Heidi Guest explains the pros and cons of her switch from permanent to temporary teaching.
Transitioning from permanent to temporary teaching can be a daunting prospect but I have found it to be a liberating experience. Temporary teaching most certainly has its benefits, including reduction of workload and the opportunity to put all of your energies into teaching.
If you are like me and you enjoy the variety and challenge that teaching brings then there is nothing better than temporary teaching. When I made the decision to resign from my permanent role I did so to start postgraduate studies, but I always knew that I wanted to teach at the same time.
Temporary teaching provides me with the flexibility that I need and I still get to do the job that I absolutely love. The key is to be as flexible as possible and to embrace all of the opportunities that you are given. This kind of role is unique because you get to experience a wide range of schools and you can build up a bank of ideas and strategies that you otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience.
I will be working as a temporary teacher from September and I am excited at the prospect. To prepare myself, I am gathering resources and teaching ideas that I will be able to draw on when I am teaching. I have taught across EYFS, KS1 and KS2 so I have the experience to make being a temporary teacher a rewarding experience.
All of that being said there are things to consider when making this transition. Making this move has financial implications but I feel that this role is significantly different to a full-time teacher and it is for that reason that I feel that temporary teachers are appropriately compensated.
Another thing to consider is how moving from being part of a staff team where you have friends and colleagues to not being part of the staff team in the schools where you end up working can affect you. Being a temporary teacher can be quite lonely – but it doesn’t have to be. There are social events that you can attend and you can connect with fellow teachers through social media. The agency becomes your new team and it’s important to network and make connections whenever you can.
Making the transition from a permanent to a temporary teacher can be unnerving but I feel that it’s ultimately a wonderful thing to do. Remember you have skills as a teacher and by working on a temporary basis you get to make a difference in all of the schools that you end up working in. It’s quite a privilege when you think about it.
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