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Should I volunteer at a school?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Nadie1, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. I'm in a position where I can leave the country for up to a year. It will be more affordable than staying here and getting by on the dregs of supply. Also, it should free me from the agencies' finder's fee!
    I'm thinking of completing the CELTA and doing a combination of paid EFL teaching and volunteering in a school abroad. I am worried that it will cause problems getting work when I get back. Will I need a police check to account for this time away? Will schools view this unfavourably?
  2. For me, if it is work then you should get paid. Volunteering is good if you can afford to - I don't have much energy at the moment, so I reserve what little left there is for a day I actually do get work. Why expend so much energy for potentially nothing in return?
    Us supply teachers are at the bottom of the food chain of teaching. We can only survive if there enough scraps left for us to feed upon. No scraps mean we need to go lower...........and also that the living beings at the top of the food chains are working hard for there not to be scraps left. They are looking after their jobs and that schools are being extremely tight and created a new species called CS's.
    Result is: supply teachers become extinct!!!! Off to look for a s(****).

  3. Don't be deceived by all the dishonesty and deception! As an NQT on MPS1 i.e. circa £20,000 per annum you are relatively cheap but even cheaper acting as a "volunteer".
    BUT YOU WOULD BE A FOOL TO allow the school to have your professional teaching services for free. Please do not undervalue, undermine and degrade yourself in this way and thus open the flood gates so that deprofessionalisation of QTS escalates to an even greater despicable level.Ridiculous of the gloating and bullying HT and SMT to behave in this way.

  4. Very well put Pedi.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    To pedigreeet al
    Whilst I undertsand your viewpoint "Please do not undervalue, undermine and degrade yourself in this way and thus open the flood gates so that deprofeessionalisation of QTS escalates to an even greater despicable level. Ridiculous of the gloating and bullying HT and SMT to behave this way", like Nadie 1 "Work seems to have dried up last term" & devondumpling " I've been advised to do that by a deputy . . . It'll give up to date experiences and references.Desperate timescall for desperate measures and I'm too pooor to have principles" I actually think that's trying to shut the flood gates after they're fully open. Use of CS & TA & HLTA, budget restraints etc. have already de-professionalised teaching, and undervalued experience in the profession.
    I have been a supply now for 16 years (and NOT by choice)and I have seen the situation deteriorate year on year.All those long-term posts have been obtained through making myself known personally to schools & if I were not volunteering at the moment I would not have earnt anything at all these past two years as I have simply had no phone calls from my supply listing.
    Rural areas, where jobs are scarce anyway, are more difficult to pick up work in and I think one has to do whatever one has to to survive. In fact next year I'm finally going to give in & apply for TA posts, because even though it will never earn me what I could as a teacher, it would certainly be better than my present earnings & would at least be regular.After so many years I really cannot cope any longer with not knowing if I'm going to work each day & if I'm going to have any money at the end of the month.I would at least be able to make concrete plans & not feel as if my life is permanently on hold.


  6. Pedigree, you are right. Meanwhile Gove quietly gets on with privatising education so that Heads will be in an even stronger position to drive down staff wages whilst bumping up their own. You know, sometimes I have to smile at the attitude of some teachers. Lack of solidarity and fear of making waves has left some so desperate they think there'll be some future advantage in working for free. It is self deluding and shortsighted.
    Ditch the agencies, support your union - enough is enough .
  7. historygrump

    historygrump Senior commenter Forum guide

    Littleguide and pedigree you are both right, by volunteering to help out in a school, you are possibly taking work off a supply teacher and work they may desperately need to pay bills. Crucially I agree that the move to academies was designed to privatise the school system, in which teachers will earn different wages, based on their performance and a system in which, no job will be safe. A system in which academies may opt for instructors, instead of teachers and because they are in theory independent they can do what they want. I agree there is no solidarity, with permanent teachers and the unions ignoring the warnings of supply teachers and the agencies openly using the policy of breaking the back of any supply teachers resistence by offering CS and saying it is all the work they have and it is better then now't, forcing desperate and skint supply teachers to accept the work.
    We may say enough is enogh, but thanks to the lack of support from the unions, permanent teachers and the deprofessionising of the teacher by politicians over the last 10 years, I cannot see anything improving, try as we might to change it.
  8. I still believe not enough supply teachers are confident enough in themselves to ditch the agencies.
    It's now the wild west out there. Head Teachers have little cash to play with. A qualified teacher direct for a little more than they paid the agency for a TA? You betcha!
  9. At last, wise words, perceptive and insightful commentary, a fighting and unremitting spirit against all the unfairness and supply teacher exploitation out there.
    These last postings show an emerging will, integrity and a fightback against all the employment injustice! Thanks littleguide and historygrump! [...and I'm not into mutual admiration...only justice and fairness]. Divided we all fall, united we stand![​IMG]
  10. Hi,
    you were in the same shoes as mine I am in now.
    I've been working as supply since Feb.
    This not regular and even too rare although I work through several agencies.
    I have even applied for TA posts but still nth comes up.
    Now I am thinking Volunteering.
    How were you? does it help? HOw you got through things..?
    Tell me sth.. plz. :(
  11. Hi anemos,
    I didn't volunteer. I intended to volunteer at a special school to get more experience with SEN. I decided against it, as I was booked for several weeks' supply just after my original post!
    There seem to be several people on this forum who are against volunteering in schools, on principle, as they think it takes paid work away from supply teachers. However, there are good reasons for volunteering. In the current climate, you have to look after your own interests and do whatever is best for you, because no one else will. You might like to consider volunteering in a different capacity, e.g. SEN, EAL, outdoor education, coaching a sport, museum education. This will help develop extra skills and experience, enhance your CV and provide an up to date reference. [​IMG]
  12. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Volunteering is a great way to; learn new skills, gain experience, get references and can also be good fun and safisfying. I also have a voluntary role and whilst its completely outside of teaching some of the skills are transferable. (also provide me with a CRB for which I didn't have to pay).
    But PLEASE don't volunter for a job that you should be paid for. As other posters have said school managers will only see this as a way to get your professional services for free and it will generally undermine those in paid employment. The whole reason behind voluntary work is to do the jobs that are needed but wouldn't otherwise be done NOT to provide free labour. Its all about doing your bit for society/community/Country etc (I hope I dont sound like David Cameron and his "big society" now).
    To get the experience you want there must be plenty of charitable organisations working with special needs kids who would value your help for its own sake and not as a way to reduce costs. Please consider these and make a real contribution where its needed. It will look great on a CV and you will get glowing references.

  13. Some years ago i offered some voluntary work at schools when I was new to their catchment I did not offer free supply cover, just offered myself as an extra help like a parent helper would be. This introduced myself, it led to follow up calls for paid supply, but I did not compromise principles in the process.
  14. Totally agree with you Shalteir, I'm in a similar situation now
    After moving to a new town in a new county, I offered to be a volunteer 'classroom support' in two local primary schools. They were very appreciative and I helped out 2-3 afternoons a week. After the first week they very quickly paid for my CRBs and signed me onto their supply list (they don't use agencies). I've got my first supply day tomorrow and I feel at ease knowing that I know the students, staff and how the school runs day to day.
    I would recommend volunteering, but be sure that your not taken for granted and that it will lead to something beneficial for you. I'm sure it will be different for everyone though and the reaction from the schools will range too

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