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Is it really all gloom and doom? Hope please?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by lizzybuffoo, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. lizzybuffoo

    lizzybuffoo New commenter

    hi all, i've been reading the threads and it does all seem gloom and doom on the supply front :-( Im thinking of turning to supply in the hope of less stress but not sure it seems a good idea now.
    Is it really as bad as it seems? Does anyone have any positive recent supply experience to give me some hope?

  2. Despite the fact that I had a child swear in my face and another hit me today (!!!) I actually really enjoy supply. You do get sent to a few dodgy schools but with my agency I can just tell them I don't want to go there again, or I don't want a particular class again (this has only happened twice - once today obviously!) So really, if you're halfway through a day you are hating you just keep in mind that you don't have to see them again if you don't want to.
    I also told my supply representative how much I enjoyed a school I went to and ended up getting pre-booked for a few months doing 2 days a week there. So I think that making a point of letting them know what schools you really love helps, they seem to call me for mine whenever they get a request from them.
    Plus no planning and no assessment so a social life is possible!
  3. The schools have made their choices, and it is not supply teachers.
    It is not a good idea to leave a permanent job for supply.
    Try to keep your job or apply for another job.
    Although primary, secondary, subject or area plays a role. This locum supply role is in free fall, and it is only going downward.
    In secondary subject- the work is harder, you are taking over from absent staff much later, the work is long term, with all the stuff a contract teacher does (without the goodies) and awful for pay unless you have been in the supply game awhile, and sussed out the bad agencies from the good.

  4. In primary however, I have found that I have regular work, very often in the same schools which have asked me back again. I am much more likely to have TA support, the children are usually more cooperative (but i do have to be more strict than i would be if they were my own class) and the atmosphere is generally a positive one. No staff meetings or dealing with the politics of the staffroom. Very little, if any, planning needed.And, as someone rightly pointed out, you get to walk away at the end of the day and need never put your foot back through the door! I too have a couple of schools which i just say 'No Thanks'to offers of work.My mental health is worth more than the pay![​IMG]
  5. Sarahg1976 that is exactly how I feel about a couple of schools in my area!![​IMG] I do feel sorry for their full time teachers though.
  6. One obvious problem, if you are coming to the supply game from scratch, is actually getting in to a school in the first place, so you can make an impression and get yourself invited back. As I and others here have found out, getting anything is next to impossible. In London, teaching maths and science, I have averaged one day every four months.
  7. I have read your message and it gives me heart to make my decision. I need to get out of the rat race of planning, marking, meetings, observations etc, etc I've been teaching for 10 years now and I feel absolutely wrung out. I intend to give my notice in May so that I can begin supply in September. I am worried that I'm being reckless and wonder if I can make a living at it, but I feel I'll go nuts if I don't do something.
  8. I warn you now you wont be able to make a proper living on it. I do 3 days a week on a long contract and over a year will get paid alot less than half the amount i used to full time in a permananet job. Since i am at a long term post i still do planning and marking.
    I would love to get out of supply teaching but due to my circumstances i am stuck with it
  9. In secondary subject supply. From my experience the work is a few days to a week in one school. However this work appears after the classes have been internally covered by CS for far to long.
    So the work is harder, to pick up on and you have to hit the boards running even quicker.
    Also the secondary subject cover systems have from my point of view collapsed. The schools will say they have changed.
    Nowadays, as no supply are in, teachers are dependent on their CS,s so cover work is passed about informally around the staff room in the morning. As a supply you are not in the loop.
    When a teacher and their sidekick CS are not in, you can end up chasing work. Example, I arrive at classroom and someone said the work was probably in the CS's in tray in the staff room. The teachers and CS's were off. No good at all standing in front of a class ready to go.
    I checked the staff room at lunchtime. No work was left, and no systems to provide work.
    No work left is ok sometimes but, as the school only call the supply in at the last minute, no work left is more prevelent nowadays.

  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I've grown to like Supply over the last year or so, have earned enough to pay my bills for the last year and have recently managed to bag a maternity cover in a school that pays well and which I like working in. I've been very lucky in that I work in an area where paid to scale work is still available in places, and the agency I work for is teacher-friendly and pays a decent flat rate. I've also worked very hard at creating a good impression in the schools I work in, and have been willing to take on pretty much anything that's offered without fussing or whingeing about it. It may not be like this forever. but for now it's working and I'm content to go with the flow.

    You have to swallow your pride to take on Supply, and you have to be resourceful, self-reliant, and at times quite cheeky but once you find your niche, reinvent yourself and develop your own distinct style it can definitely be more enjoyable than any dead-end permanent job.

    Provided you can manage on a substantially reduced income of course...

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