Whether you’re an established supply teacher, just starting out or thinking of becoming one, Claire Poynton – the PK Education East Midlands Supply Teacher of The Year – has some great advice to help you find the right agency for you and get the most out of your supply teaching experience.
Read on for some great advice….
- Make sure you research the agencies in your area and feel like the ones you sign with are a good fit for you. I spent time Googling agencies and reading reviews (on their websites, online generally, and from teaching unions) and this paid off as I found PK Education, who were perfect for me.
- Be forthright with your agency about the kind of work you want, where and for how much time out of each week. I really would recommend supply, especially if you have just finished training and are hesitant to move on to the pressure of full-time NQT straight away. I was able to say I wanted a total of 3-4 days/week and set my own limitations on how much “take-home” work I was prepared to do.
- Spend some time preparing – get together a little digital collection of files which would be appropriate for the different year groups or ability groups you might be asked to teach, as well as some starters, plenaries and games you can just wheel out. It’s handy to have some adaptable resources on hand and you will feel much more comfortable going in with a toolkit ready!
- Communicate! Make sure your agency knows what they need to know at every step, and you know who to call if you are delayed getting into work, for example. Keep them informed about your welfare, work environment and responsibilities if these change at all.
- Own it! People might express the idea that it’s not “real” teaching, or that supply teachers are those who “couldn’t hack” full-time, regular responsibilities. The reality is much, much better than that. You will gain valuable experience in different environments, key stages, and postcodes. You will build your confidence regarding classroom management, professional rapport, communicating with colleagues, and independence. It is worth it and it is a fantastic way to expand your skills.
AT PK Education we consider ourselves to be different. We want our teachers, schools and pupils to get the most out of the experience that’s why we focus on matching you to your next role – finding the right school, subject and environment for you to teach.
If you’re interested in becoming a supply teacher and want to register with one of the UK’s top supply agencies, then visit our ‘Contact Us’ page to find your local office for more information.
Since 2005, we at PK Education have worked very hard over the years to build our team of great substitute teachers. If you would like to work alongside fantastic teachers like Claire contact your local office and see what we have for you!