Midday Supervisor Frustrations – and Training

Here are a few photos of me at the beginning of a day ready to welcome in a team of mid-day supervisors.

More and more schools are realising that they need to give some training to supervisors who are only in for an hour and a half at the most and are expected to achieve miracles in a short time.  I like them to know what resources are available, particularly the posters they can use in the dining hall underneath the big banner ‘Our Target This Week Is… speaking quietly, good table manners’ etc etc.  I like them to think about the games they played when they were younger and what zones these fall under.  However… I have a million ideas to make lunchtimes work and they’ll never work unless a senior manager attends the training with the mid-days.  The only 3 words that change a school are ‘Plan Do Review…’ and a series of meetings to work out how to change the systems so mid-day supervisors need to be paid for any meeting time they give.  If the school has got a really poor budget then they just take it in turns to just one mid-day to attend each of the meetings but make sure that you write up the minutes so that particular mid-day can give them out to the rest of the team and explain things to them.  “Lack of communication” is the biggest problem according to lunchtime supervisors.  They are really fed up when teachers don’t liaise with them.  They understand that teachers cannot tell them that maybe a child’s mum and dad have split up, but they want to be told that such a child is fragile today and can they look after them and keep an eye on them.  Sometimes mid-days just feel disenfranchised and marginalised.  I’ve often heard children stand in front of them with their hands on their hips “I don’t have to do what you say, my mum says you’re just a dinner lady!!”  There is a lot of work to be done.  I’m going to make one strong plea though.  In schools where they have let circle time drift away or they only have a circle time when they have a fight at lunchtime… they have far more problems at lunchtime than schools who have regular team building circle times.

Website Manager’s Notes

  1. Read all about Dining Hall Helpers and how to introduce them to your dining hall systems in best selling “How To Create Calm Dining Halls” by Jenny Mosley.
  2. Jenny Mosley is available for better behaviour and lunchtimes and playtimes INSET training days, Working In School Days and for different length projects involving several schools for schools training.
  3. Find out about booking Jenny or attending open training conferences around the country throughout the year. Jenny also excels as an educational presenter at schools conferences, LA conferences and Headteacher conferences.
  4. The areas of Jenny’s expertise include training for positive behaviour for learningearly years trainingtraining for midday supervisors and lunchtime supervisors, to promote calm dining halls and healthy, active playgrounds, also training for promoting social and communication skills for learning and training for mental health and wellbeing. To find out more about Dining Hall Helpers please ask.
  5. Jenny’s resources support all her areas of training and are available form her webshop.
  6. To contact us please phone 01225 767157 or email circletime@jennymosley.co.uk or use the contact form on our website. We look forward to hearing form you.
  7. Do see Jenny’s Calm Dining Halls articles in Headteacher Update and the TES.