Post 26: Tuesday 28 Feb – Friday 3 March 2017.
Back to a regular school of mine on Tuesday for a morning in Year 2 and an afternoon in Year 3. The Year 2 class were ‘lively’ and there were no resources for the planning that I was expected to teach so I had to make do and amend. I was expected to deliver a certain differentiated workload to different groups but the teacher did not leave a list of the groups and the children sat at mixed ability tables! Therefore I had no idea who was to do which work (and I could hardly ask the children, “Who is in the bottom group?” etc)! Note to any teachers reading: it can be helpful to have displayed somewhere a list of groupings and their group names – the children have no idea! In the afternoon I went with both Y3 classes on the school bus to our local sports centre. I was to teach hockey for half an hour then swap and my class would be taught by a rugby coach. I was looking forward to this but it turned out to be very hard work – we were bundled into 1 huge sports hall and told to share. Therefore we could not be heard at all and had to keep stopping the children and making them come sit with us every time we told them the next activity. Hard work!
On Wed and Thu I taught Reception in the school I have been coming to now for the last couple of weeks. In the morning I was asked to keep coming on Wed/Thu until the Easter holidays and I agreed. The staff all seemed happy that I was working well and was creating some consistency. However, on Thursday evening when I got home I was asked by the HT (via my agency) to change from Reception and instead go into Y2…for the rest of the term. I had to have a think about it, but because I am committed to another school after Easter I know that this can’t become a long term posting so I agreed. On Friday I went to teach the Y2 class……….and let’s just say I earned my money today!!
As this is a confidential blog I am not going to name the school; but it is one of the most unorganised I’ve been to in the 4 years I’ve been doing this. There are long-term supply teachers in at least 4 classes (and possibly more). I have no idea why they don’t advertise for or hire full time teachers, but I am covering a sick note and experience has taught me that this will inevitably go on for a looooong time (especially due to the nature of the class – stay tuned!). There is no long term planning and no general information – for instance I have no idea who the higher, lower and middle attainers are. There has been no guided reading at all for the whole year and there seems to be a timetable which changes by the week. The other Y2 teacher is also a supply teacher and could not fill me in on school routines. I have 1 TA who is only in for short periods and she met me with the words, “This class are awful. The behaviour is dreadful”. Yikes!
So on Friday I met Year 2 and in the main the class weren’t too bad; there are just a couple of children with severe behavioural problems who completely rule the roost in the class. I mean, they have been allowed to do whatever they want, to give the teacher a quiet life (so the TA said): for instance, on entry this morning one of the boys took a pair of scissors and charged at the other children walking in with their parents. He shouts, swears and stands up at carpet time to turn to the class and make baby noises at them, making them laugh. I was told some confidential info about him which goes some way to explain this behaviour but it made for an extremely draining day as he took up almost all of my attention. If this was a one-off day for me I’d go home and have a beer ready for the next school. But I’ll be there for a few weeks so had better get all of my strategies dusted off and ready!
Note: The HT asked me to do the planning for next week. Fair enough, I’ll be here full time so this is to be expected. By Sunday afternoon she had emailed me – twice – asking where the planning was and could I email her it! Good job I checked my email eh?
Also I am pre-booked for another school on Monday so won’t begin my medium term placement until Tuesday.