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Supply Teaching Probationer

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by bookworm88, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. I am looking for some advice as to how best to deal with my current work status.
    I undertook a Probation Year 2005 - 2006 and decided to leave teaching in 2006 to explore other career options for both professional and personal reasons.
    I have been registered with my local Council as a Supply Teacher since January 2011 and have had ten full days of work.
    I am now trying to meet the General Teaching Council for Scotland Standards for Full Registration via the Alternative/Flexible Route. I am an English Teacher (with Drama as an extra subject).
    I need 190 days service by October 2015. I am really keen to return to teaching and feel ready to meet the challenges now I am 29 years old.
    To put it into perspective, I have had 10 days of work since January 2011.
    However, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with how best to finance my attempts to return to teaching. I am stuck in a Catch 22 in terms of balancing what I need to do to get back into teaching with the financial issues surrounding undertaking Supply work.
    In short, if I work any more than 2 days (14 hours) at a school on the Supply list, I get my Jobseeker's Allowance suspended for weeks. I am currently still awaiting a back payment which I have been owed for almost 5 weeks.
    I was finding it difficult enough to sustain myself on my full JSA before these complications but it is really becoming an added stress.
    Can anyone offer me any practical advice regarding how to a) keep myself afloat financially and b) keep motivated?
    I really want to teach but I get slightly depressed at the bleak prospects ahead, which I feel will be further aggravated by the education budget cuts.
  2. Hi,

    I totally understand.
    I'm on my 3rd year on the alternative route, have lost a year due to registering with GTCS before moving, & am just coming to terms with the possibility that I may not complete my days in the time left.

    However, every time I am in the classroom I remember why I am living this chaotic destructive existence, cos basically this isn't a life :)

    So, to exist - I have a 16hr evening job stacking shelves 6-10pm, I try to work every Saturday & they let me pick up extra shifts & the occasional Sunday. This is great if it's quiet teaching, but usually after Easter I'm almost full time (not this year!) and I descend into the hamster wheel as I think of it, running till summer hols.
    I have spoken to other Alt Route & this is a common theme, bar work is a fav, as at least you don't bump into the kids- as I do much to their/my horror. Some have 3 part time jobs for the 'real' money. I'm trying to find some extra work, seasonal stuff like cleaning holiday homes, cos this year hasn't been too good either- 38 days.
    As I say, this isn't a life & every term I decide to give up & have some security, but there aren't that many other jobs to be had, so I'm still here for the moment.

    Action- I'm presuming you are secondary, but the ideas still apply. I was told that schools don't like to employ people they don't know, so awful as it is, get some CVs printed off & a set of business cards (Vistaprint did 500 for postage, bout £4) and drive round every school in your area, and when I say area, I will drive an over an hour which is rubbish for fuel, but the enthusiasm/idiocy has got me days. Some schools give you a distinctly lukewarm welcome, but it works and a card with your number above the phone gets rung rather than trawl the supply list. My first year was terrible, & I sent out CVs, it didn't work, cos for some reason they want to see your face.
    Can you offer coaching/work as Additional support for Learning, etc, do areas in Primary??? Stick it on your card! If they don't need you, another school may ring them for suggestions (this is how I got my first long term cover)

    I don't know how it works in your area, but we had alt route meetings which was good to get ideas from the others, and gossip, cos knowing who is moving on/off sick/maternity might mean you can be in the right place at the right time. Also if you can get to the CPDA probationer days, the speakers are often heads/former heads so ask a question & make yourself known, I hate to use the word but basically network. I never used to be this thick skinned, but have realised I have to look at myself as a service I am marketing to these schools. I keep telling myself, it's not personal (& on good days I believe it!)

    For the future, in the next 5ish years a very big proportion of the current teachers will be retiring, ie there will be jobs.
    There are less student teachers so there is a better chance in interviews, my first year bout 150 teachers went for 5, yes 5, full time jobs. I need my head checked not to have quit then.
    I don't know about your area, but in mine I find there are a lot of retired teachers on the supply list, who are obviously known & often get picked before me. If the government change the supply pay scales, which I doubt the unions can stop, some have said they will not carry on doing the supply for the money.
    Teachers get stressed, get ill, amazingly cos I don't know where they find the time-get pregnant! They will always need supply cover, even if they cut the budgets.
    These are my positive points, in a 'it will get better' way. There will always be children who need good teachers, that's why you and I are going through this rubbish system.

    Hey, it gets better

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