New to supply teaching - any advice?

(9 Posts)
Janek Sun 11-Sep-16 08:14:54

I am a secondary German teacher, but did not manage to get a job for this September when my previous contract ended, so I need to do supply. I would really appreciate any advice anyone can give me, particularly on:

Choosing and signing up with an agency
DBS check
The logistics of doing supply!

I understand most supply would be in a primary school, so I am already out of my comfort zone (although i do have primary-aged children and have done a fair few things in their school (PTA stuff, run clubs, gone one trips etc))

Is there anything you wish you'd known before starting supply? Or anything you wish supply teachers in your school would do? tia.

DandelionAndBedrock Sun 11-Sep-16 10:44:30

My Y2 class will do almost anything for a sparkly sticker wink.

Can't help with the logistics of supply though!

It might be worth looking round your local primaries for any MFL jobs - they probably wouldn't be full time, but we have to teach MFL for KS2 and you might find schools that would hire you for a morning/afternoon to come in and do German?

DrSeuss Sun 11-Sep-16 10:49:55

Also supply MFL. When I first started, I used to make a point of going to see the person in charge of cover at the end of the day and saying that I'd enjoyed working in the school (Usually true!) and that I was looking forward to coming back another day. It seemed to get my name and face lodged in their heads. I always had stickers, pens, pencils, rulers etc in my bag. I usually leave a note for the teacher about what I've done, anything that I did extra e.g. a game, an extra activity. I always found it best to focus on what I could do rather than what I can't. e.g. maths isn't my area but I'd give it a go, primary isn't what I'm trained for but I have primary age kids and I know about that age group.

Janek Sun 11-Sep-16 19:43:07

Thanks dr seuss and dandelion, i shall invest in sparkly stickers! Good advice on focussing what i can do, i tend to be 'honest' aka negative about myself, which really doesn't do me any favours...

RainyDayBear Mon 12-Sep-16 09:05:08

No advice, but following as I'm going on supply in the new year and was going to start a similar post!

sashh Mon 12-Sep-16 15:42:34

Sign up with as many agencies as possible. You only need one DBS if you register with the update service.

I needed one, five agencies offered to process the application, I applied via the one that didn't charge more than the actual fee, some were asking for £70.

Stickers are popular with everyone older and younger than year 9. Be generous with them. Other little prizes such as minions erasers are also popular.

There seems to be a game of getting as many pens as possible from supply teachers - give out sparkly pink ones to boys, they will come back. I have had some printed with 'stolen from Ms X' on them.

Get a copy of the disciplinary policy when you arrive at the school and stick to it.

Be prepared to be in any class, from music to art via IT and Cookery.

In the past 12 months I have 'taught' or assisted in teaching

Health and social care
IT
Art
Maths
Spanish
French
Music
Sociology
Photography
Childcare
Science
Resistant Materials
Cookery
Always smile when you are signing out and if you have just done a single day rather than a longer contract always say how much you have enjoyed the school and would love to come back. If that's not true call your agency.

I leave a note for the permanent teacher. I also tend to log the time in students books so my note might be

"At 9.55 I went round the class and put the time in books, you can see how much individual students have done before and after that time. X couldn't find his exercise book so his work is on paper, named and dated and in the front of Y's book'

Always ask if you are allowed to take a drink in to the classroom, some you can, some you need a lid on and others you can only drink in the canteen. Take your own mug and teabags - if you use someone else's make sure you wash it up.

I also tend to wash up and tidy classrooms if a teacher is on sick leave, I think if you come back after a week off you don't want to walk in to a moldy cup.

Janek Wed 14-Sep-16 09:38:51

So have you been doing secondary supply then Sashh? I did not think there was much of that about.

Thanks for the tip about the dbs check - it never occurred to me anyone would charge more than it actually cost!

MrsGuyOfGisbo Wed 14-Sep-16 15:49:28

I do secondary supply - get plenty of work, and with two agencies but also approached schools directly so get paid more from them than the agency days.

sashh Thu 15-Sep-16 07:51:44

I'm in the Midlands and yes lots of secondary supply around if yu don't mind difficult schools and are flexible.

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