5 Reasons to Consider Supply Teaching

5 reasons to consider supply teaching

5 Reasons to Consider Supply Teaching

Becoming a supply teacher can be a perfect way to balance time in the classroom with your own extra-curricular pursuits. Supply teaching offers added flexibility and the chance to experience a variety of schools, becoming a supply teacher could revitalise your career.

Supply teaching is a great way for teachers to readdress their work-life balance and for those new to the industry, it’s a way to “dip your toe in” before committing to a permanent position.

Here are our 5 reasons to consider becoming a supply teacher…

5 Reasons to Consider Supply Teaching

1. Flexibility

While most teachers can only plan their holiday at set times to fit in with the school year, supply teachers are free from such constraints.  So you can benefit from off peak travel prices and avoid crowded destinations. But that’s not the only type of flexibility that supply work offers. “I have days off for personal reasons when I want them like my fiance’s birthday, to get carpet fitted, and for long weekends away,” says Saucisson, supply teacher, and TES forum user. “If already know what I’m doing for the day, I arrive at school between 8.00am and 8.30am and leave at 3.30pm I enjoy time off in September when there isn’t a big demand for supply teachers.”

2. Autonomy

Planning, target-setting, assessments, and meetings are all part and parcel of a teacher’s daily work. But supply teaching can provide relief from these onerous tasks, says Jan Christopher, supply teacher. “Supply teaching disentangles you from a lot of time-wasting meetings, paperwork, and planning,” she says. “It also relieves you from competitive environments, nagging, sniping from insecure colleagues, and protects you from harassment from other staff and parents.”

3. Variety

Most teachers stay in schools for years, in fact, some never get to experience life in any other school. While this may offer familiarity, security and other benefits, some supply teachers feel that they could be missing out. Toby Swallow, supply teacher, says, “I’ve been to lots of different schools, met some lovely members of staff and have gained a wider range of experience than many full time teachers.- Tes Teacher

4. Retirement

Some teachers find it hard to say goodbye to the classroom, and like the fact that they can keep their hand in teaching through supply work, but, importantly, on their terms. You can do as little or as much work as you choose, and wherever you please. Or you could approach local schools to see if they could benefit from part-time support. David Bennett, retired teacher, did just that and ended up teaching in a special school for over five years. “I hadn’t worked in a special school before but felt I’d like to put myself up for the challenge,” he says. “My non-negotiable terms were Mondays and Fridays off, minimum written plans, limited parents’ evenings, and five days off a term to fulfil other commitments.”

5. Relocation

If you’re thinking of moving to a new area, why not ‘try before you buy’ with a stretch of supply work there before you make your decision. You’ll get a good insight into community life, facilities, problems and advantages through your work with children and their families. Other teachers can also give you the essential low down on the area so can be a great source of vital information.


If becoming a supply teacher sounds like it’s for you make sure to sign up with Supply Teaching UK (Free). We connect you directly with schools and local, pre-vetted teaching agencies looking to for supply staff just like you.



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