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tell me why I do this

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by prt204, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. I qualified in July 2010 and am currently job hunting (only applied for 4 jobs and had one interview when they told me they gave the job to someone more experienced) and supply teaching. I am seriously considering throwing it in since I think I'm just not cut out for it and need honest opinions about my reaction to my experiences.
    I've just spent 3 days in a city school which is renowned for behavioural issues but in the class I was with I would say there were only 3 children with serious issues. I was in a Reception class of 24 children and the teacher left very specific requiremnts of what she wanted me to do - which included producing a display by the end of today. TA's didn't turn up til gone 9 and today I had no TA the whole day and was expected to do 3 different guided group activities inside and out.I had to find all resources from around the school for collages,painting, display boards etc., the TA's did nothing to help towards this since they arrived late and left early.
    To get through all this I worked long hours (8-5 solid) despite being paid 9-3.15 (excluding lunch of course) so after paying my own child minder and petrol costs I'm left with just over 100 pounds after 3 exhausting days. I'm thinking it's just not worth the money.
    Do you think it's that I'm not cut out for it or that that was an unusually tough experience? I do realise that teachers work long hours and it's tough but is it any better when you have a class of your own and you know the TA's and how the school works?
    I know I'll get negative response from stuart dann but can anybody else give me any perspective?
  2. Hi
    Sorry you have had these bad experiences, as that is what they are. This is not the norm for a day supply teaching. As although sometimes work is not set and you do need to get your own resources sometimes it sounds like these schools are taking advantage. I have done supply for 7 years on and off and have never been asked to do a display. Did you ask the TA to do this? It sounds more like her job?
    Otherwise, I would have made sure the work for it was done and then would have put in my note to the teacher that the TA did not have time to do it or you did not. That way it falls onto her not you. Generally, if you don't get around to the less major things in the day the class teacher does not mind.
    As for guided reading, again I would have explained in my note that you didn't have a TA and so could not do all the groups or that some chn worked independently on the task and say you got as much done as you could in the given time. You cannot be expected to do something unreasonable. Finally, I would just let your agency know so they can have a chat with the school about acceptable expectations for a supply teacher.
    Don't blame yourself and carry on as this is not the norm, promise.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Supply. Yes, it can be tough & yes we do work beyond the 'paid' hours, though working till 5 each of the 3 days might be above the call of duty! No two days are the same & you start each new school/ group of kids already on the 'wrong foot' as they're familiar with the school, routines etc. regular work helps with that as you start to know the way things are different yet the same in schoolseg most will have a system of rewards but which one with this class?
    Full-time teaching? Certainly in Primary you'll probably have to work through most of your lunch hour & yes possibly till 5 after school. It does get better with time as you build up resources & 'quick ways' round things, but it's never going to be an 'easy ride' as a teacher-despite what many people believe-All those ' you only work short hours & long holidays' types!
    To do the job properly does demand all your commitment during school hours & often extra out-of-school hours marking/doing paperwork, staff & parents' meetings, preparing or searching for resources etc. etc.
    But if it is your passion all those things fade into insignificance when you're working with the children themselves & all the other stuff is worth it!
  4. That sounds like a tough experience but it seems that you coped very well with it. It may be like that sometimes when schools are very unsupportive but they are not all like that. Do you know why you had no TA support on that day? In my experiences in the past that has been because the TA has been taken to cover another class during the teacher's absence
  5. Thanks for the responses - it's helpful to get others' opinions since I'm new to this. I really appreciate this forum since everybody understands each others' experiences.
    I think the issue was that the teacher set so much for me to do with these kids (they're only 4/5) and it's hard to get them to work in groups independently, whilst working with one group and making sure all the others are safe. It was much more like the expectations of a year 1 or 2 class. I know I wouldn't work like that with my own class. Don't know why there wasn't a TA Bronco. I didn't go through my supply agency for this school- they were the school that interviewed me for the post I didn't get - seemed lovely when I was looking round for that!
    Anyway, what Lara said is right - I totally realise that teaching is really tough and long hours. I don't mind that but I find it hard to see myself doing long term supply under these conditions because I end up with relatively little money / satisfaction compared to how much of myself I put in. In my area, the LEA has directed that no posts are permanent and there are many more experienced teachers all fighting for very few jobs - 200+ applicants is the norm. so I'll probably run out of time allowed for doing supply before doing induction anyway.
    So, I'll keep going for a while with my PPA cover starting next week and see how it goes ...
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    You'll find more job satisfaction with PPA cover as it will give you a chance to settle in with a school & get to know groups of children.

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