Supply teaching is a great way to get in to teaching. You can learn a lot and gain plenty of practical experience. However, you need to be prepared and you need to have the right attitude towards it.

We sat down with a couple of our primary development managers and asked them what they thought made a great supply teacher…

1. Flexibility

The more open you are to working in different areas at any time etc., the easier it is for us to place you in to schools. Make yourself as available as you can, and be willing to take on new challenges.

Heading to a new school and having to meet a bunch of new people can be tough, but if you’re willing to take on a new challenge and work in different environments, this could open a lot of doors for your career.  If you’re adaptable to any situation, you’re a diamond in the rough.

2. Reliability

Reliability is one of the most important things when you’re working with an agency. It stems from the very beginning – if you don’t pick up your phone first thing in the morning, that’s one thing – but if we leave a voicemail asking if you are available for work and you don’t get back to us, that’s another.

When we ask for teachers to be reliable, this doesn’t necessarily mean whether we can place you or not – it’s perfectly fine to pop us a message or call back back to say that you’re not available – as long as we know this in good time, we can always find another teacher if you aren’t free.

Try not to make a habit of it, though…the less available you are to your point of contact, the less likely it may be that they expect you to be free for work. Always maintain a steady stream of communication – the more we know about your availability, the better! At Connex, we give you an availability calendar, so you can update your availability in two ticks!

3. Passion

A teacher who can engage with a class about the lesson is simply, a superstar. Showing your passion helps to create a positive learning environment. A teacher who has a passion for their subject will always get the best results, and they’ll be remembered.

4. Professionalism

A supply teacher who is professional in their approach, is more likely to be placed. This includes a number of aspects – how you dress, how you assert yourself, how you communicate and how you perform.

A professional supply teacher who takes pride in their appearance is hugely important – especially when you are consistently trying to impress.

5. Preparation

Jason says: “If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail!”

An excellent supply teacher will have designed lesson plans for different key stages, so that if a school gets an unexpected sickness etc. – this candidate is ready, with work prepared for the class.

On a personal note, being overprepared can really help to conquer those last-minute nerves of heading in to an unknown school. The school will be absolutely delighted to see such a well prepared and confident teacher who is ready to deliver, the second that they walk through the door.