It’s understandable why so many young people still dream of becoming teachers. Applications for permanent teaching roles continue to climb, off the back of a 65% year-on-year increase in 2020. And, as we all know, the sector provides rewarding and satisfying opportunities and offers a varied career with great prospects.
However, a far smaller number of people dream of becoming a supply teacher, which is strange when you consider the nature of the role. We’ve outlined some of the core benefits of being a supply teacher and why it should rank higher in the list of career choices:
More variety in your work
This one is fairly obvious but as a supply teacher you naturally get the opportunity to work in different schools, in different locations and with different colleagues and pupils, meaning no two days will ever be the same. This can be a big draw for those looking for a move away from the more structured format provided by full-time teaching roles. Teaching is also one of the less transient jobs, and permanent staff can stick with their schools for years, or even for a full career, which doesn’t appeal to everyone.
Better work-life balance
Teaching can take up a significant portion of your life and full-time staff have to manage major workloads that eat into evenings and free time. Most teachers can also only plan their holidays at set times to fit in with the school year, while supply teachers are free from these types of restraints and can also take days off when they need them, like family birthdays and celebrations. You can also benefit from off-peak travel prices, cheaper holidays and avoid crowded destinations. Last year, the British Journal of Educational Studies found that 75% of full-time teachers who left the profession did so to seek a better work-life balance and that is certainly something that can be gained from a career in supply teaching. Most supply teachers will also benefit from shorter working hours than regular teaching staff, leading to a much lower dropout rate than their full-time counterparts.
Less paperwork and more focused workload
While the teaching part of the job is what everyone wants to focus on, full-time staff also need to think about planning, target-setting, assessments, attending meetings, marking, parents evening and all the other elements that make up the role. And it appears to be driving many teachers away as workload volume accounts for 71% of full-time teachers leaving the profession, according to one recent study. Supply teaching allows you to step away from the additional workload and detangle yourself from everything outside of the core of your role. It also relieves you from potentially competitive environments and the additional pressures of dealing with staff and parents.
Autonomy over your career
As your supply teaching career develops, you will become familiar with schools that you like and those that you don’t. And one of the key benefits of working in this way is that if you don’t want to work somewhere, you don’t have to! The choice is yours and that can be both liberating and empowering. Particularly in the autumn and winter months as sickness bugs impact schools and staffing pressures increase, you’re more than likely to be in significant demand, giving you a true choice over where and when you work.
By working in different schools you’ll meet a considerably larger number of people than you would ever have the chance to in a full-time role. This can have significant benefits – other than expanding your circle of friends – and can lead to new skills and technique development, as well as greater awareness of upcoming opportunities.
You won’t miss out on L&D opportunities
A common misconception about supply teachers is that they don’t benefit from the same level of training and CPD opportunities as their permanent colleagues. This simply isn’t true, and here at The Supply Register we provide all of the candidates and staff in our partner schools with access to fully-funded, high quality and recognised development opportunities delivered by The Skills Network. We offer a suite of 22 free distance learning courses and accredited Level 2 qualifications to choose from, enabling you to enhance your skillset and further your career.
If you’re interested in a career in supply teaching, get in touch here.