So I headed into the big wide world of supply with a good academic year contract if I want it, but I’ve discovered something about teaching, it’s not always what you imagine it is going to be. You think that your performance and subject specialist knowledge count for something when really it’s mainly about being able to fulfil a contract and your skills will be moulded to suit a vacancy as long as you fulfill the main requirements of the post.
So here I am teaching French and it’s good, it’s really good. I’ve had to brush up a bit on my own grammar and have been thankful to all of those French friends who kept me engaged in delightful conversation over the years. I never thought of this as my ‘thing’ and never thought I’d want to teach at this level but I am loving it.
The money is not to be sneezed at and when you weigh up all things you kind of come out with a decent gross annual pay which would put a newly qualified solicitor and doctor to shame and is touching up there on consultancy rates, so that’s another good point and of course you can either continue in supply or look for something permanent, up to you… the money is alluring for some positions (especially those where there is a shortage so if you are able to teach in one of those go for it) and I’d take longish or short term contracts with periods of unemployment where I can spend all that lovely dosh over full time permanent drudge any day.
So I guess teaching is about pushing those boundaries and taking opportunities, at the end of the day you are sharing knowledge and if you’ve got to my age and studied as much as I have you have enough knowledge and pieces of paper to back it up to teach a whole range of subjects. Being a good teacher is knowing how to pass on information, it’s about rapport building and effective communication, good management of people and confidence, the specialist knowledge flows, if all of the other elements are in place.
This will fund me through my masters too and set me up for when it’s time to move on at last. I really hate that our move had been delayed so many times but things seem to be right, the decision is made and then a little voice pipes up as he gets cold feet, just a year and a bit to go and we’re out of here.
Now it seems that the delay wasn’t such a bad thing. I like flexibility, it was my method of working of choice before I had responsibilities and I love the way you never become complacent or settled and are always kept on your toes and also you never have time to become bored which is the most important thing. It builds skills and forces a development of self, of subject specialism and of all those other associated teaching skills.