Six-and-a-half tips to make your first supply education job amazing

Six-and-a-half tips to make your first supply education job amazing

Six-and-a-half tips to make your first supply education gig amazing

Congratulations on landing your first supply gig. Woo-hoo!

Now, are you completely, utterly, and systematically ready to absolutely crush your first-ever supply gig? 


Well, we’ve got you covered. Woo-hoo!

Sure, it can be a bit overwhelming to walk into a new classroom or nursery and take on the crucial role of educator, especially if it’s your first time. But with a little prep and some tips from experienced educators, you can feel confident and ready to nail your first day. 

And here they are.


Familiarise yourself with the school, nursery and classroom. 

This includes things like the dress code, behaviour expectations, and emergency procedures. It’s important to make sure you understand the rules and regulations so you can set clear expectations for your children and create a safe and orderly learning environment.

And when you work with Humly, you’ll always get a detailed bio of every room you step into through our app. Always setting you up for success is just one of the ways we’re revolutionising education.


Get to know the children. 

Try to find out as much as you can about them: their names, ages, and any relevant information about their learning needs or behaviours. This will dramatically help you build rapport with them, plus give you the insights you need to tailor your lessons to their needs.


Plan your own lessons. 

Even if you’re only teaching for a day or two, it’s important to have a clear plan for what you’ll be doing. This can help you stay organised and ensure you make the most of your time with the children. 

And if you have access to the regular or previous teacher’s lesson plans, take a peek at those to get a sense of what has been covered in the past and what might be coming up in the future.


Bring your own supplies. 

Make sure you have all the materials you need for your lessons, including pencils, pens, paper, and any other materials specific to your subject area. It’s always better to have and not need than need and not have. 

So bring a little extra, just in case.


Be flexible. 

As a supply educator, you may be walking into a classroom or nursery with very little notice and without much information about what you’ll be doing. Be prepared to adapt to changing situations and be open to modifying your lesson plans if necessary.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about something, ask for assistance. The school staff, and the other educators, are valuable resources for answering questions and providing guidance. But only if you use them. 

So use them.


Have fun. 

Of course, you’re here to do a job and be professional, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring your passion and love of education into it – it’s actually why you should.

If you love what you’re doing, show it. Your children will sense it too, and enjoy the experience all the more.

Now you’re ready

Well, almost.

Remember, your first day as a supply educator will be a learning experience, and it’s okay to make mistakes. 

That deserves repeating: It’s okay to make mistakes. 

But as long as you come prepared and are open to adapting to new situations, you’ll be well on your way to successfully crushing your first-ever supply gig. And every one after that.

Now, you’re ready.

How to get the most out of your supply education career

How to get the most out of your supply education career

How to get the most out of your supply education career

Becoming a supply educator is a brilliant and rewarding way to work in education on a part-time or temporary basis. But it’s not without a few challenges.

As a supply educator, you may face the reality of routinely working with a new group of students and colleagues every time you step into a classroom or nursery. And while getting to work with new people can be exciting for some, for others, it can be difficult to work without the comforts of a familiar environment. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are four helpful hints to get the most of your supply education career.

1 – Build rapport with your students

One of the keys to success for supply educators is building a positive relationship with your students. But this can be challenging when you’re working with a new group of students every time you book a job. However, there are a few things you can do to quickly build a rapport with them. 

First, learn your students’ names and use them whenever possible; this shows you care about them as individuals. Second, be approachable and open to answering questions or offering support. And finally, find common ground with your students by sharing personal stories or interests.

2 – Build a rapport with your colleagues

Do the exact same steps you’d do with students. Adults really are just bigger kids, after all.

It’s important to stay connected with the school staff, including your colleagues, head teachers or nursery nurses, and the support staff. This helps you get a sense of the culture and expectations, as well as any challenges or issues. 

Making this a priority will help you get to know your colleagues and build a supportive network of professionals.

3 – Plan your lessons

As a supply educator, you’ll sometimes have very little notice or information about what you’ll be doing when you take on a new assignment. 

Though with Humly, you’ll always get a detailed biography of the school or nursery, class, and subject material when you book. Our next-gen platform gives you everything you need to succeed and more.

But it’s always best practice to come prepared with lesson plans and materials to ensure you’re ready for whatever comes your way. Even if you only have a day or two with the students, you can still make a positive impact by coming prepared with engaging and relevant lessons.

4 – Be flexible

Finally, it’s important to be adaptable. 

