Teachers for Supply

Supply Teachers Blog

Author: Raul (page 1 of 16)

Choose supply teaching for a better work/life balance

Getting a full time teaching contract with a local authority is usually top of the list for many graduate teachers but for those with family commitments working as a supply teacher could be a much better option as it is easier to plan your working hours and days around your family.

The first thing you will need to decide is whether to seek work through one of the teaching agencies or whether you are going to source supply teaching posts independently. Most local authorities will only consider supply teachers who are signed up to an agency, but sometimes smaller schools are more flexible in their approach. Although the salary when working as a supply teacher for an agency is usually less you will be guaranteed regular work and can determine the days you are available for work.

For many teachers the plus side of supply teaching is two-fold firstly you are in control of the days that you are available for work so for instance you can fit in hobbies or holidays to suit you and your family, the second advantage is that you will not be responsible for much of the paperwork that many teachers find onerous and time consuming although some basic assessment at the end of a teaching day will usually be required.

Teaching with a difference

If you would like to work in an education setting but do not want to work with young children it may be worth exploring a career in further education. This is any study that takes place after secondary school but outside of higher education (university).

In further education, the teaching does not always happen in a classroom. It can take place in community centres, workplaces and private training centres and could involve teaching a variety of learners including young people and adults who are returning to education.

Courses can range from basic literacy and numeracy skills to apprenticeships and technical qualifications such as BTECs and can be full time, part time or taught in a block.

The benefits of working as a further education teacher are mainly down to the positive attitude of the students to their learning. As they have chosen to embark on a further education course they are more likely to work hard and successfully complete the course with your support along the way.

If you want to train or retrain to teach in further education some employers will let you start teaching without a qualification because you can work towards one as you go. This also means you will be earning a salary straight away. A bursary may be available for certain subjects such as Mathematics, Science and Engineering and can help with living costs whilst training.

How to foster a love of reading in young children

Mobile devices have become so commonplace now that the majority of children either have their own device or have use of an adult’s one. As the apps that are on these devices may be educational it is important that children are still given the opportunity to immerse themselves in real books and reading not only for the enjoyment it brings but also because primary school aged children are expected to reach a good level of reading ability by the time they enter key stage two at the age of seven. This can be problematic for some children who may be reluctant to read not only books, but any printed material and it can also be a concern for parents and teachers who are often searching for ways to inspire and encourage reading.

Learning to read may not be easy for some young children so one approach is to show them that there is a purpose to reading whether it be reading the instructions to a favourite game or reading a recipe to make a cake. This type of incidental reading can encourage children to engage in reading without them being aware that they are doing so.

Another way to encourage a reluctant reader is to share children’s magazines and comic books together so that the child may be inspired to read material about a hobby they enjoy or an interest they may have. The biggest challenge for any teacher or parent is to resist putting pressure on the child to read but rather show them that reading is fun and an activity to be enjoyed.

The responsibilities of a supply teacher unlocked

Working as a supply teacher whether in a school that you are used to or in a school that is through an agency your responsibilities are not always made clear apart from the obvious duties of teaching the class and making sure that safeguarding guidelines are followed to the letter. Although some schools have policies on what they expect from a supply teacher many do not but if you want to be offered work on a regular basis it is important that you not only create the right impression when you first start but also fulfil the duties expected of you in that particular school.

Many teachers whose classes you cover will set work for the children to do and expect this to be carried out as per their guidance. This is especially true with older pupils who often have a fixed curriculum to cover in a given timeframe. Should this be the case it is important that the supply teacher carries out the teacher’s instructions as much as possible. At the end of the day a brief note to the teacher outlining how the day went is a valuable way to communicate.

 There may be times when a supply teacher is needed to cover an unexpected absence and in this case work may not have been set so it is a wise move to have lessons prepared that can be adapted to the age group you are teaching. It is essential that all work is marked according to the school’s marking policy checking with a senior member of staff if anything is not clear.

Does homework for primary school pupils improve attainment?

It is a fact that primary aged school children are regularly given homework from school with the amount that they are given increasing as they move through the school but does this homework actually make a difference to their academic ability or is it given out despite some teachers questioning the value of it. Another issue is how much of the homework is completed by the pupil and how much additional support have they received from parents and carers meaning that any tasks completed at home cannot then be used as a reliable method of assessment.

The reasons for setting the homework need to be studied carefully in order to answer these probing questions. Some homework is set to give the pupil an opportunity to practise a skill that they have been working on in class such as a new mathematics method or spelling practise, but it is clear that some homework is set simply because the teacher has been told by superiors to regularly give out homework. Practising new skills is a worthwhile use of homework time as there may not be sufficient time in the school day to do this. The homework in this case is beneficial and also serves to give parents an insight into the curriculum that the child is studying. The child can be encouraged to explain the homework to their parents and this in turn will be a valuable learning tool.

The problem arises if the child is unsure about the task set by the teacher and the parents or carer do not understand the task. This is quite a common issue as was experience by many parents when children were having to be home schooled for lengthy periods. It is always a good idea if there are issues that the teacher is made aware of the difficulties so that they can be addressed at school during lesson time.

Some pupils enjoy doing homework especially if the task is enjoyable. This may be something like asking parents or grandparents about their childhood memories or looking for mathematical shapes around the home even playing a game can be used as a homework task. It really is up to the teacher to try to make homework a pleasure rather than a chore so that pupils are continuing to learn after the school day is over and do not need to be forced by busy parents to complete unhelpful tasks.

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