think that working as a supply teacher involves the same skills whether you are
working in a small rural school or in a large urban primary but you would be
mistaken as the role varies greatly with some supply teachers preferring one
over the other.
If you are
asked to do supply teaching in a larger school the first difference you may
encounter is when you arrive at school finding your way around the building. If
you are new to the school this can be quite daunting and often requires help
from other members of staff until you become familiar with the layout although the
children are often helpful in this situation.
of staff in a large school may make it difficult to remember names and roles
but always make sure you know the Head Teacher’s name and who you need to
approach if you have any concerns. If the class teacher is in school when you
are covering their class, it is easier as they will be able to assist you when
you are familiarising yourself with the classroom and the class routines.
times if you are not on duty you may decide to visit the staffroom. Be aware
that in some schools, certain seats and cups are used by some members of staff
who do not take kindly to supply teachers using them, so check first – it can stop
a frosty atmosphere in the staffroom.
As a teacher
you should always try and leave your classroom so that someone else could come
in and teach if they need to. You should have lesson plans for at least the
next week ahead but ideally rough plans taking you up to the next half term.
You may not always know if you are going to have to have time off so it’s
important to prepare and be organised. If you do know that you are going to
have to have time off then you can get work prepared to leave for a supply
teacher. Ideally try and have a chat with the supply teacher so you can talk
over your lesson plans and explain what you want them to do. This also gives
them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.
You may also
want to give them an overview of the class such as if there are any pupils they
need to keep an eye on or any that may need extra support.
If you need
them to mark work then make sure you ask them to do this. If it is a supply
teacher that has not worked in your school before it can be useful to write
them a quick list of useful information such as break times, names of other
teachers that teach that year group or subject and details of the teaching
assistant who will be working with them.
often complain of limited time and having far too much work to fit in their
normal working day. For this reason almost all teachers have to work evenings
and/or weekends to try and catch up. Time management is very important to
ensure that you spend as little of your free time working, as possible. It is
important to not only manage your time in your job, but also making sure that
you have spare time for yourself, to do something you enjoy. Not allowing
yourself time away from teaching, planning or marking can lead to stress and
anxiety and can have an impact on your career but also your home life.
are now given something called PPA time which is supposed to be time in the
classroom without the children, where they can mark or plan work. This can help
to give teachers a head start but it is often not enough time to complete all
of your work and you may find that it gets eaten up by other things such as
meeting with parents or planning assemblies.
Try and plan
days which you will work in the evening and days you will have off and do
something with your friends or family.
As a teacher who is coming into contact with around 30 children a day its highly likely that at least one of those children (if not more!) will have coughs or colds and will be showing all the usual symptoms including runny noses, coughs, sore throats, eye infections and sickness. Continue reading
If you have recently qualified as a teacher then you may have the option to go in to supply teacher or a permanent position. Supply teaching has many advantages that may attract you to the position. You can either register with a teaching agency to find work or you can chose to go it alone. You will most likely need to register with the local councils to be put on the list of supply teachers.
One of the benefits of supply teaching is that you get the opportunity to work with children of all different ages. This will give you the experience you need and will also help you decide what year you would like to teach if you do decide to go for a permanent position further on down the line.
Supply teachers often get paid more per day that permanent teachers. This means that you may only have to work 3 days a week to make up the salary you would earn full time.
As a supply teacher you will have less responsibility, which attracts many people to the job. You often will not have to plan lessons as teachers usually plan the lessons in advance so you will be able to work off their lesson plan. You do need to bear in mind that you will not get paid through the holidays as a permanent teacher would, so have to budget your money accordingly.