Well I'm back from Australia (which you'll get to see in the next post), and as the skool year here started while I was away that means it is time to get back to work.
Meaning my first step was to go around town to every single skool and let them know I was back in town. Why you might ask? Well it is one of the quirks of being in a different country.
Relief teaching in New Zealand is a lot different that the institution of substitute teaching in North America that I'm more familiar with. In NA, skools are all part of a unified board, and it is this central agency that deploys substitutes wherever they are needed.
Not here in NZ. Back in the 80's they pseudo privatized their skools, and dissolved all the country's boards. Meaning that though each skool is centrally funded by the federal government, otherwise they are their own self sustaining and administrating entities. Meaning it is up to each skool to acquire their own substitute teachers.
Now there are two ways a relief teacher such as myself can get myself covering gigs. One is through the Dunedin pool. A rather cunning individual in Dunedin saw a entrepeneurial opportunity in this lack of a central substitute organization, and so set themself up as a free market version of what a skool board normally does. We relievers sign up into the pool, and then when a skool contacts the pool we are sent if available. The relieving pool does a great job, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Afterall it was what got me going in the beginning of my relieving career.
However I've found that if I got my name out beyond the pool, I got more work. Skool's will book you for planned teacher absences, and they will even sometimes call you directly if they like you, when a teacher is absent.
Meaning to get myself rolling this year, I spent yesterday doing that tour of Dunedin's skools. Man there is a lot of them! The cool/weird thing is I've worked in 90% of them these days!!!
It is kind of fun getting your name out there, and having to market yourself. I much prefer it to the central organization system in the sense of gauging my performance, as more and more skools contact me directly (meaning they must have liked how I was doing things).
I'm sure there are benefits to a centralized system, but given the rough year the ministry of education gave me last year on my pay I'm not to keen on centralized bureaucracy at moment (as it was the government's fault I was in trouble... the local independent skools were nothing but supportive!)
I guess my only complaint with this job is "phone anticipation" in the morning. If I don't have prebooked days I never know if I'll get THE call or not. So often I'll wake up about 7am regardless if I have work or not, waiting for the phone to ring... even if it never does.
Oh well, it's not that big a worry. I'm stronger than ever in the local skool scene, and had a ton of prebooked days by the time I got home yesterday. Based on the trends of late last year I'm more likely to have to have too many offers rather than worry about a lot of jobless time.
So don't be expecting to much posting out of me, as I'm more busy than ever with work. Which is a nice change of pace...