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Any positive supply stories??!!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by sazza2000, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Having read a lot of the threads on here, there is a lot about the downsides to the nature of supply teaching. I appreciate that these issues are real and are exacerbated for teachers who are not doing supply through choice. I have chosen to become a supply teacher after many years of 'normal' (lol) teaching.
    I really enjoy the freedom of supply teaching, choosing to a degree how much a work and being able to switch off when I arrive home for family time. When I was a full time teacher, the planning, meetings, reviews, assessments took over so much of my time.
    Whilst I appreciate supply teaching is not for everybody. My question is aimed at those who are doing supply teaching through choice. Are there any supply teachers who love what they do. If so, why?
     
  2. Yes, I do for all the reasons you mention. I now have time to myself in the evenings, no meetings, little planning, no politics, no great pressure etc. I enjoy going to other schools and picking up new ideas. I like seeing how different schools are organised and run. I love being able to have a day off just because I feel like it. I can meet friends for lunch if I want to and I can go on holiday whenever I like. This does all depend on my being able to get sufficient work to fund the lunches and holidays but so far I have done.
    Next term I have a whole term placement and I have to say I am not particularly looking forward to it even though it's a nice class in a good school where the staff are all very friendly. It will curtail my freedom. But I already know this will be the last long term placement I'll take. I'm looking forward to going back to being a casual supply teacher.
     
  3. Agree with all of the above. Don't ever see myself returning to a contracted post. Love the freedom of supply. Not particularly happy with agency rates of pay. Prefer working direct for schools when I can get it but considering how many extra hours are put in with parents evenings, report writing, assessments and planning etc I would rather be paid £100 a day for 8.30 - 4.30 hours and time to myself evenings and week-ends than be on salary.
     
  4. Supply teaching can be a rather nice way of enjoying some of the advantages of teaching but without some of the detractions. It is a pity that there are so few opportunities to do any supply work, these days.
     
  5. Amid all the concerns and issues of supply teaching that have been raised on this form, it was very uplifting to read your posts. It confirms what I sort of felt. Obviously as the years pass, I may become disillusioned, however currently it seems a wonderful way of retaining a work / life balance whilst getting on with the best bit of the job, ie actual teaching.
    How long have you guys been supplying and what age groups do you teach?
    What would be your top tips to ensure that it can continue to be a rewarding choice?
     
  6. This is only my second year of doing supply. I will teach the whole of the primary range but prefer Key Stage 2. I have taken early retirement so have my pension (reduced) and I also have renatl properties so I am not totally reliant on my supply money so that helps. One thing I've done this year which I didn't do last year is to turn down work at schools, or with classes, that I don't particularly like. It is a really powerful feeling and hasn't resulted in me getting any less work. Otherwise the only other advice I would offer is to go in and do a really good day's work and if you DO have a bad day, and we all do sometimes, then be glad you don't have to face them all day every day.
    The fact that I will happily teach the whole age range has led to some interesting placements. I had a day when I did Foundation in the morning and Year 6 in the afternoon. Another day when I moved classes every hour or even half hour some lessons. As the agency said, there weren't many people they could throw into thoat kind of set up. I loved it. And there was no marking because I don't think I delivered a complete lesson anywhere.
    I think supply becomes stressful if you aren't earning enough to have the lifestyle you want or you are getting too many difficult classes. Otherwise if you don't mind the uncertainty of knowing where you're going each day, or whether you're going aywhere at all, then it can be a great job.
    the only downside is that it can be difficult to plan very much. Not teaching planning, going out for lunch, dental apppointments etc.
     
  7. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I started supply work last September after 'taking'early retirement. Had a couple of days here and there and then 3 days in a school in another town. I love it there and so when they asked for me to take a long term position, I jumped at it. My agency knew I was a bit battered from my last school an they have been nothing short of brilliant in their support and confidence in me, as has this new school.
    Going into supply has made me realise I'm not the failure I was made to believe!
     
  8. Yes, me too. I was bulied out of my previous full time job. Supply has made me realise I AM still a good teacher.
     
  9. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    I am not in supply by choice (NQT searching for that first post) but I do enjoy it and I have learnt so much. I often get 3-4 days a week including my contract to work every Friday with a certain class til July and I also had a 1 and half term placement with a lovely year 1 class last year. I met an evil teacher and a snobby receptionist but theyre the only bad experiences I have had. I often get called back and I find once I have introduced myself to the class and read the planning the day goes smoothly, and if the class are nutjobs I don't have to see them again! My agency are also great and send me to preferred year groups and I often have a natter with them on Friday afternoons.
     
