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Should I feel guilty for turning down work?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by kinneh7, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. I received a phone call this morning at 8am. I was still in bed, I received no early morning call so assumed there was nothing today! However agency calls, I answer and she asked me to go to a school as soon as where i worked for two days earlier this week. I asked which year group, and she said well ermmm not sure I think you might be everywhere.

    Now, this will have been my 6th day of doing supply work - I'm still not overly confident with it and i really didn't like the prospect of being thrown into a year 5 or 6 class room, as i'm early years trained - and without sounding too stereotypical the school is SMACK BANG in middle of a delightful council estate!!

    So now i'm left feeling guilty for saying now as her parting words were "don't worry you go back to bed". Am I being stupid for feeling like this?
  2. They'll get over it.
  3. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    Ignore her, she may well have been jealous!
    As a supply teacher we have the final say as to whether we work in a school or not when we get a call. A decent agent will respect the fact you said you can't work on whatever day you state you can't. And if all else fails fib a little ;)
  4. I also feel bad turning down some work. But if the call is to go to a 'challenging' school I always ask which age group first ... I remember on 2 occasions the agent promised to top-up my day wage by £30 if I accepted.
  5. Always remember that there is a good reason why you have chosen to do supply work. It is your prerogative to turn down work. On the other hand, the position of that particular school can be seen as an opportunity and something else to add to your CV.
    I too feel really guilty when I turn down work. Try not to do it twice in a row and you will be fine.
    Also, try and store up a really good bank of lessons that you can deliver at the drop-of-a-hat. It creates a really professional image to a school (that may be using you for the first time) and also makes you feel much more confident and in control too. Have fun!
  6. A clear sign that the agency is earning too much money!!!
  7. VelvetChalk

    VelvetChalk New commenter

    Nah not at all...

    If Im snowed under with various bits to do/feel poorly I sometimes book days off on my diary so I dont get calls...
  8. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    No definitely not. I think it is quite natural to feel guilty. I feel exactly the same as you. I am new to supply (having only recently qualified) and have only done a handful of days so far. The lack of any structure and routine is really taking some getting use to for me. During my supply i have had two very difficult classes which were unlike anything i had while on placement so i have found it quite stressful and have spent odd days between assignments preparing more resources and learning about more behaviour management techniques. I am fine getting up for the pre-booked work, but really struggle to get up with that, where will i be going, what class will i be getting feeling. I am hopeful it gets easier with time!
  9. MrMercedes

    MrMercedes New commenter

    I hope it is ok to pose a further question: Is anyone signed up with more than one agency? - if so how do you find it saying no when you have work elsewhere? I am signed up with two agencies and get calls all time. I have been very open about this but they have now both asked me where i am working (if i am working for the other agency). I told them it was confidential as i think it is my business between me and the agency i am working for. One agency in particular didn't like it - saying it was beneficial for me to inform them!
  10. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I'm the opposite, thats actually what I like about Supply.
    It takes allsorts in this game. [​IMG]
  11. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Agencies are a business and quite naturally be interested in how their competitors are doing. They are looking for new schools to tap into and concerned if you are getting more work from the competition (meaning that the other agency is picking up a greater share of the custom).
    Its beneficial for them to get the information and I suppose indirectly beneficial for you if it means that they are working hard to drum up more business. If you have a good relationship with your agencies (as I have) there's no harm in being honest about where you are working and who with. Likewise if you cannot work that day for a valid reason tell them that reason, decent agencies will respect this. Cannot be ar$ed is not really a valid reason.
    If you don't have a good relationship then change your agency.

  12. I work for 2 agencies.

    The agency I joined first always send me to challenging schools, would at times call me at 9:00am or even at 9:15 saying something has come up and I would at average work only a day per week. If I turn them down they start asking do you work elsewhere? Why are you refusing?

    Whereas the agency I joined at a later point, is well aware that I work for another agency - they even recommended me to register with another agency if I want to work every day as I had told them that I was registering with them because I wasn't getting regular work. They always ask POLITELY when am available for work week before. I have never been HAPPY with any agency than this one. They book me in advance. They can now get me at least 3 days of work each week and NOT ONLY THAT but to EXCELLENT SCHOOLS and the schools (students and staff I cover) like me too.
  13. You lucky, lucky so-and-so. I signed up with four agencies and have had work this term from only one of them.... and it's not every day either. One of them disowned me because it had been 3 months since they found me any work. I personally take the view that honesty is the best policy and if they ask, I tell them where I've been working (or will be working) and who sent me there. I reckon it's a small world and if they really want to know, they are likely to find out -- so I prefer to show they can totally trust me by being completely open about what I'm doing and for whom. To be honest, I don't understand how all these agencies can stay in business when there is seemingly so little work around - at least in my region.
  14. No one is ever indispensable! Do not feel guilty as I am sure you are just a commodity to be used by the agency.

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