Post 24: 31st Jan – 10 Feb 2017
It is actually February half term as I am writing this. I didn’t have time to write up daily so I am going to summarise the last couple of weeks in one big chunk here.
Mon 30th Jan – No work, no call.
Tue 31 Jan/Wed 1 Feb – 2 days in a nursery class in a regular school. I hadn’t yet taught nursery here though I often saw it through the big glass doors in Reception class. They were short staffed here so there was just me and a TA on Tuesday. The children do mix with the Reception children, but only outside once the doors are opened. The Tuesday children were here all day and they were a nice bunch. The unit seems brand new to me and it doesn’t have a ‘cosy’ feel to it yet, not like other more established nurseries. But that’s just cosmetic. These children swapped on Wednesday afternoon for the 2nd half of the week children and boy was there a difference! Immediately you could tell the children were of a different mind set. They wrecked the place within 5 minutes! I was warned that they were a lot more challenging and they were right. At the end of the day we all flopped down for a drink of tea. The TAs said they felt like this every Wednesday!
Thursday 2 Feb – a Reception class in a new school (for me). I had a long chat with the other Rec teacher; she is also here on long term supply and she said this school have been in ‘Requires Improvement’ twice. And it shows. There are barely any resources or planning. This teacher is trying to establish her own leadership and it will be slow going. The first thing I had to do on arrival was carry a load of rubbish lying on the playground to a skip round the side. The only resources for outside were 5 scooters. And a box of chalk. The teacher said she’s ordered stuff but they can’t set up on a morning anyway because the parents nick the resources! Did I mention this was a well-known estate in the city? (I seem to be getting a lot of work in these areas recently!). The day went really well anyway and the children responded well. We had a tennis coach in the afternoon which was good fun though I had to be strict with the children at times.
Fri 3 Feb – a pre-arranged appointment for today and next Friday too for Reception in one of my regular schools (the one I taught nursery at on Tue/Wed). I am so used to coming here now that I don’t need to ask any questions and I just get on without fuss. The staff call me a piece of the furniture now.
Mon 6th Feb – And back to that school again! A morning call (7.05am) as another Reception teacher was absent. The staff said they ask for me specifically now and one of the reasons why is that I “always do observations. No other supply teacher even offers”. This school use Tapestry which is the most prevalent one I’ve seen across schools.
Tue 7th Feb – another morning call (7.20am) and a new school for me. It was for Year 3. The Deputy Head Teacher set me up and said this was a tough class with lots of behavioural issues. There was a supply teacher yesterday who didn’t come back today! Two thirds of the class were boys. Lots of different languages including some new to English (Portuguese). The TAs (one was absent but there were still 2) specifically had to withdraw pupils whenever they misbehaved. So I was a bit apprehensive before school started! But I started positively and we had a good morning. Some children still did have to be withdrawn but I was told at lunchtime by the TAs that this behaviour was normal. In fact they said the male role model was probably a great positive for them – they said the PE lesson I taught was the best they’ve seen this class behave and that it was “obvious they respected you”, again due to the boys seeing another male. The afternoon wore me out a bit and I did have to deal with a lot of bubbling-under issues between various groups of boys in the class. At home time I felt drained and I felt that I’d earned my money! A good day though with lots of positive feedback!
Wed 8th Feb – no work, no call. But I did get a call tonight at 7.25PM for tomorrow.
Thursday 9th Feb – back to the same school as last Thursday (see above) but this time in the other Reception class. It is easier for me I feel when I return to somewhere I have been before as I know lots of the routines and I don’t have to annoy staff by asking too many questions. Today they had parents’ consultations from 2pm so I helped out with both classes as much as I could. The children in this class had more needs than the other one. It always amazes me how many children remember my name from a good week ago!
Friday 10th Feb – the regular school and back to Reception (my 5th visit here in the last 2 weeks). I know pretty much all of the class now (though there are 3 Reception classes) and it was a good day, a nice way to end the half term ready for a break.
I have nothing set up for the 1st Monday back but on the plus side I do not have to worry about preparing work or marking. A week with no worries! Well, apart from the fact I now go 5 working days without pay……