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Only doing supply because not very good teacher?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Kate24, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. I completed my NQT year last year as a years secondment. I was unable to secure a long term teaching contract this year. I have considered doing supply work but I am nagged by the feeling that any one who is doing supply work is generally doing it because they are not very good teachers and hence cant get a permanent teaching position. I know that this sounds bad - I personally dont view supply teachers like this but I know a lot of other people do. I want to be seen as a good teacher rather than having people looking down at me. I know supply work can be a route into getting longer term contracts, but I wonder how often this actually happens. I have been to a number of interviews where there is also a supply teacher at the interview who is currently doing the job being advertised and they often dont get the job. Has anyone had experience of supply work where they actually feel valued as a teacher and where they have been taken on as a permanent teacher in the school they have done supply work for?
     
  2. I completed my NQT year last year as a years secondment. I was unable to secure a long term teaching contract this year. I have considered doing supply work but I am nagged by the feeling that any one who is doing supply work is generally doing it because they are not very good teachers and hence cant get a permanent teaching position. I know that this sounds bad - I personally dont view supply teachers like this but I know a lot of other people do. I want to be seen as a good teacher rather than having people looking down at me. I know supply work can be a route into getting longer term contracts, but I wonder how often this actually happens. I have been to a number of interviews where there is also a supply teacher at the interview who is currently doing the job being advertised and they often dont get the job. Has anyone had experience of supply work where they actually feel valued as a teacher and where they have been taken on as a permanent teacher in the school they have done supply work for?
     
  3. Admittedly, most of my teaching appointments have been temporary (though temp in one case amounted to seven years) and that suits me fine, but I got nearly all of them via supply. They've seen you in action every day, what better reference is there?

    It's true that kids will taunt you with the "Can't get a proper job, Miss?" thing but you can always spill coffee on their projects or trip them up as they leave the room. The harsh reality is that despite overall shortages, there are areas that do quite nicely for recruitment thank you, and jobs just aren't available.

    Plus, some of us actively opted for Supply when our kids were young so we never had to burden colleagues with doing our job while we looked after sick kids/went to their Christmas concert/used our evenings and weekends to do the Family thing.
     
  4. I've got nearly every temporary job I've ever had through supply teaching & against competition but haven't actually applied for anything permanent whilst on supply in a school.

    There are all types of supply teacher doing the job for all sorts of different reasons. Pretty low down on the list of reasons why people do supply is being a poor teacher. Supply is very hard. You're only as good as your last job or even your last class. But I think people do believe that you're some sort of inferior teacher when you're on supply - unless they've done it themselves that is.
     
  5. I can assure you that doing supply is not a decision to be taken lightly - and I am definately not doing it because I am rubbish at teaching - well I hope I am not. I decided to do supply due to lack of jobs and its suits me well. No extensive planning, or assessing and lots of free time. I have been approached by schools to take on temp positions, which are then turned in to more permenant ones - although I am sure this doesn't happen everywhere.

    Final point, you do not have to be rubbish to do supply!!!
     
  6. I have chosen to do supply because it fits in with my family life. This way i can work when i want to , and still spend quality time with my baby. I am not a bad teacher - if there were any job share positions going out there i would apply, but teaching jobs are very limited. I agree with Ruthij - you do not have to be rubbish to do supply - if fact just the opposite - to control a class you've only just met, and to teach work that has been left for you takes a good teacher.
     
  7. robusto

    robusto New commenter

    Kate24 - I'm doing supply to give me breathing space. I'm a very good teacher, but in my opinion the culture of targets and the consequent narrowing of the curriculum, the constant cycle of change for change's sake, the fads and the Emperor's New Clothes mentality (Performance Management? Do me a favour!) the macho world of long hours leading to a life/work imbalance, the pointless, endless meetings which degenerate into swapping anecdotes (and many other things) ... have finally turned me off. While I look for a more enjoyable way of earning a living I'm doing supply - any objection to that, or does it mean that I don't meet your commitment targets?
     
