CPD for teachers

All UK teachers are required to undergo 30 hours of professional development per year, with some teachers suggesting the value of establishing a National Teaching Institute to ensure high-quality, regulated continuing professional development and training within the industry.

Undeniably, CPD in education is important. Surveys conducted by Manchester Metropolitan University revealed that many teachers thought ‘CPD had directly enhanced their promotion prospects’. Even more sceptical respondents acknowledged the value of accredited CPD courses to current and potential employers.

What is CPD for teachers?

In a profession that focuses on learning and knowledge, it is all too important for teachers to set aside time for continuing professional development – CPD.

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) section of the UK National Education Union states that CPD for teachers can incorporate:

  1. Training courses and workshops
  2. Studying for a qualification or accreditation
  3. Online courses/webinars/podcasts
  4. Observation and shadowing
  5. Mentoring
  6. Peer group exchanges
  7. Attending exhibitions and conferences
  8. International exchanges
  9. Self-reflection, personal reading or research

There is also a high degree of choice available regarding professional development, enabling teachers to tailor their CPD to areas in which they feel they need to improve, areas suggested by fellow staff members or areas of general interest.

Curiously in a sector where knowledge, learning and development is of paramount significance, the value of CPD in education has been the source of much controversy.

It is widely recognised that undertaking beneficial CPD for teachers is easier said than done, because long days dedicated to your pupils’ development can mean that it can be difficult to make time for your own.

The same survey by Manchester Metropolitan University revealed that many teachers find CPD to have a negative effect on their work, as it simply represents ‘more plates to juggle’ instead of an opportunity to benefit their career.

Some teachers also described the effect of CPD on their self-confidence as ‘negative’. Only 24% said that CPD had had a ‘very significant impact’ on their professional development.

Bearing this in mind, it is vital to secure CPD that will have a positive impact on your teaching practice, career goals and emotional well-being.

CPD for teachers: which course is right for you?

CPD courses for teachers are relevant to a wide variety of areas in education, including:

  1. Subject knowledge enhancement
  2. Mental health support in the classroom
  3. Revision strategy training
  4. Leadership skills
  5. Effective teaching assistant use
  6. Subject leader training
  7. Behavioural management
  8. Time management
  9. Coaching and motivational skills

Online courses, discussion groups and webinars are also available for those whose ability to travel is restricted.

If you are considering a particular course, first check that it is accredited by the UK Continuing Professional Development Service (CPDUK) in order to ensure that the CPD you receive is of the highest possible quality.

Not all CPD need be external. A survey undertaken by IRIS Connect of over 250 teachers indicates that four times as many teachers prefer in-situ classroom-based CPD to external courses.

The same poll also shows that 85% of teachers value teachers sharing best practice is a valuable learning strategy. With this in mind, organising lesson shadowing is a simple, cost-efficient and highly effective internal means of professional development.

The Guardian describes CPD as ‘a gloomy picture in most schools’, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Teachers committed to ongoing self-development who source CPD courses wisely will find the process enjoyable and rewarding.

What makes an outstanding lesson?

How does OFSTED define an outstanding lesson?

OFSTED defines an outstanding lesson as one in which pupils are:

  1. Inspired, engaged and motivated
  2. Challenged
  3. Making progress
  4. Keen to contribute to the lesson, asking relevant questions and debating the topic with enthusiasm
  5. Interacting productively with each other as well as the teacher
  6. Able to explain what they are doing and why
  7. Proud of their achievements during the lesson

The OFSTED definition also states, in an outstanding lesson, teachers will be:

  1. Experts in their subject
  2. Involving every one of their students in the learning process
  3. Setting imaginative tasks that challenge and inspire pupils
  4. Utilising a wide range of approaches and learning resources in order to target different pupils with different abilities and learning styles
  5. Facilitating independent learning and pupil evaluation
  6. Checking progress towards objectives in a non-disruptive way

In order to be classed as outstanding, teachers also have to comply with guidelines such as:

  1. Recapping the previous lesson at the start
  2. Providing clear lesson objectives which are revisited and revised during the lesson
  3. Explaining information clearly using appropriate language
  4. Providing feedback on the progress of their pupils

Enthusiasm is outstanding

Any OFSTED inspector will tell you that there is no exact recipe for an outstanding lesson; they simply know one when they see it. The one vital ingredient is enthusiasm – from both from pupils and from teachers – whose body language speaks volumes about how engaged they are.

