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Once again, a slow start to the autumn Term. Waiting for the teaching door to open and the journey to begin.

Note to self! Must remember to go away on holiday in September as there is very little supply work about at the beginning of term.

The bus snail trailIn September there are more supply teachers who, unlike myself, might be using supply to take on a permanent or part-time role. It would be the waiting game again for a call in the morning or even a ping on the iPhone app.

Seven o’clock often comes and goes, no work again today. On to other things but who knows if you might get a last-minute call. You just have to be prepared and ready to go.

This is certainly not the job for everyone and certainly not a way to build the bank balance back up after a summer of no bookings.

At last, for me, September started with a half-day booking which could have been turned into a whole day but too late. This morning was a little chaotic with TA uncertainties and resources in other rooms. I muddled through the learning plan despite a late arrival due to traffic chaos. A playground duty meant not being able to sort out the second session. This was one of those days I was glad I was no longer full-time and was glad it was a half day. Maybe supply teaching was no longer for me either I thought.

Wall artA week later and another half-day this time in a different school. Not really sure about half days; checking through my diary I realised I had visited this school over three years ago. This school greeted me with enthusiasm and welcoming smiles. They remembered the bus story and even more spookily a child had met me when I was visiting the local library as an author; and she had loved my book! How nice was that? This was another playground duty day but at least the sun was shining and there was lots of lovely artwork on the playground walls to admire. An assembly meant I could at least get a cup of tea and take a comfort break. I came away with a smile today, I really enjoyed the morning. Who knows whether it might be three more years until I visit again but it certainly was fun.Wall art

Another half-day in year two, this time for an afternoon, in a school I had been to before not that long ago. The sun was shining again and the windmill on the common stood proud against the bright blue sky. I arrived in time for the afternoon and was able to read through the work set. But, sudden changes with a school photographer meant that the timetable would need to adapt and drop the PSHCE lesson. Making sure each child went home safely with their adult and a quick tidy up before leaving.

The windmillAs I left I took a closer look at the beautiful white windmill and the old houses nestled along the lane.Old houses

The days and the weeks ticked by and either I was not quite quick enough on the work app or else no call at all. The booking app continued to ‘ping’ with half days on offer or teaching assistant roles or even playscheme work. It was becoming more frustrating impersonal and annoying, I had to get on with other things, the shame was that every time I had a plan a booking might come. With no personal contact you were left wondering why no booking: Was I too late? Was I not preferred? Was it just the luck of the draw? I did begin to wonder if I should give it all up and began to ignore the 'ping'. When I did eventually get into a school I did enjoy it so for now I would continue.

My next call was a whole day, this time back to the school from a few weeks ago. It was good to at least share a whole day with the class today. At the end of the day as a group went off to the After-School Jay-Jay club it made me giggle, not Jay-Jay the Playbus club, that would have been spooky! The book is in the school somewhere so I hope they have it in the club.

The next booking came with a pleading call the night before, it was a long way to travel but at least I knew where I was going and it was a whole day. The sun was shining as I set off earlier than usual. It took far longer than usual due to traffic hold ups but I eventually arrived, although a little late. But oh dear! it had been a double booking by the agency and I was no longer required. Very disappointing, but at least the sun was shining, my sister lived nearby and the agency would still have to pay some of my expenses. But still a disappointment.Sunflower

The half-term continued with a few more bookings some trickier than others:

Year 6, no planning but a school I knew;

Year 1, an afternoon (oh how I had forgotten how fussy Year 1 can be- with visiting parents wandering the school it was a challenge);

Year 6, clear planning just a tricky place to park;

Then a day as a teaching assistant! (not sure I like that role) an interesting day in at least a school I know;

Year 6, but this turned out to be one of those changes as the afternoon I was sent to Year 3. At least this visit was not with ‘the Beast from the East’ as my last visit. But this time a teacher not an author hat;

Year 1, there were lots of last-minute changes to the planning but a very helpful and supportive teaching assistant. The only problem with this day was that the teacher did the register as the class was hastily dispatched to assembly. Luckily I checked the register on our return as some children were marked here and some absent. Guess who would have got the blame if I had not checked?

Writing diariesThe phone continued to ‘ping’ frustratingly and I began to ignore it. One booking was made only to have a call a little later saying that the school had cancelled it but at least the half -term finally ended with at last a successful booking from the iPhone app!

Then came half term. No work, so what will the next half-term bring?

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