  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I'm on long-term cover at present. The other day I was invited by the Headteacher to chat with him about how I thought the subject could move forward in the light of proposed changes, and what resources I'd recommend, given my previous experience as a subject leader. He took careful notes and has already acted upon it, including allocating extra funding.

    I'm gobsmacked. For the first time in at least five years I've had a civilised conversation with a Headteacher who values my contribution and opinion and is prepared to implement my suggestions. It sure beats the hell out of being summoned to the office at short notice to be barked at by a bully.

    Going on supply has made me realise that some people still like what I do and what I have to say, that part-time working is the best way to spend the next few years up to retirement, and that resigning from my last school was one of the best decisions I ever made.
     
  11. janeygrey

    janeygrey New commenter


     
  12. I started doing supply last year and saw it as a stop gap until I found full time work. However, much to my surprise I really like doing supply. As someone else said you get to do the good bit: teaching. All the politics, box ticking and paper trails are a thing of the past. It's very liberating. I really can't see myself going back to full time teaching now (as long as there continues to be enough work available, that is).
     
  13. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Absolutely!!
    The only problem is that my agency keep asking if I want to work on my off. [​IMG] Ermmm! No thanks!
     
  14. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Yep, same here with that.

     
  15. My experience is similar to roseangel's. I took arb at 55 and do have other sources of income but I love the variety of doing supply in primary. I always did enjoy the teaching and still passionately throw my self into each assignment. I also appreciate that it might be galling to hear the likes of me say we don't miss the meetings, planning, reports, initiatives etc etc. I continue to have huge respect for the teachers who still carry that work load.

    However, over a long career, I have done all of that and am glad that I have the option now to 'just' do supply. Hopefully I use those years of experience to be able to think on my feet and develop the plans I have been given and deal with behaviour issues in a firm but fair way.

    Hints and tips? As roseangel said, I try to do a good days work in the small pool of schools I visit, value the class TA/LSA, offer to do playground duty, offer to contribute to tea fund and smile!

    At this stage of my teaching career, supply teaching is perfect for me.

    PS My username also gives a clue to how I now feel!
     
  16. I completely agree, MsEm. I was a teacher for almost 20 years and resigned from a permanent position thinking I'd had it with teaching.
    I actually really enjoy supply - if you have a bad day, that's all it is. No need to go back to that school or class ever again if you choose not to.
    Definitely get the TAs on board, it makes such a difference having support staff who feel valued.
     
  17. becky70

    becky70 New commenter

    I don't do supply now as I have been back on contract for a while now. I have to say that I really enjoyed it when I did. I was forced out of my permanent post and my confidence was in ruins - I would have been terrified at the thought of having my own class again (I'm a primary teacher). Supply really made me believe I could teach again.
    I miss it now in some ways - I really enjoyed all the free time and relaxation I got and I think it helped me get well again as my mental health was really fragile. I think the lack of paperwork was a huge plus and getting to teach all the different age groups in primary.
    I do accept that I was lucky though - I could survive on 2-3 days a week and I could get that easily. Reading what people say on here now it sounds like it's become really hard to get enough work.
     
  18. becky70

    becky70 New commenter

    Yes, I'm primary, Albert, and able to teach the full primary age range. I know I've been very fortunate - my supply work led to temporary contracts as well. I am sorry that others on here have not been so lucky.
     
  19. Mrs-Pip

    Mrs-Pip New commenter

    I get at least 3 days a week... usually 5. The usual things like leaving at a decent time and having evenings and weekends to yourself is great. Also... my geography of the north of England is excellent... even the back roads! [​IMG] Cheers.
     
  20. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    Even though I am desperate for my first class I love supply, had an excellent day today. Got prebooked for a year 3/4 class and the teacher explained the planning and had a good chat with me. Children were really responsive and enthusiastic (sometimes too excited which is always nice) and I could see how they had progressed. I was packing away and marking and the teacher came in and said shed been floating about and seen me teach. She said that I was the best supply she'd had and did I know about the jobs in the school. While I was walking out she said I had a really confident air about me that fitted well and that her class usually give supplies a hard time. I really like the school so fingers crossed she'll put a good word in for me! :) Yay!
     

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