This year I worked part-time and was booked for the 3 days a week that I was available.
Did you get enough work?
Yes, I’ve been lucky to always have lots of work between two schools.
What is the craziest thing that has happened to you while teaching?
Probably the time when my jeans split up the back, completely! I was not wearing appropriate underwear for my pants to be splitting, luckily it was a cold day and I pulled my knitted jumper down to cover my backside while I ran to my car to find a spare pair of pants!
What do you love about Relief Teaching?
The flexibility would have to be number one! Also getting to know all of the children in a school when you work there regularly and seeing what works well in all of the classrooms you visit.
What do you hate about Relief Teaching?
Not having holiday pay or your own classroom to retreat to! Lugging around some resources and not finding the resources you would like within a classroom for the day.
Would you prefer to have your own class? Why/why not?
This year I was happy to be casual and not have the extra responsibilities that go with a class position as it takes 100% commitment. I am ready for the challenge next year and looking forward to having my own space and having routine.
Is teaching what you thought it would be?
Some days yes and some days no. I didn’t think about how much behaviour management would be involved. I think I had my delusional sunglasses on in university when I thought it would just be creating fun learning experiences for children. LOL! The good outweighs the bad though.
If you could magically change the education system, what would you do?
I would change the recruitment system where schools have more power to employ their regular casuals as permanent employees!
Do you do anything on the side to supplement your wage?
This year I studied digital media and used those skills to create a teacher planner. I named it Indi Plans which is named after my dog Indie who is my fur baby. The idea was originally for relief teachers but I ended up making a class teacher and relief teacher version as I know a lot of teachers on class who would love it too! I saw a gap in the market for functional planners that were pretty and suited a casual. Such as bell times and school contacts as opposed to parent/student contact details which aren’t needed when you are a casual and a place to keep track of all of your websites etc. I think it turned out well.
What is your morning routine when waiting for the call?
If I don’t have work pre-booked, I assume I am having a sleep in unless I receive a call. I would then jump out of bed and get ready. I am usually able to plan a days work on the spot so I’m not too fussed about having anything organised beforehand. I guess I’m also lucky I don’t have children to organise so my mornings may be a little easier than others! It also means no disappointment if the phone doesn’t ring.
Do you deal well with the uncertainty of supply work?
I am looking forward to the financial stability for next year. It does get stressful around this time of year with no money coming in and finding casual school holiday work!
Your one tip for Relief Teachers
Stick with schools that appreciate you and make you feel a part of the team. Have an app, list or book full of lesson ideas ready to go that require no resources. Kelly’s book is a great start!