Newest Review: ... As it is, they usually have to make do with the female mid-day supervisors to assist in anything they may have a problem with. I personal... more
My little part time job
Member Name: -michelle-
Advantages: A sense of satisfaction
Disadvantages: Standing around in the cold weather
I am currently working as a mid-day supervisor (dinner lady) at the local village primary school. I have been employed there for a few years and I thoroughly enjoy it.
A mid-day supervisor or dinner lady, which ever you prefer to call it, is someone (male or female) who supervisors children during the lunch time period. Not to be confused with the kitchen staff, who are the people who prepare, cook and serve the school meals.
As a mid-day supervisor you will be expected to work outdoors as well as indoors. This includes all weathers, so during the cold, winter months it is advisable to wear warm suitable clothing. Should it be raining however, this is what is known as "Wet Play" and all the children and yourselves included remain indoors. The children remain in their own class rooms and each mid-day supervisor is allocated a class, to which they supervise during the lunch time period. You remain in that class room with the children, until they leave to have their lunch, then you accompany them into the dining hall. When your class finish their lunch, they will return to their class room along with yourself where you remain until the end of the lunch time period, and the teachers return to their class.
Outdoor duties include making sure the children are kept safe from harm, being on hand to help and advise children, should the need arise. To maintain a pleasant atmosphere amongst the children including teaching respect for adults and their fellow school friends alike.
Indoor duties include seating the smaller children, in order for them to consume their lunch whether it be a school dinner or a packed lunch. Assisting the younger children by cutting up their meals should this be necessary, making sure each child has a drink to accompany their meal. Making sure tables are wiped clean once a child has finished their lunch, to ensure a clean eating area for the next child who happens to sit there. Overall, maintaining order and keeping the noise in the dining hall to a bare minimum.
At the end of a normal (not wet play) lunch time period, the bell is rung and the children line up in their individual classes, where they wait, along with the mid-day supervisors, until the teachers come out to collect their own classes. This is when any incidents that may have occurred during lunch time, such as children fighting or a child obtaining an injury or simply not feeling well, is reported to the teacher.
Although the majority of mid-day supervisors are female, they do in fact try to encourage males to apply for these positions not only for the equal rights side of things but also for the simple fact, should there be more male mid-day supervisors, then it would even things out as far as the male children are concerned, they would benefit from having a male adult to help and assist during the lunch time period, especially the older (Year 6) boys in school. As it is, they usually have to make do with the female mid-day supervisors to assist in anything they may have a problem with. I personally think male mid-day supervisors are a good idea for this very reason.
--What is expected of you, holidays and pay--
You will, most probably be expected to attend any meetings that are scheduled for mid-day supervisors and you will have to attend school at an agreed time on every inset day, even though no children are in school, you still have to attend for meetings or training.
Mid-day supervisors work on average, an hour a day, but schools do vary. A secondary school mid-day supervisor can work anything up to 2 hours a day, having more complex duties to maintain.
The rate of pay currently stands at £6.18 per hour, this includes an extra £1.04 per month for laundry. (Washing your own tabard)
You are paid throughout the whole year, even when the school is closed. (school holidays) All that is expected from you is that you attend school for an hour, whenever there is an inset day.
A tabard or overall is provided for you to wear, in order to protect your clothing and help the children to identify who you are, you are also provided with a Hi-Viz (High Visibility) jacket to wear over your coat for outdoors, as your overall/tabard is concealed by your coat during the winter months.
To work as a mid-day supervisor it helps if you like to work around children and are able to communicate with a child at their level, this is why a mid-day supervisors position is ideal for parents with children of school age, who, do not already work, giving them a little something extra, pay wise.
Positions for mid-day supervisors are usually advertised on your local job sheet which can be obtained from your local library or can be found on your local councils website.
Interviews for the position of mid-day supervisor will be held in school, usually the heads office. Fairy straight forward interview usually conducted by the head teacher and senior mid-day supervisor, who in turn ask you various questions to which you should answer accordingly, you will be asked of experience e.t.c and you will also have to undergo a C R B (Criminal Records Bureau) check, which will be paid for by the school. If successful you will be allowed to start working before your C R B results come through, you will not however, be allowed around a child without supervision until you have been cleared.
