Relief Teaching Decisions

Relief TeachingYou have critical decisions to determine what type of relief teacher you want to be.

You can of course make no decision and just go with the flow and accept anything and everything that is offered.

However, unless you keep your relief teaching resources in a semi-trailer, you probably need to decide your relief teaching parameters.



Relief Teaching at Select Schools V All schools


Relief Teaching is in big demand in some schools. There are many areas, like where I live, where there are simply not enough relief teachers to fill the relief teaching vacancies. There are many relief teachers who select the school for which they will be available and reject others. If you limit your availability, there are advantages and disadvantages you need to consider.



    •  Schools usually have a loyalty to relief teachers who are loyal to their school. Relief teachers who select only one or two schools might find they are offered relief teaching vacancies FIRST. Most of the time they will receive a personal call from school even when school use agencies. ( Of course all schools should be using ClassCover any way You are registered on ClassCover aren't you?)
    • You develop a relationship with the kids, the teachers, the staff and often times the parents. I do 90% of my relief teaching in the one school - in fact I do 90% of my relief teaching in 4 of the classes in that one school. If you go down this path you get to know the kids and there is a consistency when you are there.
    • Kids challenge relief teachers who visit one day and are never seen again. They are much less likely to challenge a relief teacher if they know YOU will be back.


Teaching is about relationships. You need to build relationships in your schools.
  • Schools who have special funding for special projects (as mentioned above) like to select from relief teachers they know can do the job. If you happen to be that person, well lucky you. These short-term continuous contracts run the course of their budget, but often, another opportunities arises.
  • If you select schools, you could select those with whom you feel an affiliation. This could include an affinity with the school culture, the school ethos, the type of principal, the teachers on staff. You can select anything which makes you more comfortable at those schools. There is nothing worse than being at an open plan school if your preference is for single classrooms.



    • You could get less work. Teachers take on an average of 7.5 days off each year. They are issued with 10 sick days per year. Obviously some take considerably more. But if you work at 7.5 days per year you can do a quick calculation on the days available. In my case, I do relief teaching for 8 class x 7.5 = 60 days per year. More than I want but is it more than you want? If so then you need to widen your base and select more schools.
    • You could well select a school where NO vacancies occur. That would be bad luck. If you are after a full time job you NEED some one to leave. Some school have a really high retention of staff, so there is almost not vacancies. That is OK if you just want relief teaching but not good if you want a full time teaching job.
    • This strategy can lead to FEAST or FAMINE. Schools in the same area generally need relief teachers at the same time. PD happens at the same time. Illness (particularly 'flu) happens at the same time.


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