Tips for Newly Qualified Teachers who are interested in Supply Teaching

Tips for Newly Qualified Teachers who are interested in Supply Teaching

After completing their teaching placements, new teachers can’t wait to have their own classes and start settling into school. But with only one-third of NQTs now getting permanent posts after qualifying, supply teaching is an option that can’t be ignored, even if it’s just with a view to getting something permanent.

Creating your own CV and sending it into the Schools is a great way to get a job, but, agencies will be able to contact a lot more Schools in a quicker time. Schools find it easier to call an agency for their day to day cover.

When you go to a Supply Agency you will need to apply for a new CRB as the one you got from University will not be portable. Most agencies will be able to do this for you, and if you speak to your Education Appointments consultant they will give you the relevant forms to fill in. This can often take up to three to six weeks to process but supply teaching agencies can’t offer you work until it is cleared and they have received the form back.

Like every job supply teaching starts early, generally you will receive a call between 7am and 815am. So its a good idea to get yourself a mobile phone and keep it switched on and charged up for those morning calls. Buy a diary so you can keep a track of where you have worked and how much you were getting paid for that cover. This is simply to check your wage is correct and also you can update your CV.

If you want to have plenty of work its a good idea to have your own transport, this doesn’t mean if you don’t drive you wouldn’t get work. A good way to make sure you don’t get lost and have good time keeping is to buy a Satellite Navigation system or most new mobile phones have a navigation application on them. If you don’t want to spend the money on Sat Nav units there are some helpful websites like the AA route planner so you can print off directions.

There are companies available to you as a teacher or agency staff member to help with the expenses invloved in travelling to work. They are known as umbrella companies, if you would like some more information about this please contact Education Appointments and they can explain in detail.

As a Supply Teacher you will have to deal with behavioural problems, so knowing how to handle a disruptive class is important.  You may already have had this type of experience with pupils from one of your teaching placements, where you would have received a copy of the schools behavioural policy and a contact name for any reported incidents, if not, make sure you ask the school for their behaviour policy on arrival at school.

I have bullet pointed some tips:

  • Go to the early morning staff meeting. It’s good to show your face and there might be something relevant about your class.
  • Approach your supply work as an extended interview, generally if you do a good job you will get repeat work and this may lead to a permanent job.
  • Have a picture book, a DVD or a game with you to use as a discussion point.
  • Be flexible: you’re not always going to be in your comfort zone, but learn to go with the flow.
  • Find out the school’s behaviour policy so you know the protocol.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask. Senior management will be glad you’ve shown initiative.
  • Always carry a supply of pens, pencils, board pens etc as not all classrooms have these available.
  • Take a packed lunch and flask.
  • Make sure you are confident and have good classroom management skills.


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