Teachers for Supply

Supply Teachers Blog

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Are there advantages to working as a supply teacher?

Some 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.

The 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.

Some schools 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 yourself.

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.

Supply teaching in a large primary school

You may 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.

The amount 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.

At break 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.

How is teaching going to be different if the schools reopen?

With Borris 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 catering for.

When it 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.

How to make maths lessons fun

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 better.

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.

For many 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.

Working as a supply teacher in a new school

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.

Forward planning is vital so that when you are offered work in a new school you can confidently accept the work.

By looking 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.

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