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Morning Calls

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by anon1070, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Hello people,
    Sorry if I come across as a bit stupid or lazy here, I just don't like uncertainty (and not being able to make any plans)... but here goes...
    Just wanted to pick your brains about early morning calls. I'm returning to supply after about six months out; before I got one day a week on average of work, mostly pre-booked. Given that supply is drying up (presumably early morning calls especially as regular members of staff are afraid for their jobs so don't want to go off ill) I was wondering if it is worth being up early every single morning dressed and waiting for the call? How many of you are called at bang on 7.30? Does anyone request from their agencies that they only take pre-booked work? Will this significantly reduce my workload (not that I've had any yet) if I ask for this? i'd like to be able to plan stuff and possibly get a second job, but I'll never be sure if I'm working or not.
    Also I'd be grateful if you could give me an idea of the ratio between morning calls/pre-booked work, and if anyone who lives in Staffordshire could give me an idea of how much supply work is around there. I am beginning to think I might be better looking for a different job, even though I love teaching, as I don't think there will be enough work.
    Cheers x
  2. Early morning calls?
    I get up at 6am, wash,dress and walk to the bus station, arriving by 0730h...cannot afford to even run a car!
    and literally have to wait for those call centre staff to get into their cosy offices at 0800h have copy BEFORE THEY PROACTIVELY GET WORK FOR ME. I call them at around 0740h and literally hear them slurp their coffee before, " Oh hello, I'm just about to ring round schools for you now?
    As if? No calls by 0830 means no work, so to the library...
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    When not pre-booked I'm out of bed by 6:45am and waiting by the phone from 7:30am every morning. I don't tempt fate by wearing my work suit but by God I can I can put it on quickly if I get the green light. No call by 9:30am and I assume nothing's happening, though sometimes I'm wrong. Most of my work over the last 12 months has been daily so I wouldn't dream of turning it down, especially as it has opened the door to longer term work.
  4. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Deffinately call the agency in the morning to let them know your are about if they get any work.
  5. I think we all seem to go through the same routine each morning. I don't get dressed until I have a call. The school that I have regular work at will always call by 6.40 thereby giving me a comfy start to the day. As for the agencies I think they have forgotten my number, but I can't take the risk and still have to be up and ready. Naughty I know, but I've got to leaving my phone on in class just in case a call comes through for a booking. I know if I don't answer they will move on to the next on the list.
    I have a long term booking coming up soon for paternity cover. Babies being a rule unto themselves I can't even know when this starts and have to keep my fingers crossed nothing clashes. I'll say one thing for supply work one gets to know ones bank manager really well.
  6. Imagine how much worse it feels when you have got up, taken the call, accepted the job, trudged to the tube station, changed trains a couple of times, noticing that your journey has cost you £5:50 and then set out to find the school. Then one of two things can happen. Firstly, as you almost have the school in sight, the agency rings you, telling you that the job has been cancelled, or, secondly, you arrive at the school, either to be told the same thing, or to be met by a blank look of incomprehension at your appearence at the reception desk. There are even more 'annoying' variants on this theme, such as having this happen on a pre-booked job, only to find that your agency did not pass on the message.
    As a rule of thumb, the farther you are asked to go to a school, especially if it is a morning call, the less likely the job is to pan out. I would imagine that the school's usual agency is unable to find them anyone local, so send you, telling the school that you will be there as soon as you can. The school then phones another agency, who sends someone who gets to the school while you are still on your way.
    Hoping to recover something from the ashes, you the contact your agency to find if there is any other work locally. Of course, the person with whom you usually deal only covers the area local to where you live, not where you are now. Perhaps he will try and get someone to phone you back with something to which you could still reach; usually not, though.
    Anyway, it is now about 10 o'clock, too late to get anything for the rest of the day, so you go home. At least you are now out of the rush hour, so the journey will only be half the price it was for the outward journey, so the net loss for the day, with luck, might only be about a tenner. However, if was a pre-booked call and you did some preparation, what price your wasted time?
  7. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I have a car so I set the alarm for 7.15 and am showered and in underwear and dressing gown by 7.30. I have work clothes selected the night before and can be out of the door in 5 minutes if I get a call.
    I sometimes have breakfast whilst I'm waiting for a call but if I don't feel like it, I will eat biscuits and a banana on my journey to work (or when I arrive). I either have a packed lunch prepared or a microwaveable meal in the freezer and I have a mug, herbal teabags or all-in-one coffee sachets in the car.
    It's all been a pretty pointless exercise this school year as I've had so few bookings. I've started to go to bed really late as I don't expect work. Then, when the call doesn't happen, I fall asleep for the rest of the morning several days per week!
    I'm seriously wondering how long I am prepared to carry on with this charade of being work-ready. I would certainly have called it a day with an agency if I was spending money on transport and arriving to find the booking taken by someone else or cancelled.

