The role of the supply teacher unpacked

There are many qualified teachers who are going down the supply teacher route as they are unwilling to sacrifice the amount of time full time teaching requires. Supply teaching allows the teacher to choose their own days of work and although not paid during the school holidays the rate of pay when working is good.

Most schools have an expectation that a supply teacher will be well organised, punctual and conscientious and will follow the school’s policy and procedures and so it is important that any supply teacher should be aware of these especially concerning rewards and disciplines.

Some teachers will leave work for the children to do and expect this to be conducted according to their instructions. This is especially the case with older children who often have a fixed curriculum to cover in a given timeframe. If this is the case it is important to follow the teacher’s instructions as much as possible. A brief note to the teacher outlining how the day went is an important way to communicate but should focus on the positive aspects of the day.

Occasionally a supply teacher is needed to cover for an unexpected absence in which case work may not have been allocated so it is a good idea to have generic lessons prepared that can be easily adapted to the age group you are required to teach.