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How to become a Supply Teacher - ABC Teachers

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How to become a
Supply Teacher
Finding an agency: Choosing the right Teaching Agency for you
1. Recommendations are probably the best place to start. Many teaching
agencies will promise you the world but receiving a recommendation from an
experienced supply teacher is a good way of ascertaining the best agency to
work for.
2. Call a number of agencies and get a feel for the education consultant who
covers your specialism and region. This is the person who will be responsible
for securing you work, so if you don’t think they sound knowledgeable,
professional and personable then it’s safe to assume that the schools will also
be wary about trusting the consultant to recruit on behalf of them.
3. Ask the agency what schools they work with regularly. This will enable you to
see whether the teaching agency is suitable for your requirements.
4. Be wary of choosing a teaching agency on its size. You will probably be kept
busier by an agency with not enough teachers then one with too many.
5. Don’t necessarily go with the agency that offers you the most money. A
supply teacher's pay will directly affect the amount charged to schools. More
and more schools are choosing to pay less for supply teachers and using
cover supervisors where possible to keep costs down. In short you may find
the agencies paying the most will not necessarily be able to secure the most
work. At ABC Teachers, we believe we have carefully managed professional
rates of pay and competitive charge rates giving you the best of both worlds.
Preparing for your day
6. If you are given a booking in advance try to get to the school in plenty time.
Schools will panic if you are running late and it does not create a good first
impression. Equally, as a supply teacher you will benefit from having enough
time to settle yourself, ask any questions in regards to your day and
familiarise yourself with the discipline procedure before facing your first
class. 8:15 is the optimum time to arrive at an assignment, although for last
minute booking this won’t always be possible
7. Try to have a few tricks and ideas up your sleeve in order to keep the class
occupied should there be no work set. This will give you valuable time to find
out what the class should really be doing whilst retaining their
8. Your appearance matters. Dress professionally for supply teaching work.
This will encourage respect from pupils and help make a good first
impression with the school.
9. Plan your route to the school in advance. If you are going to be late contact
your teaching agency so that they can inform the school.
10. Keep items you will need each day ready in advance. This means when you
are given last minute assignments you are able to leave quickly and get to the
school earlier. Things you have ready should include:
Clean and ironed clothes
Your recent DBS Disclosure and some photographic ID
(passport or driving licence)
Pens and pencils should your pupils have forgotten theirs
Some back up schemes of work (as mentioned above)
A Sat Nav or A to Z
Consider taking a bag with sports kit in case you are asked to
cover PE
Maximising your work
11. If you have not received a booking prior to the morning, call your teaching
agency first thing and inform them you are up, ready and available for work.
In the morning your consultant will contact people they know can get to the
school with minimum fuss.
12. If you go to a school you like, let the school know you are available for other
assignments. You may find that you are requested by name in the future.
13. Be flexible. The more flexible you are the more opportunities you are likely
to receive.
14. While you should never use your mobile phone in class or in front of you
pupils, do check your phone during breaks for texts and voice mails from your
teaching agency, which may have details of further assignments.
15. Be speedy in the morning. If you can be seen as a person who can leave and
get to schools with minimal fuss, the agency will automatically see you as an
obvious choice for bookings.
Classroom management strategies
16. One of the main issues with supply teachers is a lack of enthusiasm for the
role. Stay enthusiastic for the position, keep working and never give up on
the class and let it rule you. Utilise dos and don’ts below and things will
become easier.
17. Avoid shouting if possible. It can give the impression that you have lost
control making it difficult to regain it.
18. At the start of lesson set clear expectations of the class.
19. Do not be afraid to accept support. Even the best teachers will have days
when support can help
20. Take the time to get to know the names of the pupils in the class
21. If you are at the school for a longer period, devise a seating plan to stop
disruptive groups forming
22. Know the names of each individual head of year, and then use them when
addressing behaviour issues
23. Use positive praise of good behaviour to avoid allowing negative behaviour
to gain all the attention
24. Do not highlight you are in the school on a short-term basis. This gives
pupils the impression that they do not need to be concerned about you in the
25. By following the regular pattern of discipline pupils know where they stand, so try to
know the school behaviour management system.
To register with ABC Teachers call 08453 700 244 today
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