Venturing into the unknown is always a daunting experience, especially when faced with unfamiliar destinations and seas of new faces wondering who you are. Despite any reservations you might have, you will find that supply work provides a rich teaching experience and with every new assignment you will gain more confidence.
Supply teaching has many benefits and really works around you! If you find that you’re concerned about budgeting or your CPD you can always look to the new features Airsupply are launching for financial management and to the OneStepCPD platform through their Twinkl partnership.
You might be considering supply teaching for various reasons – perhaps you’d like a break from teaching full-time, you might be moving to a new town or maybe you are an NQT looking to gain a range of experience. Whatever your reasons may be, here is what supply teaching can offer you!
You can finally fit your working times around your schedule and be earning comfortably. It’s useful to seek out supply agencies that are in contact with schools in and around your local area. Consider whether you’re looking for short-term, long-term or daily supply teaching. Agencies will usually try to gauge what kind of work you’re looking for and how frequently you’d like to be in school. It’s helpful for them (and for you) to keep them up to date with your availability. Shorter placements remove the pressures of lesson planning, piles of marking, daily assessments – the list could go on! With supplying, you’ll find that you can deliver excellent lessons for pupils and still have a good work-life balance. Bear in mind that for longer placements you will most likely take on more responsibility. But with that, you can negotiate a higher daily rate and really get to know a school. Managing your own time and being able to explore what works for you is all part of the fun of being a supply teacher.
Build up your experience
Supply teaching offers a vast range of opportunities. You will find that no two placements are the same. Whether you’re a primary or secondary school teacher, you might find yourself working in a setting completely out of your key-stage area. Experiences can range from anything from a week’s placement in nursery to a few days being a teaching assistant in a SEND high school. It is often in those opportunities to support in class that you get to pick up new behaviour and classroom management tips. With year groups you’re more experienced with, you get to consolidate your skills and gain an insight into how the curriculum is implemented in
different schools. Overall, you’ll develop all-rounded teaching skills and perhaps even open new areas of teaching interest.
Building your network
Travelling to different schools and experiencing a variety of cultures for learning is invaluable. If you’re considering moving to a new area, supply teaching would be an ideal way to explore which schools you like and in what area before considering anything long-term. Down the line you’re likely to build a good relationship with a handful of schools who have you on speed-dial for whenever they need someone to keep rank. It is a great way to build rapport and trust between you and your regular schools.
Keeping your foot in the door
Supply teaching is a great way to keep yourself up to date with contemporary practice within different schools. If you’re taking a breather from full-time teaching, supply teaching can help keep you in the loop and can provide support for when you choose to step back into the classroom full-time. You may discover that supply teaching helps reignites your passion for teaching as it maximises teaching time and less time is spent doing the background work. The range of expertise you will gain from supply work will benefit all teachers - from NQTs to more experienced teachers.