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Is anybody at home waiting for work...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by sebedina, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    I just spoke with one of my agencies who told me that it has been dead so far. Not much work, and he thinks it won't pick up until October. He reckons more schools have cover staff.

    So need to contact one of my older agencies that I haven't worked for in the last 2 years to see what is going on in the more central London area...

    Feeling a little worried. I had budgeted to be off in September, but not for October.

    Who else is waiting...?? What is the noise from the ground?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi sebedina

    This time of year is always quiet. Last year it never started to pick up until October half term. This year may be different since we are only a few days in from schools opening after the summer break.

    Everyone who had done supply for any length of time is waiting...

    The exceptions may be people who have taken long term posts and are back to work already.

    Try not to worry.

    Yes, schools use cover supervisors but they go off sick and leave just like teachers.

    After it started to get busy in October, I worked probably about 4 days per week right until the last day of the summer term. This has been the pattern for the !ast eight years, so although it may seem like the phone will never ring, it does.
  3. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    I'm working on the assumption it'll be pushing October half term before the phone starts to ring to be honest.
    sebedina, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  4. patternandsurface

    patternandsurface Occasional commenter

    Not much in the North yet, though I've signed up to some free CPD opportunities offered by agencies.
  5. LunaBlue123

    LunaBlue123 New commenter

    @sebedina It's very quiet in my area. My LA supply service say that they haven't had a single request at this point.

    Two of my regular schools have appointed cover supervisors (primary) and another has cut my days from two/three per week to one due to budget cuts. They're covering the others days internally.

    Fingers crossed that it picks up for all of us soon. :)
    Lara mfl 05, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  6. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    It is only four days in so it is bound to be quiet.

    Schools appoint people and try to cover internally but those people get sick/have emergencies/training etc. It tends to work for s short period, but then come mid October the phones will be ringing off the hook.
  7. ellaemma0

    ellaemma0 New commenter

    My agency asked me to be available for last minute calls today so I've been up and ready to go since 7am but no phone call yet. Going to use the rest of the day to do some applications for jobs starting in January.
  8. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Thank you for the reassurance Pepper. Yes I need to acknowledge that it is still very early in the school term and most teachers are most likely are turning up. I just getting paranoid and start getting anxious ! I have budgeted for now but things are tight. I would be happy to get 4 days a week or so like you said from October onwards... fingers crossed. I am just watching loads of TV and feeling lethargic. Need to go and buy some work clothes yet worried to spend the money in case not much work comes my way...
  9. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Hi Luna, yes hope it picks up in October...
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi sebedina

    I know it is very difficult on supply and you are wise to budget. If you have a capsule wardrobe you can get away with just a few things and mix and match. It isn't very everyone, but one you get a a coup!e of jackets/blazers/cardigans, you can buy your tops at charity shops. This is my wardrobe:

    Black trousers
    Grey trousers ( need to purchase these)
    Black blazer
    Black and grey blazer
    Grey Cardigan
    Black Cardigan
    Red Cardigan
    Winter coat ( need a new one but have a couple that will do)
    Trench coat ( need to pick one up)
    Pair of boots
    Pair of court shoes
    Various tops/blouses etc all in colours that match with grey or black

    You don't have to buy everything at once. Buy one item each time you get paid.

    I like Peacocks, Asda, and just recently TKMax.

    If you work in primary your needs may be different. You may not need a blazer but more cardigans/jumpers.

    Spend more on a good coat and shoes.

    Check the label of clothes and try to choose ones that have minimum ironing- that way when you are busy you are going to have to fluff around with ironing loads - some you might be able to get away with no ironing.

    My husband gets many expensive shorts from charity shops for as little as £1.00.

    I bought a top for 50 pence which is a classic style. Even of I only wear it a few times, I have gotten my moneys worth.
    Mermaid7, agathamorse and peakster like this.
  11. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    Brilliant! 4 year Degree, then perhaps also decade/s of teaching experience leads to bargain hunting in pound/charity shops and no doubt food banks too.
    I would council getting yourself a dog and a flute, then try begging or busking on the streets.
    Teaching today. You couldn't make it up.
    mrjack, steviepal, peter12171 and 4 others like this.
  12. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    It's a killer but you just have to wait it out. September's always been dire, October's got increasingly dismal as years have rolled on. I just need a couple of days a week - sadly it's to fund my child's private speech therapy (NHS system round here... don't get me started) that I need the work!
    pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  13. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I must say I don't get all my clothes from charity shops. We choose to be thrifty so we have money to buy our home and also to help others when we are in a position to. Owning a home is a luxury. I order to do that, we have to save in other ways.

    As for food, we do get 80% of our food from the marked down section but we have loads of expensive breads, fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meats. We have never eaten so well.

    Wages in many sectors haven't gone up, people are still losing their jobs, and since the recession of 2009 it has become the gig economy where many people are on zero contract hours and working three jobs to make ends meet. It just isn't teachers who have had a bad deal.

