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Why choosing the right supply teacher is more important than ever

Why choosing the right supply teacher is more important than ever

Date posted : 31 January 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of supply teachers in maintaining the continuity of children’s education. Through all the pandemic’s interruptions to the education system, schools have often turned to supply teachers to provide students with much-needed classroom time. As Covid-19 continues to cause more disruption, skilled supply teachers are once again in demand.

If you’re a school leader looking for supply teachers to maintain structure and continuity within your school, you need to be able to make informed choices. Here is why your choice of supply teacher is more important than ever, and how to pick wisely.

Increased teacher absence

The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated all aspects of public life since March 2020, including education. The Department for Education recently released figures stating that one in 12 teachers in England were absent from classrooms in the first week of the spring term, exacerbating the need for talented supply teachers. With such huge increases in absence, filling in the gaps is vital to maintain students’ routines throughout the school year.

Supply teachers have been absolutely key in keeping schools functioning during the pandemic. To be as effective as possible, their skillset needs to match your students’ needs. Each school is different, and some are more different than others! Supply teachers may find themselves in new and diverse settings each day, faced with challenges, including school policy, student behaviour and class academic level.

A supply teacher must be able to show that they can take those differences in their stride and create a great learning environment for your pupils. The most adaptable supply teachers will be able to turn on a pin to provide top-quality lessons that minimise the effects of teacher absence.

Exams and deadlines on the horizon

The Spring and Summer terms are big periods in the school calendar for older pupils. Preparation for exams is in full swing and important coursework deadlines will need to be met.

As a result, any supply teacher that is required for your school must be ready to hit the ground running and provide students with all of the support that they need. This period of exams and deadlines can be stressful for your students, and it is a supply teacher’s role to guide them with advice, great teaching and emotional support .

The right supply teacher must show that they can empathise and understand your pupils; to try to relate to them and build better relationships. With a balanced combination of patience, excellent knowledge of the curriculum, enthusiasm and solid behaviour management strategies, a supply teacher can effectively guide your students through the final section of the school year.

Organisation in an unpredictable environment

In such unpredictable times, a potential teacher issue can arise out of the blue and throw up the need for a prepared, well-organised supply teacher. Most supply teachers will be familiar with last-minute requests to cover a class. However, some individuals’ organisational skills set them apart from others. Simple techniques such as always having equipment and lesson plans prepared can make a real difference to the quality of education that a supply teacher can provide at short notice

Supply teachers need to be able to prepare a class quickly and command pupils’ attention with useful and engaging lessons. All of these factors contribute to a great learning environment, ensuring that your students get the class time they need without disruption to their schedules and routines.

Find the perfect supply teacher with Teaching Personnel

If you are looking for supply teachers and cover staff, then Teaching Personnel can help. We understand the difference a great supply teacher can make to your students’ education, and that’s why we only provide the top talent in the country. The work that supply teachers do each day ensures that schools can function efficiently, even in the toughest times.

Here at Teaching Personnel, we are the UK's leading education recruitment agency. Every academic year we provide staff to over 5,000 schools, delivering a national service on a local scale from our 80 branches. If you would like us to help you fill your school with the best teachers in the UK, contact Teaching Personnel to start the conversation.

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