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Top tips for supply teachers!

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to schools- it doesn’t give a good impression if you turn up late!

  • Be friendly to everyone right from the start.

  • Be efficient- if you need to get your time sheet signed then get that signed before you leave.

  • A lot of primary schools require you to mark the work before you leave, so make sure you get everything marked, and that the marking is of a high standard.

  • Follow the lesson plans if they have been set- the class teacher has set the work for a reason so make sure it has been done!

  • Leave plenty of information on how the day went for the class teacher.

  • If there is time at the start of the day get as much information on pupils in your lessons as possible, especially surrounding SEN and whether there are teaching assistants involved in lessons.

  • Always ensure that you keep teaching assistants engaged and involved in lessons. Remember they are just as important as you. Quite often they will report back to the cover coordinator about your lesson.

  • Always leave the classroom tidy- but don’t mess too much with the teacher’s desk.

  • Be aware of the school’s policy regarding rewards and sanctions. Each school has different systems so it’s important to know how to recognise and act upon good/ bad behaviour in line with the ‘normal school way’.

  • Be prepared- technology sometimes fails to work, so always have a backup!

  • Try to learn names and make use of them during the lesson.

  • Thank the cover coordinator for your day and tell them how much you enjoyed it!

  • Bring a sense of humour to school and a thick skin, remember some pupils don’t cope with change very well

  • Remember the names of the head teacher and senior management and refer to them if necessary during the lesson

  • Always carry your own board pen!

  • Be confident- if a school thinks they can leave you to get on with it, without having to fuss around with you, they’re more likely to ask you to come back.

  • Don’t rely on schools for all resources. Some don’t have a huge budget, especially primary schools so if you are on a longer term assignment, make sure you’re aware of available resources.

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