You may find yourself in different schools and nurseries, teaching different subjects, and working with different age groups. Be open to trying new things and adjusting your education style to meet the needs of your children.

Supply education can be challenging. But it doesn’t have to be. And that’s the point.

By building rapport with your students and colleagues, planning your lessons, and being flexible, you can help reduce the challenges and enjoy all the benefits of changing lives and helping our future generations grow.

Top 5 Tips to Launch or Relaunch Your Supply Education Career

Top 5 Tips to Launch or Relaunch Your Supply Education Career

Top 5 Tips to Launch or Relaunch Your Supply Education Career

Education is more than just a job. It’s a calling. 

It’s a career where you change lives, grow the future generations, and shape and mould human beings. But also, it’s still a job. 

And like any other job, there are smart steps you can take to set yourself up for success. So rather than keep them to ourselves, we’re sharing with you the top five tips to become a successful supply educator. 


1 – Determine your goals

Before you start looking for supply education jobs, decide what you’re looking for. Do you want to work with a specific age group or subject area? Do you want to work in a particular location or type of school or nursery? Knowing your goals in the beginning will help you narrow down your search to find the best fit for you.


2 – Research your options

For over 30 years, agencies were the only game in town for supply educators to find jobs in the UK. They’re the middlemen between you and schools or nurseries. When a job opens up, they decide which educator gets the opportunity to book it. Agencies have all of the power. Not very fair, is it? Humly isn’t an agency.

Because with Humly, you have all of the power. You’ll find, choose, and book the jobs that fit you. We’re revolutionising supply education by empowering you with complete career control.

You’ll be directly connected to every school and nursery you want to work with through our digital platform. When a job opens up that fits what you want to do, you’ll instantly see it and be able to apply for it – all on your terms. 

Do your research and find which way of working works best for you.


3 – Consider your availability

As a supply educator, finding work is a numbers game. So one of your most important abilities will always be your availability. 

But that’s why the Humly way of doing things is such an advantage for educators. You’ll instantly see every job opening that fits your schedule and preferences, whatever they are. This lets you maximise every opportunity the moment it comes. 

With agencies, your career is in their hands. 

We think it belongs in yours.


4 – Network

Getting a job is often all about who you know. Some studies say up to 85% of all jobs get filled through networking. So, who do you know?

If your answer isn’t everyone, there are simple steps you can take to grow your network

Reach out to colleagues and ask if they know of any openings or contacts at schools and nurseries who would know. Join organisations and attend job fairs to meet other educators and learn about potential opportunities. These are all great strategies. 

But don’t forget you already have a leg up. Networking is all about knowing the right people, right? Well you know us, and we know everyone.


5 – Build your CV

Finally, make sure how you look on paper reflects how well you do the job in real life. Showcase your skills, experiences, and qualifications as an educator. And make sure to include relevant certifications or training, as well as any experience you have working with different age groups or subject areas.

And always keep your CV up to date as you progress and grow as an educator.


A bonus tip

Sure, finding the right supply education job can take some time and effort, but by starting with these tips, you will set yourself up for success. 

Or… you can join Humly. 

Because we’ll ensure your opportunities match your goals. We’ll empower you to find, choose, and book the jobs that fit you and how you want to work. We’ll be your network, your community, and help you grow professionally – all on your terms. And we’ll help you and your CV stand out for future employers.

With Humly, your career is always in the best hands – yours. And we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Top 5 Strategies for Motivating Students

Top 5 Strategies for Motivating Students

Teachers spend years of hard work and thousands of dollars to become experts in their content areas, with degrees and teaching certification to prove it. We develop curriculum maps and teaching calendars to be sure to cover the appropriate standards. We endure hours of professional development so that we are well versed in all the current educational pedagogy. We collaborate with colleagues so that we are all using best practices in the classroom. We develop assessments for students so that we can track their progress. When all this doesn’t work, we have intentional interventions aimed at getting students back on track.

And students are still failing.

The problem is that many students are not motivated to learn. Even with the perfect lesson plan in place, an unmotivated student will not learn. Some teachers claim that motivating students is not their job. It is a teacher’s job to know the content and to teach it well; the student must take responsibility for his or her learning and find his or her own motivation. This old-fashioned idea is what limits many teachers to being average. A great teacher recognizes that student motivation is necessary for success in learning and that teachers are in the perfect position to improve student motivation. Here are some strategies that can be used in the classroom to help motivate students:

1. Promote growth mindset over fixed mindset.

In her book, Mindset, Carol Dweck argues that students have an underlying belief about learning: either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset belief suggests that people are born with or without certain abilities and talents, and that abilities cannot be changed. Fixed mindset learners try to prove themselves and will often shy away from challenges because they do not want to appear to be struggling. A growth mindset learner, on the other hand, believes that abilities and talents can be cultivated and improved through hard work. Growth mindset students enjoy a challenge and see struggles and failures as necessary parts of growth. Learners with a growth mindset are certainly more motivated to work hard.

