This week is National Supply Teacher Week. It is our opportunity to say thank you to all of those teaching staff who step in at short notice, cover absence and fill gaps in the classroom. We spoke to several of our key supply teachers across the UK to find out…why supply?
Why did you choose supply teaching?
I went into supply after a long-term contract that I was working on came to an end. I initially looked at more permanent roles however I felt that supply teaching provided me with more flexibility and opportunities.
What is your favourite aspect of supply teaching?
My favourite aspect is that each day is different; you get to work with different people all the time. Supply teaching is definitely not boring as you are challenged to think on your feet. You learn so much every day.
Would you recommend supply teaching and why?
I actually have recommended supply teaching to my friends; I feel it is a good way to continually learn as you work. Also you get the opportunity to meet people in the education sector in your local area. Supply teaching has given me the opportunity to get my face known but just as importantly it has given me the opportunity to get to know schools and how they work.
What are the biggest challenges facing supply teachers?
The biggest challenge I feel supply teachers have is that they sometimes need to win pupils around. There may be occasions where a teacher has been away long-term and they have had a couple of different supply teachers over a period of months. This can make students feel less engaged with lessons, as they can feel that they are being cheated. I think being honest with students and taking time out to listen to them is important in helping building a rapport and gaining their respect.
Tell us about your favourite supply teaching assignment…
It was a long term placement I worked on in a local school. I really enjoyed working there as the school had a very supportive and inclusive way of working. I have been back to the school since and really enjoyed my time there.