As a further education supply teacher you will have a varied age range of students who will have mixed abilities and therefore there will be different aspects of teaching to other sectors. At the same time, somethings in teaching never change no matter who are teaching but it may be that you have to slightly adapt to the age group you are teaching. Here are some tips for further education supply teaching.
Varied ability in technology: Variations in age groups means differences in digital capability. It is worth checking with students how adept they are with online platforms and using digital resources as this will help you prepare your learning plans accordingly.
No matter what age group you are teaching, individuals presenting with challenging behaviour is a common feature of any group and the classroom is no exception. Re-iterating boundaries and guidance in a gentle but firm manner generally to the class can be helpful as well as trying to specifically engage and motivate the individual who is presenting as challenging. Ultimately you always have the option having trying to talk to them individually with an emphasis on ways to help them.
First impressions matter
Getting off to a good start is important because first impressions matter. Students arriving at a class for the first time may be nervous and need to be put at ease. You also want to present your subject in the most interesting means possible to grab their attention, engage them and motivate them; you also need to generate a sense of confidence to demonstrate that you are the expert.
Demonstrate your enthusiasm
If you do not present your subject with enthusiasm, students can quickly feel bored and uninspired. Always teach a subject that you feel passionate about, you will be a happier teacher and therefore students are more likely not only to learn but want to learn from you.
No matter what age group your class, the demands of teaching are many, so being organised is essential for good quality teaching and for your own resilience levels.
Plan your time carefully and be smart about lesson planning and marking as these are the most time-consuming elements of teaching that can spill over into your home life. Digital platforms and online learning and quizzes can be a time saving support mechanism but member to check the capability of the group you are working with as abilities may vary. Be careful what you commit to; this may been saying ‘no’ to requests. Manage the ‘hotspots’ of when you know you are going to be busier and prepare in advance.
Work life balance
Being mindful of having a good work/life balance is essential for your resilience and your longevity as a teacher. Give yourself permission to have boundaries about work and always connect with other people, spend time with family as well as having time your own for ‘you time’ whether its engaging in your hobbies or meeting friends.
Balance feedback to include the positive and the negative
Everyone needs a confidence boost when they are learning something new, no matter what the age group. Although you may immediately identify what a student needs to improve on, it’s important to ‘couch’ your feedback with a positive first; it help to keep them engaged, motivated and ‘hear’ the feedback being said or written and take it on board.
Here’s a useful link to the Government further education overview