Post 21: Tuesday 17 January 2017.
I was supposed to be in a school yesterday (see post 20) but had a bit of a disaster over the weekend at home when my roof sprang a leak and water was pouring into the bedroom from the rain. I had to cancel the school and spent Monday (from 4am!) waiting for a roofer to come whilst I emptied containers of water scattered across the room. It finally got sorted and I was able to resume work today in a school which was pre-booked. It was the school where I covered Year 3 for 2 weeks over Christmas. Today I was in Reception.
The Reception class are lovely. It helps that there are only 19 children, but there are 3 classes (and nursery) so there is a busy atmosphere. I was covering a teacher who was doing training in school. We have met before and she had the information set up for me and I felt that I could just get on with things without asking too many questions. Unfortunately there were several members of staff absent so there were other supply staff in as well as regular staff being pulled out at times for the training. I didn’t feel at all stressed though and we got on with things fine.
In the morning session, as well as teaching phonics and Maths I was based in the snack zone. This meant I had to make toast for the children as and when they wanted it. I had a steady stream of children lining up to ask for toast with butter, toast with jam, toast with butter AND jam…..Busy busy, but lots of opportunities to chat with the children. In the afternoon I was based inside and outside and used Tapestry on an iPad to make observations.
I also got a chance to chat to the other supply teachers. They were from different agencies to me and it’s always interesting to hear different accounts of how their companies work. For instance, I was told that one agency guaranteed payment to the teacher if they couldn’t get work that day (£70 – not to be sniffed at); the catch being that on this contract they were not allowed to turn work down if it was offered, so they may get a school or year group they didn’t want. The pay scale varied wildly between them too which is a bit alarming, especially if schools are using cheaper agencies than mine. This is even without the acknowledgement that surely we should all be on a regular pay scale….?? For now I am happy to stay with the single agency rather than split myself between the 2 which is what these ladies today were doing. As long as I get plenty of work!