Blog

Are you a supply teacher, teaching assistant or residenital support worker looking for some help and advice? If so, you are the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, NQTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer. 

For more good stuff like this, follow us on social media - you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Or pick up the phone and give us a call.

14-04-2022 - - 0 comments
The Benefits of Short Term Supply as an ECT

There are so many benefits of working in supply as a newly qualified teacher so we asked a few of our ECTs why they chose supply work.

12-04-2022 - - 0 comments
If Marvel superheroes were teachers...

As an education recruitment agency, we work with real-life superheroes every day. Teaching children isn’t an easy feat but the world depends on it and teachers are here to help. This got us thinking, if Marvel superheroes were teachers what would they teach?

08-04-2022 - - 0 comments
Understanding and Celebrating Diversity

While working in schools you will meet students from all walks of life. You’ll support students of different ethnicities, religions, abilities and sexualities. As a teacher or teaching assistant you have the responsibility to ensure that students feel heard, safe and accepted and to ensure that students are prepared to collaborate with others regardless of their differences. This is why we have compiled a list of ways you can embrace diversity in your classroom.

05-04-2022 - - 0 comments
Was Yoda a good teacher?

With May 4th being the official Star Wars day it got us thinking, was Yoda a good teacher?

31-03-2022 - - 0 comments
How to Accept a Job Offer

Once you have been offered a permanent role in one of our partner schools you might be wondering how you should go about accepting the job offer. As we have 13 years of experience in education recruitment, we know that it is always a good idea to formally accept a job offer so here are a few tips on how to do so.

23-03-2022 - - 0 comments
Invisible Disabilities in the Classroom

When working in a school environment, knowing and understanding invisible disabilities is key to ensuring your student's success. We hope this blog can help you be as supportive as possible for those in your class with invisible disabilities!

21-03-2022 - - 0 comments
Inspiring teachers with disabilities

We work with a variety of SEN schools and see how important it is to share positive representations of people from all walks of life this is why we wanted to share some teachers from around the world that have succeeded despite their disabilities and now inspire students and their communities to achieve their own goals.

21-03-2022 - - 0 comments
Easter activities your students will love

With Easter just around the corner, teachers and teaching assistants may be scrambling to think of some new and exciting Easter crafts for their students, if you’re looking for something new, these activities are no yolk!

21-03-2022 - - 0 comments
Celebrating Easter in the classroom

Easter is always an exciting time of year regardless of your age (we personally can’t wait for our Easter chocolate this year!). So it’s no wonder you would want to bring some Easter fun into your classroom this April. To help get you started we have asked some of our teachers for their favourite activities to get your class egg-cited for Easter!

08-03-2022 - - 0 comments
Female educators who worked hard for women's education

Did you know that March is Women’s History Month? The month is dedicated to highlighting the achievements of women throughout history. As we’re an education recruitment agency, we wanted to focus on some of the amazing women who’ve had an instrumental role in ensuring that women across the globe have access to education. 

08-03-2022 - - 0 comments
Female teachers that changed the world

We couldn’t let Women’s History Month go by without mentioning some of the incredible female teachers who have changed the world. 

 

 

22-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Key Policies those working in schools should know

If you work with children in a school, nursery or another setting there are a number of policies you’ll need to be aware of, so we have highlighted the key policies you should know.

22-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Fun Extra-Curriculars for your school

Offering to run an extra-curricular activity, even if only once a week, can really help you stand out in school (for all the right reasons!). Below we’ve shared some ideas of extra-curricular activities that you could run and how they’ll benefit the students.

22-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Things every teaching assistant needs in their bag

Some teaching assistants will work with one teacher, however, most will spend their day changing between different classrooms and age groups and if you’re on supply you might be visiting different schools too! This is why the contents of your bag are so important if you want your day to be smooth sailing.

16-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Get inspired for British Science Week

We couldn't let British Science Week go by without mentioning some of Britain's most influential scientists and giving a shout out to our amazing science teachers.

16-02-2022 - - 0 comments
5 ways to get your kids excited about Shakespeare

English teachers - hold on to your feathered, silk hats - it's Shakespeare Week.

16-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Life in the classroom after lockdown

While lockdown may seem like a lifetime ago many children, parents and teachers are still feeling the impact of school closures. Children are behind and as a result teachers and parents are feeling stressed. However, with children now back in school full-time and returning to their normal routines there is light at the end of the tunnel.

