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7 Things We Love About Supply Teaching 

 February; love is in the air! And this Valentine’s we’re spreading love to the unsung heroes of the education world: supply teachers. At Three R’s, we witness firsthand the dedication, resilience and passion that supply teachers bring to classrooms. So, in the spirit of love and appreciation, here are seven things we adore about supply teaching and some testimonials from our teachers and schools about what they love about working with Three R’s!  

Flexibility that Warms the Heart 

Probably one of the biggest advantages of supply teaching, it allows educators to adapt their schedules to fit their lifestyles. We’ve helped reignite passion back into the careers of teachers who were feeling overwhelmed with all the pressures of full-time permanent school roles. We’ve helped retired teachers return back to education, allowing them to continue the fulfilling reward of teaching whilst balancing their well-earnt laidback lifestyle. We’ve helped bridge gaps between roles for teachers for a few weeks through to several terms. 

 The Adventure of New Beginnings 

The excitement of embarking on new teaching assignments can help keep your career feel renewed, fresh, and reignited the passion that can so quickly become extinguished with today’s pressures from the education system.  

Each assignment comes with own set of challenges and triumphs but most importantly it allows teachers to make a difference wherever they go. Each assignment brings all the new energy that you’re ready to inspire and ignite new minds.  

 The Joy of Making a Difference 

The impact teachers have on students’ lives, even in the shortest of time frames, really is profound. Every day we hear heartwarming anecdotes of moments when our supply teachers have inspired their students. When we get those after-school calls from our teachers to tell us that “today is one of those days you leave school and you really think today, the students got it, today I did it, I really made the difference” it’s a fantastic high.  

 The Bonds that Blossom 

We must also celebrate the connections forged between supply teachers, schools and their communities. Supply teaching opens many doors of opportunity. It can help you gain experience, show breadth and depth of skills and could lead to regular requested work, longer-term or even temp-to-perm roles.
This academic year we’ve seen probably the highest number of day-to-day staff placed into longer-term roles. Whether that is booking Tim for the 3 days a week he does, or Emma on a full term by term basis, or Rachel for every Monday and Tuesday until the end of the year.  

 We’re proud that so many of teachers and schools build their bank of ‘favourites’ that become regularly-requested allowing for easy matching and guaranteed success. As we aim to match teachers and teaching assistants local work, this has seen them being invited to and attending local school events such as summer fetes or PTA events. It’s great to see the wider impact of community building come out of our work.

 The Resilience that Inspires 

Anyone working in schools has to display a bit of resilience. It’s incredibly hard work, and supply teachers have to navigate additional challenges that arise from the unpredictable nature of supply. We encourage all our teachers, cover supervisors and teaching assistants to seize every assignment as an opportunity for personal and career development.
We’ve seen it just this term with Neil. Neil had been out of education for over ten years so of course there were nerves going back into school. A few confidence-boosting calls from our consultant, Hannah, had Neil booked in with some lovely schools and some great feedback to share at the end of each day.
We’ve seen it with Avril, our Teacher of Term 1. Avril stepped out of her comfort zone taking on a longer-term role which has seen it extended and duly rewarded with additional pay.  

We’ve seen it with Rosie and Sylvie, teachers placed in particularly challenging classes on longer-term roles which both have been offered to extend. Despite the difficulties, we’ve worked together with the schools, acting as mediator and consultant to bridge those areas where more support is required and both teachers have accepted their extensions in their resilient dedication to support their students. 

The Learning that Never Ends
Just as students are told “you never stop learning”, so the same is told to our teachers. At Three R’s we embrace continuous learning and professional growth opportunities – undeniably the most inherent being the doors supply teaching can open.
But that doesn’t just have to mean doors of new opportunity. Sometimes to move forward we need to take a step back and that’s just what we’ve supported Emma in doing. After having a period out of teaching, she wasn’t ready to leave working in education or schools and now Emma has returned to schools as a Teaching Assistant. She has the opportunity to continue working in schools, providing support to students and choose roles that meet the right responsibility criteria she feels ready to take on. We know that there’s a bank of schools she regularly worked with previously who are ready to take her back on board as a teacher if/when she chooses to return to teaching, but we value Emma’s boundaries and choices in what work she takes on.

The Heartfelt Gratitude we Share 

Three R’s cannot express enough our gratitude to everyone involved in the education system. From the schools we work with, the Headteachers who tirelessly manage budgets, Trust policies and procedures, and the wellbeing of all their students. The cover co-ordinators forecasting timetables and schedules so they can work with Three R’s in ensuring delivering education is fulfilled. The teaching assistants who support the teachers, students and class as a whole but also the invaluable 1:1 work they provide to help students reach their full potential. Teachers and our supply teachers who are on the front-line of education each day through the highs, lows, successes and continuing to push forward if ever success falls a little shy.

We truly cannot thank teachers enough which is why we’ve been a main sponsor of Kent Teacher of the Year for many years running. We can’t wait for this year’s event, so remember to follow us on socials to keep up to date with all things KTOTY. Find out more about KTOTY here and be quick to get your nominations in by Feb 28th 2024.

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