Loads! Eight weeks to go and I'm worked off my bloody feet.
I still do not have a permanent job but after over 40 applications and 6 failed interviews I finally hit lucky and got offered a full time (temporary) job till end of the school year. That was back in February. So what with my two month contract before Christmas, lots of single days and and now this, I reckon I will have worked about 150 days (of 195) as a Supply teacher this school year.
My applications certainly got smarter, if not better. I use a generic one which I always tweak depending on the school's Improvement plan, their HMIE report or anything unique from their website. Just be super careful not to leave the wrong school name in!! Once I have my foot in the door I generally fail the interview (apart from one obviously) but I was definitely getting closer. The trouble is you never know if you are up against any 'incumbents'. At one interview I found out I was up against a supply teacher who had been in and out of that school on long term supply contracts for four years. I had no chance!! Although I was failing interviews, on two separate occasions someone from the panel liked me enough to contact me soon after with offers of long stretches of supply work.
If you have thick skin get the feedback. Some I got was so good, and constructive, it virtually secured my success at my final interview. Some was so poor I had to bite my tongue. How's this for an example:-
Interview question: In your opinion what defines a good school?
Foolishly I warbled on about the safety, happiness and motivation of children. The answer they were looking for referred to having a good 'mission statement'. I am so glad I didn't get that job or that my daughter didn't go there!
The admin is so shambolic that every week I get texts, emails, phonecalls asking if I can work at schools even though I am registered with one school till the end of the year. I can only assume they are severely understaffed. The alternative does not bear thinking about.
And finally, I was not selected for the 'pool' interview for the 2012-13 council jobs. I assume I mucked up the new-style application form, which was a blow, although no feedback is available. I was gutted but no matter, there is plenty work available and to be honest I probably stand more chance building my own reputation in schools across the council.
Maybe one day I will be that person you are up against in interview, but without knowing it you will have no chance. Your perfectly rehearsed answers about mission statements and GIRFEC will count for nothing, because my 8 years supply work there will ensure that I get the job ahead of you.