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Do as I say, don't do as I do...

Miranda is a Primary Supply Teacher working in schools  through Protocol Education in Manchester. When it comes to working through school holidays for some extra cash, do as she says, not as she does!

Having just mailed off a blog extolling the virtues of the long summer holidays for teachers, now I’m here, and I’ve been caught out by a two-week half-term, I’m feeling the Dolite blues.

The great thing about supply teaching is that you can, if you are canny (and I’m not), play it for extra weeks. If where you live crosses council borders you can take advantage of different holiday times. Where one area has its Easter or half-term holiday at a different time to another you can make yourself ubiquitously available until the bitter end of both terms. Yes you’ll have fewer holidays but your earning potential will be so much more. We’re talking about a few extra hundred in the pocket. A tidy sum for taking a sneaky mid-term long weekend away.. . Or am I, Dear Taxpayer, just one of the workshy slugabed masses David Cameron has been repeatedly trying to warn you about?

I’ve found that working the extra weeks can take the heat off at times when the phone doesn’t ring for work.  When I’m available to teach and don’t get work, I dither between a feeling of wondrous Baker Day Bliss (as ever, you will know what I’m talking about if you are over 30) and the Dolite blues. On a Baker Day Bliss day,  like today, I might head out to the hills with an O.S map, Mars bars and my baby in a backpack (one of those ones specially designed for walking with babies – please don’t call social services). 

On a Dolite blues day, Mars Bars are also involved, but I’m more likely to be gorging on episodes of Mad Men on Sky Atlantic while bursting into placatory verses of Five Little Ducks every few minutes. Try doing this when you’re not concentrating. It can be very tricky. You start out with five ducks, one goes over the hills and far away and somehow there are seven left in the pond. How did that happen? 

So what I’ve done this week, I’m afraid dear reader, is quite the opposite of my advice to the on-the-make supply teacher about town.  Having discovered that my area has two weeks off for half-term, I ranted and moaned about loss of earnings. After realising I could work further afield in the second week I cheered up. After squandering days of my holiday I found that I didn’t want to go back to school after all. After deciding that my child/partner/tomato plants/Don Draper off Mad Men needed me at home, I made myself unavailable for work. After deciding this, I began to feel uneasy, lazy, guilty and poor.

Do as I say, don’t do as I do – a nicely apt motto for the 21st century pedagogic instructress, surely.   

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Tags: Miranda, Primary Schools, Primary Teacher, Teach in Manchester, Holidays, Protocol Education

Category: Australian Teachers

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