Doing supply to get experience

(10 Posts)
cansu Mon 19-Aug-13 12:25:56

I am secondary trained teacher and worked for six years in a high school followed by another twelve years in a middle school. Middle schools are closing in my area and I need to get back into high school work. I am thinking of doing a bit of supply on my days off from current post . Is this a good idea? How do I make sure I am getting decent experience in the schools I am interested in? Should I approach schools directly or register with an agency? Should I just do supply in my subject or would more general cover be any use?

sheridand Mon 19-Aug-13 14:40:55

Supply is dying out in a lot of schools, I know, because I am a secondary trained teacher who had a career break to raise kids, and I was looking for experience to get me back to the classroom. Agencies will always sign you up, but work is sometimes scarce, partly because HLTA's are used as in-house cover. Plus, each agancy requires a separate CRB check, which mounts up. Some LEA's only use a certain agancy, some schools only use a certain agancy, very few take you on directly. EPM is a big one.

Most of my offers came from the neighbouring urban areas, mostly in sink schools and so on that struggled to retain staff. I found most offers were cover supervisor, or roaming cover, not subject specific. It really didn't suit me as I wanted set days, not early morning calls, due to sorting out childcare and so on. In the end, I opted for a HLTA post to ease myself back in and it's fitted me a treat thus far, no work to bring home and so on, and plenty of opportunity to gain experience again. Plus, it's helping me swap from secondary to primary, which is what I wanted, no longer having the energy to deal with roomfuls of teenagers and coursework nightmares again! That could be an option for you too, 2 of the teachers in my current primary are ex-middle school teachers.

bluewavesatsea Tue 20-Aug-13 11:20:41

I'd just apply directly for secondary school teaching posts. Unfortunately there can be a bit of wariness where supply teachers are concerned and the "doing supply because they aren't good enough for a permanent position" can prevail a bit.

sheridand Tue 20-Aug-13 16:19:48

I'd also add that most supply posts I were offered were in effect full-time anyway, mostly to cover long-term sick or maternity, not much day to day at all. Whereas when I was in London, you could pick up day to day relatively easily.

I don't think there's an attitude of "not good enough" where I am. The schools struggle to retain staff due it to being a difficult area to teach in, and this, coupled with the fact that it's rural and dosn't attract bright new NQT's as there's naff all to do if you're under 40, means that if you can get a temp position, you are most likely to be asked to stay on! I suspect it matters whereabouts you are in the country. I know that in some areas I have friends who can't even pick up a TA post, and most applicants for them are QTS qualified. In other areas it's "dead mens boots" only. There are still far too many teachers being churned out and competition is fierce in a lot of areas for even the most lowly post.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 20-Aug-13 16:23:45

The trouble with daily supply for getting experience is that you don't plan, nor are you subject specific. What is your subject?

cansu Fri 23-Aug-13 19:10:47

I am an MFL teacher. I don't really need planning experience. It is more that I need to get my foot in the door at some local schools.

BackforGood Fri 23-Aug-13 19:24:36

Would it be worth / could you afford to offer to do a morning / afternoon a week at a couple of schools doing voluntary 'language assistant' type work - as you say, to become known to them so they know of you as soon as a vacancy comes up (keeping in mind that most teachers also know other teachers in local schools ?)

sheridand Sat 24-Aug-13 10:04:33

Hmm, I see your problem now Cansu. With the drop in MFL uptake at GCSE and beyond over the past decade, lots of schools have tiny depts now where it's "dead mens shoes". Terrible news about the halving of MFL university provision too. How will Goves / Satans new proposals affect your job situation? Now it's linked to the Bacc, surely schools will find themselves desperate to revive their language departments again?

happilyconfused Sat 24-Aug-13 17:52:55

Parents and kids seem to prefer Spanish to French. I think French makes parents remember their language lessons. German seems to be disappearing altogether.

One of our mfl teachers got in by running an after school Japanese club and offering to teach Latin.

Personally I think MFL is a marmite area as far as the kids are concerned.

happilyconfused Sat 24-Aug-13 17:54:25

And some language depts take in 'assistants' to help with speaking and listening. You could offer to be an 'assistant'.

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