How do we foster a growth mindset in the classroom?

One of the most powerful elements of feedback for our learners is to praise them for their efforts and hard work. “I can tell that you have been practicing your reading,” or “The practice is paying off on your times tables,” tells learners that they have the power to improve their academic success. That said, we must stop praising ability: “Wow, you are such a smart math student,” or “You are such an incredible reader.” Praise for abilities over efforts reinforces the fixed mindset that students have the ability or they don’t and no amount of hard work on the learner’s part can change the outcome. We are all learners, and should be encouraged as such.

Throughout a learning cycle, teachers assess student progress by incorporating formative and summative assessments. The purpose of formative assessment is to pinpoint the learning needed for ultimate success on a later summative assessment. Formative assessment informs teachers and students about student and classroom needs for improvement so both can act accordingly to improve performance on the final assessment. Some formative assessments are: a thumbs up/thumbs down check for understanding, a quiz in small groups, or an exit slip at the end of a lesson. What is important is that students get timely and descriptive feedback from the assessment so that they can move forward in their learning. This cycle of learning will improve results on a later summative assessment.

As teachers, we can model the growth mindset. Have courage! Ask students for feedback about your teaching and be willing to make necessary changes. Be dedicated! Work hard for students and share how hard work and dedication translates to success and growth. This feedback shows that we, too, are learners. It also invites our students to continue on the learning journey alongside us. Students are always willing to work hard for a teacher that is reciprocating that hard work.

2. Develop meaningful and respectful relationships with your students.

If we are going to truly inspire and motivate all of our students, we should know each of them on a personal level. We need to know their interests and hobbies, who they hang out with, their family situations, and what gets them excited. Each student is going to require different motivational strategies, and we have to know them to be able to predict what strategies might work.

In order to begin that “knowing,” try allowing for five minutes where students may share “Good News.” For example, student A shares, “I am a new uncle! My sister had a new baby boy this weekend!” This is an opportunity for us to learn about our students as people and to let them know that we care about them individually. This also provides an avenue for teachers to share some details about their lives outside of school. When teachers are willing to share personally and become vulnerable, students are more likely to do the same. When learners see one another as whole people, they are more willing to take risks, and ask the questions they need to ask in order to obtain success.

We all learn differently. In each classroom several types of learners exist: visual, tactile, verbal and more reserved. We can see it as our responsibility to discover this by knowing them and endeavor to teach them accordingly. This work results in our ability to know our students which leads to a more cohesive, open learning community.

3. Grow a community of learners in your classroom.

Students need a classroom environment that is safe, where they are willing to take risks and struggle. To achieve this goal, the students and teacher must work together towards common collective goals. Students must be willing to work with and assist other students in class. Struggle should be acceptable and encouraged as a part of the learning process.

Traditional teaching consists of teachers lecturing and learners taking notes, followed by the learners doing independent work to check for understanding. Transforming this outdated model to include more time where students are talking to students brings about true community. Collaborative group work should be the activity between the teacher lecture and the independent work. This is the time when students can digest information and ask questions collectively. Learners participate in what could be considered the “problem solving” phase of their development with new ideas, and together they come to new learnings. This gradual release of responsibility from teacher to student encourages deeper understanding of lesson rather than rote memorisation; thus the students are participants in their own learning, rather than witnesses to the instructor’s knowledge.

Student work should be proudly displayed throughout the classroom. This sends a message to students that they are active participants in creating the knowledge in the classroom. The teacher is not the sole holder of knowledge. Additionally, teachers can use language that promotes the community of learners – including the teacher – rather than a room full of individual learners. Using the words “we” and “our” rather than “I” and “you” has a significant impact on classroom culture, and how students function as interdependent learners.

4. Establish high expectations and establish clear goals.

Setting high expectations and supporting students as they struggle allows learners to rise to meet those expectations. When expectations are transparent, students know where their learning is headed and are motivated to get there because it seems possible: the path is visible. Working towards daily, weekly, and yearly goals gives students a purpose and a meaning for the hard work that they do.

