Life lessons you’ll learn from supply teaching

Supply Teaching

Working on supply can provide you with a number of life lessons, but we picked up on three in particular, that stood out unanimously. While you’re busy planning engaging and intriguing lessons to feed the young minds of our future, reflect on what supply teaching has brought to your table too.


As you slowly start to build your contact base with different schools, you’ll find that you may have to meet with different people every day. Supply teaching is a fantastic opportunity to build your confidence and character. On a daily basis, you’ll communicate with people in different sectors and roles within the industry.

If you are working day-to-day in different schools, you’ll always be looking to impress. By making the effort with a positive attitude and can-do approach, they’ll hardly forget about you. The pressure to deliver can be emotionally draining, but if you can handle this challenge with composure, and the frame of mind that each day is different to the next, your sense of resilience will only grow over time.

 Quick thinking

Supply teaching is certainly a role where quick thinking is a must. If you don’t really consider yourself one to think on your feet, teaching will certainly help you to develop that skill (whether you like it or not)!

Sometimes when you’re picking up where another teacher has left off, you have no choice but to come up with solutions. Whether an incident occurs and you haven’t seen the school behaviour policy, or you’re presented with a totally brand new, never before tackled situation. Supply teaching is unpredictable, and you have to be able to adapt quickly.

Which brings us to our final life lesson…


If you are presented with an opportunity to think fast, be prepared for ‘Plan A’ to fail. Maybe you were called into a school last minute, and your initial thought was that there should be a lesson plan prepared – in reality, this may not always be the case.

So what’s the best way to tackle this situation? Do you A) Claim hopelessness because there is no work to give? Or B) Take a deep breath and find out what they have learned previously. Then, come up with a few activities related to that particular subject?

Supply teaching will most definitely teach you to anticipate the worst possible scenario. Learning how to adapt to potential problems before they occur is something you’ll pick up quickly, so that next time around, you’ll have a lesson prepared, just in case there is nothing left for you. You’ll also identify the school\’s behaviour policy before you step into the classroom. What is certain is that with a bit of preparation and flexibility, each school will see a well-prepared teacher, willing to make the effort on their behalf.

What life lessons has supply teaching taught you? Leave a comment below!

You may also be interested in...

A white middle ages female teacher spending a summer evening in her back garden with friends and family having a BBQ on her summer break.

Tackling exam stress

A teacher’s guide to supporting well-being Exam season is stressful for everyone – teachers, colleagues, students, parents – the list is endless! As educators, we’ve

Read More »

Click on the branch you would like to review!