Being a supply teacher is a very rewarding profession, offering great flexibility and choice of schools to work in.
Most primary and secondary supply teachers form a bond with the schools and pupils they normally work with. This bond is similar to a permanent teachers bond with his or her pupils it can make a massive difference to the children and can last many years. Being a good supply teacher often includes building a long term link with the school, colleagues and pupils.
Most supply teachers are invited back to the schools they teach in because the assignment has gone well sometimes things didn’t work out; either way getting feedback on how you got on is really important.
On the basis that all “feedback is a gift” good or bad it should be gathered, acted on and shared. In particular it is important to share the feedback you get from the school with the recruitment consultant that placed you at the school. This feedback however uncomfortable or otherwise is massively helpful and should never be ignored.
The acting on feedback is really important too. If you are getting a couple of schools giving you more or less the same feedback then one might argue a pattern is emerging and whilst you may feel the feedback isn’t what you would expect it is certainly a good idea to consider it objectively.
There is no point in keeping the feedback to yourself – it is best shared with your recruitment consultant, once they know they will be able to better match you to schools where the conditions suit your teaching style.
There is nothing worse than ignoring the feedback and battling on not really delivering the outcome the schools expect. This is myopic especially if several schools provide the same feedback which is negative and you’ve chosen to ignore it.
As a supply teacher you have a great deal of flexibility as do schools. If they feel you are not meeting their expectations and have given you feedback which you are yet to act on you can find that the number of schools that want to work with you locally starts to decline.
Clearly one of the roles of the recruitment consultant is to engage with the school after your initial assignments to get the feedback too. Normally the feedback for the teacher and the schools are similar and all is well.
So the bottom line as a supply teacher or teaching support staff is to ask for feedback from your assignments even if you’ve been their countless times, act on the feedback and share it with your supply teacher agency.
“All feedback is a gift” so treat it as such.