Daily learning goals (learning targets, or “I can” statements) should be posted, visible and referenced on a daily basis. Establishing the “goal of the day” at the start of the lesson gives students a purpose for their learning. Students can also formatively assess themselves at the end of each lesson by checking to be sure they have met the learning goals.

Maintaining high expectations for academics is tantamount to learning, but high standards for behavior, academic language, group work, and even the length and format of individual work is also necessary for deep learning. We cannot assume that students know these expectations. They must be clearly outlined. If we expect students to interact in a certain way together, we need to teach them how, and hold them accountable. If we want an assignment displayed in a certain format, we need to model it and expect it. Once the routines to support expectations are established and clear to the learning community, learning becomes the most important action in the classroom.

5. Be inspirational.

Most adults can recall a specific teacher from their childhood who had a lasting impact. These are the teachers that have inspired, challenged, and motivated students enough to be memorable years later.

What makes these teachers inspirational?

Inspirational teachers represent success to their students. Teacher success might be: completing a 10K race, owning a small business, or receiving a teaching award. We each have successes to share. Through our triumphs, students can learn what success looks like and go after it. Once our students decide that they want success, they pay close attention to the behaviours and choices and even sacrifices that led us to our success. These behaviours include hard work, willingness to struggle, and ability to learn from our mistakes. Students internalise our behaviours and strategies as a way to accomplish their own goals. We give them an opportunity to do so in our everyday routines, assignments and encounters with them.

This blog originally appeared on Luke Wilcox’s website.

Union urges Education Secretary to intervene in teacher pay talks

Union urges Education Secretary to intervene in teacher pay talks

Union urges Education Secretary to intervene in teacher pay talks


A TEACHER’S union has urged Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville to intervene in pay talks.

Teachers have rejected a 5% pay offer from local authorities which has brought the prospect of strike action closer.

On Wednesday, the NASUWT urged the Education Secretary to get involved in pay talks.

Negotiations for teachers are currently handled by the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT) – a tripartite body with representatives from the Scottish Government, teachers and councils.

NASUWT general secretary Dr Patrick Roach said: “It is extremely disappointing that despite our best efforts, the Cabinet Secretary has failed to prioritise talks to avert future industrial action in schools.

“The government and employers need to demonstrate that they are serious about addressing the deepening crisis in teacher morale, recruitment and retention.

“Nine out of 10 teachers are worried about their finances or taking on second and third jobs to make ends meet, using food banks, struggling with rent and mortgage costs, and using up their savings to pay monthly bills.

“The Scottish Government and the employers must stop taking the teaching profession for granted.”

Roach went on to say the union was acting “on the very clear mandate of our members to step up our campaign to secure a real-terms pay award for teachers”.

He added: “The latest pay cut proposals from the employers are an insult to the teaching profession.

“The continuing delays and procrastination by the Government and the employers are rubbing salt into the wounds.

“Teachers deserve better than this. Industrial action in schools will be the fault of Government and employers alone.”

Involvement from the Education Secretary would mark the second time in recent months where pay negotiations were subject to direct ministerial intervention.

The First Minister, in a bid to avert strike action from waste workers and non-teaching education staff, held marathon talks with unions and local authority body Cosla, eventually reaching a deal that saw walkouts cancelled.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Strikes are in no one’s interest – least of all pupils, parents and carers who have already faced significant disruption over the past three years.

“The Cabinet Secretary holds regular meetings with all teachers’ unions to discuss a range of issues, including pay. These meetings have taken place over the last week, with more talks scheduled next week, which will include the NASUWT.

“This Government has a strong record of support for teachers and are proud to have the best paid workforce of anywhere in the UK. It is disappointing that unions have rejected the latest pay offer. Accepting the offer of 5% would have meant that teachers received a cumulative pay increase of 21.8% since 2018.

“We are absolutely committed to supporting a fair pay offer for teachers through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers, the body that negotiates teachers’ pay and conditions of service.

“It is for local authorities, as the employer, to make a revised pay offer.”

7 simple solutions to support students’ mental health and wellbeing issues

Students’ mental health is extremely topical at the moment, continuing to hit the headlines. We recently held a mental health awareness week in our school, just as I’m sure it is a hotly discussed topic up and down the country.

We need to make sure that students are able to cope, and ensure that their mental health is not adversely affected by external circumstances that can often be avoided or that can seem trivial to teachers and outsiders (but which, to that teenager, feel like the some of the most important things they have faced).

We have all experienced that internal voice that talks to us, repetitively, preying on fears, stresses, anxieties and worries, and which doesn’t seem to go away. But as we have grown up, we have hopefully managed to navigate the issues, silence the voice, or at least become more able to rationalise it.

