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Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by MrMercedes, Jan 12, 2012.
I agree. I would not work for free.
I'm in Oxfordshire - so lots of schools, which means plenty of opportunities.
The LEA no longer has a list, so unless you're on a school's "private" list, you have to get in through agencies round here. People here seem to use a mixture of the two and, for Primary NQTs at least, there's a reasonably steady trickle of work from what I've gathered.
I can't say what the situation is for Secondary supply here and I suspect more experienced supply teachers are heavily reliant on relations built beforehand (at least, that's the impression I got) but it seems ok here. A friend in Birmingham seems to be kept busy too (also Primary NQT).
And I've never been asked to work for free. I may be getting substantially less than experienced teachers with the same agency, but I always get paid for the work I do. I honestly can't believe that some agencies are being so bl***y cheeky.
Hi, I came into teaching as a mature student and have had nothing but problems since qualifying in 2003. I was lucky enough to get through my NQT year in one stint - others on my course have done it in phases due to contractual problems and some graduates didn't even manage to get it done in the time allowed.
Supply work is best done by avoiding the agencies at all costs - the work is inconsistent and can't be relied on to pay your bills. It is always best to either write or call into local schools ask to speak to the head and hand in your CV in person, where possible. Heads appreciate this and often they don't like using agencies as they are expensive and they like to know who is coming in to teach the kids. If you can get in favour with one or two schools it can be OK but again, not reliable. More & more schools now use HLTA's to cover classes as they are qualified to do this and parents don't seem to find out they are covering classes on a regular basis - i have been in schools on supply and asked to cover two reception classes at once in a hall to cover meetings. I have never been asked to work for nothing and make sure you don't do this as you will be taken for granted. It would be fine to do this for a school, however, to get them to know you and you know the kids etc.
Good luck - I now teach in Adult ed as the work dried up in Primary - looks like all areas of Education are being damaged at the moment.
I've managed to land myself three days work this week - almost as many as I had all of last term!
Got a late call this morning to go to a decent school, then got booked for another school on Wednesday and Friday. The school asked for me by name, which is great for me.
However, my streak of good fortune is continuing. I've managed to get some part time (0.6-ish) work at a good school starting from Monday. A friend works there and mentioned my name to the cover arranger and she put me onto a new agency. It's an "ongoing" thing so I could be there a week, I could be there a month. Who knows. But it's work and I'm not turning it down!
Plus the GCSE marking starts on Monday. It's like buses!
I agree with much of what's been said. I'm finding there isn't much work around for a couple of weeks at the start of each term. It does pick up. Usually when you've done one or two days in a school and made a good impression you get offered more work there. One school decided not to pay lunch or break times even when I worked a full day. I'm lucky as the agency concerned made up the pay themselves. The only reason I will work there now is because it's five minutes from home and can give me some work if I've nothing else that day. They usaully want me to work part days. I always stress that if a full day comes in I would sooner do that. They have switched if a full day comes in. No way would I work unpaid after all you work to live, not live for work.
I had a pretty difficult first day of supply. I got a very late call (after 9), was expected to follow one plan without resources being readily available (and no time to find them) and a TA who seemed to think she was the teacher. The other teachers were unfriendly too on the whole. I felt really unwelcome. Is this 'welcome to the world of supply?
On reflection, i feel i could have 'performed better' teaching wise and also dealt with the TA issue but i was concerned about not causing problems on my first day!
It has knocked my confidence a bit, which i'm gutted about. Since then i have started to build up lots of ideas for lessons for each class. Although it would not have effected what happened at this school i know i need to be more prepared 'work wise' for the unexpected.
I am thinking i may request only pre-booked work or early morning calls (rather than calls after 9) Has anyone else done this? Can the late morning calls be some of the hardest supply to do? (When your literally walking in when the children are there, no chance to see what's what in the school, and see the plans etc).
Often can be. That's when you really appreciate that lovely school, with co-operative classes and you remember why you went in to teaching!
Most definitely. No time to 'get one's head into gear' Into the car, navigate to the school and that's always when most traffic is around and there's nowhere to park when you get there. You finally arrive at the school, knowing school's already started or will have by the time you've tracked down Reception, they've signed you in and found any paperwork (if any's left) and then using the unbelievably small print map of the school, navigated your way to the first class!
Again, par for the course. You're never going to achieve what you previously have with groups of unknown children, no knowledge of school, policy on behaviour or rewards and are almpst always going to come to this conclusion,
You have to accept 'You do the best you can, for the children, <u>under the circumstances you find yourself in' </u>.
Wecome to the world of supply teaching, most TA's are good and supportive, but we have all encountered the TA's who are also wannabee teachers who don't tell you where the resources are, what stage the kids are at, any kid with issues or other problems and make life so difficult for you and then talks behind your back to the HT down to the caretaker to paint the blackest picture of you, to the extent that you are useless and should not be anywhere near the classroom. Fortunately most HT's know these people are wannabee teachers and totally ignore them and support you as a trained professional colleague.
Also you will find that most calls are before 8.30, it is rare to get them after 9 o'clock, so I would play be ear to see what comes up, because at the moment with supply being as bad as it is, work is work.
Thankyou to you both for your replies. I really appreciate your experience and support!
Ps as Lara says you will have good and bad days, that is the nature of our job and you can only do your best, especially if the Troll TA's is determined to make life sh*t for you, even if it is at the expense of the kids education, usually the kids, the other TA's and teachers hate the Troll TA as much as you do.
Also download free primary teaching resources on diffierent subjects and topics, you can always photocopy them at the school for the class, it means that you may have a couple of bags with you. But it allows you the ability to use your resources as best as you can, if there is nothing as been left by the teacher or you have no time to find the resources. Also some schools expect you to have your resources, I also have a basic lesson plan form and feedback sheet, which I leave for the normal class teacher or the HT to show what you did in the class or classes.