Are you a supply teacher or teaching assistant looking for some help and advice? If so, you are in 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, ECTs 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.
Are you thinking of entering into the world of teaching and want to develop your classroom experience? Working as a Cover Supervisor might be an excellent place for you to start, especially if you’ve just recently graduated.
Whether you’ve been teaching for decades or if it’s your first leap into the real world of education, it’s understandable to find returning to work quite daunting. To help you feel a little better, we’ve drummed up a few reminders to reassure you in time for your return.
When it comes to education and learning, it can be easy to forget about art and creativity in favour of other subjects. However, creativity has been shown time and time again by research to be intrinsically linked with the motivation to learn. As a result, the creative nature of art is an essential part of children’s learning.
With progression opportunities, flexible hours and the chance to change a student’s life, becoming a teaching assistant means choosing a role where no two days are the same.
Are you starting your first teaching job this September? Tackling your first few months as a teacher might sound daunting, but that doesn’t mean you have to go through it alone. Remember, there are so many people in the same boat as you, and everyone starts somewhere!
Are you graduating with a QTS in the next few months? If you’re looking for your first teaching job after qualifying, it doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds.
Got questions about the DBS? We've done our best to answer all your questions about the Disclosure and Barring Service.
There’s no one-size-fits all when it comes to teaching roles. Depending on your experience, flexibility or career goals, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to finding out what's best for you. Here, we've outlined some of the differences between both supply teaching and opting for a permanent position.
As with any job, being a teacher certainly comes with its challenges. For the most part, the good parts outweigh the bad. With Valentine’s coming up, love is in the air and so there’s no better time than the present to focus on the positives of being a teacher; all the reasons why you love doing what you do.
Even though the internet creates better opportunities for research and communication it can be dangerous so, with today being Safer Internet Day we wanted to share a few ways you can help keep your students safe when they use the internet.
Some positive people to follow on social media to help raise your spirits.
Talking about mental health, isn’t always easy but having an open dialogue about mental health can really help and ensure that people find the help that they need.
Our mental health champion, Louise, gives her some advice on how to switch off and unwind during the Christmas break (or any break for that matter!).
Even though teaching can be extremely rewarding school staff still love their time off for many reasons, so we asked our school staff what their top reason for looking forward to the holidays were and put together a list of what luxuries teachers get to enjoy over the holidays…
With Christmas being such an exciting time of year it’s easy to get swept up in the celebrations and everything Christmas, but not everyone in your class will be able to do the same.
For those with different religious beliefs, who don’t celebrate Christmas or might find this time of year emotionally difficult, it can feel a bit isolating so we wanted to share a few ways you can help everyone in your class feel included.
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Don’t suffer in silence. Here are some helplines below which offer support and advice on a variety of different topics to support you.
Christmas is just around the corner and both students and teachers are beginning to write their Christmas lists so we wanted to share what is on the top of our teachers' Christmas lists.
Anti-bullying Week will take place from the 14th to the 18th of November and we wanted to do our bit to support our teachers and teaching assistants. We strongly believe that every child deserves to feel valued and comfortable in their classroom and one of the best ways to do this is to create a culture of kindness amongst your students. We’ve collated our tips from our school staff and shared them below.
Black History Month is coming up and it’s the perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate the black people in your community’s culture, history and achievements with your class.
For many of us in the Smile office, some of our favourite memories at school are fun-filled days with parties, dress up and celebrations so, of course, we were a little surprised about the recent decisions some schools have made to ban Halloween.
With such a difficult decision we thought we would share some of the reasons we found for and against banning Halloween so you can decide for yourself!
Seeing your students get excited about the upcoming celebrations is one of the best parts of teaching but it can be distracting when it comes to your little ones learning. We asked a few of our teachers and they have suggested a few ways you can keep learning alive during Halloween.