Chief inspector of OFSTED Amanda Spielman has spoken out against the single-minded focus on exam results at the expense of a rounded, enjoyable education. An outstanding lesson is no longer measured by academic success only, but by the engagement of its pupils. As a result many teachers are turning from the traditional classroom methods in favour of more progressive learning methods, such as flipped lessons.

What is a flipped lesson?

A flipped lesson mimics the university learning model, in which students learn about a topic (by means of reading, online lectures or other research) prior to a class. The lesson itself takes the form of a collaborative discussion and/or activity learning, promoting a personalised learner-centred instruction model.

Flipped lessons are by no means the only method by which a teacher can create a engaged and enthusiastic classroom environment, but the success of the flipped classroom illustrates the need to combine a variety of teaching methods, beyond the classic lesson model. Prioritise your pupils’ passion for the subject equally with results and think outside the box for an outstanding OFSTED result.

How can I make my lessons OFSTED-friendly?

Establishing tasks that fulfil OFSTED’s objectives for an outstanding lesson and rehearsing them with your class is a good way to create a dynamic learning environment without needing to take risks during the inspection itself.

Getting your classes used to high risk tasks so that they become routine will go a long way towards reducing OFSTED stress as you have prepared everything beforehand.

Easy ways to incorporate OFSTED objectives into your classroom routine include:

  1. Standing at the door as your pupils enter the classroom, greeting each one and talking briefly about your objectives for the day. Don’t wait for your whole class to come in and settle down. Start preparing each pupil for learning as soon as they arrive
  2. Showing that children leave your class with questions and ideas. During the lesson, ask your pupils to write any questions or ideas you want them to take away on stickers and as they leave, take the stickers with them
  3. Standing at the door at the end of a lesson and asking each pupil to relate something they learned and how it corresponds to one of the lesson objectives before bidding them goodbye.


What makes an effective teacher?

How does OFSTED define an effective teacher?

OFSTED defines an outstanding teacher as one who:

  1. Possesses a thorough and expert knowledge of their subject
  2. Uses their expertise to answer pupils’ questions in a way that will maximise their learning and increase their classroom participation
  3. Uses their creativity and innovation to set imaginative tasks in order to inspire their pupils as well as advancing their knowledge
  4. Selects and combines appropriate resources (including teaching assistants) and activities
  5. Makes sure that all of their pupils are involved and progressing, regardless of their talents, abilities and learning styles
  6. Balances the need for didactic teaching with the need to facilitate pupil interaction and independent learning for a well-rounded teaching approach
  7. Is capable of meticulously checking pupils’ understanding and progress towards objectives during class in a non-disruptive way
  8. Provides pupils with clear, specific and insightful guidance on achieving their academic goals
  9. Sets homework that is relevant and builds upon the work already covered in class or sets the stage for the next lesson

An outstanding teacher creates a classroom environment that is:

  1. Conducive to learning – both stimulating and challenging
  2. Conducive to respect, courtesy and harmonious interactions between pupils, teachers and fellow pupils
  3. Laid out in a manner designed to aid learning, for example in a semicircle if the class revolves around debate, or with pupils facing forwards if the lesson is lecture-based
  4. Well-presented and uncluttered in terms of both structure and decoration

What are the attributes of an effective teacher?

Personal qualities of an effective teacher include:

  1. Empathy – you must empathise with your pupils’ attitudes and learning styles in order to teach effectively
  2. Ambition – drive is a vital part of being a teacher. If teaching is not truly your vocation, your success as a teacher may will be limited
  3. Patience – to remain calm and patient while teaching will help you to provide effective discipline and classroom management
  4. Energy – this is a role that involves hard work and most teachers often work over and above the hours they are paid for
  5. Passion – your passion will communicate itself to the students and create the engaging environment you want

How do I become a more effective teacher?

You can use techniques both inside and outside the classroom to ensure you are the most effective you can be in the classroom:

In the classroom, ensure that your body language and tone of voice are not undermining your teaching methods. The best lesson plan in the world will not get pupils enthused and working hard if you’re not.


