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Any tips? New to supply!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by mazjak, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Hi I have recently joined a supply agency after nearly 5 years out of the classroom (I wanted to be at home while my children were little). I just wondered if anyone can give me any tips as I am getting a bit nervous about the possibility of getting a phone call next week! I am primary trained and have specified ks1/early years initially as that is where my experience lies.

    Many thanks!
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    This gets asked so often. Do a quick search. Put in something like 'new to supply' and tick Supply forum only and it should come up with loads of threads.

  3. Don't expect a lot of work!
  4. Thanks!
  5. Supply teaching doesn't exist anymore, so don't worry about getting that call. You have just made yourself unemployed. Welcome to the dole queue.
  6. Don't take any notice of the doomsayers! I was in despair, I got made redundant last Easter, the first half term - I got nothing, the second half term I got some work every week, over the summer holiday I got JSA and got my teeth fixed and free new glasses. Since the start of the academic year, I got no work for the first three days and after that I have not had a day out. It depends where you are and what you are prepared to do, I took anything that was offered, changed nappies in a nursery, discovered the joys of a PRU and did admin in a school office, when the agencies discovered I was flexible and reliable I had to fight them off. Supply is great, maybe not forever but a fantastic way of broadening your perspectives, sure I'd prefer a proper job with pension and security but for variety and interest supply wins every time.
  7. Thanks all! As I have been a stay at home mum for the past nearly 5 years I just thought supply would be the only way back into teaching as I'm unlikely to get a permanent job after so long away from teaching. So I'm not too fussed whether I get masses of work or just a bit here and there, as it's the experience I'm after rather than the money. Hopefully after a little while on supply i'll have something recent for my cv then more chance of getting a permanent job at some point.

    I was just after tips really like what do you take with you into schools, are there any questions you must remember to ask when u get there (obviously things like when breaktime is but is there anything else I should ask) just things I may not have thought of really. I have just had a search of this site and found lots of good ideas.
  8. Mrs-Pip

    Mrs-Pip New commenter

    Hi, I wish you all the best and hope you enjoy it! I teach primary, mainly EYFS and KS1.
    Some of the questions I ask :
    Timetable of the day, am I on playground duty, are there any children with any particular needs or issues that I need to be aware of, any assembly today, are there any children that can't be collected by a certain person, do the children swop classes for groups, lunchtime routine, do the children come into school or do i have to collect them from somewhere, is the register on the computer or is it a paper one, is there a TA for any part of the day, is there any work left or am I doing my own thing, are some children on a school bus or in any after school clubs, do any of the children have any allergies... I think that's all you might need to know.
    I always take a bag with things to do for all age ranges...sometimes you can get to a school and they have swopped you around.
    Don't worry if no one talks to you all day, it's not you! Good luck! [​IMG]
  9. Thanks Mrs Pip, that is really useful! I hadn't thought of lots of those things. I am a bit nervous about so many "unknowns" - what if I don't understand the plans, what if I can't work the computer etc! (I've never had a register on the computer, only paper ones!) but I guess you get used to it all!
  10. Mrs-Pip

    Mrs-Pip New commenter

    Feel free to send a message to my inbox anytime! A few people on here have been a great help when I have needed to sound out about some things.
  11. Hi,
    I started supplying this September after several unhappy years working with a succession of moronic head teachers - but that's another thread... I have really enjoyed teaching supply and despite the shortfall in my income I am exponentially happier teaching like this.
    I found a lot of useful advice for supply teachers (primary biased) on this site:


    Take a look, it might be useful to you too.

    Good luck - happy new year!
  12. try this website www.beasupplyteacher.co.uk

    I thought that it was very helpful.
  13. Bring some lunch, a bottle of water and a flask of tea /coffee (til you know the score on staffroom ).
    Be cheerful , smile and be willing.
    Be wary of agencies and take everything they say with a big pinch of salt!
  14. ....first tip is be CAREFUL of the scum agencies out there. They are scum for a reason and the list could go on and on.
    ...I agree, since on supply I have been a lot happier too. The stuff that disheartens are the broken agency promises, the lies, the time wasting, paper/form filling, the messing about, the false calls and the shameful request to do CS work.....other than that....supply is great
  15. ...well, thats a difficult question for a number of reasons, not least as there appears to be no way of assessing how good/bad an agency is.
    ...go with your gut feelings. The agencies arent regulated in the same way as other sectors, although they are audited and do get checked out via Ofsted...I think?
    ...try a few out and see who gets you work first. But dont be loyal to any of them and be ruthless if you dont click with any of them
  16. Hi
    I was made redundent 18 months ago and have been on supply ever since. ihate it - I do not belong anywhere, on the upside there is no planning or marking.
    I was very lucky and did a few days in a lovely school who stillbelieve in supply (they reckon it is still more cost effective!) The agencies very soon realised that I was a 'bargain' because I had taught at KS3/4 across a range of subjects and had held management positions. The rates of pay are attrocious because the school/agencies have 'agreements' that you are not party to. Apart from the one school I have been in - I have had just 2 days in other schools in a year. Supply work is practically non-existent thanks to HLTA's and Cover Supervisors. There are new working regulations for agency staff that came in last month which protects us a bit more. Agencies are pure luck, the one I am with gets paid for making a 20 second phone call maybe once a week. I do not believe there is anything to chose between them they are all competitive, even more so now, so go with your instinct or a recommendation.
    Good luck to you and Happy New Year.

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