As we’ve covered before, becoming a supply teacher has its benefits. For those looking to make the leap into this highly rewarding career, there are two key things to consider first; what training and qualifications are needed on an ongoing basis, and how can you get the best start as a supply teacher.
Get your qualifications in order
If you’re already a teacher and you’re reading this, the chances are that you’ve already got all the qualifications you’ll need. For a normal supply job, you’ll need to hold Qualified Teacher Status, however, there are potential opportunities for unqualified teachers too.
Many secondary schools offer roles as cover supervisors, although you will need a relevant degree, or be in the process of securing one, as well as showing a commitment to a career in education. This can often be highlighted from either a paid or unpaid placement in another secondary school, although it’s worth checking on entry requirements before committing to an application.
Commit to continued training
While you may have the qualifications to go into teaching, it’s important to have continued training and development in your supply teaching career just as you would if you were in a permanent position. Aside from updating your knowledge around safeguarding issues in school, it’s important to also continuously develop your skills in other areas that will benefit your career, the pupils you interact with and the schools or academies you work with. This includes:
- How to identify and address bullying in children and young people
- Improving your softer skills such as leadership, communication and counselling
- Promoting mental well-being in the classroom
- Integrating technology into teaching
- And much more.
Accessing regular training to boost these skills will prove invaluable in your career, providing greater opportunities to work with innovative schools and academies while also allowing you to give your absolute best to the pupils you engage with.
Becoming a supply teacher – what next?
So, you have the qualifications and you’re committed to continuously developing your skills, what next? Here are our top tips to set yourself up for success in your new career:
You don’t need to go too far and launch advertising campaigns promoting your skills and availability. But it is worth assessing your CV and questioning whether you are promoting the key elements that you want potential employers to see. Schools sourcing supply teachers often seek those with clear examples of working in similar environments in the past, so it’s worth tailoring your application, or working with an agency that can help you with your CV, if you really want to kickstart your supply career. Highlighting any new training you’ve added to your repertoire will also boost your chances of regular opportunities with schools.
Boost your communication skills
Being a good communicator is a key skill for any teacher, but it’s particularly critical for supply staff who will have to be on top of keeping students engaged and help to ensure good behaviour, when many students may see an opportunity to lose focus. Equally, communicating effectively with other teachers – who may pass lesson plans or instructions over in a limited timeframe – is critical so you can quickly establish what the requirements for the session are.
Do your research
It can be daunting enough to jump in at the deep end and take on a role at a school you’re unfamiliar with, but in the early days of your career, it’s definitely worth taking a step back and only choosing roles that you feel really comfortable with. Don’t turn down everything waiting to find that ‘Goldilocks’ opportunity, but a negative experience early on in your career could potentially set you back. As an experienced teacher, you’ll know the levels of challenging behaviour you feel comfortable with so work closely with your recruitment consultant to ensure you are being placed in the right school.
Find the right agency partner
Choosing the right agency means you’ll have access to opportunities that are for you and your particular circumstances. Provided you have the necessary qualifications, experience, and documents and can legally work in the UK, working with the Supply Register couldn’t be easier.
Once we’ve received satisfactory references and you’re registered with us, our team will help you to find work in any number of different environments – but, importantly, you decide how, when and with which schools, academies and multi-academy trusts you work. We can also provide advice on the entire job search process and help you to present yourself in the best way possible to potential schools. And to make temporary work even easier, you’ll have access to a personalised Candidate Portal to manage everything in one place, conveniently and securely. Working with us means you can increase your pay by an average of £5,000 per year, you can find work you want to do, get paid when you want and benefit from accredited CPD support, amongst other benefits.
If you’re looking to kickstart your supply teaching career, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.