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The agony of supply

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by Oldfashioned, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    I'm currently quite happy in a long term until summer. I can leave when the kids leave, in fact when free last lesson I go early. I have no performance management, no meetings, no onerous planning and I mark as I see fit. Sounds blissful, yes? And for the most part it is.

    However, without the long term security, no holiday pay, no sick pay, I and many other supply teachers will look to our permanent colleagues with envy and we might even apply for a permanent post. Even now with 3 months secured ahead of me I am worrying about september.

    And so, such is the agony of supply: being on supply can be blissful and reminiscent of pre-micromanagement days but we can't be totally happy because we lack security.
     
  2. agathamorse

    agathamorse Occasional commenter

    So true. At the end of June I come to the end of a maternity contract in a wonderful grammar school. I'm looking for permanent posts and jobs outside of teaching as I long for security. As I'm experienced and expensive it is difficult to find permanent posts.
     
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    We've all been there - it's the major downside of supply. The lack of security and the lack of pay over the long Summer months is a major issue.

    In the end it's what made me decide to go back permanent again.
     
  4. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Lead commenter

    Yes, if only we could combine the best of supply and permanent posts!
     
  5. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    When I first started doing supply (20 years ago now :eek:) the pay was good and it easily saw me through the holidays, Sometimes I did some other agency work and other times I claimed JSA but it wasn't a problem if I didn't. Supply was good then.

    When I left supply (2 years ago now) my pay had barely increased and even gone down in some circumstances. I don't miss the long holidays and hope to never to return to teaching on supply,
     
  6. Lucilla90

    Lucilla90 Occasional commenter

    It was the best job I ever had, I think. But yes, the insecurity was what made me get a permanent post again.

    I still miss doing supply, though. I loved it despite the poor pay.
     
    Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  7. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I intend to retire (sort of) in 4 years - I'm sure I'll end up doing a bit of supply again.
     
    Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  8. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I have had 6 days work since this time last year.

    I am seriously broke.
     
    BetterNow, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  9. pwtin

    pwtin Senior commenter

    With some agencies I am now getting less supply than when I first started some 17 years ago. Supply is fine if there are two incomes coming in and you are not financially reliant on it.
     
  10. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    Though I’m going to sound like a slave praising his chains. I actually like long-term supply. The precariousness cuts both ways with the same people who’d be hassling me if I were permanent trying to keep me doing a half decent job in their bottom end school.
    Of course this is down to being in a shortage area but also being able to manipulate the broken systems I find. Mrs C also understands this
     
    Lara mfl 05 and agathamorse like this.
  11. JohnJCazorla

    JohnJCazorla Star commenter

    If you crave the security of a permanent contract then why not go for it?
    Then set a deadline for 2nd Friday in October to decide if your notice goes in. Then ditto for the 2nd Friday in February etc.

    If long-term is plentiful then I guess this abuse of the broken system is also possible
     
    Lara mfl 05, pepper5 and agathamorse like this.
  12. MissGeorgi

    MissGeorgi Occasional commenter

    I also do exam marking, which helps out.
    My advice with supply is to put a lot of effort in, schools recognise this. I spent several years at very tough schools but this has helped me enormously. I always get excellent feedback and re-bookings. I have been offered several long term bookings this year and had a lot of work.
     
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  13. silvita2

    silvita2 New commenter

    I am in a very similar position, most schools are choosing/short listing NQTs who are a lot less expensive than myself, experience does not count for anything these days. I absolutely love teaching and I believe I am a good teacher but what can we do in this climate??
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. agathamorse

    agathamorse Occasional commenter

    I do wonder sometimes where the recruitment crisis is exactly, as I'm an experienced teacher but I cannot get more than supply work and maternity contracts. My only mistake? Taking time out to raise my daughter and then moving to a different part of the country. It's very disheartening.
     
  15. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    @agathamorse same here. I have been doing supply since January 2016, always long term maternity. Always get great feedback and references from the schools but I can’t get a permanent job.

    I’ve read that English teachers are in demand - the bursary is way more than I got back in 2002 - but I can’t get a permanent post in my part of the country.
     
    hplovegame48 and agathamorse like this.
  16. 50sman

    50sman Senior commenter

    I am in one year temp contract by choice. Permanent contract has been advertised. I am not applying for it. Have decide in cricket terms it is age 60 and out! Am in the process of takin cv down and unsubscribing from agency emails

    Can teach but don’t see need to fill in paer work, mark in multi coloured pens or assess wether or not students in year 7 will a give grade 8 at GCSE in four years time

    When I started 38 years ago it was simply a case of if the kids passed exams it proved they had learnt something. If you achieved all grades from a to G or 1 To 6 for CSE it proved you had covered the whole syllabus.

    It was down to the student if they passed or failed!
     
  17. SineField

    SineField New commenter

    Sadly, the concept of student accountability is something that is increasingly absent.

    Nowadays... Good teaching = more curriculum spoon feeding

    :confused:
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    The new GCSE's allow little time for anything else.

    I don't know a single teacher that likes them.

    We are knocking ourselves out ourselves this year to try and improve our results.

    The assumption being that are not capable of doing it themselves so we must do it for them.
     
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Before I had my accident, and was doing supply at the same school, I would regularly get comments from the teachers on the cover notes saying, this class is lazy so you will have to keep on to them to work. What??? If they work, they work and if they don't then they will will wind up on Universal Credit like me which isn't a lot of fun.
     
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  20. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Now, Now Pepper - you're getting dangerously negative again.

    I'm still trying to pluck up the courage to go and see my ex HOD again - he's 46 and has Liver Cancer - he's survived one round of Chemotherapy but has to have another - he has a partner and two children under 10 years old.

    He doesn't really know what is going to happen to him in the next year or so and he has no idea whether he will ever be able to go into the classroom again. Not surprisingly he is very worried.

    It puts things into prospective.

    Just over a year ago my Sister fell out of a window and fell three floors - she was very lucky to even survive - but she has since changed jobs and is back working again.

    You mustn't give up.
     

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