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Is it worth doing supply teaching for a few days a week to keep my career going ?

(15 Posts)
MiserableAsSin Fri 19-Jan-18 21:46:48

I worked as a primary school teacher for 8 years and then had dc3 unexpectedly . Left to be a sahm but he is now 2 and circumstances mean I will probably have to go back to working in a stable role when he is 3 ish for financial reasons . I can't cope with working full time and 3 dc and a husband who works away. Ds is a poor sleeper who is up frequently and is happy to play throughout the night and day ( have tried everything including a sleep consultant . He just doesn't appear to need much sleep ). His frequent wakings have left me feeling really broken these two years hence me quitting teaching . Anyhow we are struggling financially and it's dawned on me that I can't be a sahm forever . Jobshares In my area are like gold dust . So I started doing agency work as of jan , around 3 days a week. Once I shave off tax, a childminder and transport am left with a pittance of around £40 per full day . Am I gaining anything valuable career wise by doing the supply ? Will it even help me gain a long term role ( ideally for 2/3 days ) or should I pack it in and wait till he starts school - or would that be too late ? Advice gratefully received .

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BackforGood Fri 19-Jan-18 22:52:58

Only you can know if you think it is worth doing or not, but I think it has to be worth keeping your hand in' as it keeps you up to date with all the little changes that happen each year, and also just keeps you up with your skills and your confidence. If you don't do something for several years then you lose the ability to just walk in and do it.
Whether that needs to be 3 days a week or not is of course a decision only you and your dh could make.

MiserableAsSin Sat 20-Jan-18 07:40:31

Back that's really encouraging thanks . I've been feeling a little unsure . To add to the mix I don't even have a car at the moment so am using public transport . I live fairly central but my last assignment Was a 1.5 hour commute in rush hour and really made me question if there was any career value to supply teaching .

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SavoyCabbage Sat 20-Jan-18 07:55:22

I think it depends where you live and what the demand is like. There is loads of work where I am. I’m really firm with my agency with regards to what I will do. I don’t do standby for example. Too hard with my children.

I was out of teaching for years and years as we emigrated so I didn’t have a clue about anything when I got back but you can just learn everything when the time comes. Like most teachers, I have friends who are teachers who helped me a lot with what I needed to know.

I’m not sure that you would be in a better position to get a job later by doing supply now as from my experience, there are so many full time jobs you would get one if you showed up to the interview.

Can you tout yourself to the schools close to where you live? That you can walk to. I don’t know if that’s a thing in the uk. That was the system where I lived before.

You would have to look closely at your finances as £40 a day is still £40 and if you need the money it’s a relatively easy way of making it. You would still have the outgoings if you were working another job.

Greatestshowgirl Sat 20-Jan-18 08:00:54

I would say it is worth it but maybe you don’t need to do three days a week.

It also depends on the jobs market in your area. There are few jobs in my area so you certainly would not be walking into a full time position with no recent experience. I know several teachers with no work at the moment even through supply agencies.

Other factors of course are your age and your subject if secondary level. It is easier to get a job here if you are under 35 and a science or maths specialist.

millionsofpeaches Sat 20-Jan-18 08:16:12

My stint in pt supply (secondary) resulted in two job offers, neither of which I took as I wasn't in the market for a permanent position at the time. I think its worth doing simply to get yourself known. If you're good they'll ask for you by name and you'll get a good reputation around the area.

RosieBdy Sat 20-Jan-18 08:16:29

As PP said, can you arrange a meeting to introduce yourself to local schools? I do supply teaching at my local school after dropping a cv in and arranging a meeting with the head.
I get paid direct through county, rather than agency rates. It’s a huge difference! £170 per day (and my regular school even pays me extra for UPS2)
I was out of teaching for 8 years after being a SAHM with my two. I worried about getting back in to teaching, but I now do 1 day a week every week in one school, then supply teaching at another. It’s enough for me at the moment... I did more at one point but it wasn’t working for us as a family.
Mine are both school age, so easier in some ways to do last minute supply calls, but to be fair most of what I do is pre-booked cover.
Good luck.

MiserableAsSin Sat 20-Jan-18 13:04:01

This thread has been so useful
Job are thin here and highly competitive so I can't see myself getting on after a 5 year break if I were to have one .
There are a few schools round here - do I literally just ring up and say I want to do supply work there and hand in my cv ? To work directly with schools would be ideal for me .
Also am going to see if my agency could do pre booked work only . I didn't think it would be ok to ask but I will now .

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MiserableAsSin Sat 20-Jan-18 13:04:22

Also to add an early thirties and in primary

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MiserableAsSin Sat 20-Jan-18 13:05:01

Sorry for all typos am putting ds to sleep at the same time after yet another rubbish night

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Ekphrasis Sat 20-Jan-18 13:13:11

I know of a few who went back as tas then were given teaching jobs later, or one who cut her hours down to 2-3 days as a TA to keep a hand in. Once got an hlta intervention role part time.

Teaching is moving horribly fast; it all changed the year I went on maternity and I have found it hard to catch up part time.

Often a teacher will be given part time role if intervention - I've noticed a lot come from being initially on supply.

Ekphrasis Sat 20-Jan-18 13:15:03

Sen schools are often in great need of tas and supply staff. If they like you it's often a good way in. Just need the right attitude and be unflappable! And change the odd nappy.

RosieBdy Sat 20-Jan-18 19:04:51

I looked at TA jobs rather than teaching, but when I looked at the money I decided against it. I can work one or two days a week supply teaching and still earn more than working as a full time TA... it’s shocking how little they are paid when school would fall apart without them isn’t it! I suppose you don’t have the marking etc that you would as a supply teacher. It depends on what works for you I think.
MiserableAsSin, I would do a short cv (I got mine down to about half A4 as I figured they didn’t have time to read lots!) and then actually take it around to introduce yourself if you can get someone to look after your DS/ he’s at the childminder. That way you are a real person rather than just a name on the phone/piece of paper. Ask to speak to whoever sorts out the supply teachers if they have 5 minutes to spare and do your homework before you go so they can see you’re interested in their school...
I put on my cv which days I could do too as that saves them ringing you when you couldn’t do it anyway! Good luck.

MiserableAsSin Sat 20-Jan-18 20:53:56

Rosi thanks !
My only worry is that I'm currently registered with an agency that I'm actively working with and that deals with schools around here (although the schools they've sent me to so far have been miles away hmm) and if the agency find out I've approached their schools they will not be happy . Say for eg they send me on an assignment there eventually and the school says - she approached us directly . Would / could this be an issue ?
If not , do I just ring up the school first or do i turn up with a cv? If I know for a fact that the particular school deals with an agency for supply will they even consider me? Sorry for all the questions but I do need it spelling out to me at this stage as it's all still fresh territory for me !

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NovemberWitch Sat 20-Jan-18 21:03:38

It might be worth doing for supply that schools know is required a while in advance, and if they know and like you already.
Agencies make it easy for schools, one call and done. You have a qualified, enhanced DBS checked teacher turn up, and if there’s a problem, the agency’s responsible.

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