  1. Keeping your face and body animated
  2. Smiling
  3. Speaking clearly and brightly
  4. Maintaining a good posture with head high, your back straight and your arms uncrossed
  5. Moving around the classroom during the lesson, rather than standing or sitting in one place throughout

Outside the classroom, seize opportunities for professional development. Not only will CPD courses whet your appetite for your role, they will make you more effective in it.

With the pressures of classroom management and OFSTED inspections it can be all too easy to forget that your career is about learning – yours as well as your students’.

Ensure that you’re maintaining a good work-life balance. Working hard is important, but it’s just as important to carve out some time for yourself and enjoy your life outside work. If you are constantly stressed and running yourself into the ground, inevitably your lessons – and ultimately your pupils – will suffer as a result.

Classroom Management Strategies

Create a positive environment

Creating a positive environment for your students – both emotionally and physically – is one of the best classroom management strategies.

In order to create a good relationship with your students, try:

  1. Greeting your students by name. Students who feel as though they have a personal relationship with their teachers are often more motivated
  2. Saying good morning/afternoon and goodbye when your students enter and leave your classroom. This expresses that you are pleased to see them and sets an example to the students of the kind of polite behaviour you expect from them in return
  3. Taking opportunities to build relationships with your students. Chat to them, recommend books or websites that will interest them and pay attention to their likes and dislikes

The way that your students interact with each other in your classroom is as important as the way they interact with you. Praise positive interactions, foster good working relationships between students in your classes and never permit any cruelty or disrespect.

Consider the layout of the classroom

The layout of a classroom also has a demonstrable impact on the learning environment. The traditional classroom structure with students seated in rows facing the front can make classroom management difficult.

Studies have shown that arranging desks in a semicircle creates a more integrated and communicative atmosphere in the classroom, leading to a more enjoyable and effective learning experience for students. This, in turn, can reduce misbehaviour.

Make sure that all your students can see and hear you, each other and if necessary, the board. Take steps to eliminate any other distractions such as overly bright or flickering lights or cold draughts that could negatively impact your learning environment.

Use positive body language

Body language, though less overt than many other classroom management strategies, is one of the most important aspects of classroom management. It is vital that your non-verbal communication with students reinforces your verbal instructions rather than undermining them.

Positive body language includes:

  1. Animated facial expressions and gestures
  2. Frequent smiling
  3. Confident, upright posture
  4. Uncrossed arms
  5. A clear and upbeat voice
  6. A varied tone – monotonous speech results in students losing focus

Movement also plays a significant role in successful classroom management. Try:

  1. Walking freely around the classroom in order to distribute your attention amongst your students
  2. Avoiding barriers (such as desks) between yourself and your students
  3. Crouching down so that you are on, or below, a student’s eye level when you are addressing them

Use sanctions where necessary

The manner in which you issue sanctions is a reflection of your ability to manage a classroom.

When correcting a student’s behaviour:

  1. Be clear about what you are instructing the student to do, or not to do. Use simple language
  2. Avoid a punitive tone. Be confident, polite and friendly in your manner. Students are more likely to respect you if they feel that you respect them
  3. Discretion is advised. Humiliating a student by reprimanding them when the whole class can hear increases the likelihood of escalation
  4. Keep it brief. You don’t want to get into a debate – or worse, an argument. Your instruction is non-negotiable. Deliver it and move on, walk away or speak to another student

Use positive reinforcement

Many children simply misbehave for attention. You can counteract this by providing them with the attention they crave in positive reinforcements instead of negative ones

In order to put this into practice:

  1. Tone down your reprimands. When a student tries to get your attention at an inappropriate time, ignore the behaviour or quietly and calmly instruct them to resume their work
  2. Focus on praising the student when they are behaving well. If they learn to associate attention with positive behaviour, this will break their pattern of seeking negative attention

Remember that for every student being disruptive, there are usually many others behaving well. If your focus is always on the misbehaving student, you’re reinforcing that behaviour.

Secrets to getting the best from your supply teaching
Secrets to getting the best from your supply teaching

Psssst! These are our sacred secrets to getting the best from your supply teaching.

