I've officially done 17 days of primary school supply teaching now, so I thought I'd reflect on what I've learned so far.
Turns out, its possible to teach with hand and neck tattoos. I get asked a lot about this on social media, but its been largely unspoken of at school. The caveat to this is that I've only been to two schools - I just kept being rebooked by the same places. I have no doubt that some schools refused me, of which I'm blissfully unaware, but it's clear that its not impossible. One school was a church school (I attended weekly church with them 3 times), and the other a regular primary.
I've also been asked a lot about my changing hair (otherwise known as my wig collection), and as you can see from my supply teaching selfies, I rocked my hair as usual. The kids ask, I tell them, and then they like to tell me if they especially like one. They ask why, and I either ask why they were their clothes, or just because I like to.
I've been reminded that I'm willing to throw myself into things. I taught nursery, despite having never having stepped foot in a nursery classroom since I was in nursery myself. I've been in nursery, reception, year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Which has been great for expanding my school experience. I qualified in 2007, and taught for a few years, before launching Rockalily in 2011. So it's been a long time since I've been in the classroom!
I was surprised at how, even on day 1, it almost felt like I'd never really left at all. I can notice some of the newer curriculum changes (definitely hating the new literacy, and have many questions about the new maths) but generally teaching is just teaching.
It's been nice, that even in a short time, I feel part of a community. Parents stop and talk to me at the end of the day, and I'm part of a staff team (as a business owner you can often feel lonely). The same frustrations are still there; children who can't behave during class, children who steal our learning time from us. Classrooms that are too small and too stuffy to comfortably house 30 children and the accompanying adults in.
I've had better days, and worse days. I mean, it is called work and not play, and teaching is especially focused on the 'work' part of that phrase. Unlike when I worked in an office, you get almost zero 'down time'. No ten minute chat with a colleague, or an hour doing something a little more peaceful with your headphones on. No going to the toilet when you need to. It's full on, all of the time. But there are certainly worse ways to earn a living.
I only take prebooked supply work, I'm not up for waking up at 6am, waiting for the phone to ring, so I've been lucky to stumble into two school that have kept me basically booked 4-5 days a week. I'm now booked for the next two weeks, still at the same school, and then I'm off on my holiday to Spain!