I started working for another teaching agency at the same time as Zen. This is a standard teaching agency who either book you for daily supply work, contracts or long-term teaching work.
The schools they placed me with have been good quality, however, they don’t always guarantee the work and it can be days or more than a week between requests. In addition, I am notified about most of the work on a daily basis as opposed to pre-booking me days in advance, which Zen does.
Moving to Manchester was for personal reasons as my fiancée lives here, however, the contract I accepted was with a school and a headteacher that had a bad track record with previous deputy headteachers. Over the course of a few months, our relationship deteriorated. This experience didn’t put me in a good place and I took some time out. It also gave me time to reassess my career, due to foreign students requesting my help with English and deciding to undertake my TEFL/TESOL training. This led me to launch a business English language school, which created the need to subsidise my first year with supply teaching work.
In the process of finding a teaching agency, I signed up with a few; however, many of them were unhelpful and took extremely long to obtain my references. On discovering Zen, my references were obtained in a timely manner and I found them to be professional and extremely helpful. What’s more, they supplied me with work shortly after my initial meeting.
'Zen is a professional, helpful, and organised company who is able to offer appropriate work in a timely manner.'
I decided to try Zen as I liked the calendar feature and the app in order to organise my bookings and state the days I couldn’t work on; a feature that works well with my business and also gave me a good understanding of how apps and calendar bookings could help.
Working for Zen has been a diverse experience, visiting schools from areas of deprivation to leafy suburban, and at times working with challenging children. Mostly, they have been polite, keen students. The majority of the staff at these schools are communicative and helpful.
Most of my work has been conducted in one particular Catholic school, where I’ve become known to children and staff alike, due to me working in all year groups in the school, from foundation to year 6. The headteacher demonstrated her trust in me by placing me in a year 3 class, covering a teacher during sick leave. The other year 3 teacher was very grateful that I was experienced, especially when suggesting appropriate resources, helping with assembly practices and advising her about teaching certain topics due to my experience as a Maths and English subject leader.
Zen is a professional, helpful, and organised company who is able to offer appropriate work in a timely manner. The app and organiser are great aids, as is the guaranteed work programme.