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For many teachers, supply teaching is often an attractive career due to the flexibility it can provide over a permanent teaching role. For some, it is a temporary position while they wait for the right permanent teaching role to become available but for others it gives them a good way to achieve a better work-life balance.
If you are considering a role as a supply teacher there are some essential skills that can help you be successful. Let’s take a look at the essential skills that can put teachers in good stead when becoming a supply teacher.
One of the biggest differences between a permanent teaching job and a supply one is not knowing where you will be teaching from one week to the next or even one day to the next. Having good organisation skills will help you get settled in quickly so you can start teaching lessons without delay.
Planning your route to the school you will be teaching at and making sure you have a lesson plan ready will ensure you arrive promptly and prepared for the day ahead.
Any supply teacher will tell you that students will often push a supply teacher to the limits and test their boundaries. When a class has a supply teacher it may alter their behaviour, so being able to manage a classroom and remain in control will certainly help as a supply teacher.
As you will likely be teaching at different schools on a daily basis, you may also encounter potential behavioural issues in some classes, due to one or more disruptive students. Being equipped to deal with this can help avoid other students from becoming distracted and keep the lesson on track.
Good communication skills are needed to communicate with both students and staff members. Communicating well with students will help build rapport with them and ensure the lesson goes to plan.
Being able to communicate well with other staff members will help you understand where you are needed, the plan for the lesson and any other important information such as school policies and procedures. Often the teacher who is handing over to you will be short of time, so quickly obtaining the requirements for the lesson is crucial.
One of the biggest attractions of supply teaching is the flexibility it can provide the individual and the way it can help achieve a better work-life balance, but equally you will need to have a flexible mindset.
Supply teachers often get little notice of when they are needed due to unexpected staff absences and can be expected to go to a totally new school and teach a subject that is not their specialist subject. Having a flexible mindset can help you cope with the often fast-moving pace of supply teaching.
If you are looking for your next challenge as a supply teacher, join the Vision Teaching community to help you find your next rewarding supply role. As specialists in all aspects of school recruitment, we help every borough in London attract and retain high-quality teaching staff. We have a wide range of supply teaching opportunities across London in both primary and secondary education settings.
Browse our teaching jobs and find your next role: https://visionteaching.co.uk/job-search/