Is it just me that takes it personally when there is an incident when a class is covered by someone else?

I’ve recently had to arrange for planned cover of one of my lessons as I had a meeting to go to; cover work was duly considered and planned – I chose a topic we’d done the previous lesson, shown a “worked example” for the cover supervisor to do with the group that I expected the students to get into their book to help them “model” their own work, and loads of increasingly difficult questions, so that they started nice and simple and built up to something a tad more challenging. A seating plan was also left with pictures as I really do expect the students to sit in their usual places. Sounds all hunky-dory doesn’t it?

I returned to my room to find calculators on the floor, tables all askew, chairs everywhere and books with so little work in. To top it all off I’d got a message to say that X had been removed from my classroom for swearing at another student. Being the cynical person I am I looked at some books and at most only ONE question was done – there was no date, no title and no worked example in many of them. My instructions  I’d left were explicit about all of these things.

Believe me when I say I’m not “having a pop” at the cover supervisor, I really am not! It’s a really tough job and sometimes students see cover as an opportunity to relax, chill and do nothing! In fact I was more disappointed with my group … partly because they missed out on the opportunity for some deliberate practice (as if they cared!) , but more so,  because I feel they let me down! There is also a tiny (read that asmassive“) part of me that feels their behaviour reflects on me as a teacher and that I find similar behaviour acceptable in my normal lessons. Totally irrational I know but it’s there nevertheless.