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Top Tips for completing a NQT Term as a Supply Teacher


It’s normal to feel out of your depth in any new role and to help fellow NQT’s in their first year, Ami has passed on her tips to make sure you stay on top of things.

After completing my PGCE Teacher Training Course in June 2015, I decided to embark upon the route of becoming a Supply Teacher. It was a difficult decision, as many of my PGCE colleagues had secured NQT positions in Secondary Schools and I was nervous at the prospect of lack of work, but I felt that I wanted to experience different types of schools, as well as to develop further in my confidence and teaching practice before I committed to a post that I wasn’t perhaps ready for. Looking back almost a year on, I am so pleased that I made that decision.

Through Protocol Education, I have had the opportunity to work in a range of fantastic schools, gaining an insight into teaching in Primary and SEN settings, as well as being able to teach a range of subjects alongside my specialist subject, MFL, which is something that I had been hoping to do. From November 2015, I was booked regularly as day to day cover in a wonderful SEN school. It is an area of teaching that I had limited prior experience in, yet I have loved every minute, and I am hoping to continue working within SEN schools in the future, as a result of this opportunity. I have been fortunate enough to be booked in a long term post at the same school, which means I can complete one term of my NQT induction period. Although over the moon to be getting started with the initial stage of my NQT year, I was daunted at the prospect, and a little unclear about what I had to do in order to pass. A few weeks in, however, and I feel I’m finally on the right track and have an evidence file with a bit more meat on the bones than before! Here are a few tips which I’ve stuck to, and that are hopefully helpful to other NQTs in the same position.

Be friendly

Push past any reserved feelings and try to build positive relationships with staff and pupils from the get go, you’ve got more chance of people offering advice and being willing to support you if you make the effort to chat and to help around school. This certainly helped me!

Seize every opportunity

- Go to every staff meeting.
- If there’s any CPD sessions on offer, make sure to put your name down.
- Ask other teachers if you can observe their lessons, you’ll pick up lots of new teaching strategies, and the evidence is great for your record.
- If a school has a partner school, arrange a visit to observe teaching in a different environment.
- Take advantage of the school’s range of professionals; speak to the SENCO, connexions advisor or visiting Healthcare workers to gain an insight into their role in school.
- Attend Parents’ Evenings if possible; the opportunity to communicate with parents is invaluable.
- Ask if you can attend meetings in school to observe your Mentor.
- Try to contribute to the school by bringing an extra-curricular strength to your role; I ended up playing guitar in the school play, a fun way to get to know staff and pupils outside of the classroom.

Measuring Pupil Progress

As I am only here for the Summer Term, I’ve found that gathering evidence for Teaching Standard 2 is the most difficult. In response to this, I’ve marked work in accordance with the school marking policy, photocopying evidence for my file. Also, I have conducted pupil voice questionnaires in lessons to assess progress and I’ve used this information to inform my planning. Moreover, I’ve recorded pupils’ levels and progress in a mark book, pretty obvious stuff but copies are great for your file. Similarly, I’ve written end of year reports, completed progress portfolios for each pupil and have communicated with parents about their child’s progress.


Lastly, make sure that you use your precious P.P.A wisely! We all know that sometimes things come up, whether it be dealing with behaviour or hunting down a working photocopier, but getting as much done as you can in this time can be the difference between a rare evening free from work and four hours glued to your laptop screen.

I hope that these tips are of use to other NQTs, they’ve helped me so far in my initial term. I’m sure there’s lots more that others could add to this list, but it’s definitely a start. Good Luck!

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