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Should I quit and go into supply?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by simgd81, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. simgd81

    simgd81 New commenter


    I'm a mum of three kids aged 6 9 and 10. I'm also an nqt. I work three days a week, but actually I probably work closer to 6. I am shattered, stressed and pretty miserable. Although I am good on paper I know that a lot of my lessons are a bit rubbish. I have a notoriously hard class with 4 children with behavioural issues. But my classroom management leaves a lot to be desired and I think my ta actually hares me!!!! Basically I am overwhelmed. I know the school says I'm doing well. But I'm not so sure.

    What I do know is that I didn't see my kids today. I am short tempered and stressed at the weekends. Always thinking about what I need to do next and what I have forgotten.

    I was a ta before I was a teacher. And I did supply before I got this job.

    My question is.... If I was to pack my job in and become a supply teacher again in a few years when my youngest is a bit older would I find it hard to get a job? I'm 34 now and an nqt. I would maybe be 38 then. Not that age has anything to do with it. Would I be looked down upon for not having the latest knowledge.

    I just want to have a balance back in my life. I want to be stress free and enjoy my family who are growing up very very quickly. But I do want to teach too....

    Sorry. A bit of a rant.
  2. Caligraphy

    Caligraphy Occasional commenter

    Do it. Enjoy your babies. Do not spend your time looking after other peoples children when you should be enjoying your own. Teaching is not a 'child friendly' career.x
    misstippytoes likes this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    If you can afford it, I'd recommend you make your family and their 'growing years' your priority.

    However I would caution you to investigate supply opportunities in your area, before you believe that it would provide a regular income.

    Reverting to a TA 'in the interests of a balanced family life might be a better option for now?
    Caligraphy likes this.
  4. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    How important is the regular income to you? Supply by its nature is rather unpredictable. You have done supply before and it seems you would like to do it for now. I do think it may be a problem in the future should you want a permanent post.

    Will the work life balance of teachers improve in the future? I see nothing to suggest this. Will you want to try permanent posts in the future if this is the case? When would you consider the right time to go permanent again?

    You could revert to a TA. Part time teaching also might be an option, but beware of its traps.

    You face a difficult decision which requires very careful consideration.
  5. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    If you have dependent children, in all honesty I would advise against. Supply is casual work. You can't plan your time or finances. Many agencies want supply teachers to take long term roles which means the full workload for less money. Day to day work has declined and is seasonal anyway. Between early June to October half term there is no demand at all in many areas. That's four months with no income. You only get paid for the days you work.
    Also if your confidence as a classroom practitioner has taken a knock , you might find handling classes who don't respect supply teachers quite a tough job.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    I know things are difficult but I would recommend that you try and complete your NQT year first before you consider leaving
    wanet and PizzoCalabro like this.
  7. elvispenhaligon

    elvispenhaligon Occasional commenter

    It's a bloody harsh world outside of a contract. Keep at it, you are actually in an enviable position. You need a bit of help by the sounds of things. Have you thought about having a quiet word with your chief. Talk. What you sound like you are undergoing is ok and reasonable. You are not a failure, you're just weighed down. This is manageable.

    The worst choice you could make would be to go into supply. It is the worst of all worlds.
  8. rainbowsparkle

    rainbowsparkle New commenter

    Another issue is that, depending how long you stayed on supply, you might find it hard to get another job through the application/interview route. You might be able to get long term supply though. I say this through experience - I've been on supply for longer than four years and when I look at application forms for jobs (and job specs) now, I know that my lack of current CPD is probably prohibitive. I also think that a long history of supply might give the impression of a lack of continuity or commitment :(
  9. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Being on supply doesn't prohibit CPD.
    I was on supply for many years and when in any school for any length of time I asked if I could join any in-house training. Most Unions run training courses which you could attend- will involve a small cost but well worth it. Plus I always added 'personal research via the internet' in that box. i used to add the name of any current article I'd read using the phrase 'most recently the xxxxx report into xxxxxxxxx'.
  10. simgd81

    simgd81 New commenter

    Thank you all so much for your considerate and helpful advice. I now have lots to think about and feel a bit better equipped to do so.
    I do know I can teach. Just being the teacher I know I want to be seems so far away at the moment!
    A job has come up starting in September at a very well respected nursery near me where all the staff are ex teachers and I am thinking of applying there also.
    I do want to complete my nqt but because I work part time that's a whole year away. I just don't know if I have the steam for another year!

    Thank you all again. Really appreciated.
  11. AnonL

    AnonL New commenter

    To the OP
    I understand your sentiment, but I have to be truthful.
    The zeitgeist at the moment is that somehow supply is a cushy option, but it is getting fiercely competitive, especially in secondary.
    This year has been very much 'too many cooks' situation. Thousands of teachers have seen other supply teachers on a gravy train in previous years and left, only to find very limited work.
    I would think carefully, but if you are unhappy also I would not recommend staying in your current position. No job is worth that
    Good Luck
    schoolsout4summer likes this.
  12. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    The other day met a young mother with two small children who works as a supply teacher and she said she may never go back to full time again: probably not until her children are in primary or even secondary.

    If you are not relying solely on your income for your household and have another income contributing, then it might work. Sit down and make a budget and see exactly how much money you need coming in and how many days supply you would need. In some areas of the country supply is plentiful despite other areas not having so much. A lot also depends on your subject if you are secondary. There seems to be a lot of primary available.

    The challenging behaviour can be problematic, but the full time contracted staff are dealing with exactly the same thing except they are doing it daily without a break. On supply, if you need a day off to rest your mind and body you can have that. Unless you are on a long term contract there is no planning, no marking, and no meetings.

    Perhaps an option would be to try to get your NQT year completed as someone said, then go on supply. You definitely need to get a balance back in your life somehow and enjoy your life and children - they need you.
  13. schoolsout4summer

    schoolsout4summer Star commenter

    This last month has been OK, but supply this year has generally been very sparse.
  14. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I've sen it from both sides the last couple of years. Supply is OK if you can afford it but these days most supply work is long term.

    There will be work - full time teaching is a tough job these days. My school is probably somewhere in the bottom 40% of secondaries and staff absence is becoming a real issue. On Friday it was "last man standing" - every available teacher was teaching or covering a lesson.

    ....and we had a year group out.
  15. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    The trouble is that as a part-timer (3 days per week) the OP will not complete Induction until most of the way through a second academic year in teaching.
    The time allowed to be a supply teacher on non-Induction teaching is limited to 5 years from the official date of getting QTS (usually the end of August after completing a PGCE or otehr training route into teaching). Reach that 5 year cut off and the only supply teaching that can be undertaken is long-term placements of at least a term's length that have to be on an Induction basis.

    With 3 young children, making childcare arrangements might be difficult with last-minute bookings.
    Agencies will not pay the going rate so even working 5 days per week (with the extra travel costs) might not generate what you get from 3 days on a contract.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  16. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    OP please note jubilee's excellent points.
  17. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I would check out how much support the school is prepared to give with the 4 challenging pupils in the class. Other teachers or non-teaching SMT might be prepared to have pupils sent to them when they fail to settle down, as long as work is prepared for them to do elsewhere.
    The pupils might decide that controlling their behaviour is a better option than being sent out.
    SMT could also be primed to drop in at specified times, when you know that the children will likely be in full flow.
    What support is there for you or SMT following up with parents?

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