16-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Rewarding good student behaviour

After speaking with our teaching and teaching support staff, we’ve collated some examples of rewards that you may have success with in the classroom.

10-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Teaching resources for LGBTQ+ History Month

February is LGBTQIA+ History Month. After talking to some of our teachers we have come up with a list of ways you can incorporate this month into your teaching.

10-02-2022 - - 0 comments
Smile Support Pride 365

We have decided to put our own spin on Pride 365 to celebrate diversity all year round!

18-01-2022 - - 0 comments
A-Z of SEN terms and phrases.

We have composed a list of all the terms and phrases you need to know as a SEN teacher to make your life in the classroom more manageable.

18-01-2022 - - 0 comments
Teaching Assistant Levels: What Do They Mean and How Do They Differ?

Not sure what the difference between a level 2, level 3 and level 4 teaching assistant is? We've got you, here's everything you need to know about the different levels and what they mean.

18-01-2022 - - 0 comments
FAQ's about returning to the classroom

Following the Education Secretary's call for former and retired teachers to return to work, we've put together this FAQ to help answer any questions you might have about returning to the classroom.

05-01-2022 - - 0 comments
Plea for former teachers to return to the classroom

Following the continued spread of Omnicron, Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, made a plea for ex-teachers to return to classrooms across the UK in a bid to support schools with the staffing shortage caused by the new variant. 

22-11-2021 - - 0 comments
Christmas in the Classroom - Lesson Ideas

As Christmas is around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about how you can bring the festive spirit into your classroom. The good news is that there are endless ways in which you can add Christmas magic to your lesson; whatever that lesson might be. 

To help make lesson planning a little easier we’ve compiled together a num

08-11-2021 - - 0 comments
Our top stress-busting tips

Recruitment can be a stressful job that is made up of highs and lows. As a business, we recognise this and do our very best to help our team combat and cope with the challenges that working in the recruitment industry brings. Most recently we signed the MHIR Awareness to Action Pledge to help change th

12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Scary stories to read at Halloween

Here are a few scary stories to share with your students. 

12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Tips for leaders on handing stress & pressure

Here are a few tips for leaders on handling stress & pressure. 

12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
How to be a good role model for your staff & students

Here are a few tips on how you can be a good role model for your staff & students. 

12-10-2021 - - 0 comments
How to make a school great

Here are a few ways you can make your school, a great school. 

05-10-2021 - - 0 comments
Great places for school trips around Birmingham

Fun places in Birmingham you can visit on a school trip.

23-07-2021 - - 0 comments
Fun and educational places to visit in the Black Country

The summer holidays might be here but that doesn’t mean that the learning has to stop. We’ve put together a list of fun places in the Black Country and beyond that you can visit with your little ones during the school holidays. 

02-07-2021 - - 0 comments
Wellbeing tips for school leaders

How school leaders can improve their wellbeing and better support their students and staff.

18-06-2021 - - 0 comments
10 Phrases you Might Hear in Black Country Schools

We thought we’d have some light-hearted fun and take a look at 10 Black Country sayings that you might hear in schools and what they mean.

26-05-2021 - - 0 comments
How to become a headteacher

Advice on how to become a headteacher of a school.

24-05-2021 - - 0 comments
The 10 must-read books for every school leader

10 books that every aspiring and current school leader must read, what they are about and where to find them.

07-04-2021 - - 0 comments
Preparing for a headship

Smile Leadership, our sister company, provide you with some tips on how to prepare for your next headteacher interview.

09-03-2021 - - 0 comments
Goal scoring with Smile Soccer Stars and the Albion Foundation

For a while now, we have been working closely with West Bromwich Albion Foundation to bring sport to children who might not otherwise get the opportunity. Since running our first event in 2019, Smile Soccer Stars has grown into something more than we could have ever imagined - even the pandemic couldn’t stop it! 

20-01-2021 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Jessica Joan - My top tips for teachers working from home

Jessica, one of our lovely supply teachers who like many teachers is having to get used to working from home. Here she shares some tips which have helped her during this time.

17-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for Switching-Off at Christmas

It's time to switch-off! However, we know that can be easier said than done so we’ve put together some tips to help you.

16-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for Tutors using online video

We’ve put together some tips to help make sure that your online tutoring sessions are as successful as they can be!

16-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Questions parents should ask tutors

To help you find the right tutor for you and your child, you’ll need to ask each of the tutors you’re considering some questions. We’ve put together some of the questions we think are most important for you to ask below.

