Good information, could do with an update, especially since supply teaching is being phased out in exchange for 'cover-supervisors' who get paid roughly half as much due to schools all becoming academies.
Brilliant Supply Teacher offers an invaluable guide for teachers who are new to supply work, as well as to those with more experience wanting some extra guidance on how to be most effective in this role. It provides a step by step guide to supply teaching, starting with reasons to take on different assignments, avenues to explore in order to find employment in schools and guidance on how to manage first days and longer term assignments within schools. It also gives advice about classroom management and coping with inadequate cover work, whilst commenting honestly on the experiences many supply teachers face.
As well as presenting a lot of relevant information in an accessible way, the main strength of this book is the range of perspectives it covers. As a former head of department who has worked as a supply teacher, Lauren French provides many insights about successful supply teaching and problems often faced. The advice is both well reasoned and practicable. He has included several case studies showing other supply teacher's experiences, analysing the common problems faced whilst demonstrating solutions and evaluating their success. Also, the guidance provided by the author about how to develop more meaningful lessons when the cover work is inadequate is also very useful, whilst the advice provided about resources for lessons may save any teacher countless hours of work.
The way in which this book is written enables time limited teachers to pick and choose key sections to read for advice on any crisis currently faced. The structure of the book makes the information easy to access. Even so, the book has a sense of wholeness, with a linear structure beginning with reasons why people often decide to become supply teachers, before moving on to how to find work, issues that may be encountered and how to find the most fulfilling assignments.
Being a supply teacher is often tough and sadly Brilliant Supply Teacher could never change the nature of such supply teacher's assignments. Nor does it pretend that it could. Instead, it effectively highlights the challenges you will face when supply teaching, and provide ideas that will make things a little easier, solving some problems you will face. This book is a must for any teacher who is contemplating becoming a supply teacher, or already has experience of working in this role. It will enable you to face the challenges of supply teaching with your eyes open to the reality of what you face, and the ways to make the most of this.
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