The Tricks and Treats of being a Supply Teacher!

With Halloween around the corner and coughs and colds on the rise within schools it has led to an increase in absence and a demand for supply teachers.

Therefore, we thought we’d highlight some of the treats and tricks of being a great supply teacher!


  • Having a strong application form/CV with great experience can really boost your chance of gaining work quickly. The more your profile can sell itself the better. Be sure to include all relevant experience, job roles and duties and the length of your position whilst in a professional clear format – no one wants to read pages of work experience!Any information which your consultant can use to sell you into schools is also a great bonus, for example SEN experience.
  • One of the biggest qualities needed as a supply teacher is the ability to be adaptable and be open to change. Some days, for a mix of reasons from the school, you may go in to a placement prepared to teach year 1 and end up having an unplanned afternoon of year 4. Being able to just get on with it and deliver a lesson to the best of your ability is essential in the world of supply. It shows versatility and flexibility which schools love.
  • One ‘treat’ of being a supply teacher is the opportunity of being able to visit and teach in so many different schools and have an impact on so many children. You can see new behavioural policies, new environments, observe others teaching styles and some great working relationships. The positive impact you can leave in so many schools and the connections you can make is invaluable.


  • Treat everyday like a trial day! Every time you walk into a new school, you should treat it like a trial day for a new job. Creating a great first impression is so important in getting repeat work. Make sure when you arrive, you sign in and ask for all the essential appropriate policies and information. For everyday you do this, you are much more likely to see an increase in work and rapport within the area.
  • Know where to find the policies! Depending on how much notice you have with the placement, it is important to know where to access the school policies. The behavioural policy and safeguarding policy can always be found on school’s websites, however if not, these should be presented to you on arrival at the school. Make sure to ask for them if you do not receive them.
  • Being responsive to your agency is essential in forming great working relationships and receiving the most work. When work opportunities come in early around 7am and the consultants begin to ring around to suitable teachers, if you are not responsive to answering your phone you may miss that opportunity.

It is great to also update your consultant if you didn’t pick up the phone to let them know you were unavailable or were booked elsewhere or just couldn’t reach the phone in time! This little bit of contact really helps your agency keep up to date with where you’re at and your preferences.

Whilst supply has come great advantages and you can prepare yourself well for becoming a supply teacher, there are always tricks to be learnt within any industry. Please feel free to tweet us or comment your tricks for being a great supply teacher.

If you’re looking for flexible teaching opportunities and the ability to make a difference in lots of schools, please get in touch on 03301 242801 or register now!

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