Top tips to become an AMAZING supply teacher

There are many reasons to go into supply teaching and I highly recommend you consider it as a viable option. A full-time/part-time permanent role in a school may not be right for you at the moment so supply is a great way to keep a foot in the education door! It gives you the flexibility, choice, and a variety of experiences to find what truly works for you in the world of education. I've had a brilliant time in the last few months visiting different schools, different year groups, and teaching all sorts of lessons which have inspired this post. With your supply agency (or agencies) you can end up with a great number of schools that’ll ask directly for you to come in to do supply for them over and over again. Building up a decent amount of schools that you like and that also like you, can really help make the job feel more stable. You never know, the perfect school might come along and you may find the time is right to settle into a more permanent role in a school you've tried, tested, and loved!

Advice to become a great supply teacher


MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION!

Yes, this sounds obvious but don't underestimate the importance of punctuality, positivity, and politeness. Turn up on time with a smile on your face, DBS, and ID in hand and you should be warmly welcomed into the school (if not, that's not your fault or problem!) A high majority of my experiences in schools have been great. The staff have been very helpful and thankful that I was there.

FOLLOW THESE TOP TIPS:

- Always have a PE kit in your car. The school may have not mentioned you'd be covering PE that afternoon and being a step ahead shows great organisation skills. Solve the problem before it becomes an issue!

- Bring a USB stick with some filler activities just in case! Or bring a book to read them for a few minutes at the end of the day or before lunchtime if there is time. Some teachers leave plenty of planning and things that'll take up the whole time you're there. There are occasions where you have a spare 5-10 minutes to fill so why not take that time to do something a bit different with them - be memorable!

- Start the morning with something on the whiteboard to tell them what to do. Also, write your name on it as your proper introduction will not be until they are all in and settled. This will stop 30 children from asking who you are whilst you try and help one of them find their reading book.

- Start the day as you mean to go on by going over your behaviour management strategies. How you do plan on getting their attention? Show them what you expect and get them to practice a few times!

- Write a short summary of the day's events for the teacher to see. This could include pupils that were superstars and really stood out for good reasons, it could also include any children who have been quite challenging. I often share my stars with the class at the end of the day.

- Go to the staff room, chat with other teachers! Be friendly and smile, it’s great to speak to other teachers and often they may ask for you to cover them next time they call the agency!

- Always wear layers, some schools are boiling hot all year round! On the flip side, you may be asked to do break duty and your winter coat will be your best friend for those 15 minutes!

If you're thinking about going into supply work and have any questions, please feel free to email me using the contact form!

Check out my TES shop for great lesson plans, ActivInspire flip charts, and worksheets.

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