-16 16:07:22

But that's about behaviour, agree it's much harder being a teacher in terms of workload.

honeysucklejasmine Wed 27-Jan-16 16:09:05

It hopefully won't be as bad, behaviour wise, for reasons noble says.

But it's not an easy job, and all the extra stuff you do as a teacher (vs cover teacher) may well make you just as miserable.

stressedcoversupervisor Wed 27-Jan-16 16:10:54

The workload doesn't bother me, having completed a PhD with 70+ hour weeks I'm used to working long hours. It's more the behaviour management side of things that bothers me

AnotherStitchInTime Wed 27-Jan-16 16:12:58

Yes in the main however, you will find some schools are more supportive with cracking down on poor behaviour than others. As a trainee teacher you may well face some of the issues you have already experienced, but you will have a mentor and the regular class teacher to support you. Once children realise you are there to stay they usually start to form a relationship with you and the majority will not behave as you have described.

Whenever you take on a new class always be strict on behaviour at the beginning and keep lessons simple, if they see a chink in the armour early on they will push the boundaries more. Once you have built a relationship and know what works with a class or individual you can be more flexible and do more complex or fun activities. That applies to your PGCE too, you may have fantastic lesson ideas that sound great on paper, but unless you have the class fully under control you will probably not be able to carry them out in the time and without issue.

SisterViktorine Wed 27-Jan-16 20:48:36

You may find the workload does bother you after you have spent 6 hours managing behaviour. Even when you are really good at class management it is emotionally draining and you are tired at the end of the day. Another 4 hours of meetings, speaking to parents, deep marking, planning, preparing action plans etc. after that is generally much less appealing than wine not what you want to do.

DarkRoots Thu 28-Jan-16 12:34:39

It's totally different. You have a relationship with your own classes, and you know the kids much better. Plus, getting kids to do work in a cover lesson is a fool's errand - the work set will also be testament to this!

mercifulTehlu Fri 29-Jan-16 16:05:41

Sorry. I've done cover teaching and proper long-term teaching. These days I'd far rather be a cover teacher than a permanent full time teacher (unless it was in a private school ). The behaviour might get a bit better as you establish yourself, but the endless paperwork, marking, meetings and scrutiny by senior management will more than make up for that, I'm afraid.

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