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Better work-life balance

Name: Manuella Moncuit

Age: 36

Specialism: I graduated with a degree in Law and French and completed my PGCE in Languages at Sheffield University in 2001. I teach mostly French and Spanish at Secondary level but I have had a mix of assignments including primary and other subjects.

PK education office: South Yorkshire

How long have you worked as a teacher?
I’ve been working as a teacher ever since I qualified in 2001. I hadn’t particularly intended on being a teacher until my last year of university. I was thinking of possible careers I could go into, and remembered that as a child I used to pretend to be a teacher when playing with my teddy bears. I’d line them up, and use a pretend blackboard to tell them what to do – that’s when I realised I was destined to be a teacher!

I completed my PGCE at Sheffield University, and as soon as I qualified I gained a permanent job.

What do you love about teaching?
I know it sounds clichéd, but I love teaching. I love being able to stand in front of a class who know nearly nothing of another language and by the end of the lesson they can introduce themselves, and hold a conversation in another language.

What made you turn to supply teaching as a career?
After 12 years of working as a permanent teacher, I felt too much emphasis was being put on paperwork and box ticking exercises to impress Ofsted. Teaching was constantly being pushed to the bottom of my To Do list, and I just couldn’t keep doing it.

Teaching isn’t a normal 9 – 5 career. You care about the children you’re teaching and you want to help them have the best experience of education as possible, so you put your all into it all of the time.

I was being taken away from my love of teaching in the classroom whilst I was at work, and when I was at home couldn’t give my full attention to my two year old daughter Maisie. So, in order to focus on what I actually loved to do – teaching, I became a supply teacher.

How long have you worked with PK education?
I’ve been working with PK education since September 2013. I started getting assignments straight away, and since October I’ve been assigned every day. I chose to sign up with them after they were recommended to me. Because I knew they had relationships with local schools to me, I knew I wouldn’t have to travel too far to get work.

I’m currently working at Armthorpe Academy. I’ve become quite a regular there which is lovely. One thing about supply teaching is the satisfaction you get when asked to return and when you get to become familiar with the classes.

Did you have any preconceptions about supply teaching?
I did worry that I’d be treated differently as I wasn’t necessarily at the same school every day. But if anything I feel like I get welcomed more from teachers because I’m a supply teacher. Many teachers that I come across are surprised at how much work I do get and how much I’m loving what I’m doing. A good majority of them ask about how to get in to supply teaching. I think a lot of teachers, especially those that are Mums, are realising that there is another option.

What kind of assignments have you had?
I’ve had a real variety of assignments. Most have matched my specialism allowing me to do my job well. Although, I do enjoy the days that I have a variety, I’ve been in on days where I’ve taught science, English, German, and even primary which were all great.

How has supply teaching helped you?
I can wholeheartedly say that becoming a supply teacher has been the best thing for my family. Supply teaching means that I can still focus on teaching, the thing I love to do, and still come home at a reasonable time to be with my daughter.

Do you have any advice to teachers who are feeling disillusioned in the profession?
I’d definitely recommend moving into supply teaching for people who are feeling the same as I did. In fact I always do recommend that people look into becoming a supply teacher. For now supply teaching is great for me and I’ve had no problematic experiences that have put me off.