I’m not sure what I felt about them when I was a full time teacher either – these people who came and sat in the wrong seat in the staffroom with their brightly coloured lanyard and their own travel mug of coffee. Not real teachers at all – or were they…?
1. We’re not ‘failed’ educators
As it happens we are often highly experienced teachers, with all sorts of skills that are transferable to your classroom, even if it’s only for one day. To imagine supply teachers are ‘failed’ educators who’ve crawled to the world of supply as a sort of almost-retirement is not only inaccurate it’s unfair.
2. Ask us about best practice
When we step into your school, I bet we make the same judgements other visitors and school members make in this situation.
Did you know some schools have a list of how all the staff take their tea/coffee and people are brought a cup by a colleague if they’re out on duty? That some schools have paid timetable time for staff to create amazing classroom displays/do mock exam marking, and often those schools have less staff absence due to stress?
Leave ego out of it and ask us about good school practice. We see a lot.
3. Supply teaching isn’t what you think
People always ask me how I can ‘stand’ being a supply teaching, imagining Grange Hill-esque levels of paper aeroplanes and physical harm being part of the daily routine.
It’s not like this. Most children go to school to learn. That has to be the starting point.
Sometimes a supply teacher gets the chance to help a class see things with fresh eyes – this can really help in maths or science lessons. We pick up ideas all over the place, and are happy to share.
Read more about your supply teacher “Dear Teachers…” – A Letter from your Next Supply Teacher
How well do you know your supply teachers? Have you ever asked them about their job and teaching knowledge? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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