Many thanks to supply teacher Gemma for sharing her story of why she chooses to do supply.
Why did you choose to go into supply teaching?
The workload of teaching was taking over my life. I was working a 10 hour day at school, then coming home in the evenings and doing at least a further 2 hours as well as working weekends. I also found head teacher expectations and targets immense, and putting myself under the pressure to achieve them was literally too much at times. The paperwork got more and more; and a lot of the time I felt that it was a pointless exercise; just to tick all the boxes! So, after 4 years I decided to leave a permanent position and take up supply teaching.
How did you start your supply teaching career?
When I first qualified as a teacher I did supply work for 1 year to get an even better feel for the Key Stage in which I would like to take a permanent position in. Then after 4 years of being in a permanent position; due to the above reasons, I went back into supply and have been doing supply now for the last 3 years.
What do you take with you on assignment?
CRB form, ID badge, stickers to praise the children with, couple of story books, sometimes a resource pack of activities just in case no work has been left for me for the day.
How do you ensure you'll be called back to work at that lovely school by your recruitment consultant?
I always try to make a good impression by following closely school policies and practices. I will always give verbal feedback to the teacher or leave a handover sheet at the end of the day if they are unavailable. I also inform the office staff or management at the end of the day, just how my day has been; always leaving on a positive note.
Do you have any advice for those wishing to become a supply teacher, or be a better supply teacher?
Always go into a school with an open mind, use positive praise when it's due, show enthusiasm with teaching and listening to children's ideas, be creative and try and have fun!
What are you learning through your work as a supply teacher?
How different schools, staff and pupils perceive/act towards a supply teacher. How to manage difficult behaviour in quite a lot of schools.
How could the lives of supply teachers be improved?
For supply teachers to be shown the same respect/behaviour as their own teachers from pupils.
And finally! What is your favourite resource for supply teaching?