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Reyne’s Blog – How best to prepare for a day of Supply Teaching

Reyne Auld is back with the second instalment of his Teach In blog. This time Reyne is sharing his words of wisdom on how best to prepare for a day of Supply Teaching. Keep reading for top tips.

Supply teaching (as it is known in the UK, in Australia we call this “casual”/”relief” work) can provide a great life/work balance. Many teachers relocating to the UK want the security of a job, but also want flexibility to travel and experience everything your new UK life has to offer. Supply teaching can provide this.

Although supply teaching has many benefits, it can also be stressful if you are unprepared. Below are some tips you can follow to help alleviate that stress and become fully prepared for a day of supply teaching.

Wake up early ready for a phone call

Supply teaching can be a little unpredictable. There will be days that you are booked in advance and others where you receive a phone call in the morning. If you have not been booked in advance, it is a good idea to wake up early, get dressed and eat some breakfast so you are ready for when the phone rings. You may receive a phone call any time between 7am to 8.30am. Depending on when you receive the call and where the school is located, you may need to leave soon after you answer the phone to arrive at the school in a timely fashion.

Plan your journey

reynes blog prepare for a day supply teachingYour phone and Google Maps will become your best friend. It is important to spend time locating the school and deciding on the best route to get there. If you are traveling by public transport make sure to check for any delays. It is also important that you have saved your consultants contact number in your phone. If for any reason you are going to be late, give them a call so they can inform the school.  Furthermore, charging your phone overnight will ensure you have a full battery in the morning for your journey

Arrive early

It is imperative that you arrive at the school with enough time to fully prepare for the day ahead. It is a good idea to locate staff toilets and the staff room. Also, familiarize yourself with class/break times and ask if there will be any assemblies planned for the day/where they will take place. The rest of your morning can be used to familiarize yourself the school’s behaviour management policy and the teacher’s lesson plans.

Read through the plan for the day

It is likely that the work for the day will have already been set for you. Take time to read through the lesson plans. If for any reason you are unsure of something the teacher has asked you to do, reach out to another teacher for some clarification.

Have some lesson plans of your own up your sleeve

reynes blog prepare for a day supply teaching

There will be occasions where there has been no planning or work left. It is a good idea to bring some of your own resources. Have a few suitable lessons you can teach with these resources, across varying year levels and abilities. You will need to have at least one numeracy and one literacy lesson idea and it would be beneficial to have few lessons ideas ready to go covering Arts, Design and Technology, Sport, Geography, History etc.

Know the behaviour management policy

It is often said that students tend to test the boundaries with supply teachers, therefore it is important you are familiar with the rules of the classroom and the school’s behaviour management policy. Each school can use a different policy so it is important to ask another teacher or your class Teaching Assistant what policy that particular school employs. Knowing and understanding how the school manages classroom behaviour will ensure student’s routines are kept the same, helping to minimize challenging behaviour.

Ask for help

The best bit of advice to give to supply teachers is don’t be afraid to ask for help. Teachers and other members of staff are more than willing to assist you with any query you may have. The more questions you ask the better prepared you will feel for the day ahead.

Reyne Auld – International Candidate Manager, Teach In (Bachelor of Outdoor Education & Diploma of Education)

reynes blog prepare for a day supply teachingI completed a Bachelor of Outdoor Education at Latrobe, Bendigo in 2013. I then went on to complete a Diploma of Education at Latrobe’s Shepparton Campus in 2015. Upon successfully completing my tertiary education I relocated to London to begin my teaching career.

Over the two years that I was teaching in London I worked in a variety of roles within different primary schools. Much of my experience was day to day supply teaching however I also undertook a number of short term contracts. Having moved straight to London after completing my degree it was quite daunting to start my teaching career in a new country with a different curriculum. During my time teaching in London I was able to not only develop my skills as an educator but was also able to acquire new skills that I could apply to other situations. These skills then allowed me to secure my current role – International Candidate Manager with Teach In.

I now work with many other teachers and graduates who are looking to make the move to London or one of our 17 other UK teaching destinations and expand their current skill set. I have enjoyed being able to transfer the skills I have developed in London to a new and exciting role while still being involved in the Education sector. You can read my first Teach In blog post here. http://www.teachin.com.au/reynes-just-back-teaching-london-travel-blog/