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Supply teaching is an important part of the UK’s education system. Supply teachers play a vital role in the seamless education of our children.
Increasingly, it is becoming a valid alternative career choice for teachers, both in short and long term placements, as it requires a special skill to provide valuable classroom time for children when their usual teacher is absent. Many ECTs are opting to work on supply following graduation (a strategy which frequently earns the offer of a permanent post). A lot of experienced teachers are seeing it as a career in itself. Others choose supply to create a better work/life balance at particular times in their lives.
There are many different reasons people work on supply rather than in permanent jobs. Here are a few…
Supply teachers’ quality of life is the envy of their permanent colleagues. On a week-to-week basis, you decide your availability for work. If you want a Friday off, you can; if you want a cheaper term-time holiday, you can. If you’re not fond of a certain school, there’s no need to return. You choose when you work, with whom you work and where you work. All in all, it’s a rather refreshing step off the hamster wheel of life. It’s only a wonder that supply teachers are greeted with such welcoming arms, rather than the sound of grinding molars!
Working in a variety of schools and a variety of year groups (or subjects) gives you a breadth of experience impossible to match in most permanent roles. You see an array of schools and different teaching environments; the different styles they use and the varied atmospheres of different settings. A fast track way to grow as a professional and a people-manager and an unrivalled way to find the type of school perfect for you (And as you have a slightly less ‘normal’ journey to work each morning, as the schools you work at change from day to day or week to week, you’re not going to get bored, are you?)
When you are a supply teacher you are in control of when you work, where you work and how much work you do. In a permanent role, it can feel like life fits around work, with all that marking, planning and parents’ evenings. With supply, it’s like being your own boss. Plus, it’s a perfect way to return to teaching, to balance young family commitments with career, or to reduce your workload as you approach the later stages of your working life.
In short, supply can be a career choice or a short term option to meet a particular need. What it isn’t, is second best. For Connex staff, working on supply with us provides the life they want and the control they need.
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