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Choosing Between Long-term and Supply

Lauren is a Canadian-trained primary teacher who works for Protocol Education's Surrey team. Lauren has recently taken on a long-term role, however it wasn't easy coming to her decision and there were many things she had to consider. 

Choosing between long-term and supply

It is hard to decide between long term and supply work, and the final decisions rests on what you expect out of your work day.  I truly understand this; I recently was struggling with this and finally made my decision.  Here are some of the things I was considering, and the best way is to write two lists.  The advantages of supply work include:

  • Flexibility: you can take that long weekend trip that all of your friends are excited about.  That means no work on Friday (I suppose you could live with that!)
  • No planning:  Of course, you need to have some lesson plan ideas handy in case something falls through, but at the end of the day you finish your marking and go home.  You don’t need to worry about what lesson the students will be working on the following day.
  • A fresh start each day: if you had a hard day with a class, you leave at the end of the day and know that tomorrow is a new day.
  • You get to meet lots of new people:  This includes staff and students.
  • You learn a lot!  I believe that each person should start off doing supply work.  You get to travel from school to school and learn tips from various teachers (as well as see things that you know that you don’t want to include in your own room when you have it!)  and also learn about different set ups of schools

However, at the same time, long-term work offers enticing possibilities as well . . .

  • Consistency: you know that every day of the term that there could possibly be work, you will be working.  This also leads to having larger pay checks as well since you are always working and also make more doing a long term.
  • Get to know a class really well:  when you go into a classroom just for one day, you never know what to expect.  Working long term allows you to get to know a group of students extremely well.  You want to see them succeed and can see this occur over the long term.
  • Curriculum:  you get a very in depth understanding of curriculum
  • The future: having your own classroom looks great on a resume, and you quickly build ties with your overhead staff.
  • Support: You get to know your fellow staff well and are given more support with planning and generating knowledge about the education system.  They take you under their wing and teach you things you otherwise would not have been able to learn.
  • Relationships: you get to know your fellow staff very well.  They are there to support you, and you in turn get to help them out

There are some things that are both good and bad about long terms depending on how you look at it.  You are extremely busy.  I recently took over a long term and have absolutely loved it.  I am so busy, but I personally love being busy.  I am in the building at 7:45 each morning and leave at 6, and then sometimes go home and lesson plan until bed time.  It depends on the day, and if you are just starting out.  

Eventually you get into the rhythm of things and get a good understanding of the curriculum so that you do not have to look things up as you are planning.  As well, it is a challenge!  It depends how much you want to challenge yourself.  Supply work is great, but I eventually I grew bored with all of my extra time and wanted to keep evolving as a teacher and see what I could do.  It depends on what you want, what you are ready for, and what works personally for you.  Both have advantages and disadvantages, and my advice is to do whatever has you satisfied and happy at the end of the day. 

Did you find Lauren's blog helpful? Take a vote on the choice between long-term and daily supply here

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Tags: LaurenK, Canada, LondonSouth, Surrey, Canadian-trained, overseas, choices, opportunities, long-term, short-term, daily, supply, decisions

Category: Australian Teachers


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