Tag Archives: supply teacher information

Top tips for leaving a dog at home while you work

Having to leave your dog at home alone at short notice is a fact of life when you’re a supply teacher. Give a dog-loving neighbour a key, and have their number stored on your mobile so you can give them a quick ring while you’re sat on the bus on the way to school… That’s my first tip of many:

Tips for leaving your dog at home while you work

  • Ensure, as always, that your dog has access to fresh water
  • Climate control – can you vent a couple of rooms?
  • If it’s not an early morning call that you get, walk your pooch before you leave
  • If you’re expecting to get early morning calls, make the main walk of the day in the evening, and go for a quick walk in the morning before your supply teacher agency opens for business.
  • Walk your furbaby as soon as you get back
  • Another walk before bed time
  • Ask around for a local dog walker to take them out at lunchtime
  • Ask a friend to pop in once a day to give your dog some love
  • Ask an unlikely source – a local publican! I used to drive my pup to a pub in the next town to enjoy some lovely walks with the manager who started work as I finished – perfect! My pup did get a little tubby though, despite the long walks, as she would rest in the beer garden and flash those lovely big brown eyes at all the customers, getting pork scratchings and crisps in return!
  • Don’t feel guilty. The next time you have to spend a day in the house, just watch your dog – they will sleep for a good proportion of the time.
  • Leaving the door to your bedroom open will send your dog into seventh heaven. They’ll be there to love you unequivocally upon your return, but boy, while you’re gone, they’ll be having the best curl up on your duvet they’ve ever had!
Have you left your pet while you went to work? Please share your top tips for leaving pampered pooches alone for the day below!

Survival tips for working when your family is young

My supply teaching tips #2
Preparation – take 15 minutes each evening to prepare for the next day. Check your timetable, make any packed lunches, put a load in the washer, stack the dishwasher, lay out clothes and pack bags for the next day.
Allocate a day to each household task – Monday, focus on your online shopping order for the next week; Tuesday, deal with any letters to and from your children’s school / nursery; Wednesday, love your kitchen; Thursday, love yourself, etc. Do make sure one of these days is about you, it will give you strength to manage the rest of the week!

Getting the family to help

Cherish the weekend – don’t let it become your housework time, let it be your family’s time. Even if you have to work every night after the children have gone to bed (leaving one night a week free for spending time with your partner), weekends are precious.
Communicate with your children’s carers – while you are at work, your children may be at school, or with a child minder, at nursery, with their other parent or grandparents. Whomever they are with, you need to be able to communicate effectively with them. You need to trust that you can get hold of them whenever you need to, and that your child will be safe with them. You also need to have plans in place for if you are detained at work. Make sure you have all contact details not only stored on your mobile device, but also on paper.
Rope them in – from as young as 18 months my son was helping with the laundry! As long as its fun, it can be done. Don’t start off with extrinsic rewards such as sticker charts, the rewards may end up getting larger as your child grows. Make it a game, a competition, a race, and let the children know that you really appreciate them helping you with a big kiss, a high five, and a cuddle at the end.
Raising a young family? Had a flurry of last minute calls recently? Share your top tips on how to manage the household and the job!

Marking Work

by Sharon Wood

Having been a supply teacher for a number of years, I needed an outlet, and SupplyBag.co.uk is it! Advice, information, and support for other supply teachers, and here,  I take a look at the age old ‘do I or don’t I mark the work?’ issue.

Marking Work: Rule number 9 of my 10 Commandments is ‘mark the work’ and I have written some advice in that section. I believe marking to be an invaluable part of the teaching/learning process. What the children learn from/through you doesn’t end when they leave to go home. You probably average three lots of marking to do per day of teaching, which means three more opportunities to communicate with the child about their work.

Yes, many times it’s just a case of a tick and a mini-comment, but more often than not you will have both literacy and numeracy to mark. Do this as you would if they were your own class. As the children are often near strangers to you, you may feel it is difficult to mark their work effectively, but there is feedback you can give the children which is highly appropriate. The children need to know whether or not they have met the objective, if they exceeded it, where they can improve their work, that you were pleased with their contribution in class, how well they did against the lesson’s success criteria and perhaps what you would have expected to see if they were to rise to the next level.

Unless you are well-known to the school, and your handwriting will be recognised by many teachers, put your initials/name by the side of the marked work. This is especially helpful to schools when moderating, having OFSTED Inspections and on parents’ evenings. Mark neatly, in the same colour as the work is generally marked in, and try to follow the school’s individual marking scheme (ask for it in the morning!) as far as you are able with the information given.

Marking Work on Supply

Grab a cuppa, you could be marking children’s work for a while!

Many schools have their marking policies online. Knowledge is power: check the websites of the schools in your area.

Just as an aside, I once did a day of supply teaching in a new-to-me school, in a Year 6 class. They had been set: SATs papers for the day! English Writing before break, Maths Paper A after break, English Reading after lunch, then a PE lesson. And yes, I was expected to mark it all. I duly did, and was home by around 6:30pm. I didn’t mind at all, but what I did mind / find disturbing was that the teacher wasn’t interested in marking the work herself!

Where next? There’s a great quick read here on maths activities. Check out our resources area here too.

Contacting Schools Directly

by Sharon Wood

NuttySupplier for one, is living proof that you don’t necessarily have to work through a supply teacher recruitment agency. Contacting schools directly, she has never even considered using an agency!

Before spending lots of time and energy on contacting schools directly, call the Local Authority and ask what the present situation is. They may only allow supply teachers to work through agencies, as they have no way of dealing with payroll. If they are in charge of their own payroll systems, or have even out-sourced it to a company like Capita, you should be able to go to schools direct.

Contacting schools directly can be worth the leg work for supply teachers.

This can have its pitfalls, predominantly with CRB Checks, but it can be a very well-rewarded activity.

How to go about it?
Have a look here, to see how others have started out on this path, summarised below:
Update your CV and Supporting Statement. Write a covering letter, and copy your current CRB Check. Trawl through the county website’s list of schools and contacts. Call each school you’d be interested in working in, to ask if they’d be interested in seeing your CV with a view to offering you supply work in the future. This is your first opportunity to make an impression, be nice!
Tell them you’ll pop it in the post if they are interested. Don’t post it, hand deliver it! This gives them a chance to put a face to a name and check you out, and you a chance to see if you really do want to work there! It’s also an invaluable trip out and about seeing where these schools are. When you get a call at 8:15am for an 8:30am start, you don’t want to have to be consulting the A-Z!

Where next? There’s a great quick read here on continuing professional development.
Check out our resources area here too.