My experience of being a supply teacher

Hi I’m Laura,

When anybody thinks of supply teachers, everybody always remembers those days when you could have an ‘easy day’, ‘chill out’, ‘relax’, I know I certainly did, but I guess being the supply teacher yourself the reality changes!

Truth be told I was kind of dreading being a supply teacher, the thought of turning up at these different schools, different children, different rules, it can be very unsettling.

However, I have been pleasantly surprised, all of the schools that I have been sent to by Education Appointments have been welcoming, friendly, organised and very helpful. I have learnt that the more organised and enthusiastic you are for the job, the more friendly and enthusiastic the school will be towards you.

I have found supply teaching so useful, it has broadened my knowledge of different schools, how one school can drastically change from another, it has also made me realise what kind of school I would like to work in and where I would ‘fit in’.

I believe that supply teaching will eventually offer a great pathway into my dream job and I really do believe that getting your foot in the door is so much better than sending hundreds of applications to schools.

Although there is a common stereotype that supply teachers are not treated very well and the children don’t like you, well I can tell you that this is not the case, most schools are really grateful of you helping them out (particularly if you do a good job) and the main thing to remember is ‘how many people could start a new job almost every day?’ It takes some confidence to go to all these new places with new faces. Everytime you go to a new school you will find that you are are getting so used to it that nothing phases you.

So my little piece of advice:

If your doing supply teaching as a way of getting more experience in the hope of securing a permanent job……

then keep going, its very easy to get disheartened (especially with the current job climate) but by doing supply you are probably doubling your chances of getting a job by just being in these schools, think about it if you did a fantastic job and the Headteacher really liked you, it would give you far more chance of getting an interview.

If your doing supply teaching as a career………………………

I know it can have its negatives, but think about it, its so flexible, you are not putting all your eggs in one basket, loads of people would love the variety that supply teaching offers, so make the most of it. Don’t forget (unless you are on a longer term booking) day to day rarely needs any extra work (besides a little bit of marking) so generally in the evening you are as free as a bird and don’t have to worry about planning!!!

So my final bit of advice is, ENJOY IT! I have honestly had really good days in school and if you go in with the right attitude the kids and staff will love you.

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