Before SupplyWell, life was looking rather bleak. I was working with an agency that would cheerfully send me to wholly new placements each and every day with no consistency.
I was given no real support beyond a cheerful tone of voice, and paid just enough money to cover my fuel costs while moving from school to school with the barest of notice given each and every day.
I was exhausted: between helping to look after my mother and my siblings, taking on a PhD in English Literature, and trying to handle the constant changes in my work life, I felt like my mind was being pulled apart in every direction.
New outlook on teaching
It was the first call with Reis that changed everything for the better. If I hadn’t received that call, I don’t know if I would have remained a teacher.
The initial interview with SupplyWell was a delight, with Ocean going above and beyond to put me at ease and determine where my talents lay. Following this, I was placed into the capable hands of Reis and Dylan: it was a remarkable experience to actually have a supply agency take my location, circumstances, and specialisms into account when determining where to send me, and it was even more surprising to receive notice the night before placement changes to allow me to prepare myself properly!
Wellbeing & CPD support
Working with SupplyWell, I didn’t feel like a cog in an unfeeling machine as I had done before. I didn’t even feel like a valued employee: under Dylan and Reis, I felt like a genuine friend and trusted student, receiving the techniques of good educational practice and classroom management from those who had spent over twenty years putting them into practice and honing them to a fine edge in the field.
I would even go as far as to argue that I managed to learn more practical methodology in three phone calls with Dylan alone than I did through my entire PGCE. When you join SupplyWell, you don’t get left stranded or confused: there is always something new to learn, and there is always somebody who is happy to share the answer you’re looking for.
Even with these positive developments, there were some rough patches working as a Cover Supervisor. I possessed the knowledge and the academic know-how to manoeuvre my way around most of the subjects I was presented with, but there were moments where I genuinely struggled. Some placements were exceptionally tough, while some experiences were tainted by medical issues within the family that drew away my focus and attention.
Dylan was always a mere phone call away, ready with his wit and wisdom to put my mind at ease – but gradually, the role of Cover Supervisor began to grind away at me.
It was at the point where my mother ended up facing cancer for the third time that the biggest changes started to take place. Dylan recognised the stresses that were weighing on my mind and made his move, sending me to do some work as a Teaching Assistant at a local school. He arranged for some CPD regarding the role and maintaining solid mental wellbeing while on the job. In short, he went further than I expected any of the staff at my old agency would have ever considered for an employee – and it paid off.
Embracing new roles
At this moment in time, I am currently very happy as an TA working at my current placement alongside a team of very welcoming, friendly, and supportive staff who are doing all they can to help me develop my skills in this new role. Being able to work one-on-one with struggling students and help to cultivate those ‘aha’ moments of recognition and understanding within lessons is a pure delight, and I never would have discovered this without the help of all the staff at SupplyWell – but especially Ocean, Reis, and Dylan.
It’s not something as banal as just another job.
It’s not something as callous and impersonal as just another agency.
It’s not something as dull and mindless as just another role.
It’s a challenge to rise and become better and better every day, and all the backing that you need to achieve it with gusto.
Find out more about the SupplyWell Teacher Ambassador roles here