Supply teaching is a good career because...

It provides experiences that many permanent teachers never experience in their career. Russ


In theory I can choose when and where I work. Alice 1965


It teaches you to be flexible, adaptable and quick thinking. You get to experience lots of different types of schools/policies/teaching styles. A1Chemist, Wales


Well it was until cover supervisors were introduced.... now we are last resort calls ........ when the work is there it is good. Anon


You are able to experience a variety of schools and gain valuable insights into different approached to teaching techniques. So much variety in the job without the responsibility of marking, grades, targets etc. Pinkpig


It is a good career as a teacher is exposed to a variety of styles of teaching and learning across a wide geographic and demographic area. A supply teacher has to be resilient, disciplined and above all show a good mastery of knowledge, teaching and pedagogy reflecting and adopting the approach of every school. In a subtle and covert way it is a great form of professional and self development and more respect and financial recognition should be given to these people who keep in tact the fabric of our schools and are often the butt of jokes which are ageist, racist, sexist and classist if not down right rude! Just check twitter jokes..who encourages that system but the system itself. Anon

How much money do you think a supply teacher earns compared to a contracted teacher?

Less sw


Same as a teacher for the day without all the paperwork that goes with a full time position. Anon


More Heather, Ulverston

Do you have any memories that you can share?

Kids turning gas taps on in our Science lab when I was a kid.. Kids pretending their was a new " fictitous" member of the class and keeping this up for three weeks. Looby Lou


One supply teacher would tell us stories all lesson, so we would get no work done. Others lacked authority and the more challenging pupils took advantage of this and the lessons could become chaotic. Sassy


A bloke who came carrying nothing and just sat at the teachers desk all day, did no marking and literally babysat. Anon


There was a supply teacher we hated, he was overweight and had a lazy eye, he reminded us of Sloth from the Goonies and insisted on tasting anything we made in cookery. A1Chemist, Wales


In my experience they are less able to manage teenagers in the classroom. Students have a lack of respect for supply teachers, its a culture that needs to change. Pinkpig


I just remember them being useless. Lisa, Ulverston


Bad class making the supply teacher run out of the class room crying. Anon

Supply teaching is a good career because...

It's flexible.if you don't fancy working that day, you can just say no. You get to magpie great ideas from all kinds of classrooms. Heather, Ulverston


-I walk out of the school at 1530 - 1600 and I am done. I do not have to worry about targets, tracking or even the children I have just taught. -I am a much better teacher than I was in September. Behaviour management strategies, EAL, School management systems and staffroom cultures and, as a teacher, confidence. I could only have gotten this experience on supply. My name is Julie. In schools, I answer to, 'Hey, you'!


I don't see it as a long term career prospect but a way to develop my skills in education and supplement my income while I pursue my main goal. Anon


It builds up an armoury of skills and experience that can be used to any situation. It also gives the teacher a degree of freedom in deciding on to work or not and crucially on returning to difficult schools. Historygrump, Rochdale


It gets you away from all the wasted time in the name of Ofsted. Anon

The problems facing supply teachers are...

People think you must be a rubbish teacher. Kids tend to think you were born yesterday. Sarah, Lancaster


HLTA's, TA's being used as supply teachers. Funding cuts. Anon


Behaviour management. Uncertainty of work. Hbomb


Not regular work. Going to different schools all the time. Not knowing teachers or children. LM


Their own attitude and children not taking them seriously. You have to show respect. Michelle C

The problems facing supply teachers are...

Scarcity of work,going into poorly organised classrooms and being expected to work well with 30 children you have never met before and no resources. Alice 1965


Being rung on last minute, not knowing where wage coming from next. Anon


Pupils don't have any respect for them. They don't know the pupils' names/abilities. Sassy


Schools can't afford them! Schools are paying people less than the going rate where possible and making "private" arrangements on pay. Anon


Don't know the school, don't know the individual needs of the children, difficult to pick up other peoples plans sometimes; cant log on to the system, don't know where anything is; don't know where they are going in the morning! Anon


Being seen as lower-class teachers/less worthy by teachers in schools. Lack of working conditions and pay. ST

The problems facing supply teachers are...

The major problem I have found is the increased use of unqualified people being used to cover lessons which is resulting in a large drop in the amount of work around. LesPaul


Not knowing pupils next steps and the class routine. TA's trying to undermine/points score. Thankfully rare. Looby Lou


Finding stuff! I was a supply teacher and the only real problem was a)finding the school b)finding the classrooms c)finding the staff room d)finding ANY resources like paper or photocopiers or rulers - ANYTHING. Other than that, no real problems. I really enjoyed the variety and the challenge - kept me on my toes. Jen H


Not knowing the pupils/ timetable/procedures/ rewards and sanctions/ layout of school/ expectation by pupils that the day 'doesn't matter and can 'play up'! Anon


Everything is different in every school. Names are a major stumbling point and the fact there may be little or no planning left - it varies dependent on why the usual teacher isn't there. They are walking in at short notice and need to be able to teach something to a group of unknown children with a variety of needs that the teacher may or may not know about. Anon

The problems facing supply teachers are...

 No continuation and lack of knowledge of what the class have been doing with their regular teacher, pupils think they're a push over. BJD


The lack of work, increasing use of school support staff and getting to know the students, which can be hard on a day supply. Historygrump, Rochdale


Non-qualified staff being allowed to "teach" classes. poor pay, none existent conditions of service, no holiday or sick pay. Anon


-It can be pretty isolating, especially for a new teacher. My learning curve has been very steep, and all on my own. If I was an NQT in a school, there would be a mentor, and targets and collegues to discuss issues with. I am lucky if I get a brief chat with the TA as a supply teacher. -Inadequate planning and limited access to ICT -Behaviour management - not knowing the school policies. -No access to ICT My name is Julie. In schools, I answer to, 'Hey, you'!

