National Supply Teacher Week is almost at an end. We speak to a teacher from Cardiff who tells us all about the variety supply teaching offers. Read more here…
Why did you choose supply teaching?
After I had qualified as a teacher I wanted to try and get as much experience as possible. I felt that supply could give me the opportunity to build up a variety of experience which I would not gain by working at just one school. It was also a good way to find out more about how different schools worked, and helped me identify what age groups I enjoyed teaching. I then took on a long term contract which I enjoyed but I realised that I missed the flexibility and variety of supply. Once my contract was over I went back into teaching supply.
What is your favourite aspect of supply teaching?
My favourite aspect is the variety, you get to meet so many different people while supply teaching. I feel that I have learned so much working with different people. Getting to know different methods of teaching and how I can apply them to my lessons. Also I get to choose when I work, the flexibility is definitely one of my favourite things.
Would you recommend supply teaching, and why?
I recommend it to everyone who is looking for teaching work, working in supply helps you learn so much. You also get the opportunity to work for a variety schools and learn to find out what you enjoy. I know many people who have found long term jobs straight from university but if they do not enjoy working at that school it is not easy for them to move on.
What is the biggest challenge facing supply teachers?
The biggest challenge I feel supply teachers have is going into the unknown, arriving at a school in the morning you never know what will happen. I have been booked in to cover a reception class and then when I have arrived at the school and been asked to cover a year five class. Supply teaching is character building and you gain a lot of experience but you have to be prepared for the unexpected.
Tell us about your favourite supply teaching assignment…
Early on in my career I was working in a reception unit which had eight deaf students. I had never worked with deaf children before so it was a new experience for me. I worked with a signer to communicate with the children.
It was my favourite assignment because it taught me so much, I had to be aware at all times how I communicated with the children, and for example if I talked to them when they had their back to me they would not hear me. I had to completely change the way I worked. It also gave me a great perspective on working with children with disabilities.