Thursday, 27 March 2014

Tis the season to be a Maths Teacher!

Tis the season to be a maths teacher tra lalalalalalala

Thinking back to last summer when I first took a step off of the teaching treadmill in search of something more flexible, I was nervous. Would I find work?  Would there be enough work for me?

Well it turns out there is!

There is a national shortage of maths teachers, really there always has been, but at the moment, with teachers leaving the profession in large numbers, this has been made far worse.

It is not unheard of, in these unhappy times, for a whole department to leave a school at the end of a term.

This gave me a long term placement from September through to Christmas. Over Christmas I began to get nervous again but as term started, the phone calls began and I found myself on 'day to day' supply - one of those placements could have been long term if I hadn't been going to India. I could have been working 5 days a week if wanted.

Back from India and I found myself in another long term placement, hopefully until mid-June when the GCSE exam is.  I've been brought in as one of two extra teachers enabling the school to have class sizes as low as 5 for their year 11s - they really do want them to pass!

I also managed to bag myself a bit of teaching at a 6th form college - one of Gove's ideas is for kids to carry on studying maths until they are 18. Colleges aren't set up for this so are having to pull in extra staff.  Unfortunately the kids weren't so keen on Gove's plan, and low turn out meant that my classes got cancelled and I was officially made redundant after just 3 weeks!

But that's not all - I've been given some tutoring work through the Supply Agency too.  School's get extra money to support kids who are in care, one school locally have decided to spend that money on tutors.  I've got one kid at the moment, but there has been talk of a second.

Last summer, I went through some training to do online tutoring.  That company stopped trading but one of the tutors has set up on his own and got in contact to see if I could run a course for some year 6 students.  I had to say no as it was at a time I was already working.

So at the moment work is all good.  I am definately employed up until mid-June when the exams are but I suspect there will be less call for supply after that and obviously nothing in August!  A couple of exam boards have been in touch though, I've got a contract with one (but no guaranteed work), and waiting to hear from the other, so hopefully I'll make it through to September and I can start all over again!

I haven't written this post to show off or anything like that.  Supply teaching doesn't pay anywhere near as well as a permanent job.  If I was working full time I would be £6000 worse off a year doing supply.  Plus I don't get any benefits from agency work.  But teachers are choosing this route as the only way to get a work life balance that works.  As their only option to keep healthy.  A friend told me recently that she was going to take early retirement and work as supply.  She is leaving her 'proper' job because, well, for the same reason everyone else is - its just a bit shit at the moment in teaching.  Apparently, reading my personal posts on Facebook was part of her decision process.  

So that's why I wrote this post. I'm not showing off.  I'm not saying the grass is greener.  But I am saying its ok out here!


  1. Good to read your story :) maths was never my strong point but it seems you've got the talent to do magic with numbers AND the talent to teach others too :) good luck with your endeavours :)

  2. Glad you're keeping in work. I always assumed that supply paid better than permanent to make up for the lack of benefits and security.

    1. I think it used to be but its an open market and subject to supply and demand - demand had fallen as schools are now allowed to employ cover supervisors (non-qualified adults) to cover missing teachers for 'unplanned' absences. However, demand is starting to rise again as teachers are leaving the profession and schools can't find teachers to replace them!

  3. So glad to hear that you are in work and hopefully it will continue for you. Thanks for linking up to #madmidweekbloghop


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...