teachers choose to work as a supply teacher either because it fits in better
with their family life especially if they have young children or are caring for
an elderly relative, or because they have just moved into a new area and are
unfamiliar with the schools in the new area.
advantages of the flexible working patterns that come hand in hand with supply
teaching suit many teachers. Should you have children of your own at school you
will be free to attend their school events without having to negotiate time off
work a difficult situation that many teachers face.
will employ supply teachers to cover planned absence of teaching staff. In this
case you may know in advance the year group you will be teaching and the subjects
you will be required to teach. This is usually easier than having an early
morning call to cover absence due to teacher illness. If unplanned cover is not
suitable for you this can be made clear when you visit schools to promote
One of the
main advantages of working as a supply teacher is that the administrative tasks
involved in contract teaching is not expected of a supply teacher. Setting and
marking of work is required and possibly some short-term assessments but report
writing and data collection is not usually part of a supply teachers remit.
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.
announcing that many of the primary schools will start to open there doors to
some pupils from the 1st of June, many teachers are wondering how
this is going to work. Schools are going to be expected to socially distance
children from each other as much as possible and the whole day is going to run
very differently. They will not be able to share equipment and work closely
with others like they used to and start and end times are likely to be
staggered. They will also do a lot of learning outside and may be split into
smaller classes to be taught. It is likely that not all parents will want their
children to go back to school when the schools first open so it is going to be difficult
for the teachers to know exactly how many children they are going to be
comes to planning it is going to require a lot more time to ensure that social
distancing is met but there is still a good educational value for the children.
Teachers will want to follow the guidelines but also ensure that children are
happy and learning.
With most of
the UK school children on lockdown, many parents and carers are having to turn
their hand to teaching. This is a huge as of people that have no teaching
experience and often struggle to get their children to sit still and concentrate
like they do at school.
When it comes
to maths or any lesson, it is important to try and make it fun. This will help
keep the children’s interest and also help them take in what is being taught
Maths is one
of those subjects that pupils either love or hate and this often comes down to
whether they are good at it or not. Maths is a very important subject to do and
is one of the main ones that you will use throughout your daily life.
students they simply find maths boring and therefore do not want to learn. When
teaching younger children, you can often make maths fun by making the tasks
more physical. So rather than being sat down working their way through a
written task, why not go outside and use hop scotch as a way of counting. This
not only gives the children a bit of excitement but will also help them to
remember what is being taught.
It can be
quite stressful when you have the call to go into a new school to cover a
teacher’s absence for some reason even if you are an experienced supply
teacher. When you are going into a familiar setting you usually know the other
staff and the normal daily routines such as assembly and break times however in
a new school everything is unfamiliar, and it can lead to feelings of anxiety.
planning is vital so that when you are offered work in a new school you can
confidently accept the work.
on the school website, a requirement of all schools, you can see the school
staff and make sure you know the names of the senior staff members and the
school administrator, often your first point of contact. The website might also
give you information about the daily routines and school rules making you feel
more prepared when you are standing in front of the class you are teaching. It
is useful to find out if you will have any additional support in the classroom
as teaching assistants are an invaluable help when navigating the routines.
They will also be able to help with classroom organisation such as seating
plans and will be able to make you aware of any children who will need extra
support in class.