    I work as a supply teacher so I have to accept that I don't have a steady income, but I would rather take the instability of supply than a permanent post. Therefore, I have to find ways of making money go further.
    It isn't ideal but that is what it is. I found myself out of a job at the age of 50 and have managed to stick it out for the last nine years. I used to work for my husband and then when the recession hit his business he couldn't afford to have both of us working in the business. He is still running the business from home instead of an office and I help when I am not teaching, but the business never has gotten back to the levels it was at before 2009 but it still makes more than working for minimum wage.

    When I think of complaining, I think of the people who have reason to complain. The thousands of people in the US who have lost their homes and jobs sleeping in tent cities.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Wise and you can do some shopping once those first bits of pay have come in. You can manage for now - the students/ children won't notice you're wearing the same thing yet .

    I did supply for many years and always anticipated not being called in Sept. The year we decided to go away for a few days was inevitably the year I was called ,for what would have been a term's work. :rolleyes: :(
  15. jammie76

    jammie76 New commenter

    In my first year of supply I worked day to day in the September but that was about 7yrs ago. Since then the quiet time has been getting longer and longer. Used to be Sept then early Oct. Last year it didn't pick up till after half term. My tutoring does give me some income, otherwise I would be looking for another job.
  16. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi jammie76

    Welcome to the forum.

    Yes, it has been a longer period to wait until supply gets busy. I have noticed that too, but I wonder if the trend will continue. Last summer I worked every day right up until the very last day of the term which was unusual. There was this sudden burst of suddenly there was a lot of work.

    Do you teach primary or secondary?
  17. baxterbasics

    baxterbasics Senior commenter

    I have had nothing yet - which is not great

    However, set this against a current crisis in teaching. The 9-1 exams made the syllabuses harder, but with no extra support given, and the culture of constantly being observed as a teacher are putting stress levels through the roof, so I predict the jobs will come in soon-ish.

    The constantly being observed aspect of teaching is what makes me resolutely determined NOT to take on a permanent role again - two dodgy observations, and you are put on a support plan and your job is on the line.

    So sad what teaching has become. I have to put my mental health first.
  18. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Waiting is always the hardest part, completely contrasted to that time, Later on, when ALL manner of agencies (most you haven't heard of/registered with) are calling you in desperation to fill teaching posts! I think this year HAS been a little quieter (can only speak for Primary) I mean it's the 14th, looking back at past diaries, records, I usually had a few days by now, even if not going straight into a longer-term supply post in September?

    I worked all over Summer with dog boarding, watching while everyone went away on their Summer holidays and when that was over, I thought "Okay now i can plan a short trip for me and my dogs" - so looked at holidays around this time, as thought it might be quiet but prices were higher than October half term, so I booked deposit for October half term - stand to lose that now, because of having to budget for day to day life expenses etc

    I understand those who don't do supply because of the need for security at times like this, but then, even with this frustration, I would rather enjoy my teaching on a supply basis, rather than get into those prisons of conditions associated in full time permanent teaching, that are all so clearly documented ln the 'workplace dilemmas' forum on here?

    A quiet time is also a good time to review who you get your sense of identity and purpose from? Hopefully not 'a workplace' ' a job' or one particular set of working circumstances.

    The thing to do, as someone else pointed out, is to use this time to reconnect with contacts and agencies that you have been too busy to contact whilst working at a busy time with one agency and just use the extra time to enjoy hobbies, exercise, friends, family and other interests while you can? My allotment has never looked so good lol! :p
  19. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    Speaking of allotments - for those talking about budgeting for food etc - it probably isn't worth it in terms of directly compared costs (considering the amount of time, work and sweat and heart put in!) but if you have the inclination/love of being outdoors/time/committment etc I can only speak from experience that:

    1: i have not had to buy a loaf of bread from the shops all Summer/early Autumn because I've just baked bread using gluts of veg/cakes similar

    2: I've not bought any fruit because of gifting from allotment neignbours as well as Plums from garden trees and Apple tree on site

    3: not bought any cut flowers, having grown Gladioli, Roses, cosmos, snapdragons, etc for cutting and gifting

    4: I've fed some of my neighbours too when had too much veg to use myself

    5: Not bought any potatoes all Summer - just 'gone shopping' at allotment and dug them up!

    6: preserved foods such as pickled red cabbage ( £4 odd at M & S) and stored for Winter

    7: Used grown flowers to complete practical Florist assignments for course completed this Summer

    8: Not bought coleslaw, lettuce, Spinach,.Beetroot of salad leaves all Summer long - just used grown stuff

    9: made jam

    10 Not bought commercial dog treats biscuits or maybe just occasionally as have baked using extra veg such as courgette and made treats as gifts for boatding dogs/pets too

    and it goes on - I know most can't do this because of family or other committments but if you can it does break the 'dependence' upon supermarkets and their idea that you can't produce your own food or have to 'rely on them'.
  20. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide

    I have been fortunate that I have managed two days this week, which I did not expect at this time of year, I am unsure if this is a sign of things to come or not.

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