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Interview with a Supply Teacher - Sarah

Sarah has recently moved the UK and taken up supply teaching with Protocol Education.

1. What do you love about doing supply work?

I love the adventure of supply. I love that you don’t know what class you will be in, let alone the school, or what the students will be like. I also love that in one day I can be challenged so much that I have to use every trick in the book, draw on everything that I’ve ever learnt during my 3 years of teaching.

2. What three bits of advice would you give other teachers and support workers who might be considering supply work?

Be prepared:

  • … the old scouts/ guides saying really helps, simply ‘be prepared’- have a few things up your sleeve in case things do go pear shaped or in case there is nothing left for you to teach. 
  • … to be challenged and have students challenge you.
  • … to have an adventure each day and enjoy your teaching. The good days and ‘rewarding moments’ definitely outweigh the bad.

3. What do you always make sure you have with you?

I have a few things I take with me everyday on supply. I always make sure I have my ‘mental activity file’ with me. I have a few games or activities that are adaptable to any age group or subject that I can use if nothing is set or the class needs a change up or just not responding to a task. I have a soft ball to play a game or to pass around as a ‘speaking ball’ if needed. I also have rewards such as stickers, or certificates that I can give to students, and I always carry a favourite picture book or two with me (at the moment it is a few Australian picture books with Australian animals, as I have moved to England from Australia.) Even year 6 students love being read to and are curious about the country I am from. If you have a talent like juggling, magic tricks, playing guitar or something, this can definitely be used to your advantage; as a reward for good work or listening or just to engage students. I am great at drawing and this works wonders especially with younger students, even just writing your name in cool writing on the board, or numbers in maths made into animals, the smallest thing can engage students.

4. How did you hear about Protocol Education and what do you like about us?

I first heard about Protocol Education in Australia three years ago at University. I always wanted to come to the UK to teach after a few years of full time teaching in Australia- and I am so glad I took the plunge! Protocol Education made everything so easy! The whole process I was supported, and after the second week of working in the UK I feel ill, Protocol Education called me numerous time to make sure I was okay. Everyone one of the staff is so supportive and friendly.

5.  Anyone you would like to thank?

During my time supply teaching so far I’ve found the teachers all lovely, but the most amount of support I have received has been the teacher support staff and learning support assistants. They really know what is going on in the classroom and make coming into an unknown school and class so much more manageable! They really don’t get enough credit for what they do and I can’t thank all the teacher assistants that I’ve had the pleasure of working with enough.

Thanks Sarah! We are thrilled to see that so many of our teachers love their supply work and we are happy to highlight and celebrate their hard work during National Supply Teacher Week. 

Are you considering getting into supply work? Contact us for more information or register on our website www.protocol-education.com.


Tags: Sarah, Australian-trained, Chelmsford, supply, primary, teacher, NSTW

Category: Australian Teachers


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