Pre-bookings vs early morning calls – There are two types of work when you’re a supply teacher, pre-booked and non-pre booked. Pre-booked supply work means you’ll be aware of the school you’ll be going to before you go, which gives you time to get up in the morning prepared and get on your way ahead of schedule. Non-pre booked work is what it says on the tin – you’ll essentially be on call to save a school that needs help that day or week! Not up for a call at 7.30am? Make sure you tell your agency what time you want to receive calls from – if you’re not on a pre-booked day but you’ve let your agency know you’re available that day, be prepared to answer the phone early!

Give it your all – This goes without saying but giving it your all on assignment is really important. Turn up on time, turn up looking sharp and turn up with a smile on your face. An enthusiastic supply teacher gets rebooked which in turn gives you consistency in your work. Win-win.

Take work with you – In some cases, your work will be planned for you, in others, it won’t. It’s best to plan for the latter, just in case – let’s be honest, games only get you so far when you’re teaching. Think on your feet if lessons go off task, a great supply teacher is able to complete lessons on time and feedback to the classroom teacher of achievements and objectives hit by their students.

Enter the staff room – Don’t think because you’re a supply teacher that you aren’t part of the staff at a particular school – relief staff play just as important a role in a school as everyone else as they keep students on track. Spending time with the staff is important to building relationships, which makes going back to a school a positive experience and not a daunting one.

Feedback – Feedback might be your worst nightmare, but really it should be your best friend. Feedback allows you to receive praise as well as understanding where you need to improve. Supply teaching gives you the opportunity to gain continuous feedback from different headteachers and school managers, which can put you in great stead to finding more work.

Find the loos! – The best piece of advice for someone going to a new school for a supply day is to find the toilets – don’t get caught short.

Impressions – First date dos and don’ts apply when you go into a school for the first time, look sharp, smile, be friendly – it’s the trifecta of ensuring a successful day at a new school.

Teach beyond your subject – Teaching beyond your subject is a great way to not only expand your knowledge base, it ensures you get more work and shows your experience.

Stand out from the crowd

Stand out from the crowd

Whether you’re an experienced teacher or you’re newly-qualified and you’ve done lots of supply since graduating, hunting for new teaching job can be difficult. It’s times like these when you begin to assess yourself professionally and personally. Am I the right person for the role? What do I need to impress? Am I good enough?

Relationship skills

Being good at building relationships is one of the most important skills a teacher can have; a positive relationship with your students is a great way to maximise their learning potential. It’s also important to be able to build professional relationships with other staff and SLT at a school, they’re your support network, the people to get advice from and enjoy your job with.

Effective teaching and learning

Being able to foster effective teaching and learning is key. Being able to show this to a prospective employer is important when you’re looking for work. Have you raised attainment with students in your class? Are there any notable achievements that you could talk about when you’re interviewing? Did you receive Good or Outstanding feedback during a lesson observation? Talk about it! It’s all well and good having a glowing teaching CV, but backing it up with real-life examples of student success are even better. Showing your passion and positive attitude will show you care about your job and are excited about the future.


If you’re looking for a long-term or permanent position, you should be reliable. You’ll be a full-time employee of a school, and this comes with personal responsibility. Being reliable means showing up for work on time, doing all that’s expected of you in a school day, taking on activities within the school that might go above and beyond what you consider normal. For example, taking on break time or lunch cover, assemblies, being great during a parents’ evening, taking on extracurricular activities like setting up a new academic team.

Finding the right school

As with any new job, finding the right employer is something that will make you try much harder in an interview and when you land the job. If you apply for a plethora of jobs and interview with lots, it might be counterproductive. You need to understand what you need from a school, what you want from your career and find somewhere that matches your beliefs. It’s important to think about school ethos, size, catchment and the type of schools you’re applying to. Take time to read Ofsted reports of potential schools you might want to work in, this puts you in great stead when you come to interview as it not only shows you’ve proactively researched it but that you’re interested in working there.

Interviewing Do’s and Don’ts

– Be confident

– Be engaged

– Act professional

– Talk about your achievements

– Be honest


– Underprepare

– Criticise your current employer

– Talk too much

– Dress inappropriately

– Downplay your success at a school

How to be a star supply teacher

How to be a star supply teacher

There are two ways to get supply work, pre-booking with your agency or letting them know you’re available and waiting for a call. Here are our top tips being the best supply teacher you can be so you get the best exposure.

