When you are supply teaching you will embark on a new adventure every day.

You will encounter new people, new routines and new challenges.

Not every teacher is cut out for supply teaching.

Then again not every supply teacher is cut out for full time teaching.

Take our test to find out whether supply teaching is right for you.

1. Can you get out of bed on the right side, on the bright side… every day?

Can you leave home at 7:30am looking smart, with a travel card and a bright and breezy attitude?

Your can expect to receive most supply teaching daily calls between 7:20am and 7:40am.

2. Do you have a good memory for names?

As a supply teacher you will need to be able to build a rapport with your students quickly. Learning your students’ names will immediately gain you respect. Students love it when supply teachers know their names. The more you know about each other the more comfortable you and your students will feel working together.

Are you adept at picking your battles wisely?

As a supply teacher you may well be regarded as ‘the invisible person’. Although enforcing rules you disagree with is important, as a temporary member of staff, trying to enforce every rule may lead you to battles you cannot possibly win. For example keeping a year 11 class cleaning the room at break on your first meeting.

Also you should remember you may not have the opportunity to follow up sanctions you have given.

Start your day by getting to grips with the rules you are expected to follow. Then use your initiative to enforce the rules you know will help you to run your class smoothly.

Can you grasp core elements of lessons fast?

Can you bring some of your general knowledge into a variety of subjects to give life to a stack of photocopied sheets? Great, then you will hit ground running.

Can you teach when you are tired?

Let’s be honest, there will always be days when you feel too tired to face a sea of new faces. It’s only natural.

Can you dig deep to get the energy you need to engage your students when all you feel like doing is tucking up in a fleece sleeping bag in front of a box set of Game of Thrones?

Follow these simple rules and you will soon feel energised again.

    • Make sure you get plenty of sleep.
    • Eat 3 square meals a day.
    • Get plenty of exercise.
    • Give yourself time to switch off. (Yup, that means unplugging all those distracting devices).

If you are a person seeking a flexible way of working and one that also embraces change, then supply teaching offers many benefits. You are guaranteed to broaden your teaching experiences and with those you will enhance your career prospects.

Rick Smallwood, Founder teachweb supply teaching agency
Rick Smallwood, founder, teachweb

 About the author: Rick Smallwood is a former chemistry teacher and founder of leading London and the South East supply teacher agency teachweb. He has a proven track record of matching the right teachers to the right vacancy.

How to build teaching experienceHave you completed your teacher training? Are you considering your options?

Before you commit to a full time teaching role, I recommend you consider supply teaching.

If you are a newly qualified teacher supply teaching will provide you with:

  • The opportunity to work in a variety of schools before committing to a full time teaching role.
  • The demonstrable teaching experience you need to help you stand out from the crowd when applying for teaching jobs.
  • Introductions to the contacts you need for securing your dream-teaching job.

When you supply teach, you are guaranteed to develop your skills and put into practice the methods you have learnt. In particular you will have the opportunity to:

  • Increase your knowledge and confidence in planning and delivering lessons effectively without having to worry about the burden of paperwork and administration normally involved with a full time teaching role.
  • Observe and talk to different teachers and pick up tips about how they:
    • Plan and teach lessons.
    • Handle difficult students with tact and understanding.
    • Assess work.
  • Experiment with different approaches of:
    • Classroom management and getting student’s attention.
    • Teaching and presentation styles.
    • Getting the most value out of technology.

Elsewhere supply-teaching will help you to:

  • Develop your teaching resources
  • Develop the CV you need for securing your dream-teaching job.
  • Help you to prepare for observed interview/trial lessons (which in some ways are very similar to supply lessons).

So congratulations for completing your teaching training. Now take the next step in setting the foundations you need for a successful career in teaching.

Do this by building up your teaching experience through supply teaching.

Rick Smallwood, Founder teachweb supply teaching agency
Rick Smallwood, founder, teachweb

 About the author: Rick Smallwood is a former chemistry teacher and founder of leading London and the South East supply teacher agency teachweb. He has a proven track record of matching the right teachers to the right vacancy.

Image taken from sweetclipart.com
Image taken from sweetclipart.com

Everyone knows research and preparation is key to walking out of that interview feeling good, like you have done all you can do. The pressure to do your best intensifies when you know the competition is high, which nowadays is commonplace for school jobs. Therefore we have compiled some practical points for supply tutors looking to secure teaching jobs in London:

  • If you have a solid record of experience behind you, don’t be humble but bring this to the fore. Ensure the employer sees the value of having you on board.  With AWR you’ll be cheaper to the school even employed through a teaching agency if you are less experienced. This is a big selling point.
  • Get as much information from you agent about the department and school as possible. Names , length of service, whether the supply teacher agency have sent someone there before will be a good start when gathering background knowledge.  Consider whether they know what the school will be wary of and if your agent knows of any prejudices ?
  • Get prepared to ask some questions. This will leave the employer knowing you are keen and have thought about the position thoroughly. Some great questions to ask might be: What is the exact format of the interview / meeting ? What are your resources? Will you get class lists? Can you have a copy of the school behaviour policy ? Who will be watching you teach? Does the agent know them?
  • In the agents experience what is the most common reason for candidates getting rejected from all schools ? From this school? Use this information to deduce how to underline your strengths so this is not a reason for rejection.
  • Get the supply teacher agency to discuss the pay rate with you before you go to interview. That way you can challenge the rate before giving away how keen you are on the role.
  • Get to know the school by reading the schools Ofsted report and looking at the schools website. Have they been mentioned in any recent news reports? Impress the senior management by showing a genuine interest in their school.
  • Find out which syllabus the school follows. Have you taught that before? Can you find out about it from friends or peers? At interview demonstrate you have put some research into this.
  • Always ask about the circumstances of the departing teacher – for your own sake! Has there been a string of supply teaching that timetable? Who is the longest serving member? This will give you an idea if the department is stable or not.
  • Do you know anyone else who works at the school or has worked there? If so, mention this connection if it is recent and could be seen to have informed you of the schools ethos and culture.

So when seeking school jobs from a supply teacher agency, following these points of advice can be a powerful reminder when prepping for an interview. Do you have any tips you think work well for the interview stage? Let us know!