Welcome to my Blog which combines the unlikely topics of supply teaching with progressive rock. Here you will find my ongoing 'Diary of a Surviving Supply Teacher' and a variety of lists/ timelines/ articles on progressive rock.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Teaching Today

Tuesday, 08 March 2011

esterday, I received the February 2011 edition of Teaching Today (issue 76), the NASUWT’s magazine for members. Articles include: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Royal Wedding, President Visits Gibralter, World Aids Day, Gobal Rankings Expose Flaw in Government’s Education Vision, Citizens UK Building Powerful Institutions for the Common Good, International News, Send My Sister to School and Monitors Needed for Refugee Teachers. There is a page with a crossword and sudoku.

What is the total number of articles or references to supply teachers? Well, on page 31, under the heading of ‘Minister Lobbied on Induction Rule’ and the sub-heading ‘Annual Conference 2011’, the twelfth in a list of nineteen bullet points is ‘supply teachers’. Because it is not written as a true font, it does not show up at all in a search of the online version at: At a time of enormous difficulties for supply teachers, if it is not clear where the NASUWT’s loyalties lie, it is certainly obvious where they do not.   

Tuesday, 08 March 2011 pt2

To Miss With Love Episode 2

The second of five parts of To Miss with Love is broadcast today on BBC Radio 4 at 9:45am - 10:00am (Tuesday 08 March 2011). It is the diary of inner-city teacher Katharine Birbalsingh, who has been teaching in a state school, read by Adjoa Andoh.

In this episode, the diary entries include:
(i) a conversation with Snuffy’s (our heroine) friend, Inspirational, on how easy subjects give better exam results;
(ii) Snuffy going to a football match with Mr Sporty, who motivates the already happy pupils, such as Munchkin, by telling them they could be like professional footballers;
(iii) a description of Stoic, a Guyanese boy, who is popular with teachers, because he does everything they say, and hated by his peers for the same reason;
(iv) Mr Hadenough describes, with tears in his eyes, how Miss Joyful withdrew six difficult students from 8iv and they were still difficult. What if there had been an Ofsted inspector present? Snuffy learns to her horror, that Mr Hadenough has left the class unsupervised and rushes to the room just as 8iv set off the fire alarm;
(v) Snuffy shows year 11 photos of the unromantic side of Brazil, such as gun-carrying children and drug dealers. The pupils, like Dopey, see themselves as victims too, not lucky by comparison as intended;
(vi) Beautiful, a Pakistani Muslim, has split with boyfriend Furious, because in wearing a short skirt, she did not follow the Koran. Boys appear at liberty to set their own rules;
(vii) Furious chases Cavalier, Mrs Principled’s pacifist son, catches him and cuts his face. Snuffy restrains Furious, while instructing Dopey to hold Furious and Dreamer to get another teacher. She hands Furious to Mr Cajole when he arrives and has to compose herself for her next lesson; 
(viii) Adorable and Munchkin show prospective parents around the school. Snuffy did not anticipate being a salesperson. When asked about discipline she is evasive.

Written by Katharine Birbalsingh and abridged by Polly Coles

I am really enjoying this radio series to which I can relate. I tried a search on my local library’s website, but nothing was found either by title or author.

Tuesday, 08 March 2011 pt3

I was offered tomorrow afternoon in a school, but turned it down as it was a long journey for half a day.  Whether I’ll be blacklisted by the agency for this I do not know.

Originally written on Tuesday, 08 March 2011

Wednesday, 09 March 2011

To Miss With Love Episode 3

The third of five parts of To Miss with Love is broadcast today on BBC Radio 4 at 9:45am - 10:00am (Wednesday 09 March 2011). It is the diary of inner-city teacher Katharine Birbalsingh, who has been teaching in a state school, read by Adjoa Andoh.

In this episode, the diary entries include:
(i) Year 8, including Fifty, talk about the Royals but confuse Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi with those who killed Jews. They start chanting ‘England’ because they love their country;
(ii) Miss Sensible tells Snuffy that Cavalier brought a metal bar into school to defend himself from Furious, over a dispute concerning Beautiful. Cavalier had been struck by his own metal bar. Both could be excluded, but may not fit the exclusion spaces;
(iii) The Headmaster tells Snuffy that Stoic was seventh when the university took six places. The Head is convinced that being ‘a state school applicant’ counted against him. Public school teachers can avoid the National Curriculum and are not spending a large amount of time dealing with behaviour;
(iv) Mr Hadenough shows Snuffy a letter written by Cavalier’s mother to the Head, Mr Goodheart, appealing for leniency towards her son. The Head cannot be seen to condone bringing a weapon to school;
(v) Mr Goodheart warns the staff of Ofsted and says Cavalier will not return, while Furious has returned;
(vi) Year 8s, including Polish, Fifty, Cent and Munchkin, discuss gun crime. Fifty and Cent appear to have seen guns. They say, “Beware of the quiet ones who do not rant, because they will get a gun. You can get shot just by looking at a person in the wrong way.” Their attitude is that there is no point in GCSEs, when you won’t live long enough to have a career;
(v) Letdown is a year 11 pupil who is well-behaved but has sat in badly behaved groups. Snuffy sits in when Ms Letdown teaches Letdown on a Saturday, but he cannot catch up.

Wednesday, 09 March 2011 pt2

The agency phoned me at 1:30pm, this time to offer a full day tomorrow at a local school. At the moment, I will teach year 4 in the morning and year 5 in the afternoon. Normally, I do not mind floating, but I do not much care for these days split between two year groups, morning and afternoon. As I have not taught since last week, I am beginning to feel rusty.  

Originally posted on Wednesday, 09 March 2011

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