Friday, June 18, 2010

Miss Owen the Relief Teacher!

I thought seeing as in just under 4 months time I will no longer be Miss Owen, that I thought I’d dedicate this post to my teaching and give you an insight into what I do for work.

My job as a relief teacher is to be on call for when full time teachers are away sick or have personal development days. I am registered with a company called TRACER (Teacher Relief and Contract Employment Register) with my contact details and schools that I can travel to for work. Most of the time (unless I get a longer contract or a pre-booking) I get a phone called between 6am – 7:30am offering me work and letting me know which school and grade I can teacher that day. I am a fully qualified school teacher so I can teacher from prep to Year 7 (really all the way to year 10 but I wouldn’t) and I can also take specialist lessons like music, PE, language etc. I’ve also been called on to fill in for non-contact teachers in schools before.

The Good things

- I can be very flexible with my hours. I can take as much or as little of the work I am offered.
- It’s never a boring job. I always have a different class or year level. I’ve also taught PE, Italian and taken non-contact classes too. I had a full term of work in 2008 where my job was to teach 4 different classes part time.

- Relief teaching is brilliant pay! I would only have to work 2 days a week to make the equivalent of what I would as a full time teacher. So more than 2 days a week is a lot of money! (It’s hard to get work though)

- I can pick and choose which schools I’d like to teach at and hope they call me for relief

- I don’t work full time, 5 days a week. On average (without contracts) I work 1 day a week throughout the year. I would like to do more though.

The Bad Stuff

- I’m not sure what or where I will be each day so can never plan ahead to do stuff on days off.

- I’m waked up at 6am by phone calls from TRACER. And when I’m not I still wake up thinking I’ve heard the phone.

- Classes are a whole lot more difficult to deal with when you’re just there for one day and you’re a different teacher to usual. You have to have very good behaviour management skills to deal with them.

- Most relief days are a bit if not very confusing. You don’t know all of the school rules, the teachers routines and if you are even in the right area. You have to be willing to ask A LOT of questions and think of things you need to know in advance.

- Seeing as relief teaching pays so well, there are quite a lot of relief teachers out there so work can be pretty hard to get. First term is usually very little work. (You’re lucky if you even get one day.) Term 2 and 3 are the busiest and term 4 slows down a little bit.

In the Future

I’ve been doing relief teaching now for 3 years and whilst it’s a pretty easy job (most of the time anyway) I’d really like to work full time or even part time at just one school. Getting full time work as a teacher isn’t very easy but hopefully one day it will happen at a school I enjoy and can settle into.

I actually really enjoy school teaching but do find the whole uncertainly of relief very stressful. I’m praying for full time and do have a school in mind that I’d love to work at!