Teaching – My first steps.

I realised that I posted the entry about ordering a new laptop, but hadn’t actually mentioned that I have started teaching on a part time basis. So here is the set up.

About 5 weeks ago, I realised that with this being the last term, and with only about 8 weeks left, that if I took 1 day off per week it would only use 8 days of leave. Now I have a bit stored up with all of the COVID effects this year, so that wouldn’t be a big loss.

I ran the idea past my boss who supported it. I have kept them informed of my ongoing plans to leave so it isn’t a surprise and I am certain that helped getting their support.

Then, apart from the usual bureaucracy that needed to be completed, I started putting my name forward to local schools.

And was immediately taking bookings and turning them down. Many asked me to teach on days I had said that I was not available. Going by the requests, there are a lot of days available as a casual teacher. I could almost have worked full time from pretty much the moment I introduced myself. Amazing.

So far I have worked at two great schools, across a range of classes. Even now, only 5 weeks in, I am seeing a lot of different classes and situations. A large part of my work so far has been just taking a class for a couple of periods with work set for them. This is the easy end. But I’ve done one full day on a class (without planned work) and even been in the situation that I’m sitting in front of the class as the bell rings to start school, creating their task as I’m speaking!

Behaviour management is the most obvious thing to create stress, especially as a casual. There is no chance to build the relationship that the class teachers use to manage. Equally, you don’t know if any of the kids have current issues (autism, language problems, partly deaf….), or even what the dynamics within the class are (X hates Y. D and C are always talking if you sit them together).

I am struggling with it, but not to the point where work isn’t getting done (or rather, lessons are still being taught and reaching the majority of the class). And I am experimenting with different things.

Overall, I am happy with my long term plan and the choice I have made. I am torn between wanting my own class (build relationships, watch the kids develop, create really interesting plans…) and being able to walk away from a class at 3pm and not worry about reporting, discipline, organising resources etc!

At the moment the casual suits. And my boss has made positive noises for letting me do something similar next year, for the entire year.

Now I need to work on making myself available for blocks of days…… “Hey boss! Would it be okay…..”