(Original post by Keziah)
Due to the shortage of language teachers, you might find you'd get a fair bit of work as a Cover Supervisor, verging on Unqualified Teacher, provided you're confident and prepared to just walk into a school and deal with whatever you're faced with.
I'm starting my MFL PGCE in September, and I know it was my experience as an unqualified teacher of MFL that helped me get the place.
I've been doing agency work since October, and started out in a totally unrelated area as a Food Technology Technician for a term.
Then in January and February, work was really quiet. I did a bit of exams invigilation, and some TA work in a Pupil Referral Unit. I think I did 2 or 3 days as a Cover Supervisor in this time, but that was all.
After February half-term, I went to a school to cover 1 day for a supply French teacher who had just started a long-term post there and had called in sick. When the HoD realised I spoke French, he set work that involved me teaching
French and even improvising my own scripts for listening exercises! The supply teacher never came back, and I was there for 5.5 weeks altogether!
This role ended at Easter, but compared to Jan/Feb, my work really picked up. I assume that the agency sent me to jobs they wouldn't have considered before, because I now had experience. For the first couple of weeks after Easter, I got 3 or 4 days' work per week, but it was all over the place in different subjects.
Then on 2nd May I went to cover for another French teacher, in a KS3-only school. Initially it was for a couple of days, but then it became a week, and then they got a sick note until half-term. After half term, they resigned from their job and the school decided to keep me on until the end of the year. So by Friday, when the term ends, I'll have done 9.5 weeks of full-time teaching there, and for the past 6 or 7 weeks this has included planning all my lessons (with assistance from colleagues) and marking books and assignments.
I appreciate that I've been very lucky - I seem to have been in the right place at the right time to end up with these long-term posts. But teachers have told me that it's very difficult to get a good long-term Supply Teacher for languages and that this is why they've gone for an unqualified French graduate instead (plus I'm cheaper...).
Agency work isn't reliable, but it seems to me that the more experience you get, the more work you get. And with languages, you will be in greater demand.
I know this post has been really long, but I wanted to show you the full picture, not just the last few months which have been great, but also the bits which were really hard.
Agency work isn't reliable, but it is another option you could consider, depending on how successful you are in finding other work for this year. Underemployment isn't great, but it still beats unemployment...