How Can We Help?
When you register for work with Premier, you will get a dedicated consultant who is there to help and support you through the challenges that working on supply can bring. Many of our NQTS have said that the staff at Premier are “helpful, understanding and approachable”.
For some NQTS working on supply can feel a bit like being thrown in the deep end. It can be quite a nerve wracking experience the first couple of times that you go to a new school or meet a new class. At Premier we aim to make your time working on supply as smooth as possible, from giving you an address and contact details of the school, to a phone call to make sure you’ve arrived ok, along with a quick chat after school to find out how you’ve got on.
Why Should I Consider Working on Supply?
1. In our experience, working on a supply basis can give you greater access to permanent positions within a school. There are a number of occasions when a couple of weeks on supply can turn into a couple of terms depending on the school. When a permanent position comes up within a school it is not unusual for it to be offered to a supply teacher who already has developed positive relationships with pupils, parents and staff.
2. Working on supply can be very different to working in the same school over a longer period of time. You have to be able to ‘hit the ground running’, think on your feet and develop a positive relationship over a short period of time. Our NQTS mentioned that although this aspect of supply can be quite challenging, it is also a very rewarding part of their teaching experience, along with helping to develop their confidence.
3. There is a great opportunity to absorb new teaching ideas and strategies when working in different schools. Whether it’s looking at an unusual classroom layout, a creative display, or a new programme on an interactive white board. The best place to learn about teaching is in the classroom, and while working on supply you will have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of classrooms and educational settings.
4. Many of our NQTS tell us that working on supply gives them a chance to meet and network with other NQTS and experienced teachers. This can be invaluable in terms of sharing resources and ideas, finding out about other schools and permanent vacancies and even having a bit of support when your day has been extra challenging.
What Are Some of The Challenges I Might Face as an NQT?
• I’ve filled out so many application forms, attended loads of interviews, but I still haven’t got a job.
As an agency, our advice is never give up! It’s understandable that some NQTS feel disappointed after filling in lots of application forms, but in our experience most people usually find a job over the first academic year. Working on supply will help you become well known in a number of schools. Therefore if you have done a great job on supply, you stand a better chance of getting shortlisted as you have already shown that you are a good teacher. One of our NQTS got a permanent position at a school in Lo0ngsight after they had been working on supply for us in the school nest door! Head teachers do speak to each other!
• Each time I am unsuccessful at interview it affects my confidence.
This is something we come across a lot. After the pressure of your teaching course, filling in countless application forms and with your student loan on your mind it’s easy to feel disheartened, especially if some of your friends have found jobs already. Our advice is to stay positive. If you are unsuccessful at interview, always ask for feedback to try and find out how you can improve. Ask someone to check your cover letter for you, a head or deputy head teacher is always a good start.
• I’m worried that I won’t get enough work.
The school year has different highs and lows depending on where they’re up to in the term. September is traditionally a quiet time of year as everyone has just returned from a six week holiday feeling relaxed and refreshed. As the year goes on there will be more opportunities for work, with our peak time being in March when we often find we don’t have enough people to do the work we have in! If you don’t get much work during September, don’t panic too much as it will be the same for everybody.
• Can I work with more than one agency?
Yes you can! In general Primary school teachers register with one of two agencies and Secondary school Teachers register with quite a few. This is because a lot of Secondary work is on a long term basis, Primary work is a mixture of day to day and long term work. Think carefully about the agencies you register with and whether or not they will be able to give you what you want. For example, do they have work in an area local to you? Will they offer you support as you progress through your NQT year? It’s often a good idea to try and have a chat with other supply teachers to find out who they’re registered with, in that way you’ll get a good picture of the areas they cover and the type of schools they deal with.
• Can working on supply count towards my induction?
Yes if the work is for one term or more and has been booked in advance by the school. However, not all schools have the resources to support an NQT through their induction; don’t always assume that it will count towards your NQT year. The best thing to do is ask and then you know exactly where you stand.
• I’m worried that I’ll miss out on training as I’m not in a permanent position.
Premier Education offer informative and relevant CPD courses to all of our teachers. Recent topics include the new Ofsted inspection framework, the new EYFS framework, Behaviour Management and Safeguarding. We also offer a course specifically aimed at NQTS to help your first year as a teacher run smoothly. This course will focus on putting in place a basic foundation of good practice, on which you will build as you continue to develop throughout your teaching career. For further details click here.
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