Tag Archives: getting more work as a supply teacher

Making an Impression

The 10 Commandments of Supply Teaching – in no particular order. by Sharon Wood

Making the right impression as a supply teacher

Work smart and you’ll be a great supply teacher!

  1. Be friendly to everyone right from the start – cleaners and secretaries are often closest to the Head Teacher!
  2. Leave the classroom tidy – but don’t mess too much with the teacher’s desk.
  3. 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.
  4. Tell them you had a great day – flattery gets you everywhere remember! This works with the children too.
  5. Be prepared – for anything to happen!
  6. Learn namesstaff and children, as quickly as possible, and remember them.
  7. Be smart – in your appearance and in your working. Leave plenty of information on how they day went for the class teacher. Remark on the children’s achievements, and any disappointments. Avoid making unnecessary derogatory remarks about the children! Think – would it be professional for you to tell the child’s parents? If not, don’t tell the child’s teacher either!
  8. Be efficient – If you need to sign time sheets etc., do this before the end of the day. Many secretaries and bursars do not work until the end of the school day, use your morning break to clear up any business which is not related to your teaching timetable.
  9. Mark the workI’ve always been a diligent marker, sometimes seeing everyone leave bar the caretaker before I have left a school. Mark at every opportunity you have: break, lunchtime (I mark whilst eating, but if in a new school, I do make sure I leave time to pop into the staffroom at some point for five minutes) and during lessons. This does not mean sit and mark the numeracy while the children sit and do their literacy! I make it a policy not to use the teacher’s chair/desk during the day. I walk round with my red/green pen in hand while the children are working (KS2 – obviously this doesn’t apply so much in Hands-On KS1) and the children really do respond to this. While the children are on task, they very much appreciate a word or two every so often regarding their work. Take a few tours of the classroom while they are settled and mark their work as you go. It’s easy to think it’s unfair when it’s well after half four when you leave, and you were only officially paid until 3:45pm, but it doesn’t often go unnoticed, and it’s one way to help ensure the school contact you again offering work. And remember, those teachers who walked out half an hour after the children left, have probably taken home 64 books to mark, a policy to review, staff meeting notes to tweak, an assembly to write, and a parents’ evening to prepare for!
  10. Follow the lesson plans – It is no small feat managing to fit the current curriculum into a school year, along with Christmas panto’s, field trips and sports matches, so don’t make it any harder! Teachers will not specially request a supply teacher in whom they have no confidence that a) lesson plans are followed, and b) work is marked effectively.