For five years I worked (through choice) as a supply teacher (substitute teacher in USA), in the British state school system.
It taught me valuable life lessons & helped develop personal qualities in myself, that have helped in business.
Supply teaching, like business, is tough. As a supply teacher, you can be ‘meeting new clients’ on a daily basis.
This includes not only the students, but also senior management at the School, often for the first time.
You can be ’emotionally battered’ during a tough day, but must show composure, and ‘bounce back’ as if nothing happened, the next day.
Thinking on your Feet
Like in business, supply teaching is unpredictable, and even though you have a lesson (or business) plan, you have to adapt it (sometimes very quickly) to the situation.
I touched on adaptability in the last paragraph, but sometimes in supply teaching (and business), you need a ‘Plan B’.
For ‘short term’ supply teaching, the absent teacher is suposed to provide the supply teacher with lesson plans and resources.
This enables the supply teacher to arrive at short notice, and teach the class. In
In reality though, often there is no plan provided!
I could not tell you the amount of times that I entered a classroom, after being called in at the last minute, and found that no lesson plan had been provided.
Therefore a ‘Plan B’ is crucial for the effective running of a class of students, and also for the smooth running of a business.
In conclusion, supply teaching taught me the lessons of quick thinking (thinking on feet), adapting plans & strategies to the situation, and developing resistance and mental toughness.