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Supply teachers not being honest :/

(9 Posts)
SawdustInMyHair Mon 30-Jan-17 18:59:32

I have two non-contact sessions a week, with two different regular supplies covering my Y4 class. I have a challenging class with lots of issues.

Every time the supplies tell me that the kids were 'really good' and they had a great time. Every time the TA and even the kids themselves tell me that it was awful and behaviour was out of control. Some of the children have even asked if I have to go out at all, as they find it distressing. The 1-1 often takes his boy out as they can't get anything done and he gets distressed. I came down during PPA last week to find my class coming back from assembly and literally running and screaming down the hall into the classroom.

Does anyone have any advice for dealing with this? I've spoken to the kids of course (when they were running & screaming I dealt with them directly) and I tell them the plan for the afternoon so there aren't any surprises. We have a system of rewards and sanctions which is clear and the supplies seem to be using, and I've also started a list of names who get a sticker from me the next morning if they've been good. I've even said they can send children to me while I'm in PPA, but it's yet to happen! One of the times I'm out is on Monday, and it sets them up badly for the rest of the week angry

TheTroubleWithAngels Mon 30-Jan-17 19:40:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bythewatersedge Mon 30-Jan-17 19:45:40

Or the supply teachers are concerned that if they raise a concern they may find themselves not invited back to the school.

Perhaps they don't want to bother you when you're doing your PPA.

OnceUponATimeInAVest Mon 30-Jan-17 19:47:39

Speaking as ex-supply, what a lot of schools want is to be told everything was fine, irrespective of what it says on their behaviour policy. Sending a kid to [named member of staff as per instructions] was a pretty good way of avoiding ever having work at that school again.

But they've been offered help by you and failed to use it. I would pass your concerns on to whoever books the supply at your school and ask them to get someone else in.

Minispringroll Tue 31-Jan-17 11:03:32

I've had classes like this...and supply teachers, who seemed to have no control. There wasn't usually an awful lot I was able to do, although I did casually pop into class during my PPA to check on them...and put a stack of books back or get new ones. (That can backfire, depending on the supply teacher, though. You don't want to undermine, you want to support...but it might not feel like that to them.)
If I had children, who struggled during the morning or at lunchtime, I might pull them out and have them sit in with me, simply to avoid further issues. It's not perfect but it helps to keep the rest of the class a little calmer. Additionally, I'd also keep contact with parents, if it was an ongoing issue and have put children on "report" just for those sessions.

I've only been at one school where me dealing with issues from PPA sessions was frowned upon because I wasn't meant to be disturbed during my PPA time. It meant issues went on for ages and I wasn't even told about what had happened, which meant I then had unhappy children, annoyed cover teachers and no idea why. That was a general problem for me at that school, though, since problems were not considered to be the class teacher's issue and supposedly resolved by someone else. confused

I have been on the other side of this, though, doing cover and PPA sessions throughout school. The outcome of that depended on the class. I would follow the school's behaviour policy, which meant sending children to a different class. If that didn't work, I'd send them either to their teacher or to SLT. I wasn't a supply teacher, so me enforcing this had no effect on my employment. I was a full-time member of staff and only had one Year 6 class that were iffy in that respect. It does feel frustrating because they sometimes really try it on and as a teacher you feel you should be able to manage. After all, I don't usually have issues with them. (I know they are better with me compared to some of the cover they've had, but they simply weren't meeting my standards at all. Felt like I was letting them down and there was nothing I could do about it.)
I wouldn't want to be a supply teacher. It's the reason why I tend to come down very hard on my classes, if they mess the supply around.

SapphireBird Tue 31-Jan-17 23:04:57

That's a bit of e generalisation TheTroubleWAithAngels

I would think they are worried they won't be invited back. Classroom management on supply is nothing like being the normal class teacher.

Supply teaching is hard and is dwindling. People need jobs.

junebirthdaygirl Wed 01-Feb-17 00:28:09

Did a good bit of supply teaching while between jobs. I always found if a class were well behaved in general they were well behaved for me. They didn't just turn into monsters when l arrived. Unless the supply is doing absolutely nothing and not keeping them busy their behaviour should be on par with when you're there. I usually gave a pretty positive message to teacher but on a few occasions l said l would not return to that class as it wasn't my remit to put up with bad behaviour if only covering for one day here and there.

SawdustInMyHair Wed 01-Feb-17 19:51:49

Thanks everyone! It's great to get lots of perspectives.

Since I posted an issue came up in a lesson she was covering (children being horrible to each other) which I didn't find out about until being cornered by parents the next morning angry We spoke after the lesson, too, so she had every opportunity to tell me!

I've had Words, and had to apologise to the parent of one of the children, and SLT have been involved in the incident because it spiralled. They know the situation with the supply, but I'm not sure if anything will happen about it.

MiaowTheCat Fri 03-Feb-17 09:49:53

I'm an ex supply and also had a stint of having the Y4 "lively" class (so bloody lively they drove me to a nervous breakdown to give you the idea).

It's really hard to get the balance right on supply - you get schools where all they want to hear is what a delightful bunch of children they've been and how you've all been floating around on rainbows all morning (even though they're really the class of your nightmares), you've got schools where to be honest they don't care as long as they're contained in the classroom and the place doesn't look like a bomb's hit it by hometime, and you've got the schools where they want you to be honest so they can follow up the behaviour.

I always got on best at the final type of school where I could leave an honest assessment of who'd been working their ticket (while also leaving the classroom tidy and doing the actual job in hand) and where you knew anyone pushing their luck would be dealt with - but that level of honesty can also get you shitty feedback to your agency if you do it at the "wrong" school. That seems to have led to a batch of supplies who will just leave notes about how wonderful the kids have been and how lovely a day they've had, despite colleagues telling you that it resembled a warzone in there and half the class "personalities" have been distributed around other classes in the school. I never went into it myself, and really hated going to schools where that was very much the expectation of supplies - but I can understand why some do that when work's so uncertain.

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