Today was my first day without work since the beginning of September. I really missed school today, and I don’t like having a day off on a Monday, but then who does I suppose. I realised it was very important to let schools know I am available to work again, so I started with that today. I had planned to drive to at least ten schools to hand in my CV. Instead, I managed three. I got horribly lost, and ended up going the wrong way over a one way bridge on the quays. I had to reverse all the way off the bridge, back into oncoming traffic. It was a lot to take in at ten o clock in the morning. At this point, after such a traumatic experience, I deemed it safer to go home and email my CVs instead. I find inner city schools very difficult to access. Once you find the school, gaining entry into the school building is near impossible.
Anyway, I emailed my CV to many, many schools, and I did two job applications. I then proceeded to clean my car, the apartment, and do some shopping. So overall, having a day off is no harm, because you get lots of little jobs done!
I do feel it is imperative to keep busy if subbing is quiet. One must endeavor to stay positive and busy, busy, busy. It is far too easy to fall into negative self pity if you have a while without work. If you have a few days off, make the most of it.
Here is a list of ten ways for us substitute teachers to keep busy. It is essential to keep a positive frame of mind. Negative thoughts attract negativity, and we don’t want that!
1. Get up early and work from 9-3 as you would on a school day.
2. I personally plan to spend an hour a day on my standard application form. I am sick of looking at it at this stage, but there is always something to improve on, or word in a better way.
3. Email CV’s to all schools within a commutable distance, if you emailed them before, email them again to let them know you are still around.
4. Start researching CPD courses. There are lots of free ones online.
5. Start researching and preparing for interviews. Even if you don’t have one coming up. Research Educate Together schools, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian etc. Research the different posts being advertised, i.e. learning support, resource and mainstream.
6. Research general policies, such as code of behaviour, bullying etc.
7. Stay on top of events taking place in education, changes being implemented and so on.
8. Start researching and saving posts from Education Posts. The amount of information on that site is second to none.
9. Ensure you have resources gathered for subbing. Be it your Prim-Ed’s The Relief Teacher Toolkit , powerpoints, or laminated pictures for discussions, have it all ready to go.
10. Volunteering is always an option, but I am hesitant to commit to it, in case I am offered work for that day and end up letting the school down. Running an after school club is another option, but again, most of these start at 2:30. If you were subbing in a school 40 minutes away, you would end up being late. It sounds like a great idea in theory, and I would absolutely love to run a club in the local school, but realistically, you risk being late and looking tardy, which wouldn’t impress a principal!If however, a principal is willing to take you on an ad hoc basis, it would definitely be a good way of getting into a school.
11. Go to Tiger and spend money on ridiculous but essential ‘school supplies’ like these:
Keep your eyes peeled for bargains too!
Obviously it goes without saying to have interests outside of teaching to keep you busy, but I am sure everyone has these and I don’t need to give advice on that area! These are merely tips to help you focus on work and teaching, which is what I will do from 9-2:30.
Good luck everyone, here’s hoping November will be busy!