--My experience as a mid-day supervisor--
I got my job as mid-day supervisor as I already worked at the school, and had done for several years as a cleaner. I used to work 2 hours cleaning 3.30 till 5.30 each school day. I was quite happy doing this job, however things changed for me health wise and I had to stop the cleaning job. I didn't want to give up working at the school as I had worked there for a while and wanted to continue to do so. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and couldn't continue with my cleaning job. I approached the head teacher and asked if it would be possible to swap my cleaning job for that of mid-day supervisor, I knew a position had become available as someone had previously left, it would mean cutting from 2 hours to 1 hour but I was prepared to do this as I couldn't manage the 2 hours cleaning anymore anyway.
It was arranged for me to attend an interview, as I had to go through the correct channels in applying for the job.
Basically what happened was, I gave up my 2 hours cleaning after school and took on 1 hour mid-day supervising during the school day. As I had been diagnosed with RA I was asked to go through the correct channels with the occupational health, which I did and they confirmed I was fit for the job of mid-day supervisor.
In the school where I work, There are ten mid-day supervisors including the senior mid-day supervisor. We each have a class allocated to us, this is made known to the children. so if anything should occur during the lunch time period, the child or children concerned will go directly to their own class mid-day supervisor, then, it is noted down, dealt with immediately if possible, and reported to the teacher at the end of the lunch time period.
The class I supervise is a mixed class of year 5 and 6 children. Most of them are lovely children, I say most as there are a certain few that do have to be dealt with quite often. I do enjoy my time at school and wouldn't mind working more hours during the school day.
I remember when I started, my son had just three weeks left at the school, before he left for secondary school. It was lovely to see him at play enjoying school and playing with his friends. I wasn't allowed to supervise the class he was in at the time, due to the rules and regulations of the school. When the new school year started in the September, I remember feeling a great sense of loss as I scanned the playground, but already knowing my little boy wasn't there any more, he was now all grown up at big school. It took me a while to get used to the fact he wasn't there anymore, and of course I did eventually.
The ladies I work with are lovely, I couldn't wish for a nicer atmosphere in which to work. I suppose you could call me a "special case" mid-day supervisor due to my condition, (RA) although there is no visible evidence of this disease, only me personally (or anyone who also suffers with RA) can appreciate what the suffering from this, is really like. I'm lucky in one respect, as I am not allowed outside during the real cold and damp winter months, as this causes my condition to worsen and so I get to stay inside where it's nice and warm. I do feel guilty as the others still have to go outside, but they all totally appreciate my situation and respect the fact, that I'm a little bit different from them.
In my place of work, meetings are scheduled each week, The senior mid-day supervisor heads this meeting and all mid-day supervisors are expected to attend, but the meetings are scheduled within work time. This means the teaching staff have to finish their lunch break a little earlier in order to take over supervision of the children.
These meetings enable the mid-day supervisors to discuss any issues or problems they may have regarding their position as mid-day supervisor at the current time. Or to discuss any other matter that may have arisen.
--"School Policy For Physical Interventions"--
Recently, we have been given a copy of the "School Policy For Physical Interventions" this, for anyone who is unfamiliar, is a written policy basically telling us what is and what is not acceptable, for anyone working with children.
The reason I have written this in my review is because I was interested to see what parents in general (not just the school where I work) think is acceptable, as far as physical intervention goes.
We were given a few "For instances" during our meeting. As a parent myself I feel very strongly about this issue, if my child had been in any of these next situations, I would indeed want a mid-day supervisor to help, in any way they could, to prevent my child from injuring himself.
If a child is stuck on top of the play apparatus: As mid-day supervisors, we cannot assist/help that child down, even if the child concerned asks for help.
If a child looks like they are going to, or indeed, do fall from the play apparatus: As mid-day supervisors, we cannot attempt to stop that fall from happening. We have to just let it happen.
If two or more children are fighting: As mid-day supervisors, we cannot physically stop them, we have to tell them to stop (like they are going to listen) and hold up our hands in a stop position.
Should any of these instances occur, we are to send for a member of the teaching staff, as they are allowed to physically intervene. But in my opinion, waiting for a teacher to appear on the scene could take a while and therefore be to late in dealing with any given situation.
We were given more "for instances" but it was these three in particular that bothered me the most, I personally think, that as mid-day supervisors, we are with the children when they are most at risk of causing injury to themselves or others and if a child asks for help we should indeed, assist them. I also think that it is a natural instinct, for anyone to help a child, in any of these given situations.
I would really appreciate any comments you may wish to add here, as the mid-day supervisors at my school have decided to comply a letter to the governors, explaining how and why we disagree with their decision.
I've given the position of mid-day supervisor 5 stars because I love every aspect of my job.
Thank you for reading my review which is also posted on Ciao
Summary: Great little job, if you can stand the cold weather
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