16-12-2020 - - 0 comments
Questions tutors should ask parents

As a tutor there are some key questions you should be asking both parents and students to establish what they are looking for from a tutor and how you can help. We’ve provided some examples of key questions for both below.

19-11-2020 - - 0 comments
How to choose the best online tutor for your child

We for most parents tutoring is unknown territory making finding the right tutor for your child a difficult and daunting task. Don’t panic or give up just yet though, we’ve put together some tips for you to help you choose the best tutor to suit your child. 

15-11-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for talking about race and racism in the classroom

We've put together some tips that teachers can use to help them talk about racism with their students. 

12-11-2020 - - 0 comments
How to talk to children about the coronavirus

We’ve put together some tips from around the web on how to handle questions about COVID-19 and how to explain the current pandemic and lockdown.

10-11-2020 - - 0 comments
How your child could benefit from online tutoring

Parents and guardians turn to tutoring for many reasons. Tutoring is the perfect supplement to school learning and gives students the time and support needed to excel. Of course, as we’ve already explained there are lots of benefit to using an online tutoring service

31-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for NQTs from education experts

Our panel of education experts share there top tips for NQTs.

26-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Resources to help you talk about racism in schools

We've compiled a list of resources to help you talk to students and pupils of all ages about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement.

23-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Our working from home tips

Our team, like 10000s of others around the country, has been doing their bit to slow the spread of the coronavirus by working from home. Now seven months in, we all pretty much feel like we’re experts so we thought it was only right we share our top tips with you

16-10-2020 - - 0 comments
Why choose Online Tutoring?

We have looked at the most common reasons why parents are frequently turning to Smile Tutors for their online tutoring. 

09-09-2020 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Jessica Joan - Managing Back to School Anxiety

Jessica Joan is one of Smile Education's lovely supply teachers and a health and wellness coach for teachers. She shares her tips on managing back-to-school anxiety.

24-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips for the NQTs of 2020

No NQT year is easy but this year might take the crown for being the toughest. Here are our tips for the NQTs of 2020. 

24-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Suneta Bagri - Top Tips for Handling the Pressures of Teaching

We asked Suneta Bagri and Steve Walters for these tips on handling the pressures of teaching.

17-08-2020 - - 0 comments
Tips on Tutoring

New to online tutoring? Don’t worry, we have some great tips and suggestions to help you become the best and most effective tutor you can be. 

30-07-2020 - - 1 comments
What is tutoring and is it right for you?

So, you’ve heard about Smile Tutors but you’re not quite sure what one is or if it’s right for you? Don’t worry, here is everything you’ll need to know about tutoring.

30-07-2020 - - 0 comments
Why become a Smile Tutor?

Thinking about becoming a Smile Tutor but need a little convincing? Here are all the reasons that we think you should give it a try.

09-07-2020 - - 0 comments
How to spot a teacher outside of school

It might be hard for your students to believe but when you’re not at school, you’re actually just a pretty ordinary person. But spotting a teacher outside of the classroom is much easier than you think.  In this blog we tell you how.

02-07-2020 - - 0 comments
The advantages of supply teaching

There are lots of advantages to becoming a supply teacher and it can be the perfect job for someone who loves being in the classroom but hates the many other duties that come with a permanent teaching post.

You may have heard all the cons about supply teaching so let us tell you some of the pros.

22-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Suneta Bagri - The power of a morning routine

As it’s Wellbeing Week, we asked Suneta Bagri, former headteacher, current wellbeing coach and founder of the Every Teacher Matters project to gives her advice to school staff on how to start the day off right and give your wellbeing a boost.

17-06-2020 - - 0 comments
Fun science experiments you can do at home!

No school? No problem? Here we share some fun home science experiments you can enjoy with your children at home.

05-06-2020 - - 1 comments
Most Common Support Worker Interview Questions

Although the role of a support worker is a rewarding role (just take a look at our day in the life blog to find out more) it can also be challenging and demanding. As with any job, you’ll be expected to interview and asked a series of questions to determine your suitability to the role.

29-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Twitter tips for teachers

If you aren't familiar with Twitter it might seem like a bit of a minefield but it can be a really great tool for teachers and headteachers alike. Our marketing and social media executive, Kelly, shares her top Twitter tips.

21-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Something or nothing? Focus on well being.

In mental health awareness week Suneta Bagri has kindly shared this blog with us which share some important thoughts on wellbeing for our staff. 

