What Is A Cover Supervisor?
The role of a Cover Supervisor
Life as a cover supervisor in a secondary school can be manic; you start from the minute you walk onto the school site, before the bell goes for registration or first lesson. It's a fast paced environment where you'll be working non-stop until you walk out of the school gate at the end of the day. Lots of different pupils from different backgrounds all placed in the same small space, this can sometimes have repercussions fall outs, disagreements and on occasions fights.
Schools have many rules that both staff and pupils need to follow and generally they are the same at most schools. The bells are the guide for the day, they ring to start the day and continue to ring as the day goes on informing you that your lesson has started/ finished and that breaks have started/ finished. Generally pupils will move from classroom to classroom and from teacher to teacher for their lessons.Rarely do pupils have the same teacher for different subjects (although this can happen depending on the subject).
In general the role of the Cover Supervisor is to ensure that secondary school pupils continue to follow the schools behaviour policy. It's a non-teaching job. You're not there to teach them, you are there to “guide” them through the lesson.
Having good classroom management skills
It's your job to keep the noise level to a minimum and make sure you set the tone for the lesson. For example, when you want to talk, make sure the class are silent, never shout over them.
Don’t progress to the next thing until your happy with the working environment and they have done everything you have asked them to do. Make sure you keep good order in the classroom and manage behaviour constructively following the schools discipline and reward procedure answering any queries constructively.
Make sure pupils' uniform is correct and follows the dress code of the school (this will change from school to school). With everything you say make sure you follow it through as this shows consistency and that you are no push over. Try not to let pupils out of lessons unless they have a pass which the school have given them as you may end up allowing pupils to leave your lessons every 5 minutes. Deal with any emergencies/ immediate problems in accordance with the schools policies and procedures.
Some Cover Supervisors decide to register with an agency like Flourish Education and try supply work. Supply work offers flexibility, which suits some people. Although it is less stable than a permanent contract supply work can lead to long-term and permanent work within a school.
Who to report to as a Cover Supervisor?
If a fight occurred in the playground/ classroom or corridors. Stop the fight-stand in between the pupils and tell them to stop; as soon as you get chance ask another pupil to go and get a member of staff. If a member of staff doesn’t arrive, take the pupils to the staffroom with you and ask their names and year groups, ask a member of staff for assistance. As soon as you get time during the day make sure you write down exactly what you saw and how you dealt with the incident; the covers yourself and also gives the school evidence when following the incident up with the pupils, this needs to be passed on to the head of year or a member of the senior leadership team.
Who would you report to if a pupil’s work wasn’t completed?
If a pupil doesn’t complete their work to a good standard or doesn’t complete what you have asked them to, leave a note for their regular teacher (the name of the teacher will be on your cover slip). Note down the pupils name and a comment based on the pupils work.
Who would you report to if a pupil discloses something to yourself?
If a pupil discloses anything to yourself make sure first of all that whatever they tell you, you inform them that you will have to pass the information on. Don’t take notes during the conversation, the main reason for this is that the pupil will stop talking. Before the pupil tells you anything make sure that either the door is open slightly or that you are in view of a window; again this covers yourself.
Listen to the pupil, don’t give them advice but reassure them. Once the pupil has finished talking and depending how the pupil is emotionally and what they have told you (your discretion), tell them to go back to lesson and make sure you write down in as much detail the conversation you had with the pupil, then pass this on to the designated member of staff (staff names and photos will be in the staffroom).
Who would you report good behaviour/ work to?
Reporting good/ work behaviour, this is the same procedure as when a pupil doesn’t complete their work. Take their name and leave a note explaining what you were pleased with. If you can use the school reward system make sure you do when praising positive work/ behaviour.
Who would you report to if a pupil was disrupting your lesson?
If a pupil is disrupting your lesson or refusing to work, you have followed the schools procedures, then your next option is to send the pupil out of the lesson, there are two ways in which you can do this, send the pupil to the nearest teaching classroom or send a pupil/ phone for a senior member of staff to remove them from your lesson, don’t be worried about doing this as the pupil may be generally disrupt lessons.
School break times
At break and lunchtime you can normally purchase food from the school canteen, this can be eaten in the canteen or in the staffroom. Schools don’t mind you bringing your own food in as long as you eat it in the staffroom.
End of the school lesson/day
Remember, being a Cover Supervisor means you'll likely to see the same class/pupils again. However you are with them first time, you need to keep the same consistency in your next lesson. This way the pupils will know how to behave and what you expect. If you do come across the same pupils/ class throughout the day, start each lesson as a fresh, don’t carry any issues from a previous lesson into the next.
Leave 5/ 10 minutes at the end of each lesson to make sure the classroom is left tidy. Follow everything up with pupils and make sure work is left on the teachers desk and visible for them to see. Make sure you say goodbye to the staff, especially the Cover Manager & Secretary. Hand over any work to the Cover Manager. Get your time sheet signed and thank them for the day.
We’ll listen to find out what you’re looking for
If you're a candidate looking for a cover supervisor job, call 0300 303 3227. Alternatively, please send your brief/CV to firstname.lastname@example.org now and a Flourish Education consultant will be in touch asap. We can provide you the work you want, within the areas that you want, with excellent rates of pay.
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