What Schools Are Looking For From a Supply Teacher

The supply market is becoming saturated with both agencies and teachers therefore how do you ensure you’re standing out amongst others?

You want to be the teacher that pops into your agencies and schools’ minds in the first instance. With the help of the top tips below you can make sure you’re at the forefront of both agencies and schools’ minds when considering recruitment options.

Flexibility –Flexibility is one of the most sought-after traits of a supply teacher. Turning up to a school expecting to be teaching Year 2 but ending up teaching Year 5 and just getting on with it is a great showcase of your skills as a supply teacher. As you know, plans within a school can change in minutes and the blessing of schools using supply teachers is that they can utilise their teachers skillset however they require. Therefore being adaptable and able to teach a variety of years is a highly sort after skill.

Commitment – Being reliable to a school is incredibly important. The school needs to be reassured that once they’ve booked you to work with them that they know there won’t be any changes. Equally, sometimes changing plans to enable you to help the school will help you in the long term. It is never ideal to have to move plans around, however a one-off change of plans to do a day’s supply can lead to the school being more favourable to book you in the future or even offer a long-term position.

Quality – Pressures building from Ofsted, curriculum changes and regular assessments occurring; all mean that quality staff is essential in all schools. Having a supply teacher within a class that the school can leave to plan, teach and deliver outcomes is great. Before a placement begins make sure you are up to date with curriculum knowledge, you have read the safeguarding and behavioural policies, as well as having a ‘back up bag’ of resources for those lessons that have very little planning left!

Be organised – As we all know, first impressions are so important. Having a prompt arrival with your DBS and ID to hand can make your arrival at the school a much smoother process for yourself and the admin staff. As previously mentioned, having a back up bag of resources and lesson plans can be a vital when turning up to any school. Agencies aren’t often given a lot of information to pass onto the teacher about lesson plans, therefore just having some suitable alternatives can save you stress and time – as well as showing the school how organised and prepared you are!

Feedback – Feedback for a school can be vital for highlighting areas to the school that were positive and others areas that a supply teacher may feel like they need more support on.  For example, you may have loved the early years setting however you might not have been given a full tour of the school to know whereabouts you are in relation to other classrooms etc. All this feedback can show you’re trying your best to be involved and part of the school. However there is of course a fine line of being too critical, thus it is vital that you feedback is both informative and considered. Remember, you can always relay your feedback to your agency to deliver to the school instead.

Leaving a handover note to the class teacher is also a great way of leaving your stamp in a school. Feedback on any star pupils, those that needed more assistance, any letters sent home or received, alongside any work left over and general feedback is a great way to get repeat bookings. Those extra 5 minutes of writing notes can show you’ve gone the extra mile to ensure consistency for the school, teacher and pupils. It can be hard for a class teacher to know where the class are at after missing a day of teaching therefore making sure their return is as smooth as possible will leave you in their thoughts in a positive way!

By following the above tips, you will ensure that you have finished the school day positively and left the school with the best impression. These tips are the best way to ensure consistent work, rebooking’s and can provide development into long term bookings.

If you’re looking for supply work, whether it is day to day or long term, please give us a call on 03301242801, email us at [email protected] or register online at www.opusteach.co.uk.

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