Supply Teaching

In the last month or so, I decided that I should probably stop being a lazy bum and using being a ‘newly married’ as an excuse to lie in late doing not very much.

Before I decided to join a teaching supply agency I had been working for 3 years in a lovely school in east London (separate post on this soon). After marriage and honeymooning I was busy meeting Amir’s and my family and doing newly married couple stuff. Once Amir had gone back to work though I decided I should get back onto the work scene.

Admittedly I was a little nervous about working in new places and the idea of change as I don’t cope very well and get panicky, nervous and not at all confident. The signing up process was quite straightforward, mostly going through CV, the kind of work I was after and general formalities.

Supply teaching works in the way that when a general class teacher from a school is away or on a course, the agency supplies the school with a fully qualified teacher for the day.

Unfortunately the first early morning (very early!) call I got was by a pleasant sounding lady who said a TA (teaching assistant) was needed for a school a half hour drive away and they were desperate for someone to go. I did try to get out of it as i felt my teaching skills would be wasted but me being a pushover finally agreed, especially as it was my pest assignment of work. I drove the long way there and they didn’t seem to know I was coming! Disappointing or what. After they placed me in a class things were ok but generally the day seemed wasted as I could have done so much more with my skills.

After that I made I clear i would only be taking TEACHING positions only! Since then they have tried sending me to places further out but I have been clear I would only work within the 5 mile radius (as there are plenty of schools around locally). So far I have been sent to a few schools and the teaching has definetely been a new experience for me.

What I have found since teaching is that I connect to children quite easily and am able to work alongside them with a mutual understanding fairly quickly. I’ve always been told I have been good with children from a young age but teaching has just strengthened that for me. During my supply work I have often been asked by children whether I will be back tomorrow because I’m the ‘cool teacher’ or the ‘fun teacher’ which always make me so happy to hear and fills me with much needed confidence. it makes me feel as if I have made a difference for that day when teaching them.

Having only worked in one school previously it’s been nice to see how other schools work and how children learn in different ways. I love to take my job seriously as I feel as if I’m making a difference if even only one child learns something from me. I love the satisfaction I get when a child suddenly looks up with that ‘ohhhhh I get it!’ look and are pleased with their achievements. I believe each child should have that feeling and be given the patience to get to that stage.

I’m currently quite enjoying supplying and looking forward to going to different schools. Although I have worked in Reception classes previously I have enjoyed going into year 1, 2 and 4 and learning new things myself (including trying to strengthen my very weak numeracy knowledge! Need to practise my times tables!!)

What I don’t enjoy as much is the sometimes super early calls and not knowing the area enough to know how far I might be sent, luckily Amir is usually at hand to let me know. But the few schools I have enjoyed visiting I have made the agency aware and they have been kind enough to send me back and offered me first choice when work is available there. I have found the services of the agency to be very professional and of a good standard which is why so many schools seem to be using them.

I have also just signed upto another agency and hope I get more opportunities to teach different year groups and visit schools I can enjoy working in. I know not all the schools I visit will be to my liking but I hope that through these experiences I will be able to gain a better perspective of what sort of school environment I would like to work in and with what age groups. So far I enjoy working with the little ones who I find easier to understand the needs for but who knows if I may change my mind and venture into working with the older teens 🙂

If anyone has any experiences to share about supply teaching or feeling nervous about working in a new place, do let me know! For now you can ponder upon these…

“By learning you will teach;
by teaching you will understand.”

“A good teacher, like a good entertainer first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson.” (SO true!)

“Teachers don’t open the door for you…..but they do give you the key’

“Teaching is the profession of the people with the greatest patience”



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