A guide for first-time supply teachers



Supply teachers help to ensure there is no disruption to students’ education in the absence of their regular teacher. During recent years, supply work has become more important and the first day can be a challenge if it is new to you.


Here is a quick guide to help you prepare for your first day on supply.


Arrive 30 minutes before the time on the booking confirmation


This can make a big difference to your day as it will help you feel ready and focussed. Plan your day the night before so you can make sure all the important parts are taken care of. For example:


  • Do you know how to get to the school and the time it takes with traffic?

  • Make your lunch the night before so you can save time on the morning.

  • Take extra board pens in case you need some in the class.

  • Will you have a teaching assistant to help you?


With primary teacher bookings, it’s common for the regular teacher to prepare lessons for the supply teacher but this is not always the case, so it is good to always have something prepared in case you need it.


It would be beneficial to prepare a literacy lesson, one numeracy lesson, and plans covering history, geography, and art. As some students may finish early think about extension work you can provide as well.


During the task, walk round the room to see if any students need help. You can also mark any completed work as well, saving you time later in the day.


Find out about the school

The daily routine is different across schools, particularly with classroom management and lesson times. The classroom management can be detailed so try and get familiar with it early on.


Find out the structure of the day and whether there is anything important to be aware of that may not usually happen.


When you are in the staff room introduce yourself and ask for advice and general tips regarding the school day.


Follow the school routines These help the pupil’s day run smoothly and shows them that you are in control even if it’s the first time they have had you as a teacher. This can improve your classroom management and maintain positive behaviour.


If you are a teacher looking for supply work, contact us today.


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