Supply Teaching — The Good, The Bad

So anyone who has read my post on redundancy will know that I am searching for a full-time work now. Whilst I find a position I can settle in, I have signed onto a teaching agency. Before working on an agency I always saw it as an easy life. Since working on the agency I have realised how difficult agency work is.

Here is the good and the bad.

The Bad

  1. You are rarely treated as a member of staff. The first school I did cover in I was shown to my classroom and that was it. No one showed me where the staff room or even the staff loo was. You are there to fill a number not be a member of staff.
  2. Unless on a permanent placement, you never build a relationship with the children.
  3. Every day in a new school is like your first day at work. You wouldn’t know the routine, you wouldn’t know staff or student names. You will need to think on your feet to be useful in your position.
  4. Sometimes you wouldn’t know where you are going until 7 am that morning. You sit all ready for work waiting for the call come. Then it’s in the car and away. You have to plan and think on your feet all the time.
  5. The days the phone call never comes are the hardest. No phone call means no work. So starts the anxiety over whether you can pay your bills at the end of the month. I live in a constantly stressed state wondering if I will have enough money at the end of the month.

The Good

Many of the negatives may also be positives for some.

  1. The average daily rate is better than being a contracted teacher.
  2. If you don’t like a school you can move on and ask never to go there again. If your first day is awful it can also be your last day.
  3. You get to meet some incredible children. The number of different faces you meet can be overwhelming but, also very humbling.
  4. If you have a family party or appointment you don’t work that day. No booking annual leave. You take the day off although this does mean no money.
  5. Not sure what area to specialise in, then you can try several environments before committing, full time to any.

If you are a teacher and have been envious of supply teachers keep in mind it’s not all big wage packets and easy work. Take the time to show them where to get a drink, where to take lunch. It will be appreciated by all.

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