Why Supply? #NSTW

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Today is day three of National Supply Teacher Week. We speak with Gillian from North Wales who tells us about the flexibility of supply work, and the opportunity to grow and stretch yourself professionally along the way.

Why did you choose supply teaching?

The main reason I chose supply teaching was the flexibility it provides, I have three children and also have commitments with other family members.  I also enjoy working in different schools, meeting new people and seeing how different schools work.

What is your favourite aspect of supply teaching?

My favourite aspect is that no two days are the same; you can start your day working with children at nursery age and then be working with post 16 children by the afternoon. Working in supply you get to your hone your skills, especially your behaviour management skills. I learn so much by visiting different classes and schools, picking up ideas as I go. Working as a supply teacher never gets boring.

Would you recommend supply teaching, and why?

I would definitely recommend supply teaching to someone who is looking for flexibility in their teaching career. To enjoy working as a supply teacher you have to be flexible, adaptable and laidback. You can pick and choose when you work and fit work around your commitments.  If I am not available to work I do not feel like I have let anybody down.  Supply teaching has been perfect for me so I would recommend it.

What is the biggest challenge facing supply teachers?

The biggest challenge I feel supply teachers have is with their professional development. I think there needs to better provision for supply teachers to be able to attend courses to further their knowledge. At the moment if you are working at a school on a long term placement you may be able to attend courses that they send their permanent teachers on, however if you are only working on a day to day basis it can be difficult. Currently if there are courses I am interested in I have to sort them out myself, there are opportunities there but they are limited.

Tell us about your favourite supply teaching assignment…

My favourite supply teaching assignment has to be when I was teaching a year 3 group about habitats. We learned about habitats of different bugs, we then took it a stage further by using a zoo website to create our own bugs, we built habitats for them.

After the lesson many of the children went home and carried on their learning by visiting the website themselves and creating new bugs and habitats. They then brought them into show me and the rest of the class, seeing the children engaged and interested in what they were learning was really rewarding and satisfying.

Gillian, Wrexham.

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