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Top 5 tips on how to stay professional as a supply teacher

It’s really important as a supply teacher to ensure that you are as professional as possible in the workplace.

As a teacher, you are in a lot of ways a role model to young and impressionable students, and so your behaviour and the way you come across is imperative for not only being a good example to the children you teach, but for ensuring you do your job well too.

Here we take a look at the top five steps for making sure you stay professional in your working environment.

 Dress the part 

It’s really important that you dress suitably for your job role as a teacher and stand out as being a professional individual.

For the majority of schools, you will be required to dress accordingly, which means wearing smart or smart-casual attire. There’s also the fact that you need to be comfortable, as you will be in these same clothes for a long period of time.

As a female teacher, you need to ensure that your clothes are appropriate and aren’t in anyway revealing. A smart buttoned up shirt or blouse is ideal, perhaps teamed with a pair of trousers, or if wearing a skirt making sure that it is knee length or longer and perhaps worn with tights during those colder months. Wear with a pair of comfortable shoes that don’t have too much height.

For men, simply a smart shirt and tie with trousers is a perfect combination.

Remember to make sure your clothes are clean and presentable and are free from any odours.

Always be on time

As with any job, it is so important to turn up to work on time. This not only gives you more time to prepare for the day, but also means that you will be less flustered and more relaxed and therefore ready to have a productive day of teaching.

As a teacher, you will need to make sure that you are in work much earlier than your students, as this will give you the time to plan the day ahead and know what you will be covering in each lesson.



Organisation is key

Being organised and prepared for each day is a key factor in being a professional teacher.

Thinking ahead and having a lesson plan put in place is so important, as it will mean that you are set for the next few days, weeks or months and are ensuring that your students are getting everything they can out of your lessons.

Having a timetable prepared in advance will mean that you have the time to plan fun and educational tasks for your pupils that will cover relevant syllabus content.

Many teachers turn to online resources to help them to ensure they are creating effective lessons that will cover a wide range of subjects and topics that will assist in a child’s learning, development and growth.

There are some brilliant websites out there that can provide great ideas for the classroom, posters, games and tips on routines, as well as advice on rules and behaviour and targets.


Treat people with respect

As the saying goes ‘Treat others how you want to be treated’. This stands for students and other staff alike.

When it comes to your students, you need to ensure that you meet a happy balance when it comes to teaching. Of course you can be friendly, it’s just important that you remain a mentor rather than a friend as this will gain trust among your students, as well as making them aware that you are an authority figure who also deserves equal respect.

It can be difficult to meet this balance when it comes to bad behaviour within the classroom. With situations such as this, you need to make sure that you don’t take disrespectful behaviour personally and never respond angrily or with spite, as this can have the complete opposite desired effect.

Being professional in the workplace means being respectful to the people who you work with too. So, ensure that you are always polite and professional with other teachers and staff – especially in front of students.


School procedures and protocol

It’s so important to make yourself familiar with and stick to the procedures and protocol that the school you’re working in have set in place. Being professional means having respect for and carrying out your employer’s rules.

As discussed previously, when it comes to bad behaviour in the classroom, you need to react a certain way to ensure you have respect from your students, but there’s also the matter of responding in a way that sticks to the school’s protocol.

Each school will have a ‘Rules of Conduct’ list, and you can request a copy of the policy document from the school that you are working in at the time.

If you have a pupil misbehaving in your lesson, although it can be a challenge, take a step back and ensure that you enforce a consequence that is within the school’s guidelines.

For example, you are allowed to punish a student, but this must be within the ‘Rules of Conduct’ list. Telling them off calmly, sending a letter home, removal from a class or group of confiscating a mobile phone are all normal punishments within UK schools. 

For more information on becoming an employee of Orange Genie Education please call 01296 468 483 or email

Why Orange Genie Education?

We employ and pay thousands of supply teachers and education support staff every year. Our employment portfolio stretches over 10 years in the umbrella industry making Orange Genie Education one of the most trusted umbrella brands. With this in mind, there’s no wonder we have long lasting relationships with hundreds of recruitment agencies all over the UK. Upon joining Orange Genie Education you become an employee of ours benefiting from:

Single employer for all assignments

  • One payment for all different agency assignments completed in a week
  • Simplified and efficient taxation from single tax code
  • Guaranteed pay for the work completed
  • Continuous employment rights
  • Maternity and Paternity pay
  • Sick pay
  • Access to a workplace pension
  • Statutory rights
  • Improved personal credit references and rating
  • Extraordinary employee benefits including 24/7 access to a GP, councelling, support, fitness resouces, and discounts & offers worth hundreds of pounds in day to day savings

Reassurance our supply teachers are employed by an FCSA member that protects and supports contractors. Our aspiration is to improve the lives and wellbeing of supply teachers and education support staff.

Get started HERE with OrangeGenie Education and get paid on time every time >>

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