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Tips for supply teachers working with an agency

25 July 2016 Posted by: Roger Marsh , Managing Director

Supply teaching is a great career choice for teachers looking for a more flexible option, or for NQTs looking to gain some valuable experience before taking on a full-time position.

One of the best ways to get regular supply teaching work is to register with an agency. Not only will you be working alongside some expert recruitment consultants in your area, but you’ll also be able to use the agency as a professional reference should you wish to opt for a more permanent role in the future.

Here are five ways to get the most out of your supply teacher agency

1. Be open minded about your work

One of the factors that make supply teaching such an exciting profession is that it’s so varied. One week you could be leading a year 11 revision class, the next you could be leading a year 7 key skills lesson. The key to having a successful career as a supply teacher is to be open-minded about the work you’re willing to undertake.
Try not to get too attached to a certain type of school or key stage, unless you want to specialise, as these will probably change from job to job. If you keep an open mind about the type of supply teaching you’re available for, you’ll most likely get a lot more offers from your agency.

2. Keep in contact with your supply teacher agency

Your supply teacher agency will make contact if there are suitable jobs for you, but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and have a chat with your consultant about how the job market is looking.
Why not pop in to say hello if you’re passing the office, you never know - your dream supply role could have just come in!

TOP TIP: Email the agency about your availability at the start of every week, even if it hasn’t changed. This will keep all of your details fresh on the system, as well as letting the agency know that you’re still eager and available to take on supply work. We have a wide range of supply teaching roles so send us the most current version of your CV and make sure you keep it up-to-date with your recent experience.

3. Stay focused

Start off by signing up with one reputable agency. This means that you can give the agency your full attention and there’s less risk of your supply jobs clashing with other commitments.

TOP TIP: Be as flexible as possible. The more availability you have, the more chance you have of getting a supply teaching job.

4. Make a great impression

If you take just one thing away from this blog post, make it this: schools remember supply teachers that make a great impression. If you work at a school, even if it’s just for one day, and you try your best and exceed expectations, there is a much higher chance of them asking you back. Some supply teachers would like to get a permanent teaching role eventually and going that extra mile while working at different schools may mean that word of mouth will spread within the teaching community. This good reputation could even result in you being asked back multiple times or being offered a full-time position in the future.

5. Keep your social media channels professional

Social media is a fantastic tool for keeping up-to-date with teaching industry news. It’s also a great way to stay in touch with your supply teacher agency. However, it’s important to remember that the content on your social media profiles could serve as a reflection of you and an example of your professionalism, both in and out of the classroom.
It’s a good idea to go through your social profiles and take down anything that could be viewed as unprofessional. If in doubt, remove it, you don’t want to leave anything online that could jeopardise your chances of getting a job.

TOP TIP: If you love getting online, why not set up a teaching blog? Using a blogging platform like Wordpress or Blogger means that you’ll be able to write about your teaching endeavours and connect with other teachers and agencies.
A teaching blog also looks great on your CV!

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