20-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Some tips for NQT's who are job hunting

Our MD and founder Katy Rees blogs for NQTS on their job search and how agencies can be used to help especially in these unprecedented times.

14-05-2020 - - 0 comments
Suneta Bagri- The importance of feeling connected.

We wanted to share this fantastic blog with you as looking after our own wellbeing is more important than ever at this time. Here are some great tips from Suneta Bagri for our staff. 

04-05-2020 - - 0 comments
5 Life lessons you can learn from Star Wars

On May 4th we share life lessons you can learn from Star Wars.

30-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Looking after yourself in the current pandemic - a guest blog

One of our Supply Staff shares their experience and tips for being kind to yourself in lockdown. Jess is also a holistic health and nutrition coach.

27-04-2020 - - 0 comments
5 Life lessons children can learn from gardening.

On national gardening day we share 5 lessons children can learn from gardening, an ideal activity when so many of us are home schooling our children during lockdown.

21-04-2020 - - 0 comments
5 Top Tips for Working From Home- Suneta Bagri

We wanted to share this fantastic blog with you as home working is quite new for many of us and comes with its own challenges! Here are some great tips from Suneta Bagri for our staff. 

16-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Making Home Schooling Fun!

The idea of home schooling your children can be a daunting one but fear not there are lots of fun things to do with them for free. We have put them all together for you in this handy blog.

14-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Guest blog by Suneta Bagri - Know your worth

As supporters of the Every Teacher Matters Project we wanted to share this fantastic blog from Suneta Bagri, in these challenging times self care is more important than ever for Read More »

09-04-2020 - - 0 comments
Have a Cracking Easter!

As Easter is approaching, here are some fun tips for ideas of activities you can do at home. We would love it if you share any pictures of your creations with us.

31-03-2020 - - 0 comments
The power of positive thinking - Suneta Bagri

 

It is a tough and uncertain time for everyone right now. It’s not an easy time for any of us but we have to stay positive. Training the mind is just as important as training the body. So, we asked Suneta Bagri, former headteacher, current wellbeing coach and founder of the Every Teacher Matters project to give us along with all of our lovely school staff some tips and advice on staying positive. 

31-03-2020 - - 0 comments
Meditation Tips for Beginners

We asked Louise, our resident wellbeing guru (and Compliance Team Leader) to share her tips on meditation with all of our lovely school staff. Here is what she had to say...

31-03-2020 - - 0 comments
Let's get physical, physical!

While you can't go to the gym right now, there are plenty of things that you can do at home to keep fit - things that won't cost you a penny and that might turn out to be pretty fun.

25-03-2020 - - 0 comments
Spruce up your LinkedIn

Looking to spruce up your LinkedIn profile, we've got some tips for you. 

23-03-2020 - - 1 comments
Feeling connected - A Guest Blog by Suneta Bagri

In light of the recent school closures and government advice on social distancing, it’s apparent that we are all feeling a little out of sorts. Which is why we asked Suneta Bagri, former teacher and headteacher turned Health & Wellbeing Champion in Schools and Founder of the Every Teacher Matters Project to offer some suggestions on things that you can do to improve your mental health and wellbeing. 

23-03-2020 - - 0 comments
Our top tips for improving your wellbeing

Our team have been working from home for the past week now and in that time we have managed to come up with some tips to improve your wellbeing and to stop you from getting cabin fever during the school closures. 

15-03-2020 - - 0 comments
5 burning questions about supply teaching answered by a supply teacher

We sat down with Andrew, one of our amazing supply teachers and asked him to answer 5 of your most burning questions about supply teaching. Here is what he had to say...

11-03-2020 - - 0 comments
Exam Invigilation with Smile

Why do exam invigilation with Smile? This is what our exam invigilators have to say.

10-02-2020 - - 0 comments
How to make the most of Safer Internet Day 2020

Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day so, we’ve come up with some ideas to help you celebrate Safer Internet Day in your school or residential setting.

20-01-2020 - - 0 comments
Don't be blue this Blue Monday!

Our tips to help you beat the January Blues.

 

05-01-2020 - - 0 comments
New Year, New CV

A New Year is the start of a new beginning and if one of your New Year’s resolutions is to find a new teaching job, we at Smile have some CV tips which are sure to help you score the teaching or teaching support role of your dreams

05-01-2020 - - 0 comments
Keywords you should be using in your CV

Keywords, buzzwords, whatever you call them, it’s important to include them in your CV. Here are five we think that you should add to your latest CV and we’ve also been kind enough to show you just how to use them too!

