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Bernie is one of our longest-serving (and hardest working) supply teachers and has been with Smile for years! So, if you are working what it's like working for a supply teaching agency or what the job of a supply teacher involves and getting some tips then keep reading.
As a supply teacher, early starts are the norm. You have to be up, dressed, ready and waiting by the phone by at least 7:00 am. Calls from the team at Smile may come in anytime from 7:00 am until 8:45 am (although at times this can be later!). Your consultant will then give you information about the role and the school, should you accept your mission, it's time to hop in the car and go!
It's important to allow yourself enough time to get to school, as traffic can be unpredictable. If you think you may be late, always remember to give your recruitment consultant a call so that they are able to let the school know. Not only is this polite but it enables the school to put temporary measures in place until you arrive.
When you arrive at the school, sign in and be sure to present your DBS certificate and have your driving license or another form of photo ID ready to present. This might seem like a lot to remember but it's a really important part of the safeguarding process.
Important questions to ask as a supply teacher are:
The times of the day you are on duty - playtimes, dinner time, assembly time.
How would you like the work to be marked and with what coloured pen?
Have you got a reward or sanctions scheme you must follow? Have you got PE today? (always have your trainers with you!!) Have you got a TA with you in class- these are the most helpful people ever to you, as they know everything you need to know to have a successful, enjoyable day.
Another great tip of mine is to, try to learn some of the children's names as you do the register. This really helps with behaviour management straight away something which can be tough when you are a supply teacher.
My next piece of advice would be to follow any planning as well as you can. Most teachers also like you to annotate it afterwards and give feedback on how the lessons have gone. When marking, it's important to ensure that you follow the school's marking scheme and is detailed and initialled. To keep your evenings as free as possible, I would suggest marking during playtimes and dinnertimes.
If you are considering becoming a supply teacher, you can find out more about what Smile has to offer here. Alternatively, you can skip ahead by taking a look at the roles we currently have available in your area.