  8. I wonder how proactive my "consultant" really is at H***?
    Haven't had any work for some four weeks now![​IMG]
    Why don't we all get together to commiserate...at least the sharing, caring and empathetic exchanges might relieve the distress to some extent?
    Jubilee BUT you are spending money on transport? Fuel and car running costs are astronomical!

  9. Poor you...I sincerely sympathise...if only <u>salaried</u> TAs, CSs and other unqualified people acting as cover "teachers" would realise???!!

  10. Hi bexie_doodle,
    Where about in Staffordshire are you and which agency are you with? I'm North Staffordshire and get work with one agency that I'm with but absolutely nothing with another!
    Going back to the main point of your post I get much more pre-booked work than early morning calls but when I don't have something pre-booked I generally get up at about 6:45, have breakfast, shower and wait in my PJ's for a call. Then all I have to do, if I get a call, is get dressed and jump in the car. I also make my lunch the night before, the bonus of that is even if you don't get work your lunch is already sorted! If I dont hear anything by 9:30 I assume that I wont be working.
  11. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I'd have a car even if I were to get no more teaching work. I have a student rental porperty to manage and need my own transport for when I do maintenance, viewings etc.
    When Mr Jubilee retires in the next few years we'll sell one car.
    If I got a call to go to a school (and I sometimes do a 100 mile round trip) I'd be very cross if I found I wasn't needed on arrival because another supply teacher had beaten me to it or they'd changed their mind about needing someone.
    Going for weeks without income is bad enough. Paying out for petrol or fares for bogus work and ending up out of pocket is something else!
  12. vou


    I been working for my local borough agency for the last 7 years - prebooked and available on the day from 8am but work had dried up. So, I joined a large private supply agency last term as well- less money but to be honest I do seem to be getting regular on the day work. It means I have to be up by 6:30 am. Ringing them up to say I'm available each day at 7am. Dressed, lunch and bag ready and mobile close by. If I don't get called by 9:30 am no work. Hopefully, I will get some long term work eventually.
    I would give it a go just to see how much work you get bexie doodle. But its up to you. I do find it stressful waiting for that call and then having to hop onto bus, train and then another bus to get to schools.
  13. I've been with my agency since September and have never had an early morning call. I do 3 days a week long term at a school and only had two days since September with other schools which were prebooked.

    I am really lazy, i have my lunch ready the night before, clothes ready the night before, shower just before bed, so if i do EVER get that early morning call i just jump into my clothes but i'm not holding my breath it will ever happen.
  14. vou


    You don't sound lazy to me but well prepared!! :)
  15. Supply teaching agency staff don't start ringing schools ti 0800h. Lazy sods. Too late for the bus catchers...and as for the lazy cover managers with the armies of CSs on long term cover, do THEY ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT WELL QUALIFIED,FULLY REGISTERED TEACHERS OUT THERE? BAST*****
    A newly set up LEA supply teaching agency advertisesan opening time of 0700h. Now that's better!
  16. Hi,
    Thanks for all your responses... Phillippo I have to admit I'm probably closest to your approach, I really can't see the point of sitting round all ready for the off and getting myself mentally prepared to teach then find there's no call. But I can be ready very, very quickly if needs be. I just panic they'll phone at 8 and expect me to be 20 miles away by 8.30. Which would clearly be unreasonable but it did happen over summer term last year.
    I think at the moment I still need to establish myself with the agencies - I had nothing at all last week bar a call asking me if I'm prepared to work in special schools. As for running a car, I can't live without mine, old and slow as it is - where I live (North Staffs) there's at least a twenty minute walk to the nearest bus stop, then you have to change in the city centre (a 40 minute ride away) to get anywhere else. I do have the upmost respect for those who manage to do supply using public transport - hopefully the services are better where you are than where I am!
    Thanks again,
    Bexie x
  17. We all have to live with uncertainty but I am absolutely sure that many cover managers and call centre agency satff leave work assignments to the very <u>last</u> minute out of sheer bloodimindedness and masochism which is MOST UNREASONABLE...and inconsiderate.
  18. This is what I used to do. However, I'd wake up before 7:30 and look at the clock and watch it's minutes pass. 7:50, 8:10, 8:13, well I may as well do X today as it doesn....RING RING RING "Stuart, it's Holly from select here, can you go 20 miles right now, I've told them you will be there by 8:30". It's the only way to go. If you want to get used, you can't complain, you can't *** about, you have to throw your clothes on, jump in the car and drive like a spazz on the way there. Then you might get the call the next day.
  19. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    No. Their job is to get classes covered for the lowest possible "budget impact" (i.e., price).
    Their job doesn't have anything to do with caring for well qualified fully registered teachers.
    Why would you think it should?
  20. I suppose it depends whether the school is in the business of quality education or not.

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