As a supply teacher, the opportunity to build meaningful connections with schools is an invaluable aspect of your teaching journey. By fostering positive relationships, you can create a supportive and enriching environment for both yourself and the students you teach. In this blog post, we’ll explore practical strategies that supply teachers can employ to cultivate connections and build meaningful relationships with schools, nurturing an environment of collaboration and a positive impact on your own professional growth.
1. Approach with Professionalism and Enthusiasm:
When stepping into a new school as a supply teacher, it’s important to make a lasting impression by demonstrating professionalism and enthusiasm. Think of approaching each interaction with warmth and attentiveness. Arrive punctually, dress appropriately, and come prepared with the necessary materials. Show genuine interest in the school’s values, routines, and goals. Introduce yourself to staff members and be considerate of their work and the students. By embracing both professionalism and enthusiasm, you’ll convey your commitment to the teaching profession and set the stage for building strong connections. There are a number of ways that you can prepare before you even set foot into your new placement, check out our ‘5 Top Questions Every Supply Teacher Should Ask When Starting A New Role’ blog.
2. Establish Open Communication Channels:
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. Take the initiative to introduce yourself to the school staff, including administrators, fellow teachers, and support staff. Be approachable, listen actively, and seek clarification when needed. Clear and open lines of communication foster collaboration, build trust, and lay the foundation for strong connections with the school community. Plus, who doesn’t love making new friends?
3. Adapt to School Culture and Classroom Dynamics:
Every school has its own unique culture and classroom dynamics. Take the time to observe and understand these dynamics, respecting the established routines and practices. Adapt your teaching style to align with the school’s expectations while bringing your own expertise and creativity. Embracing the school’s culture will foster a sense of belonging and build connections with fellow educators.
4. Show Empathy and Build Rapport with Students:
Connecting with students is an essential part of being a supply teacher. Show empathy, learn names, take an interest in their individual needs, and create a supportive and inclusive learning environment. This is a great way to gain trust and establish early control of the classroom, you can read more about Classroom Management in our blog here. Listen to the students attentively, encourage their efforts, and provide guidance when necessary. By building rapport with students, you’ll establish a foundation of trust and create a positive classroom atmosphere and leave a lasting impact.
5. Seek Feedback and Reflect on Experiences:
Continuous improvement is key to developing strong connections with schools. Seek feedback from school staff, classroom teachers, and students after each assignment. Reflect on your experiences, identify areas for growth, and implement constructive feedback in your future teaching engagements. Demonstrating a commitment to professional development and a willingness to learn fosters strong connections and shows that you value the collaborative process.
6. Express Appreciation and Maintain Professional Relationships:
Express gratitude to the schools you work with by sending thank-you notes or emails after assignments. Building connections with schools extends beyond the duration of individual assignments. Once your time in the role is over, maintain professional relationships by staying connected, attending school events when possible, and showing ongoing interest in the school’s progress. By nurturing these relationships, you’ll build a network of support and increase your chances of future opportunities.
Cultivating meaningful connections with schools is a valuable endeavor for supply teachers. By embracing approachability, effective communication, adaptability, empathy, feedback, and appreciation, you can foster positive relationships that contribute to a supportive and collaborative teaching environment. Through nurturing these connections, you will see that your teaching journey becomes even more rewarding and fulfilling. Embrace the power of connections and watch your supply teaching experience flourish.
If you’re ready to do supply differently, teach happier and get the most out of your supply teaching roles, sign up with SupplyWell today.