New Site to help Substitute Teachers
With another year of cutbacks, teaching jobs are scarce again this year. Last year, it was reported that over 1,000 qualified teachers were unemployed. With very few jobs available this year due to the clearing of the panels and the fact that there’s hundreds more teachers just qualified, there’s going to be a lot of people looking for substitute work.
Both the IPPN (Irish Primary Principals Network) and the INTO (Irish National Teachers Organisation) provide some good tools to get substitute work. The IPPN provides a text-a-sub service where teachers can sign up to do work in their locality and when a principal needs a sub, it will automatically send them information about the school. The teacher then rings up the school to offer to work whatever time is needed. The INTO leave the onus of the principals to ring teachers in an equally useful service. Teachers can sign up each fortnight to show their availability. A principal looking for a substitute can search for teachers within a certain radius of their area then ring the teachers within that range.
Many teachers have received short and long term work from sites like these but what do they do when they get there? Most schools are little kingdoms of their own, with their own culture, rules and ways of doing things. However, all schools have many things in common and a new site has been developed by a substitute teacher to help teachers settle into their subbing role quickly.
The web site, Subkit, gives a wonderfully sensible guide to being a substitute teacher in Ireland. It advises teachers about how to start looking for work then gives sound advice when (or if) work is acquired. My favourite piece of advice given was to take any work offered. You just don’t know where one day of subbing could lead.
Subkit also aims to bring substitute teachers together to share resources and give each other support. When there’s a perception out there that teachers have it easy with our permanent jobs and massive pensions, it’s nice to be able to chat to another teacher who will be empathetic and knows that a teacher’s life is not as easy as the media would like to have us believe.
Subkit is in its infancy right now but is well worth a look. There’s a growing collection of resources for the substitute teacher and if you want you can share you’re own too. Subkit can be found at: http://subkit.drupalgardens.com