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Marketing Yourself

How to Get Work as a Teacher

If you have decided to look for work privately - as an independent freelancer - then you need to get busy hunting for bookings.

Many supply teachers join the local council LEA ‘supply pool’ and mistakenly sit around expecting a phone call offering work.  This is wrong.  The LEA supply pool is simply a list of teachers that the council have vetted and to whom have provided a pay-role number.  They do not find the work for you!

The first thing you need is a good current C.V.  It needn't be lengthy - just a page detailing your experience, qualifications and a brief statement selling your philosophy of teaching will be enough to create a snapshot of you - and identify you as a teaching professional.  

The next thing you need to do is spread the good news that you are available!

Try to canvass local schools in person.  It is a good idea to phone up and ask for an appointment with the head teacher in order to introduce yourself in the flesh.  The next best option is to turn up at a convenient time (between 1-3pm is recommended) and speak to the receptionist (it is usually the office staff that actually organise the supply cover).  Be charming, polite and professional.  Hand over your C.V. and let them know when you are available. 

Another approach would be to email local schools with your C.V. and a quick covering message introducing yourself. Look up your local schools on a program like Google Maps. Gathering the Email addresses is pretty straightforward.  Most schools have an online presence - check out their website for a contact address.  If in doubt you will find all schools have an 'admin@***************.county.sch.uk ' address.  Here's a tip: If you have ever received a circular from an agency contacting local schools (maybe if you have been a full-timer in the recent past) simply copy and paste the CC addresses to the 'send to' list on your message.

If you do the above, I assure you that you will get some interest from schools.  In my experience it is not unusual to get an immediate booking simply by meeting the head or office supervisor and gaining their approval.

Remember, it will do you no harm at all to make a follow-up phone call to schools you have visited or contacted, just to 'touch base'.

Finally - whether working through an agency or on your own initiative you must not miss the opportunity to get the children on-side.  If the day goes well (and why shouldn't it - you're great!) request them to tell their normal teacher / head teacher / parents and schoolmates that they would like you to come back.  An endorsement from the children themselves, particularly a tricky class, will practically guarantee a return booking


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