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Questions to Ask Before Accepting a Long-Term Supply Position

24/11/14

Jessica provides you with some questions you should consider asking yourself and your potential school before you take on a long-term position. 

Being offered a long-term teaching position is a wonderful thing! For a daily supply teacher, this means no more early morning phone-calls, lesson plan guessing games, or last-minute commutes. But when you go in for that interview or practice day, remember that it’s not just a school looking for a teacher… You’re a teacher looking for a school!

You want to feel comfortable in your new workplace. You’ve developed your own teaching style and you need to be able to showcase that. There is no harm in asking questions about the school, staff, or class. You’ll want to know that this position is a good fit for you, and for the students. In fact, the interviewer will likely be impressed that you’re doing your research! Here are some questions you may want to think about when making a decision about a long-term supply position:

  • What is the school’s OFSTED rating? Though this may not matter to you, it is good to know what kinds of changes are being made to the school you’ll be working for.
  • How many other teachers are there for this year level? For example, if you’ll be teaching Year 4, you’ll want to know how many other Year 4 classes there are, as these teachers likely do some of their lesson planning together.
  • In the class, are there any students with special educational needs? It is important to be aware of the needs of the students in your class. By asking this question before you start work, you’ll be able to do some research and find out the best ways to assist these students based on their specific needs.
  • What will my rate of pay be? This may seem like a taboo question, but it is a very important one! You should definitely know what you’ll be getting paid before you accept a position. If the school is further than you’re used to, you should especially take into consideration how much you’re going to spend on daily travel expenses.
  • How many other adults will be working in the classroom with me? If you’re from Ontario, like I am, then you probably aren’t used to having so many other adults working in the classroom. Most schools here in the UK place TAs and LSAs in the classrooms for support. These professionals are a huge help and their special training makes them a wonderful asset to any classroom! However, some teachers aren’t as comfortable teaching in front of other adults. It can sometimes be overwhelming. At the very least, try to meet the support staff for your classroom to make sure that you get along and are clear about your goals for the students!
  • What are my responsibilities outside of class time? During the time you’re placed at the school, will you be expected to attend after-hours staff meetings, host parent-teacher interviews, moderate clubs or chaperone events? If you’ve got time to spare, this just might be the gig for you! However, you should always think about what other responsibilities you have outside of work, like family matters, and ensure you have time to juggle the extras that come with long-term supply.

These are just a few things to consider before making a decision about a long-term supply position. Of course, you’ll have other questions of your own. Don’t be shy! Find out everything you need to know, and ensure that you’re comfortable in your new classroom!

Remember your Protocol Education consultant has a great relationship with its schools and can help you with any questions you have. 

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