Tips for Supply Teachers – Lunch and break times

Much of the stress for supply teachers begins before they reach the classroom.  In this series of articles looking at top tips for supply teaching, we look at practical ways to reduce this stress.  by Sharon Wood

Stock up your freezer!  There’s little time to make salad and sandwiches when you have to be at a school across town this morning, and the call came halfway through their assembly! Have ready to go food in your freezer for last minute call-outs. From your freezer you can grab yoghurt, a slice of malt loaf, a sausage roll or mini Cornish pasty, a pot of frozen berries, little pots of hummus and pitta breads. Grab and go! Of course, there are other foods that you can grab and go with, like porridge oats (think small containers, zip and lock bags etc.!) and other cereals, cans of or cup-a-soups, and my favourite: a baked-on-Sunday-wrapped-in-foil jacket potato!

Need a proper brew at break time?  Then keep a good stock of teabags, coffee sachets and silver coins in your supply bag.  Do not assume that you will be brought the latest flavoured offering from the coffee shop round the corner!

MineHave you ever sat in someone’s chair in the staffroom?  You may need to check before you sit I’m afraid.  This is quite a common phenomenon – even in my house.  I understand that visitors don’t know that it’s my chair, but I don’t take lightly to anyone sitting in it that has visited twice before!

Try to take time out of marking to visit the staffroom and have a chat.  It’s tempting to spend the whole lunch break in the classroom, making sure that morning’s work is marked and that you’re fully prepped for the afternoon, but honestly, if you like the school treat it as an interview day… Go into the staffroom and make a great impression!

Have you cracked it? Do you get as much work as you want, in the schools you want to be in?  Let us know your top tips for supply teaching woes below, on Facebook, or on Twitter!