If you’re a New Brunswicker looking for a teaching job, or have been called out of the blue by a school with an opening, you might be wondering what it takes to apply as a supply teacher in New Brunswick.
In this article, we will cover how to become a supply teacher from start to finish with useful tips and resources on how to get into teaching in New Brunswick. If you’re planning on moving to New Brunswick as a teacher, this might be one of the best ways to begin a teaching career in the province.
What is a Supply Teacher?
A supply teacher is someone who is called in to cover a full-time teacher’s absence from work.
They are generally from outside the school – from an agency, or directly from another school or district – and have had limited or no contact with the students, in most cases.
They provide a bridge in the classroom until the absent teacher returns in one to two weeks.
At the beginning of the school year, it is normal if not expected that teachers are absent for a period of time. The length of absence depends on many factors, but in general, it’s 1-2 weeks.
How to Become a Supply Teacher in New Brunswick
There are many ways to become a supply teacher. Regardless of how you get hired or who you work for, supply teachers have their own unique set of expectations that they bring when they arrive in the classroom. We’ll provide some basic guidelines that will help you prepare when you get your first assignment.
The Deloitte report on Supply Teacher Reporting in the Province of New Brunswick describes the role of a supply teacher as follows:
Supply teachers are paid when they are in school or when they are not. They enter and leave job-status with their employer, and therefore have a high degree of job insecurity. They may be expected to perform a wide range of teaching duties, including teaching in Grades 1-12, being a student guide, supervising students attending after school programs, taking attendance, marking work and undertaking special projects. In some cases they may be required to maintain records related to student behavioural problems. In some cases they may also handle administrative duties such as preparing grades or assisting with school activities. In some cases, these roles may be combined.
For the most part, the work is carried out on a part-time basis. A supply teacher may have limited work commitment from time to time. In most respects, they are treated as part-time teachers, but they have a full-time contract with their employer and must be able to devote a minimum of half a day a week to their job.
They normally work full days – nine hours – Monday through Friday. This leaves some flexibility for special projects and activities outside of school hours. Some supply teachers spend more time in school than others, due to the scheduling of meetings or classes that require their presence in the classroom during regular instructional times.
How to Get Approved as a Supply Teacher in New Brunswick
There are many different ways to become a supply teacher in New Brunswick. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the types of schools that would benefit from hiring a supply teacher. Generally, they are called into schools that have vacancy or full-time teacher vacancies, either due to maternity leave or retirement, or for reasons such as sick leave. They can also be hired for specific projects that require extra help in the classroom.
To be approved as a supply teacher in New Brunswick, you must fill out the Supply Teacher Application Form and submit it to your local school board. If you do not have access to the Application Form, please contact the school board directly.
Supply Teachers: Approval and Expectations
When a supply teacher is hired, they enter into a very short-term relationship with both the student and their teacher(s). They may also spend time in classrooms that they normally wouldn’t spend time in for regular classes or subjects.
This means that when they enter into a new classroom, there are certain expectations about how much work will be done outside of normal instructional hours. It is up to the school board to set the expectations for each supply teacher, but usually, they are expected to do more work than regular teachers.
The Ministry of Education has generally outlined the duties that will be expected of a supply teacher, but these are subject to change. The duties listed below may not apply to you as a student teacher. They are general guidelines and other roles may also be added by the school board after you have begun your first assignment.
Supply Teachers: Expectations – Overall
Supply teachers are viewed as temporary employees working at the school only for the duration of their approved contract.
- The instruction of students is paramount to the role along with the maintenance of classroom control and discipline.
- Perform duties as outlined in their contract, e.g., student guide, supervisor of students attending an afterschool program, take attendance, mark work and undertake special projects.
- Perform duties as directed by the regular teacher or program administrator. Supply teachers are not normally assigned regular classroom supervision chore(s).
- Complete any administrative responsibilities assigned during their assignments (e.g., prepare grades) to facilitate the on-going operations of the school system.
- Work full days – 9 hours Monday through Friday. This leaves some flexibility for special projects and activities outside of school hours.
Supply Teachers: Expectations – Classroom Responsibilities
Students are taught in their normal classroom, with the teacher present or in attendance during instructional time. If the regular teacher is absent, supervision will require the presence of the supply teacher in the classroom. Students are expected to work hard to try to keep up with what is covered by the regular teacher. If students are having difficulty understanding something taught by their regular teacher, they can also seek help from their supply teacher who will help them understand what is being taught throughout the day.
The supply teacher will also perform many of the basic duties in the classroom. For example, they may have to help students to complete assignments, mark work, keep attendance records, attend conferences with other teachers at other grade levels or assist with special projects.
As a supply teacher you may end up working alongside regular teachers in the classroom during the day. However, you are not expected to spend your full time in school during regular instructional hours. There are certain functions that require your presence in the classroom during regular hours. These activities include bringing back papers or work completed by students, keeping attendance records or meeting with other teachers at other grade levels.
How Much Do Supply Teachers Make in New Brunswick?
Supply teachers receive an hourly wage for their work. The provincial average is $20.00 per hour. However this is only the minimum wage that one can expect to receive as a supply teacher in New Brunswick. The amount you are paid will depend on your experience, education, and the specific school board you are working for.
As a supply teacher, you can earn anywhere between $15 to $40 per hour depending on the board you are working for, or if you have teaching experience or have obtained an education degree. When hired as a supply teacher in New Brunswick, the salary will also depend on your rank as well as the level of education that you have attained.