  8. And I'm too expensive for most schools to employ on a contract, other than temp, too old, etc etc and live in the wrong area to get a f/t job. Where does that leave me?
     
  9. It leaves you doing supply. Ever wondered what life would be like if all teachers were supply teachers? It would certainly ensure that schools cut down on pointless meetings, planning and assessment for the sake of it... you'd turn up an hour before work like most teachers do now anyway, whether supply or not (in what other job do people do this??) teach the class, mark their work at the end of the day for an hour (in what other job do people do this??) and then leave. This means that most teachers would be working from around 8 a.m. until around 4.30 p.m. (which most teachers do now anyway and more) No work will be done at home by a teacher unless absolutely necessary, seconded by the Head and paid pro-rata to scale. All planning would be provided by the QCA and DFeS anyway. This planning would not be prescriptive, but would allow for plenty of inspiration and professional judgement by the teachers. Differentiation would be by outcome. After school clubs would be organised on a pay-as-you-go basis. The only 'full time' teachers would be Heads and Deputies based at the schools to organise the supply teachers and to remove troublesome children when they play up. LSA's would 'float' between classes. Parents meetings would be organised on an appointment only basis throughout the term (never on one evening -- EVER) If a school can't get a teacher on a particular day, the Heads and Deputies pitch in. If the worst comes to the worst, then LSA's take the classes and get paid pro-rata accordingly (they are not allowed to be a cheap option -- teaching a class will be recognised for the skilled profession that it is, and while many LSA's are quite capable of taking classes, they will be remunerated on any given day for their extra contribution). ALL displays will be done by the children from Year 3 onwards. Certain Year 5's and 6's assist with Infant diaplays. School trips are organised on a yearly basis by the Head.

    And on it goes. Of course this would never happen. It also wouldn't work, but it's Half Term, I'm on the red wine and cheers to all teachers out there, supply or not.
     

  10. Some supply teachers are weak teachers, although quite a few are retired, homemakers or simply waiting for something better to come along.


    Supply teaching is a good way to experience a school before deciding to make a committment, although very good/excellent schools will always have a strong pool of potential recruits to draw on!

    If you are unhappy on supply try doing something else.

     
  11. robusto

    robusto New commenter

    A super post, reward_card, echoing my own I think! Two points: when I worked abroad I rented out my house in England. This meant self-assessment with regard to tax so I opted to hire an accountant. I was initially quoted an annual fee of xxx pounds. When I get my bill for my accountant's work each year I find that the total is xxx pounds plus yyy pounds - the extra being for the little bits of chasing around my accountant does on my behalf. Which got me thinking - each time she starts thinking about me, ker-CHING! The expenses clock starts to run. Wouldn't it be great if teachers could do something similar! An annual salary for an agreed number of hours teaching. After hours meetings? Ker-CHING! Masses of bureaucracy? Ker-CHING! Planning and differentiation? Ker-CHING! After school clubs? Ker-CHING! And so on. Secondly: on Monday, I went into a very nice school to teach a very nice year 5 class. The very nice teacher tried to contact me the previous night to discuss the day's work. However, I was having a night out, so she left a message asking me to come in at 8 the following morning so we could discuss things before she went off on a course. I did so - hey, I want to be invited back! And we spent most of the time just chatting - after I'd read the plans she'd written down for me anyway. Eight and a half hours later, I finally left, having marked the day's work, left a detailed note about the very nice day I'd had and having tracked down the year 6 teacher to discuss the work I'd be doing with his class later in the week. Take off 40 minutes for lunch and I've worked almost 8 hours, yet been paid for 6.5! How many other professions would tolerate this? I doubt if my accountant would!
     
  12. Yes, it certainly would be great if we could do that robusto and if my own experience is anything to go by you don't really need that accountant at all.

    My partner and I also run a publishing and web design business (not enough to support all three of us on unfortunately). We do the accounts for the business with no trouble at all. A few years ago we were actually losing money on the business and I managed to persuade the Inland Revenus to off set our business losses against my PAYE. I'd found out this was possible through listening to the Money programme on Radio 4.

