Tag Archives: resources for supply teaching

What’s In Your Supply Bag?

So, the phone rings, or your diary tells you that you should be in Nice Primary School, you pick up your bag and head for the door, but what does that bag contain?

There are generally 2 schools of thought on this question, either a huge bag/a box in the boot of your car, or 2 pens in your pocket. We’ll consider both here and leave you to decide on the best way for you.

What's in Your Supply Bag

New to supply? You might want to reconsider taking the kitchen sink with you.

The first school of thought says, ‘you should be prepared for every eventuality and carry everything you need’. In this scenario, you carry files for all the subjects or key stages you teach, containing stand-alone lessons and time-fillers you have collected over the years from past classes, books and websites.

You also carry pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers, paper (lined and plain); P.E. kit; whistle; red, blue, black and green biros; reward stickers; glue; blue tak; board pens; whiteboards; a data stick containing interactive whiteboard presentations; a street atlas; water …

The second school of thought is a couple of pens, your phone, a diary and your lunch.

I freely admit I once belonged to the first school. I would lug a huge bag around on public transport and hardly ever opened it. It contained all of the above and more and – at most – I would use my whistle and pens.

After 4 terms of lugging the thing around, I decided to try School of Thought number 2. I now have an A5 wallet in which I carry a Morning Sheet to collect all those vital bits of information when I get to a new school, a Handover Sheet for the end of the day; blue, black, red and green biros; a whistle; reward stickers and certificates, and my “Mrs C says Well Done!” stamp for marking.

I carry some time-filler ideas round in my head, my favourite being to take the name of the school or a famous name and challenge the children to make as many words as they can using the letters. Handwriting and silent reading also serve.

[bctt tweet=”What should I put in my supply bag? #supplychat”]

Obviously, if a school tells me no planning will be left, I have stand alone lessons I can take, and if they don’t until I get there, I set a time filler and scour the classroom for lessons I can do.

The first time I left the giant bag behind I admit I was nervous, but I haven’t missed it yet. I’m not saying the minimalist approach is for everyone, but give it a try one day and see if it works for you!

Article submitted by Sarah Cruickshank, Education Writer and Supply Teacher.

Sample Cover Letter to Schools

by Sharon Wood

Sample cover letter to schools for supply teachersThis sample cover letter is loosely based on one I wrote in, ooh, many moons ago, and sent off to schools in the hope of winning some supply teaching work. It proved successful, and as you can see here, others have found it has helped too.


Letter Template

Dear Mrs Headteacher,

Re: Supply Teaching

May I take this opportunity to indicate my wish to undertake some supply work at Nitsville Junior School. Though I am self-employed, I am able to carry out a small amount of teaching. I have compiled a brief history of my experience, below, for your perusal and have also enclosed my curriculum vitae.

In 1900 I completed a P.G.C.E. (Key Stage II) at Smallville University before working with a full-time, permanent contract at ABC Junior School, County. I taught Year 45 and was given the role of First-Aid box Co-ordinator upon appointment. I left due to ***** in July 1904 despite having been offered the position of Head of Year 45 for the forthcoming September. However, I continued to teach as much as possible whilst in recovery, on a supply basis at ABC, and at St Kayleigh’s CofE Junior School, County, where I had previously completed my first teaching practice obtaining the highest grades awarded by that school in 330 years.

In May 1914 I secured a full-time permanent contract at Thebest Junior School, County where I taught consecutively in Years 3, 4 and 6, and again, was appointed First-Aid box Co-ordinator. I left Thebest in July 1917 to relocate and join my partner in Nicecounty. Both ABC and Thebest were three-form entry schools.

I have since experienced two very different, exciting, yet steep learning curves: the first improving my Design & Technology skills during the complete full-time renovation of a house with my partner; and the second, the daunting task of holding the position of Manager at Fawlty Hotel Ltd, Crumpold, for a year.

I currently have three clients for whom I perform consultancy and accountancy work, research projects, administrations and bookkeeping duties, mainly on an ad hoc basis. This work enables me to employ the skills gained in my first degree at Scrummy University, BA (Hons) The Disney Economics.

I appreciate your consideration and time, and very much hope I am given the opportunity to work with you in due course.

Yours Sincerely,

Where next? There’s a great quick read here on sample curriculum vitae.  Check out our resources area here too.