For teenagers, issues around friendships, hormones, home life, navigating the day to day pressures of growing up and becoming more independent, all while being stuck in a ‘no man’s land’ between childhood and adulthood, can at times seem insurmountable and incredibly difficult.

But as teachers and support staff in school there are several things that we can do to relieve this burden and ensure that the students in our care are supported and listened to.

So, how can we help?

The suggestions and strategies that I suggest below are not new and don’t necessarily have a ‘wow’ factor – they are simple, common sense ideas that can work in ensuring that students who are facing, or have faced, mental health issues have someone they can talk to.

Pastoral support

Pastoral support is absolutely key to ensuring that students have access to guidance and support. Having an individual that the student is able to speak to in confidence is essential – whether that’s a tutor, a mentor paid specifically to be a student wellbeing officer, a head of year or deputy head of year, a head of house or a teacher.

It doesn’t matter so much where that pastoral support comes from, as long as students are aware of to whom they need to go in order to get the support and guidance they need and deserve.


In schools, time is often pressured and hard to find, but if a student is distressed or upset then the best thing anyone can give is a bit of time to sit down with them and listen.

It’s not always easy in the insanity of a school day when everyone is busy and under pressure, and it can feel frustrating to have to take the time out when your to-do list is lurking ominously in the background, but finding a moment to speak to a student who is on the edge is one of the biggest things you can do. And it can really make a difference.

Know your students

Whether this is in classes, during tutor time, in student support or just from simply from seeing pupils around the school, it’s important to know your students.

Try to see break time and lunchtime duties less as a ‘must-do’ inconvenience, and more of an opportunity to get to know the students a little better.

If you have a designated area you will quickly know who ‘hangs around’ in that spot, and it creates the perfect opportunity to have a chat and find out more about these particular pupils.

In tutor time, greet the students by name every day and make an effort to ask them on a Monday what they got up to at the weekend or holidays. These dialogues aren’t time consuming and they make everyone’s day a little bit nicer.

I know that from these conversations I can ascertain whether a student has had a good or bad weekend and if they are likely to need a little pep talk or a reminder that they can pop and see me if they need to, or what more often happens, that they can have a chat with me in tutor time to let me know what’s on their mind.

In class, speak to the students when appropriate.

I teach English, which lends itself to asking students what they enjoy and why when they’re doing speeches or other written work, or what makes them really angry or upset. And this can be a good way to understand where they are coming from.


This links in really nicely to knowing your students.

Have you spotted a drop in output from a previously conscientious student? Have you noticed a change in their demeanour, or spotted an aura of unhappiness about them?

Are you aware of something that has happened in a pupil’s life that could potentially make them feel upset, depressed, uncertain? Or, is there a sense that something has changed or is different?

As I mentioned above, it’s important that you know your students pretty well in order to notice these changes. But if you do spot something that strikes you as unusual, a quick conversation to ‘check in’ can be transformative.

The student may or may not open up to you, but they will know that someone cares, and that can have a catalytic effect. This could mean that they then speak to friends or family, because they know that someone has seen that something is not quite right with them.

I know from experience that this does happen, and it does help.


Have an on-site professional counsellor to help students who have complex issues and problems with which they are finding it difficult to cope.

There are certain circumstances that students have to deal with that should, or even must, involve other people, and a counsellor is a good professional way to go about getting these more-complex issues dealt with.

Multi-agency cooperation

On a wider scale, schools should make sure that they are open and honest and communicate effectively with the other professionals who can help students.

There are organisations (again, that are also stretched for capacity) to which students could and should be referred. By ensuring that we communicate effectively as a school we can help students together.

Communicate internally

Make sure that information about a student is communicated as and when it is relevant, and to whom it is relevant.

This can be a note in the system on a student’s file that goes to all members of staff who have contact with that student. This means that all relevant people are informed, and are therefore able to support them appropriately.

As I said at the top of this list of strategies, these are not wow-factor ideas, but common sense practices that are cheaply and easily implemented.

Dweck, in her research paper Academic Tenacity, states: “Addressing the psychology of the student is critical and can galvanise students to seize the opportunities for learning that exist in their school environment.”

This supports the idea that student’s psychological wellbeing and mental health, if looked after and positive, will help them to have better academic opportunities and allow the students to get more out of school.

So, as well as the fact that we are human beings working to help other humans develop and grow, the idea of students doing better, and being academically better, really is a huge positive.Source: Teachwire