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Long Term vs Supply

We have two bloggers named Samantha! Samantha is a Canadian trained teacher who works with our Newcastle branch. In her debut blog, she shares how she came to the decision of supply teaching over a long-term teaching role. 

I was still at home, 3,400 miles and a few months from life over here in Newcastle, when I had to decide on whether I’d rather long-term or supply. To be honest, my first thought was that long-term would be preferable – we’re all familiar with the stereotype of kids messing with supply teachers, for one thing. Maybe some of us even were the supply-teacher nightmares back in the day (not me, of course; I was a model student, at one hundred per cent all times. You believe me).

Beyond that, supply teaching has this kind of stigma attached to it, especially back home. Two-thirds of new teachers in Ontario are unable to find full-time work; fully 24% are unemployed. If you somehow manage to climb onto a supply list somewhere, you’re lucky – but you’ll still need another job, because you’ll get nowhere near enough work to survive on. I spent my first eighteen months out of teacher’s college working four different jobs, none of which were teaching. You take what you can get, though; given the cost of an education nowadays, you can’t afford not to work full-time to pay off your debts. More and more new teachers in Ontario are drifting out of the field of education altogether, or they’re doing what I did and going elsewhere for work.

All of this means that when I saw the opportunity for long-term, it seemed like a golden opportunity because long-term is unheard of for someone at my age and experience in Ontario.

Two-thirds of new teachers in Ontario are unable to find full-time work; fully 24% are unemployed

The decision that I ended up coming to, though, was based on some pretty decent advice from my dad and some of the folks at Protocol Education. Because I essentially haven’t taught in a classroom in nearly two years, I’m out of practice. What better way to get back into it than to teach a range of kids in a range of schools? Additionally, I was unfamiliar with the curriculum over here; supply teaching generally gives you a little more room to learn all about it at different age-levels, especially since some teachers leave pre-planned lessons for you. Lastly, and this is important: You get to teach at a number of different schools and meet a number of different teachers and head teachers, so that eventually you’ll have an easier time deciding where you want to work long-term.

On a final note, this is handy – if you don’t know your way around a strange city, there’s no better way to learn than having to sort out your way to different schools! I even gave someone directions the other day on the metro – presumably they asked because I was one of two people without headphones in, but I like to think I’m starting to look like a native (an illusion quickly ruined when I opened my mouth and out spilled a collection of Canadian colloquialisms – “So, like, if you give’r right now, you can get the train on platform three. You know where that is, eh?”). Still - supply-teaching! Who knew?

Making the choice between long-term and supply can be tough. We have several bloggers who have addressed this issue:

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Tags: SamanthaP, Newcastle, Canadian-trained, long-term, supply, choices, decisions, opportunities

Category: Australian Teachers


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