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Two opportunities...in two minds...

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by fantastischfish, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    I've been working in a school just 10 minutes from my front door this past week. I was originally booked to cover for 1 week and this has quickly turned into another 3 weeks until half term.

    Meanwhile, two other positions have become available in the same school. I'm in two minds what to do.

    Life story alert:
    After leaving full time teaching, I said I'd give myself a year on supply before coming up with a more long-term plan. At the end of last year, I'd had a very successful year on supply and wasn't ready to make a decision yet, so carried on with more supply. Though I'd saved to ensure I had money in August and September, work didn't pick up properly again until November and there were a couple of very scary months (partially due to being overtaxed, which didn't help matters). Anyway, I was tempted to take up a permanent post as a Cover Supervisor - lower salary, but the bills would be covered and my other business ventures would supplement my income. As soon as I mentioned this to my agency, work suddenly picked up and I've had pretty much constant work since.

    So, here are my options:

    1) School is looking for a subject-specialist to deliver 1:1/small group intervention from now until the exams in May, with the possibility of an extension to work with KS3 in the summer term. This will be a 9-4 position, 5 days per week, which is more than I need really, but the small group sessions shouldn't generate marking and there will be minimal planning since I have thousands of resources.

    2) Same school is also advertising for an faculty support assistant. This role is attached to a particular faculty. It's a classroom assistant job: filing, photocopying, displays, admin, entering data etc and then covering absence when required (clearly the school uses supply as a rarity). It's a £17k per year salary and would pay a summer/August wage. Basically, it's a role that would finish at the end of the school day, and covers the bills.

    I'm very tempted by the 2nd post as a long-term solution. I don't really enjoy the financial hardship throughout the summer and the stress on not knowing when work will start again on the other side. This role, plus my other business ventures would keep the finances ticking over nicely whilst giving me the holidays, the pension and the stress-free income.

    That said, it's my understanding that these roles are frequently vacated (they tend to be occupied by prospective PGCE students). So if I took up post 1, I may find that another opportunity for post 2 becomes available later in the year.

    Thanks for letting me waffle.

    Has anyone else been considering their options for the long-term plan?
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Eva

    Many people are posting about the lackmof supply so probably are thinking about a long term plan. You are in a good position since you have your other business ventures go supplement supply. If you did take either role at least you know what you have coming in; with supply, it is always will be uncertain whether enough work is going tomcome in unless you are on a long term contract.

    Whether you take position one ore two is a matter only younwill know since you know what you prefer. From what you write, I would be tempted by position one, but that is just me.

    I am looking for other work, but I work in network marketing with my husband and we are developing that. I always say to everyone try to find multiple income streams.
  3. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    My thoughts ...

    Would you still be able to carry on with your other business ventures in both of these roles? Does that help you to make a decision?

    Do you really like working in the school? Option 2 gives you the chance to have the stress free life but also puts you in place, if a vacancy for a permanent teaching post comes up, to apply should you decide to return to teaching - especially as you will be doing some cover teaching as part of the post.
  4. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    *shudder* I will definitely not be considering a return to the classroom in a full-time teacher role. I left one of these in a perfectly nice school with nice kids and nice people (apart from a few lunatics in middle/senior management). I cannot and will not work those hours under that level of stress and constant anxiety again.

    Option 1 will probably pay more over the short term, and I do enjoy 1:1 and small group work, and its my subject specialism. However, it's a limited role. Option 2 will include a pay day in August, meaning a return to blissful summer spent knowing there's money coming in at the end of the month.

    Both jobs are more hours than I'd really like to work. In an ideal world, if I could guarantee 3 days per week on supply (with no work to take home) this would leave me two days for working on my own businesses and evenings free for tutoring and personal life!

    I don't know about anyone else, but I'm already looking ahead to summer looming in the distance and the knowledge that work is going to dry up again probably from the end of May onwards. Although I have worked pretty much constantly since November and am paid well by my agency, the lack of work in Sept/Oct and in the week or so after each half-term holiday when there's a natural dip was more than even my savings could cover. It's unlikely I'll be able to set aside enough to see me through that period again this year and I'd quite like to get off that constant treadmill.
  5. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    I know exactly what you mean about supply. Think about it over the next few days and make a list of the advantages and disadvantages and then make your decision. In time your business will grow and you will have a more secure source of income.

    People always ask me why I don't look for a permanent role and I won't take one for the same reasons you state. I would rather have less money and peace of mind than the constant worry and stress of a full time post. I feel sorry for those teachers who can't get out but want to. That is why I always say for anyone whether teacher or not to develop a side income like network marketing or develop other skill sets so if worse comes to worse you have other options and revenue streams. Not so easy to do, but if you do a little each day it is manageable. My husband is self employed in a professional field of work, but he does network marketing on the side with me and we are looking forward to building up that side of things. It is a slow process and not a get rich scheme but doable as we work it around our other jobs.
    Lara mfl 05 and Eva_Smith like this.
  6. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter


    I can't advise on which position to take.

    I would,however, make sure that the Reprographics job salary is as advertised. To pro-rata assume 43 weeks out of 52 and 30(?) hours out of 37.5.

    I did an SEN job that "paid through holidays". - they divided 43 weeks pay into 12 monthly instalments.

    The other thing to look out for is that if you do a Support role it can be a struggle to get up to date teaching references within last 2 years.

    Then there is the issue of time off for interviews if you see your ideal teaching job.

    Good luck
  7. fantastischfish

    fantastischfish Established commenter

    Thanks for the heads up Deirds. The salary is definitely correctly. In fact, the job advert states the actual pro rata-ed salary. I did mention that I'd get a pay day in August, not holiday pay.

    There is no such thing as my ideal teaching job. That's not happening. I taught full time for 11 years. No intention of ever going back to that.
  8. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    That sounds ideal, Eva. Go for it and best of luck

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