If you’ve been thinking about becoming a supply teacher, but haven’t quite made up your mind, Teach Now has put together seven good reasons why supply work is a good option for teachers.
- Flexible working – your working pattern is likely to be more flexible compared with full-time teaching jobs, one of the main advantages of being a supply teacher. Although your hours and pay may not be consistent as a result, it does mean you’ll be able to have more time off, giving you a better work-life balance. You’ll be able to fit in caring responsibilities, training, and educational opportunities, and other interests. And you’ll be able to go on holiday during term time. According to Flexible working – The experience of teachers, which outlines the findings of a study conducted by the teachers’ union NASUWT, those working in the education sector perceive flexibility as a desirable perk. The report also says: “Supply teaching was identified by 10% of respondents as a strategy for seeing an improved balance between work and caring responsibilities.”
- Be your own boss – as a supply teacher, you’ll be able to manage your own timetable and develop your own routine. If you get work through an agency, which is how most supply teachers find their jobs, you’ll be able to specify what kind of work you want, where you’d like to work, and for how many hours.
- A manageable workload – teaching full time often involves putting in extra hours. But if you’re a supply teacher you get to go home at the end of the day – you won’t be overwhelmed with paperwork or marking, and you won’t have to attend parents’ evenings. That means you can just get on with the job you love – teaching!
- A good way to build your skills – if you’re a new teacher, supply work could be a good way of developing your skills before you take on a full-time role. Experiencing different environments and ways of working could help you improve your know-how and confidence so that you can manage the classroom effectively, build positive relationships with colleagues and students and handle a range of situations.
- An opportunity to try out a career in teaching – supply work can also help new teachers decide if teaching is the right career choice for them – you’ll be able to try out different schools before committing to a full-time position.
- It offers variety – it’s more interesting to work in different schools rather than sticking with the same one. Supply work can help you become a more versatile teacher, better able to adapt to any eventuality.
- A way of returning to or staying in the profession – supply teaching can be a good idea if you want to get back into teaching after you’ve been on a career break, or if you’ve decided to leave full-time teaching but still want to keep your hand in. It means you can refresh or maintain your skills and keep the money coming in, without having the obligations of a permanent contract.