Empower : Respect : Integrity : Dedication

7 Skills Needed to be a Successful Supply Teacher

There are lots of reasons why people prefer to do supply teaching rather than applying for permanent teaching jobs, such as the greater flexibility if you want to have more time off or do not want the commitment of a permanent contract. It may be a temporary situation to suit your current circumstances or to earn money while you wait for the right permanent role to come along.

If you are considering becoming a supply teacher, there are some vital skills that you will require to be successful:


Supply teachers must be very adaptable and happy to go to a new school, often with little notice in order to cover an unexpected staff absence. You could be asked to teach a subject that is not your specialist subject and there may not always be detailed instructions left for the lesson, so you will need to have a flexible mindset.

Rapport building

As a supply teacher, you need to be able to build a rapport with students quickly, as you do not have the benefit of teaching them every day and building a relationship over time. You need to be able to quickly engage with students so that they make progress in the lesson.


When you are working in a job where the requirements change all of the time, having good organisation skills will be key to getting settled in quickly so that you can get lessons started immediately.


When students know that they have a supply teacher, this can sometimes lead some students to behave less respectfully than they do with their usual teacher. You may need to be patient to deal with any behaviour issues.

Classroom management

Due to the potential behaviour issues in some schools and classes, supply teachers must have good classroom management skills to help prevent any poorly behaved students from distracting other students during the lesson.


As well as being able to communicate well with students to drive lesson engagement and help to ensure good behaviour, supply teachers need to have good communication skills to work with the members of staff in the school they work in. Often, the teachers who pass over the lesson plan or instructions will be limited for time, so it is important that you can quickly establish the requirements for the lesson and the teacher can leave you to get on with the lesson without being interrupted from their own work.

Passion for teaching

It should go without saying that anyone who wants to become a teacher has a passion for teaching and helping students to develop the knowledge that will help them to achieve their potential. Teaching can be a very rewarding career, whether you are a permanent teacher or a supply teacher, you get the opportunity to demonstrate your passion for teaching every working day.

At Worldwide Education Recruitment we are passionate about finding the right roles for the right people. If you are looking for your next role, either as a supply teacher or if you are looking for a permanent role, see our current vacancies.

Oliver Denison

Compliance Officer and DSO

With a background in compliance and security vetting in the aviation industry, I decided to
transfer and further develop my expertise in compliance within the education sector. I joined
Worldwide Education in July 2021, and since then have gained a great deal of knowledge,
through day-to-day learning and training courses. I look forward to what the future holds at
Worldwide Education. I love travel, cinema, good food and going on walks with my sausage


Samantha Neziri

Branch Manager : Langley

Hi I’m Samantha. I joined Worldwide Education in 2017 and since then I have developed my
career within in recruitment. I am now the Branch Manager for Langley and work across the
Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire area. I am currently completing my level 3 in recruitment
practise and I am looking forward to putting my new skills to good work. I enjoy spending
time with family and friends and getting to experience new adventures in life.