Choosing your agency

If you decide to start supply teaching, don’t register with loads of agencies – it’ll only end up creating more work for yourself submitting timesheets and letting everyone know you’re available for work and dealing with multiple companies calling you each morning.

Do your research, every agency offers different things – we offer loads of perks, from free CPD every month to life support to help you transition into a new role.

The early bird catches the worm

As a supply teacher, if you haven’t pre-booked work for a week, but you’ve let your agency know you’re available for work, it’s best to be up and ready to rock bright and early – just in case. We might call at 7.15 or 8am with a booking that we want you to go to, and the quicker you’re on site getting the class ready the better!

First impressions

When you arrive at a daily supply booking, make sure you introduce yourself to staff – it will make you stick in their minds. You can use these interactions to find out about the class you’re teaching as well as the rules for behaviour in the school and get your timetable.

Request schools you like

If you find yourself really enjoying work at a particular school for a day, request it again! Your agency is on hand to respect what you’re looking for from your work, so if they know you enjoyed it, they’ll try to get you booked in there again.

Be passionate

Passion goes a long way – remember why you do supply. You keep children on track and keep their days consistent so they can keep learning.

Work hard

This goes for pretty much every job you could ever have in any industry, but it’s particularly important for teaching and supply teaching. You’ve got to plan lessons, mark students work, sometimes attend meetings, keep your classrooms clean and tidy and have great communication skills.

Hacking Student Learning: 12 Neuroscience Tips for Teachers

Hacking Student Learning: 12 Neuroscience Tips for Teachers

No matter how different and independently minded each of us is, there’s something we all have in common. That’s the way our brains have evolved and developed. Throughout our evolutionary history, certain thought patterns and responses have developed to ensure we carry out tasks in the most efficient and productive way. These responses keep us safe from harm and ensure we capitalise on opportunities. Neuroscience is the study of such brain patterns.

By understanding the built-in ways our brains respond, we can start to ‘hack’ into the way people learn, develop and improve.

So here are 12 neuroscience principles to back up your work in the classroom.

1. Primary and Recency Effects

When we’re given a load of information, it’s far easier for us to recall the first thing and the last thing we see. These start and stop points punctuate our information intake, making it easier for our brain to stick a mental bookmark in these positions. What comes in the middle is not so easy to pick out, as it merges into the whole experience.

For example, in a football league, you’ll certainly be able to remember which teams came first and last but it won’t be as easy to reel off all the positions of the teams in between. When it comes to teaching, you can use primary and recency effects to place the most important take-home information at the start and the end of the lesson. To that effect, we’ve placed one of the most important things we remember at the end of this list.

2. Originality

Ever wondered how it is we can recall all the details of crazy stories that happened years ago but not the everyday things that happened recently? In neuroscience, this is known as salience, where our attention is drawn to what is novel.

The films we find boring are the ones that are predictable. The experiences we love are the ones where we got to try something different and unusual.

The same applies to lessons. Always conform to the same rules and approaches and the ability to remember them will become dampened. Cliche approaches will start to get tuned out because they’ve been seen and heard before and the brain assigns lesser importance to them. However, by striving to always add an original element, you will go down in school history.

3. Simplicity

It’s a very simple truth that the brain prefers to think about things that are easy to think about. This is known as cognitive fluency. As soon as any complexity is added, it’s harder for the brain to process. When faced with multiple objectives, this is distracting and it becomes harder to focus on what’s important.

The average brain is able to store between 5-9 chunks of information within in the short term. This is known as working memory. Too many chunks can cause the loss of focus and impair decision making. It’s called decision fatigue.

To illustrate this point, a taste experiment was done with jam. One tasting group had six flavours to try and another group had sixteen flavours. The group with just six choices went on to buy 33% more jam than the other group who had to decide between many more flavours. This goes to show simplicity and memory recall ease the decision-making process.

On that basis, students can be assisted by ensuring lesson structures never overload their working memory beyond capacity.

4. Contrast

We are naturally primed to spot things that stand out. From an evolutionary perspective, we are drawn to colourful fruits that want to be eaten and warned by colourful animals that really don’t. It’s the contrast of colour against backgrounds that draw our focus and guide our decisions. Of course, the converse is camouflage, where things slip by unnoticed. For example, just imagine how effective road signs would be if they blended into the surroundings. They are specially designed to stand out and be noticed.

