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NQT signed up for supply work.

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by pixie10, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. pixie10

    pixie10 New commenter

    Hi all. I am an NQT without a job for September, I have signed up to two teaching agencies for supply work. I am quite worried about the prospect of supply work, but I can’t think of any other options for work. What advice are people able to offer? I will still be looking for my first teaching post to complete my NQT. I am not looking forward to hearing about my fellow trainees first few weeks in their new roles as teachers! Sorry if this sounds silly!
    pepper5 likes this.
  2. historygrump

    historygrump Star commenter Forum guide


    Welcome to the forum.

    I would sign up with another couple of agencies, it is a good experience and learning curve, and will improve your skills. I look at other sites like Eteach or others like Novus who work in prisons, besides the TES jobsite, also look at your local council jobsite for teaching or even support roles.
    JohnJCazorla and pepper5 like this.
  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Hi Pixie

    Yes welcome to the forum.

    It is better to be without a post rather than be in a school that you don't enjoy being in, so when you are looking for your first school take your time and do your research and try and ensure it is a positive place to work at - somewhere you will enjoy going to every day.

    During the time as a supply teacher, on the days you are not teaching or not actively looking for your first role, take any spare time you have and invest it in learning a second skill that you could use in case you ever decide to leave teaching. This advice isn't just for teachers, but it is a good idea to have at least another skill you can use to make money. Some courses are free and you could learn to touch type, update your computer skills, learn to program computers, bookkeeping, are just some ideas.

    Take some time to read the New to Supply Thread and get some rest over the summer.

    Be mentally prepared that unless you have a long term supply role lined up for September, it might be mid October before it starts to get busy; but you have plenty to keep you occupied anyway because you will be looking for work.

    Don't make the mistake of worrying about things but have something lined up to keep your mind occupied and learning new things when you have the time.
    BreakEven and JohnJCazorla like this.
  4. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Remember when you go in your supply the kids won't behave as good for you as the would an established teacher.

    Remain calm that's normal take a breath and follow the schools policies be firm but fair with the kids, everyday will be like a new day the kids won't know you. You will get about 30 seconds of your lucky to see the lesson.

    Outline your expectations at the start be clear with them make sure they know your not going to sit there on your phone. Walk around and check the work talk to the students.
    If the class kick off don't be afraid to line them up back outside read them the riot act and get them back in, strangely some schools like this it shows your trying but also it's a good way of getting the students out of the comfort zone and saying today this is my manor.

    always say thank you for a nice day to the cover manager when you leave as that way you get your face known.

    Also take your own stationary have at least three marker pens buy berol markers with refill pots. Buy cheap pens from Tesco's for the kids. You will find it saves time and convinces the kids your organised.

    Look smart dont fall into the trap, their normal teacher may look like a tramp but the first thing the kids and staff judge you on is appearance of you look like your part time job is a clown then they won't respond.

    If they offer you a long term placement agree the pay with your agency before accepting.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
    pepper5 and JohnJCazorla like this.
  5. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Hope the supply thing is a temporary phase and you get something long term or permanent lined for Jan or sooner. Enjoy the sunshine and don't worry as there's not much going on school wise right now. :)
    JohnJCazorla likes this.
  6. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Are you primary or secondary? I don't know how typical or not my experiences are, but I've found that generally primary involves more active teaching whereas secondary is often more managing the class while they get on with tasks set by their teacher (but it can make a difference whether you are doing general cover or the school have asked for a specialist - in the latter case there's been more actual teaching). If you are secondary and depending on where you are in the country and how much work there is likely to be, it might be worth considering and then telling your agency that you would be interested in doing primary too as it will give you a wider experience.
    I know it is hugely disappointing when you haven't got a job - especially if all your friends seem to be flooding Facebook with pictures of their classroom or talking about their new school when you meet up but supply can be a fantastic experience and you do learn a lot in a short space of time. I'm quite a shy, quiet, unconfident person and probably wouldn't be seen as a natural supply teacher but I have coped so far so I'm sure you will too. And the advantage is that it will help when it comes to interview questions as you will have lots of examples! There's a good chance you would be able to pick up a longer term placement or maternity cover which would mean you could tick off a term or two of NQT year.
    Good luck!
  7. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

  8. TheOracleAtDelphi

    TheOracleAtDelphi Established commenter

    Thanks Bertie :)
    BertieBassett2 likes this.
  9. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    I'm not convinced that starting a teaching career on supply is the ideal way to begin but as others have said - it is a good way of seeing schools in operation.

    It will be very tough for you pixie - you will have some horrible days and you will probably not be working every day.

    I also suggest that you start applying for permanent jobs again as soon as possible.
  10. pixie10

    pixie10 New commenter

    Thank you all for the advice. I am secondary, but have told the agencies I am willing to give primary a go. I will enjoy the summer and will look to try new things and learn a new skill whilst i am not working. I am going to use supply as a way to hone my classroom management skills.
    Happyregardless and pepper5 like this.
  11. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    It will certainly do that.
    Happyregardless and pepper5 like this.
  12. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    Remember the following and say it to you after your demon day

    It's not personal
    pixie10, Happyregardless and pepper5 like this.
  13. nearmiss

    nearmiss Lead commenter

    Join a union, so that you can get support and even some free CPD.
    Happyregardless likes this.
  14. pixie10

    pixie10 New commenter

    I am in a union already, but very good advice thank you!

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