Inside supply teaching: Safie Benoit
Hi all! My name is Safie and I supply teach with Zen Educate. I wear many hats, one of those being an educator and Zen Educate has helped me do this.
“Supply teaching has allowed me to actively wear my many hats and take more control of my week.”
Much of my life post-university has been spent away from my home in the UK, discovering the world for myself. Luckily enough teaching has complimented my love of travelling and allowed me to help others and make a living as I travel. I have been very fortunate to teach in Sierra Leone, India and the UAE as well as the UK.
Having worked as a class teacher for over five years, been in education for over seven years and worked with children and young people for over eleven years, I have extensive experience in creative, stimulating and child-centred teaching.
As well as an educator, I am a storyteller and I do this through many arts forms such as writing, acting and through creating film. My passion for the arts seeps through in my teaching and keeps my classroom a fun, happy, safe and stimulating place to learn. My enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring, bringing out the full potential of all individuals. I encourage children to discover their talents, supporting and nurturing their development into confident, self-guided and self-disciplined thinkers in a global society.
Supply teaching has allowed me to actively wear my many hats and take more control of my week. I felt that working full-time as a class teacher didn’t enable me to spend the time I needed on creating stories and practicing my different art forms. After researching different teaching agencies, I chose to teach supply with Zen Educate because they have a transparent system where the teacher sees more of the money that the schools pay. I have built up a good rapport with the team at Zen and I have been very happy using the agency as they are very flexible to my other commitments.
“I chose to teach supply with Zen Educate because they have a transparent system where the teacher sees more of the money that the schools pay”
Zen offers a guaranteed supply scheme to some teachers, which I have previously been on and am very impressed with. On this scheme, Zen guarantees my commitment to work and I will be paid even if there is no work — I simply have to be ready to receive a call in the morning if I haven’t already been booked out. This gives both parties security of the commitment to work on these days.
If you are considering supply work I definitely say give it a try. There are a range of agencies out there, so try to find ones that work with schools in your area or where you would like to work. I recommend researching different teaching agencies and giving them a call. Most agencies will ask you to sign up with them quite quickly but try to have a conversation with them about the area you are looking to work in, the type of schools you are looking for, how long you’ve been teaching and your expected daily rate. This way you can quickly filter out the agencies who are not for you and the ones that are.
Top tips for supply teaching
- Try to plan your journey the night before if you know where you will be placed
- When arriving at the school, ask for computer log-ins and photocopying codes nice and early
- Ask for each school’s behaviour policy — rewarding and sanction the children in the same way they are used to will help for consistency
- Bring your own raffle tickets and stickers in case the behaviour policy in the school does not seem to work for you — prepare, prepare, prepare
- Talk to other staff members in the staff room and build up a good rapport with your co-workers. People are very helpful and supportive when they feel like you have made an effort to connect with them
- Bring your own lunch — sometimes the closest shop may not be that close
- Always have a bottle of water and refill at every free moment
Go out and have fun supply teaching!
About Inside Supply Teaching series
The Zen Educate Inside Supply Teaching series is written by great supply teachers and teaching assistants to share their experience of finding work and their top tips for successful supply teaching.
Ready to give it a go? Find out more about supply teaching jobs with Zen Educate