Katy recently relocated to Devon and previously worked as a class teacher and SENDCO at a primary school in Lincoln. Katy has also held the position of SENDCO in two primary schools prior to this and is extremely proud of her inclusive ethos which has impacted on both pupil outcomes and on staff development.
Why did you choose to become a supply teacher?
I wanted to experience teaching in different schools in the area because I was new to Devon and wanted to find out where would be a good fit for me and where I would be able to best utilise my skills.
Why did you choose Exeter Supply Partnership?
I found ESP from an initial Google search where it came up at the top of the list. I also chose ESP because it is a non-profit organisation which was appealing to me and because of the high percentage of schools in the area that use ESP. I was also very pleased with the service I received and the contact I had when I initially signed up.
How do you find working with ESP?
It is great, I am receiving loads of bookings and I am booked on every day that I have wanted to work. I have received a range of bookings from blocks of days to individual days and half days. Using the app is great and means that I am in control as I am able to block out a day when I want and also make changes at any time to my availability. I do not know the local area very well and the app system gives me the chance to set my own preferences about where I want to work and the distance I want to travel for a booking.
What do you wish you knew before beginning supply teaching?
I had done supply teaching before and therefore it was not new to me, apart from the fact that the technology continues to change in terms of using a new app.
What is your favourite thing about being a supply teacher?
I enjoy the flexibility and the variety, and even though you may only be in a school for a short period of time it is great to see the impact you can have on the children’s learning. Sometimes you may see children at their most anxious because they do not have their usual teacher with them and I enjoy using my skills to make sure the children have the best day they can.
What are your favourite/most useful resources to use?
The schools I have been to so far have been very good in having work prepared for me so I have not really had to draw upon my own resources. Sometimes I have found that I have delivered the same or very similar lesson before, such as a literacy lesson or a lesson on the Stoneage. Teachers at the schools have been very good at checking in with me to make sure that I have everything I need with regards to the lesson plans.
How do you prepare for your bookings?
I always do a little bit of research if I have the time and check out the school website, especially if it is a new school, however you only really get a feel for the school when you arrive and start working with them.
What approach do you take when you are attending a new school?
I make sure I arrive extra early, that I am organised and walk in with a smile and a positive approach so that the staff can see that I am pleased to be there and keen to work with them. I am not afraid to ask questions because the school do not mind and they always want you to be as prepared as possible. It is important to asked if there are any pupils with specific needs so that everyone can have the best day possible.
Would you say supply teaching is an enjoyable/fulfilling experience?
Yes definitely. It is always a privilege to work with the children and to have an impact on their learning. As a supply teacher you also get to see different ways of doing things because even though you may have been teaching for a long time there are always alternative approaches to learn.
What advice would you give to a teacher who is new to supply teaching/ considering supply work?
I think keeping an open mind is important and having a positive attitude. It is important to always think about the needs of the children and to be flexible about what the provision looks like.
How do you manage the uncertainty of supply work and the possibility of not having work on some days?
I like the flexibility however I have found that there is very little uncertainty with regards to getting bookings because I have always received the bookings I require.
Would you recommend ESP to other teachers? If so, why?
It has definitely been a good choice for me, I have received lots of work and the ESP team have always been very efficient and friendly.