Contrast to learning is what the shiny object is to a magpie. That’s why the design and presentation of key information are important. If the main point is to be taken in, it must visually stick out in relation to its surrounding information and be given plenty of space to shine through. That’s space in time as well as physical space. For important points to really sink in, the subconscious mind needs time to digest them before being surpassed with new information.

5. Visual

Associations Our brain makes sense of things through visuals. We don’t dream in text and numbers, we dream in pictures. If you think about it, written language is really just visual pattern recognition anyway.

Much of our memory is associative through visuals. That’s where the power of mental associations exists. It, therefore, stands to reason that if you want to leave people with a lasting impression, provide a visual experience that can easily be recalled.

Many people have discovered the benefits of using ‘Memory Palace’ techniques to associate a prominent visual with each piece of information to remember. The same premise can be used by attaching strong image associations to key topics to be remembered.

6. Relevancy

Our emotional associations can powerfully shape our actions. Personal experiences are more easily recalled than incidents that happened to others. This is known as an availability bias. We remember own actions better than we remember others.

The secret to getting people to care about something is to ensure they are able to frame it in such a way that puts them in the picture and has some sort of implication to their own life. A simple trick to achieve this is to always ask the question, ‘so what?’ So what forces you to dig down and find the reason something personally relates beyond superficial understanding from descriptions or statistics alone.

Learning new information can often be seen as a chore if not by choice. This is because it can feel like filling your head with knowledge without really knowing the reason why. We have no reason to be fond of something when we don’t understand its purpose. This is called an affect heuristic (a mental shortcut), where the degree of attention given is based on whether something is liked or disliked.

If however, we can clearly understand the relevancy of information in terms of why it matters in the real world, it no longer feels like blindly learning but feels more like preparing. Relevancy is the fuel for motivation.

7. Analogy

We deal with almost everything that happens to us by comparing ongoing events with past experiences. We don’t always know we’re doing this as it mostly occurs in our subconscious. When something new comes along, we look for this past reference to make sense of it.

That’s the beauty of analogy. Analogous situations provide a situation that we already recognise. They make the strange familiar. It’s a wonderful shortcut to learning as you just need to associate with already well-established knowledge. Tough topics become far easier to grasp once you can draw parallels with familiar situations.

Perhaps remembering a historical figure could be easier once likened to the actions of a modern celebrity? Maybe maths problems can make more sense when numbers are restated as physical objects in the real world situation? Analogies can be found by asking ‘what does this situation remind me of?’. You’ll begin to find ways of helping students relate the topic to a more familiar context to them.

8. Fun and Games

When we perform synchronised activities such as singing songs, playing games or even a simple act such as walking together, we feel more connected to the people we’re performing these activities with.

This means we begin to look out for each other more and care about each other’s achievements. That’s why playful activities in the classroom are not merely just fun but instrumental in generating a culture of positive success.

9. Repetition

We often decide the relative importance of issues by how easily they are retrieved from memory. More frequently mentioned topics persist in our memory and bubble up to the surface much more readily. This is known as the familiarity principle. It causes us to feel more positively about things we are more frequently or consistently exposed to. Ever had a song that you didn’t like at first but has since ‘grown on you’? That’s the reason. It’s a very simple principle to bring into the classroom; the more vital something is to remember, the more often you should bring it up in lessons.

10. Involvement

If you’ve ever built your own flat-pack furniture, you’ll know the effort it takes to cobble it together then the reward you feel when it’s stood in pride of place. This is called the Ikea effect. The more effort we put into an activity, the more we value it.

When it comes to the classroom, this is the power of involvement. Passive learning is less effective than when someone has a chance to experience it for themselves and take pride in the outcome. This is where project-based learning really comes into its own. Even small-scale activities can boost this sense of achievement and create a stronger connection with the lesson.

11. Positivity

Almost a third of our brain is dedicated to scanning for negatives. In evolutionary terms, this is our safety net to avoid dangerous situations. It means negative emotions and bad feedback have a stronger impact and are processed more thoroughly than good emotions and feedback. The result is we are driven more to avoid losses than achieve gains. We won’t stick our necks out if we fear disapproval or negative repercussions.

