If you’re interested in teaching in the UK you may have been asked the question – “Would you prefer Supply or Long Term work?” – So, what exactly are the benefits of each? You can pick and choose the teaching experience you want to have whilst you are in the UK and we want to make sure you are aware of all the options out there. Regardless of the choice you make, you will still learn, grow and develop as a teacher. To help make up your mind anzuk team member Ash shares her experience of the difference between SUPPLY vs. LONG TERM…
Working day to day means that you will be following a very structured plan left by the teacher of the class, giving you a chance to form an understanding of the system and the expectations.
No reports or Assessments, but there’s still marking to be done!
Having no reports to write does free up your time outside of school, however, you will still be required to mark all the work you set. Every school you teach at will have a marking policy and it is important to follow that as a supply teacher. It is a skill developing the ability to mark as you go if you are unfamiliar with the class that you are teaching.
A challenging day
As a supply teacher, getting sent to a new school can be a bit of a gamble. Your UK consultant will always give you a rundown of the school and class, so if it is a school that can be challenging you should have a heads up. The good thing about doing a day of supply is that if you have a tough day, for whatever reason, all you need to do is communicate and request not to get sent out to that school again.
It can be a little lonely
Staff at the schools I taught at were very lovely and helpful. However, due to the fact that everyone has a busy schedule at school, my lunchtimes were sometimes spent eating on my own. Having adult interaction and a bit of banter on your lunch break is something that you might not get on a day of supply.
We are all familiar with the tricks children can pull on supply teachers in Aus or NZ and the kids in the UK are no different. It is for this reason that it can be harder to manage behaviour as a supply teacher.
Making a good impression
Being requested back to a school is not only a massive ego boost, but it makes your life easier too. You can develop a rapport with the staff and children which we all know is very important as a teacher. Waking up in the mornings and being familiar with your commute to work also makes a difference.
The first thing I noticed when I went from a supply teacher to a classroom teacher is that the behaviour was much easier to manage. I set my own rewards system up, knew the school’s behaviour policy and I had a lot more control.
I formed some great friendships with the staff that I worked with at the schools I held long-term positions in. I found them to be supportive, caring and great to have a laugh with. Having that support system from the school and the wider community is really nice when you are away from home.
Knowing my commute, the class I was teaching and the staff at the school was really nice!
Being able to plan and deliver your own lesson gives you a real sense of accomplishment and helps you develop as a teacher. If you are a grad teacher or haven’t had a class of your own as yet, it could a great experience for you. You can also be creative with the lesson as you are not following a plan left out for you.
Schools in the UK have PD sessions that take place at their schools. I was also able to work in teams with some absolutely outstanding teachers and had the pleasure of observing some of their lessons.
Being a teacher is a very rewarding job! I found teaching in the UK to be super rewarding and having your own class really makes you see the progress that the children have made on account of your teaching.
When you return to Australia with UK experience (especially if you took on a position teaching a class!) it looks amazing on your resume!
Your class will know you and what your expectations are as their teacher. This will mean you will be able to focus on the learning as opposed to managing behaviour. This frees up time and will allow you to mark as you go as well as work with focus groups.
This stands for Planning Preparation and Assessment and you will be given it once a week for half a day. If you use this time wisely then you can really minimise the time you spend at school outside of school hours.
I found that the schools I taught at offered me a lot of support. If I needed help with something or felt a bit overwhelmed all I had to do was mention it and support would be offered. This was tremendously helpful.