Considering Supply? Don't worry, you're not alone. Plenty of new AND old teachers decide to take this route for reasons of their own, but are you wondering whether it's credible to you? There's always going to be a little worry before you decide on any profession, but remember that supply teaching has now become a well-regarded and respected part of the industry. For those that are in two minds about whether to take the bull by the horns, we're here to banish some of those well-known concerns...
Isn't there a lack of continuity?
It's difficult not knowing whether to set your alarm for the next day. Sitting by the phone from 8am is never going to have much appeal, especially when it doesn't always ring. However signing yourself up to an agency and establishing good relationships with the schools you teach in means that you'll be on the top of their list when a position needs filling. A day here or there will result in plenty of experience, thus opening doors to long-term opportunities. Plus supply gives you the option to test drive the career before you decide to commit to a major purchase. Working with agencies offers up the chance to work in a range of different schools so that you can make a more informed choice before settling into something more permanent.
I'm not sure the whole "different day, different school" is for me...
It's inevitable that different schools will be on the cards for you, but this doesn't have to be seen in a negative light. The more classrooms visited, the more experience gained. Exposing yourself to a range of diverse cultures and abilities mean that you're ready to go in all guns blazing and handle any situation that comes your way. It's always great to remind yourself that networking opportunities open up plenty of doors, although what you know is fantastic, remember to consider who you know to. Introduce yourself to teachers, have a good chit-chat in the classroom and make sure you end your day knowing that the school you've taught in know your name, the chances are if you leave your mark, you'll be on your way back in the morning.
How can I progress?
There is always career progression in the teaching profession, working through a recruitment agency doesn’t limit your possibilities, in fact, we'd go as far as to say it increases them. Completing a degree and trying to get a full-time job is always a difficult one. With plenty of others in the same position many of us are often left feeling disheartened when we don't land the job of our dreams immediately. Supply offers everyone the chance to make their mark in the classroom and gain vital experience. Meeting other teachers, swapping lesson plans and gathering plenty of feedback also means that you have the opportunity to grow and learn whilst on the job, which makes you a stronger candidate both in the classroom and on paper.
Will I have to prepare lesson plans and mark homework the same as if I was a full time teacher?
For many teachers, taking on class life comes with the price of long working hours & plenty of home preparation. Whilst the love and passion for their subjects drives them through, there are certain circumstances that may prevent everyone from being able to take on the same work load. Whether you're a parent, a student or even retired, supply gives you the chance to pick and choose when you're able or want to work. Having a degree of freedom means that individuals are able to balance their love of teaching and their home life without any added stress, and once you are done for the day there isn’t any homework to mark once you get home. voila!
But what if I don't get to teach my subject?
Obviously, teaching your own subject is always going to be at the top of your list, but having a go at something out of your comfort zone is also going to work in your favour. Perhaps you're an art teacher, but feel that you'd like to try a drama class, or a science teacher that has a passion maths, branching out and trying something new is not only going to strengthen your CV but your confidence too. Supply teaching requires you to be flexible and to be able to hit the ground running in different challenges, regardless of whether you're teaching something you're passionate about giving 100% wherever you go will help you to land that dream full-time job you're working towards.