With that in mind, you can appreciate the need to place more emphasis on a positive environment. A positive environment is one where we feel freer to experiment and enjoy learning in a variety of different ways. Positivity puts us in a better frame of mind. It’s called a mood heuristic, whereby a better mood increases our enjoyment and satisfaction level. The more we enjoy learning, the more we want to learn.

12. Storytelling

Ever seen a child uninterested in a toy until another child starts playing with it? Then all of a sudden they are desperate to have it. This is called mimetic desire, which simply means, we want what others have. We are more likely to do something when we see someone else do it first.

That is the real secret of storytelling to influence behaviour. We see an action taking place and we want to put ourselves in the picture. Instead of dry information, a story narrative pulls us in an enables us to identify the situation. The stronger the story, the more importance we attach to the subject. We also become more confident when the story comes easily to mind. All that adds up to a powerful learning experience.

Now over to you. How you currently weaving these principles into your lessons? Where else could you tap into the ways students think and further influence their learning?

How SGP works for you

How SGP works for you

It’s always important to know that something will be worth your time before you sign up. Are you looking for something that offers you monetary security with flexibility every day? Do you want to be able to try teaching in different schools to gain experience? Here’s how Secure Guarantee Pay works for you.

How is it secure?

Secure Guarantee Pay does what it says on the tin – your pay is secured each week, even if we can’t get you out one day. Let’s say you’re on a contract that means you work 4 days a week, but we’re only able to get you to school 3 days, your pay will be for 4. That’s part of our promise to you. We do all of the hard work ensuring we have the supply days available in schools in your area and put you at the top of the list so that you get as much work as possible.

How does it work?

Every day you’ll need to be ready to rock bright and early, waiting at a train station for us to call with your assignment of the day. All you need to do is get to the school and begin! The beauty of supply teaching is that in most cases, the general class teacher will have left your lesson plans and assignments ready for you to arrive, so all you need to worry about is the teaching itself.

How to ace it

There are lots of ways to make sure that you’re getting the best out of supply teaching and that the children you teach get the best from your teaching. Here are a few tips to acing it:

– Make sure you get to school early (we’ll make sure you never have to travel more than an hour to get to a school)

– Make sure you have a ‘Supply Teacher Pack’ so that you’re always prepared – this includes stationery, back up lesson plans, icebreakers and your very own set of classroom rules

– Get to know the staff at the school you’re teaching – if you have time in the morning, introduce yourself to any staff you see

– It’s a good idea to ask if there are any difficult children in your class before you begin teaching so you can effectively manage behaviour during your class

– Ask about the schools routine – it’s important to know when the toilet breaks and assemblies are!

– Take note of anything important for reporting back to the class teacher – they’ll want to know which students did really well in class and who struggled.

The benefits are endless!
There are loads of benefits to joining Secure Guarantee Pay! Read on to find out:

Supply teaching gives you the kind of variety that any other career does not. You can teach at a range of schools in the area you live in and get to know how different schools work. Variety is the spice of life and you really get that with supply.

Gain valuable experience

Supply teaching opens doors for you. Working in different schools gives you confidence and helps you pick up new ideas – essentially it broadens your horizons. Teaching a variety of students from different backgrounds in different schools that have different management styles and philosophies will also give you an edge.


Getting an insight into different schools and communities helps you decide what your long-term aspirations are. The more schools you work in, the more you’ll be able to identify what you want from a school, and what you don’t.


Working in schools on a regular basis allow you to get to know the staff there, this is great for support as well as widening your professional network. When supply teaching, first impressions count – so make sure you make a great first impression so that schools you like request you back.

Try before you buy

It’s a great thing to be able to identify schools you’d like to work long-term in – when you’re teaching supply, keep note of the ones you like! Autonomy Supply work allows you to skip the onerous daily planning and preparation that permanent classroom teachers are expected to do. You can experience the fun of the classroom without as much responsibility – this means fewer meetings, paperwork, testing and Ofsted.

Financial Security

Secure Guarantee Pay means you have financial security – something which supply teachers may not feel as in control of as teachers in longer term posts. We pay you whether you work or not, it’s part of our promise to great customer service and support.

So, there are loads of benefits to supply teaching on a guarantee pay contract – what are you waiting for?