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Supply Teaching / What To Do After a Teaching?

(11 Posts)
MagicalMrsMistoffelees Fri 28-Apr-17 06:47:35

Please tell me your experiences of working as a supply teacher.

Do you sign up to one or more agencies? Who are the best?

Do you get regular work or is it just now and again? For example, my current school never use supply teachers - so I'm not sure how 'in demand' they are.

Could you do as little as one day a week?!

Can you specify year groups e.g. EYFS / KS1 but not KS2.

And how do you manage childcare considerations when you don't know when you might be working? My youngest has just turned two so it's not as easy as sorting something last minute for him as it would be for my two primary school-aged children.

OR is there another job option you can suggest for me? I used to love teaching soooo much but I've had it and need to get out! Any ex-teachers out there who can tell me What You Did After Teaching???

Thank you for any help!

sashh Sat 29-Apr-17 06:41:09

I've done quite a lot of supply.

Don't expect to work in June and July - you might get some work, bit it is rare because lots of children have gone on study leave so staff are redeployed.

Sign up with every agency you can.

Be prepared for morning calls, you get a call at 7am and you have to be out the door in about 30 mins - if i'm doing that I have shower, breakfast etc but sit in joggers until I get a call, that might not happen.

Once you get 'known' you get more work, schools/colleges will call the agency and request you.

Be prepared to teach anything and have something in your bag in case there is no lesson planned. I have a set of logic puzzles, they are not exactly the best lesson but at least the kids think and do something.

I've 'taught' photography, maths, sociology, ICT, emplyability skills ...

Depending on your subject(s) you may get long term placements, I did January to Easter in one school. But they can sign you up for things like that and only give you 1 day notice to terminate it.

Also if you have a particular skill you might find yourself teaching just that, so lots of teachers can teach health and social care, but not all of them (including the specialists) can teach anatomy and physiology - I have spent months teaching nothing else, just that BTEC unit and then on to the next place to teach it again.

Be prepared to travel. The rules have changed for claiming expenses, a couple of years ago I spent 6 weeks in a hotel because it was too far from home to travel, now you would have to fund that yourself and claim it back via tax returns.

Most agencies will have a list of places you will/will not work. I won't do work in the two schools closest my home, I don't want to teach kids who know where I live.

I will do special schools, and FE but not primary. I will do long term, short term and 1/2 days. Be careful with half days though, lots of school have 80% of the teaching before lunch so they are getting almost a day's work out of you for half the rate.

Think about tax credits, as a salaried teacher you can claim them over the summer, as a supply teacher your contract has ended so your tax credits claim has to end too.

picklemepopcorn Sat 29-Apr-17 07:25:40

I couldn't do it, I couldn't manage the flexibility, never knowing when I would be wanted, where I would be going... I hated the last minute phone calls.

I've taken an admin job, far lower hourly rate, but I get holidays, sick pay, and no stress.

I was a foster carer for some years, too, but your LO is too young for that, IMO.

MagicalMrsMistoffelees Sat 29-Apr-17 07:29:37

All very useful, thank you!

No work in June or July actually sounds good! I could go to my own children's sports days, assemblies etc!

I don't claim any tax credits so that's not a problem.

I teach primary - not sure if they use supply teachers as much as secondary.

It's a lot to consider but is definitely a possibility!

MagicalMrsMistoffelees Sat 29-Apr-17 07:34:44

Thank you for replying. The uncertainty of it does sound hard. Not just money coming in but actually just being ready to work at a moment's notice!

Fostering is something I really want to do in the future. That's more of a social-conscience thing and wanting to help than a money thing. I never thought the money would cover anything other than basics for the child to be honest - shows how much I know! But, like you say my children are too young (10, 6, 2) and we'd like them to be older before we go down that route.

Orifu Sat 29-Apr-17 07:36:07

I do it with a one year old. My agency are quite happy with how little I do- probably one or two days per month! I am secondary trained but only do primary and I find there is a lot of demand and I'm very rural. My friend in London was able to specify areas and only did eyfs. I get less work now because I will only work with advance warning due to childcare. I don't love it if I'm honest as so unpredictable and with needing warning for childcare I don't think I could rely on the income as its so hit and miss. But I just do it for bonus money here and there which it is good for. In primary you will still get work in June/July as no big exams/study leave. It's definitely opened my eyes to schools in the area which has been helpful when thinking about future schooling for my little one!

TotoToe Sat 29-Apr-17 07:43:52

I have done supply for almost 5 years now. I have 3 children and a husband who works long hours and does a lot of travelling, so it suits us perfectly.
I work 2 fixed days a week and arranged childcare for those two days. I do an extra day or two when I can.
I am with one agency (in West Midlands) and they have been brilliant. I now have 2 days long term at a local school and do extra days anywhere. The agency keep a percentage of each day's pay in my holiday account, that I then claim back in the summer.
I really enjoy doing supply - I find the days are generally pretty fun and I get to leave as soon as the marking's done!

needsahalo Sat 29-Apr-17 09:45:57

as a supply teacher your contract has ended so your tax credits claim has to end too

This is not the case. Teaching is a recognised 'pattern' of work. You can't work if there is no work. You just need to make sure you are doing sufficient hours during term time and you can still claim the rest of the time.

EdithSitwell Sat 29-Apr-17 13:01:05

I do a little supply. Fortunately, I don't need the work as I have another source of income (pension). This means that I can be very selective about the work I accept. I only accept work in schools and year groups that I like. I do a couple of days per month. Supply is fine in these circumstances. I think it would be very difficult to actually have to make a living through supply.

picklemepopcorn Sat 29-Apr-17 15:41:28

Re fostering. Finances vary a lot, depending on the kind you do. It is a job though, as well as a calling, and a great match for teachers. It is hard to work at the same time as fostering. You are not supposed to be financially dependent on fostering.

QuackDuckQuack Sat 29-Apr-17 15:47:08

It must vary by area. In our area good supply teachers are difficult to find.

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