Wellbeing and Being a Supply Teacher

Wellbeing is possibly one of the most important subjects us humans can focus on. Being well, looking after yourself, making sure that you are ok. It isn’t a huge task, a stand-alone thing, but the result of essential things that you can do each day. It needs to be embedded in our daily lives so that is it barely noticeable.

Supply teaching? Take your favourite pencil with you! It's all part of embedding wellbeing into our daily lives.If you don’t feel that your wellbeing is a priority then there are some things that you need to do until it is part of your day to day life. Being part of a gang, finding your tribe is one of the excellent ways that make us content. Many people find this tribe both in and out of work, and this is where having the job of a supply teacher might mean your tribe doesn’t sit every day at work.

Going from place to place without having a dedicated work place means your focus on wellbeing needs to be even sharper. The nerves of new places, new people, different rules can play games with resilience and, in turn, wellbeing, so you need to ensure you are smart about finding your people and your links.

The good news is there is never just you, you might be the only supply teacher in school but there are many of you in many schools. Reach out to each other, share your stories, tales, shock and hilarity. Linking with other humans is an essential part of wellbeing, being kind to others, doing things for others always improves our own wellbeing. When was the last time you felt rubbish making someone else happy? Connect with others, create a positive sense of wellbeing with others, and boost yourself at the same time. See friends, talk, spend time with good humans and your wellbeing will thrive.

Being mindful in the moment is also a great way to focus on wellbeing. Doing something or doing nothing, it really doesn’t matter, but being focussed and thoughtful of your place, feelings and surroundings, how you feel, how you are, means that you can really be in the moment, not racing ahead or worrying about something that has already been. The often chopping and changing nature of supply teaching feels like we are running to catch up and remind ourselves of where we are and our next place. Simple mindful techniques to pull us to the moment ensure that our focus is firm and our wellbeing is at the forefront of our day. The breeze on our face. The smell of the air, the sun on our skin. What can you take into the new places to centre yourself? Your favourite mug for a cup of tea, the tastiest coffee, a good pen, just a moment of joyful satisfaction for your wellbeing and to draw you to a moment.

Think back to a day or an hour, or even just a moment when you felt great, when you thought, Good grief, I really enjoyed that, that made me feel better, happy, content, relaxed. What was it you did that polished your wellbeing well? It’s rarely a huge event, more a series of moments. Can you grab that again? Do it more often? In the world where things cost and everyone wants more, simple acts of positive wellbeing are priceless, and within everyone’s grasp!

By Resident Writer Helen Bradford

Where next? There's a great quick read here on supply teaching with a young family.
Check out our resources area here too.