Do you have any memories that you can share?

We had a rather eccentric supply teacher once who was covering for a few weeks while they were trying to recruit a new GCSE history teacher. He really inspired my love of history, trying to teach us to think outside the box. He had very anti-establishment opinions which I had never heard from a teacher before. However, I think I was the only pupil who was actually paying attention in those classes. Anon


Yes - one guy was the most amazing, inspiring, awesome teacher I have ever had. So totally unlike any other teacher. He was the most significant teacher in my life. He taught me A-level maths and made it magic. He talked and talked and rarely wrote anything down. Painted pictures with words. Jen H


Only good ones from years ago... that is 45 years or more ago and then Teaching was a status and well respected profession, even if the 60/70 started to churn out hippy freshers. Anon

Do you have any memories that you can share?

We had an older supply teacher in middle school who I imagined to be a lot like what Hitler was like. However, he looked like Adrian Edmonson! sw


I had some lovely ones at primary school who were really good teachers. At high school they tended to lack control of the class and lessons were a waste of time. Anon


Good ones accept they are there to be the teacher for the day and will do a good a job as possible. Bad ones see as any old job and do the bare minimum. Michelle C


Like everything, some are excellent, some are terrible. Ruby, Manchester


The best supply teachers are a god send and can become a valuable assets to the school. Poor ill prepared supply staff can be detrimental to the profession and school as a whole one such person was one who could not teach year 6 maths on fractions so taught the class wrongly and marked all work correctly. A superb lesson was delivered by a supply on art who spontaneously took the class out to create natural colours to paint with the children loved it and even four years later recalled it as a memory in leavers assembly. Russ


Enthusiastic supply teacher who knew so much about the topic that we remembered it all right up to the exam. ST

The problems facing supply teachers are...

Lack of effective whole school behaviour management systems. Having to work with bad lesson plans and unsuitable resources - this has a knock on effect on behaviour. TA's who see it as a day off. TA's who try to take over and manage to undermine your authority. Anon


Lack of resources left by teachers, continuity of topic, lack of support from other staff due to time constraints and pressures of the job. Pinkpig


Exploitation by these offshore agencies - poor pay - whereas some agencies and the local authorities pay them properly no pension rights no unionised groups no professional development unless they pay or their agency is developed and professional to supply it having to find the schools and navigate the UK at a moment's notice - often paying for trains, buses and taxis to get to the job on time and not being reimbursed, spending money on resources reimbursed, spoken to like servants and treated with contempt - without the added responsibilities of lesson not considering their Financial hardship but resenting them for not planning and taking on administration while schools welcome them to take classes they are also resented and more rules are given to them to mark work - loads of it by 5pm or beyond depending on the number of classes without thanks. They hang around in a servile manner to have senior staff sign their forms. Anon

When you were at school and found out you were getting a supply teacher, how did you react?

Depends on the subject, often it would be disappointment as we wouldn't be allowed to do practical work in CDT or science. A1Chemist, Wales

A bit of a relief- usually meant we were going to be able to get the run around on them! Emma

"Woo Hoo! Easy day" Sarah, Lancaster

Close your eyes and imagine a supply teacher. What do you see?

Professionally dressed, calm and business-like. ST

Someone who can step in and do anything and everything thrown at them. They can teach an unknown class, keep discipline, mark work, be nice to everyone and leave happy at the end of the day. Anon


Someone who is lovely and a good teacher, but who the children immediately think they can mess around. Anon


Inspector Gadget mixed with Mary Poppins / Nanny McPhee? Someone able to sort things out, deal with anything! Rachel

Wally with extra large glasses and an extra stripy woolly hat! Lisa, Ulverston

A day with a supply teacher, how do you expect the day to differ?

I think it would be a day with little work because they do not necessary know the rules, the students and can be messed around easier then the regular teacher. HistoryGrump, Rochdale

They do not always understand your needs. Looby Lou

Late for assembly, late out to play, lots of empty threats about detentions etc.

The problems facing supply teachers are...

Cover supervisors removing most of the need for day to day supply. Lack of support from regular staff. Culture of lack of respect amongst staff and pupils. Never knowing where your next days work is coming from. 13 weeks unpaid holiday. A1Chemist, Wales


Too many classes having too many cover supervision lessons........ when they actually bring us in classes are disengaged and not in receptive learning mode.... its hard work bringing them back into line to think that WE ARE HERE TO TEACH... not to just make sure they behave and produce some work. Agencies driving daily rates down, Agencies not telling schools that they use Umbrella companies and that they are not the legal employers the UCos are ... and that the supplies are actually self employed. That the CRB from the agency is not legal as they are not the legal employer if they use a UCo.... madness and a legal nightmare should the unions need to be involved. Anon

Why do you think people become supply teachers?

To improve their behaviour management techniques, to find out about different schools before applying for a full time position, to build up skills and experience with a different key stage group, because it's convenient if you have other commitments, eg. children Anon


More flexible then regular teaching, free of "office politics". Much better work/life balance. It allows people to have a second career (I served with the Reserve forces and supply work allowed me time off for training and exercises) LesPaul


There are no jobs out there, can have more freedom Anon

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