Back on Supply

Okay it’s week three into the new school year and and I’m back on supply. To be honest I was little worried that things wouldn’t kick in until closer to October so I’m quite pleased to be back working. I’ve done 2 days so far and it’s pretty grim, the teachers are still stressed out, the students are still rebelling against the rules and everyone counting down the weeks until half term.

The staff room is always an interesting place to be as quite often no one speaks to the supply teacher. You’re new. You’re different. Very few say hi. But as a supply teacher you get to listen…I have listened to many conversations. Some of them highly inappropriate to be discussed in a school environment but as a supply teacher I’m practically invisible. When the staff do speak to you, they want to soak up as much information about the other schools I have visited. They want to know if every school is like their school. Are they all in the same boat?

Some schools are really strict and have such strict rules to follow, some are like sinking ships where the children rule the school and the teachers are simply holding on for dear life. These are the schools I spend the most time in as a supply teacher. The teachers are feeling worn out already – in week 3!

I know that some people reading this will think that teachers have an easy life, we have all those holidays and finish at 3.30. And yes there are lots of perks but when you are constantly being scrutinized, the goal posts keep moving and the government use your livelihood as a bargaining chip for the country it can get very stressful.  I am not a very political person, but I do know that if you put someone in charge of education who knows nothing about education, things are bound to get a chaotic.

Being on supply definitely has it perks. I was speaking to another teacher on supply today and he’s being doing in for 10 years. Completely by choice. He doesn’t want work full time in a school and he’s quite okay with not getting paid during the holidays. Could this be my future in teaching? Who knows?


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