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Making the Decision Between Long-Term and Supply

Meg is a New Zealand trained teacher who has recently arrived in the UK and is a supply teacher in London with Protocol Education. Meg has made the decision to take on a long-term role for the summer term. In her latest blog, she explains why. 

Making the decision between Long-Term and Supply

Long term or supply? Commitment or live each day as it comes? This is entirely up to you. Many friends I have met along the way have their preferences for varying reasons. I was a supply teacher for 5 weeks when I first arrived in the UK; I took any class and any school as I wanted the work. I never got any work in the last few days of the school term which can be hard on the pocket when you have two weeks of holidays afterwards. Most agencies, won’t guarantee you the last week of term either.

A great way to spend one of your days off, get out and explore. 

This was an experience I would never change, been a primary trained teacher meant that I could teach from Nursery to year 6. I preferred KS2 but usually ended up in KS1. The best way to look at this is, it is all experience. If you really struggled with a class or didn’t enjoy the experience, you could sigh and think I never have to come back to this school, or class again, bring on 3:30! Another positive to supply is if you want that day off, ring your agency and let them know you can’t make it, they usually are pretty flexible. Most days I was booked in a day or two in advance which was nice as I knew where I was going, not always the case for some agencies or teachers. I have more than one agency that I work for which makes life pretty interesting, picking out what school or who you are going to work with. One agency I worked with paid better, so I usually picked them if I could!

The key to success in a day’s supply is to get to know your TA’s, this can be difficult if they don’t speak a lot of English, or don’t want to know you! Usually they are very obliging, share their knowledge and run the class better than you. Another key tip is learning about 4 student’s names. My key to success here is pick out the students names that I can pronounce and won’t have 5 students yelling at me saying “you said it wrong it’s ………..” this can get very frustrating, dam Kiwi accent! Note words with an E sound can be quite difficult, e.g. pen, and Meg, does not help that my first name is Meg, Starbucks and I have great difficulty when asked for my name, I have tried Megan (I am just Meg, but thought I’d give it a go) instead of Megan they wrote Miriam, so from now on in, I am now my sister, say hello to Kate, no E sounds, works a treat!

However supply can have its downsides, I have just signed up to a summer term contract. The reasons for this are, I missed the relationship with the students, the staff can be very rude on supply, you are doing well if you get “ya right miss?” and that will be it all day. Yes I am nervous for the amount of work I have signed up for, but 11 weeks of secured work, from the day I finish one Topdeck tour until the day I start the next, on a better pay rate and all, I thought I would give it a go.

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Tags: Meg, London, New-Zealand-trained, London, long-term, supply, challenges, choices, commitment

Category: Australian Teachers


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