Speaking more than one language opens up a world of possibilities, from being able to communicate with a variety of different people from different cultures and countries to having an advantage when it comes to future career prospects, we believe every student should learn a language, here are a few more reasons why…
As we head into a new academic year, we felt it was important to reminder all of our school staff about the upcoming resignation dates and offer some advice on what to do and how to go about it.
As a lot of ECTs tend to choose short-term supply work to complete their ECT years with us, we know what schools are looking for and what you need to do to pass you ECT years.
With so much knowledge it would be selfish to keep it to ourselves so we wanted to give you a few pointers on how to pass with flying colours!
We understand that your time is precious and researching age-appropriate, LGBTQ+ inclusive books isn’t going to be on the top of your to-do list. This is why we have asked our school staff for their top recommendations for various school ages.
We work with many ECTs and know how daunting the application and interview process can be so we wanted to make it easier for you with this list of what schools are looking for from our schools themselves.
Our fabulous (and very hardworking) diversity and inclusion team organised our very own Pride party this month as part of our Pride 365 celebrations!
Diversity and Inclusion is one of our main priorities as an education recruitment agency and that is why we have given our school staff access to free Diversity and Inclusion training through our online training platform.
As it is Diabetes Awareness Week we wanted to share Elisha's experience working in recruitment as someone with Type 1 diabetes.
We recently asked our Instagram followers for any questions they may have about supply teaching with Smile.
After getting a few questions in we thought what better idea than to pop our answers in a blog for you all, this way they’re extra-accessible for those that do have the same questions.
Here are our answers…
With all of the Pride flags and celebrations over the next few weeks, your students will be curious about the history and significance of this month. As their teacher, you might be unsure about how to answer all of their questions so we have come up with a few tips on how to do so.
We understand that working as a teacher, although rewarding, can come with stress and pressure, especially when you are just starting out. This is why we have asked a few of our teachers, who have been there and done it, and have come up with a few tips on how to handle stress and pressure 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.
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?
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.
With May 4th being the official Star Wars day it got us thinking, was Yoda a good teacher?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
We couldn’t let Women’s History Month go by without mentioning some of the incredible female teachers who have changed the world.
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.
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.
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.
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.
English teachers - hold on to your feathered, silk hats - it's Shakespeare Week.
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.
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.
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.
We have decided to put our own spin on Pride 365 to celebrate diversity all year round!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are a few scary stories to share with your students.
Here are a few tips for leaders on handling stress & pressure.
Here are a few tips on how you can be a good role model for your staff & students.
Here are a few ways you can make your school, a great school.
Fun places in Birmingham you can visit on a school trip.
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.
How school leaders can improve their wellbeing and better support their students and staff.
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.
Advice on how to become a headteacher of a school.
10 books that every aspiring and current school leader must read, what they are about and where to find them.
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!
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.
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.
We’ve put together some tips to help make sure that your online tutoring sessions are as successful as they can be!
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.
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.
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.
We've put together some tips that teachers can use to help them talk about racism with their students.
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.
Our panel of education experts share there top tips for NQTs.
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.
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
We have looked at the most common reasons why parents are frequently turning to Smile Tutors for their online tutoring.
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.
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.
We asked Suneta Bagri and Steve Walters for these tips on handling the pressures of teaching.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No school? No problem? Here we share some fun home science experiments you can enjoy with your children at home.
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.
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.
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.
On May 4th we share life lessons you can learn from Star Wars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
Looking to spruce up your LinkedIn profile, we've got some tips for you.
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.
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.
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...
Why do exam invigilation with Smile? This is what our exam invigilators have to say.
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.
Our tips to help you beat the January Blues.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
Considering exam invigiluation but not sure what is required? We have the answers you've been looking for.
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.
Everything you need to know about the role of a cover supervisor.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
A Day in the Life of Our East Midlands SEN Consultant, Rosie
Smile Education Celebrated as One of the UK's Leading Recruiters by Financial Times
We’re Now Supporting Teachers in Sheffield and South Yorkshire!
Donating Uniforms to Schools in Need
Our Partnership with Tudor Grange Academies Trust: 5 Questions for the CEO