    The only part when I needed help was when I received a rather densely worded letter from the Revenue which I got my accountant sister in law to decipher for me. "Oh this is very good," she said, "you've got it."

    "Is that all accountants do then?" I replied.

    "SSh'" she went.

    All it entailed was filling in a few forms and writing two letters. Far, far easier than teaching.
     
  13. Stabbing yourself repeatedly in the eye with a 2B pencil is also far easier than teaching, but amounts to pretty much the same thing.

    Agreed ElaineC although I like robusto's 'kerCHING' analogy. I would appreciate filling in a claim form for any teaching work done 'outside' of school hours. It happens in nearly all other professions...
     
  14. Well, I've done some supply teaching now and it's actually ok - quite nice to just turn up on the day without all the planning and assessment. Thing is, there is just no other supply work available.

    Why oh why did I think I could work hard and become qualified as a teacher and then get a job?
     
  15. I actually think alot of supply teachers are more flexible, openminded and stronger than many permanent teachers.
     
  16. whelk

    whelk New commenter

    If you want to build a reputation as a supply teacher you'll find you need to do a considerable amount of planning and assessment.

    You need to mark the work of the day for a start and there's no point in going into a school and hoping the planning is there (or usable) every time.

    You need a big box full of resources and don't expect that all your pencils will come back. (They take the primary colours and lave you all the purples and browns.)

    Jobs? What are they?
     
  17. Robusto, if you get paid 6.5 hours for an eight hour day, you are lucky. In quite a few areas you`d only get paid 5.25 or 5.5 hours no matter how much longer you are at the school.
    I think supply teachers have a cinderella status with full time teachers, yet potentially a supply teacher has the far greater experience - of working age ranges, so can see the continuity of threads; of organisational styles of schools, so can see many solutions to potential problems; of resources used, can advise schools on alternatives and solutions to problems; of pupil behaviours, you can really sharpen your behaviour management skills, making the full time work a piece of cake. I think the bits you miss - a lot of the bureaucrasy, is the easier part to pick up when needed; but I can`t say on supply I personally miss much of what is mainly paperwork for its own sake, rather than the genuine benefit of pupils. One key skill- assessing whre pupils are at the start of a new topic is now downgraded, yet how true are the assessments made at the end of a piece of work when you pick up the threads again a term later? There is much forgetting. So I don`t think supply teachers are not good teachers, and don`t think the reason for doing supply is because of failings as a teacher. (Yes, some supply let the profession down, but equally so do some of the teachers we supply for, some of the assistants and some of the schools..
     
  18. Can you make a decent living on supply teaching? I've taught at the same school for years and long for variety. But how do you manage pensions etc? And does anyone recommend a good supply agency in London?
     
  19. Darcy, ask supply teachers you meet what the job and pay situation is like in London. Some people work both LEA registered and agency. I do both. Pension contribution with LEA registered supply is same as with full time. You can opt into continuing with superannuation. You contribute 6% and the school contributes 13.5%. If you are M6, not including threshold or London allowances or special school, you will get, including the superannuation, approximately £154 a day (£136 on pay packet before deductions) through the LEA. You can add to this with AVCs or stakeholder pension. My agency works through the LEA payroll, so I get the same through the agency, but the school pays an extra £16 to the agency. Other agencies may pay something towards a pension. If this is just your stakeholder pension, you get 22% contribution from government of whatever is your contribution. I don`t think this matches the benefit of the standard superannuation route, which is 13.5% of your daily salary.
     
  20. whelk

    whelk New commenter

    I've just been trying to get my points sorted. (I started on point 5 of the old scale about 7 years ago and am still on point M3 of the new.)

    Talking to the LEA person who calculates the points I was told in no uncertain terms:

    "People who work on supply and in temporary contracts have to do so because they aren't good enough to teach in a permanent job. That's why we have a policy of not paying additional points for people who've done supply and temporary cover. It would be unfair on the proper teachers."

    Apparently, then, it is official policy that you are :

    "Only doing supply because not very good teacher."
     

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