31-12-2019 - - 0 comments
Top 10 Guided Reading Strategies for Teaching Assistants

As a teaching assistant, you will be required to lead guided reading sessions with individual children and small groups. While this might sound easy, keeping students engaged is easier said than done. But don’t worry, we have picked the brains of the many Teaching Assistants we work with and compiled a list of helpful ideas. Have a look at some of the strategies we’ve suggested.

09-12-2019 - - 0 comments
School technicians - what do they do?

School technicians support and assist staff and students by preparing materials and equipment and are involved in practical aspects of lessons. Typically, a school technician will specialise in a certain subject area such as science, IT, or DT.

02-12-2019 - - 1 comments
5 Tips for Working in Nurseries

Working in a nursery can be a very challenging job but it is important that in that environment and around the little ones you know how to work effectively. Here are 5 quick tips to help you become the best nursery worker you can be.

28-11-2019 - - 0 comments
The role of an exam invigilator

Considering exam invigiluation but not sure what is required? We have the answers you've been looking for.

24-11-2019 - - 0 comments
The best places for a school trip in Coventry

Our Coventry Education Recruitment Consultant, has been spending a lot of time in Coventry recently, registering teachers and teaching assistants and meeting with schools. During their downtime, he’s been spending some time exploring the lovely city of Coventry and finding out what it has to offer. What they discovered are some really fantastic places that would be perfect for school trips or even a fun family day out. 

22-10-2019 - - 0 comments
Could you be a cover supervisor?

Everything you need to know about the role of a cover supervisor.

11-10-2019 - - 0 comments
Our NQT Survival Guide

One in seven NQTs who had qualified in 2017 had dropped out by the following year. To help reduce this number, here are some survival tips to pass on to your NQTs to ensure that they make it through the year in one piece!

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
How to become a great Science Teacher

Science is complex and at times can be confusing. So, in order for students to retain the information you are teaching, we advise that you make lessons as engaging and hands-on as possible. Doing so will help you bring the subject matter to life and ensure that they remember all about energy or cell biology or whatever you might be teaching!

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
What is the difference between primary and secondary teaching?

Teaching is a great and rewarding career where you will have the opportunity to touch the lives of many young people. The biggest decision you have to make, however, is whether you would like to be a primary or secondary teacher, as while they may look similar on paper, in reality, they are very different.

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
5 ways to become an even better English Teacher

As an English Teacher, you have a pretty important job as you are the person responsible for teaching children to not only read and write but to learn from their peers and have challenging conversations.

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
Tips for new teachers

Doing a teaching degree and set to graduate soon? We bet we can guess that you are feeling a little nervous. Not to worry though, that’s completely normal - we’ve all had first-day jitters!

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
Common NQT problems and how to solve them

Your NQT year will be full of new experiences. While some of them will be good, others might be more of a challenge. For example, you’ll get to witness children grasping a complex idea as a result of your teaching. On the other hand, you’ll also be confronted by some, at times, hairpulling (maybe literally) situations. But don’t panic, we have some advice on how to deal with them.

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
Your NQT Induction - What to Expect

Your QTS is in the bag and all that stands between you and your full qualification is your NQT induction. So, what’s in store?

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
7 ways to support EAL learning in primary

As a teacher, it is important to sometimes place yourself in the students of your students. For example, imagine you are given a task to complete, only to find that it’s been written in Egyptian hieroglyphics that you cannot understand. It’s likely that your confusion would quickly turn to frustration and then to disinterest. Not a nice feeling, right?

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
Our 5 Top Tips for Working with Children with SEN

We are very proud to work with some fantastic special educational needs schools and residential homes across the West Midlands, as well as some amazing SEN teachers and support staff. We understand that working with children with special needs can at times be challenging but know that ultimately it’s very rewarding.

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
10 Tips for New Teaching Assistants

Taking on a Teaching Assistant role is a great way of getting first-hand classroom experience before you embark on a PGCE. To help rid you of any first day nerves, we’ve put together a list of helpful tips to help prepare you for life in the classroom.

12-08-2019 - - 0 comments
Top revision tips to teach your students

No one really likes revising but it is essential for exam success. However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom, in fact, there are ways for you to make revising more interesting and fun. Here are our top revision tips we think that your students should know.

 

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