Supply Teaching – Prepare for the Unexpected!

Posted on

As part of Supply for Lunch 2013 we asked one of our teachers to tell us about his experiences as a NQT supply teacher. Supply teaching can be daunting for experienced teachers and even more so for NQT’s. However Phil’s experience shows that lots of schools are very supportive, and the skills and experience gained from supply working can be invaluable.

“I’ve’ve been fortunate with the schools I have worked in. I have also had a part-time contract at a school, where I have been covering Music PPA for 3 and half days a week since September.Every school I have been in has been friendly, inviting and welcomed me into their school life. One school even invited me out on their staff night out at the end of last year. Other schools have invited me to attend INSET days to help with my professional development. I feel so grateful to the schools for offering me these opportunities, especially as I’m an NQT, so I’m just starting out on my journey as a teacher.

My first day working with New Directions was not what I expected. I had been sent to teach Phil 1a year 6 class and when I arrived, I discovered that the class I was supposed to be teaching was out on a school trip and instead I would be teaching a year 2 class. By the end of the day I was in Nursery.

I learnt that day; expect the unexpected and just run with it. In fact that day was the best thing that could have happened to me because after training in Key Stage 2 and being one of those people who always said “Oh I’m Key Stage 2… Foundation Phase scares me!” I realised that I had survived and had actually enjoyed my time teaching the younger children, which was lucky as my contract involves me teaching every class in the school, from reception right the way up to year 6.

In order to prepare myself for the unexpected I have developed a stockpile of lessons that are suitable for the various ages within a primary school. For example, a rugby tournament meant that the year 6 PE teacher was delayed returning to school, so until he returned I covered his class, teaching them an engaging lesson using a video featuring Harry Potter characters singing repeated musical patterns of their names. The children then had to create their own songs using their names to form repeated musical patterns.

I’ve’ve definitely had to quickly develop a sense of humour since becoming a teacher. Being called ‘Mr Bubb’ means that I endure many variations on this name including: Mr Bump, Mr Bum, Mr Boob, Mr Burp, Mr Bubble…

However I’ve’ve found children like it when I combat these ‘nicknames’ when introducing myself. It gets it out the way quickly, apart from the occasional reminder to the odd child who still insists on getting my name wrong! Silver lining – at least it’s easy for them to spell!”