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10 top tips for your best day as a supply teacher
Be prepared working on supply

Working as a supply teacher is rewarding and has so many benefits, but it has its challenges too. At Smart Teachers, we want to support our supply staff in any way we can for them to have their best day, that's why we've put together our top 10 tips on how to be prepared as a supply teacher.

  1. Make sure your agency knows your availability – there is nothing worse than waiting for a phone call that never comes because your agency doesn't know you are free to work.
  2. Pack a bag and get an outfit ready the night before. You may want to pack a lunch, water bottle, pens, pencils and other resources so you won't have to rush finding them in the morning.
  3. Wake up early and be ready for the phone call asking you to work. Usually this will be between 6.30am - 8.30am.
  4. You might have to leave straight away, so ensure your phone is charged and you've got Google Maps ready to check your route for traffic/road works before you leave. Save the numbers of the school and your consultant in your phone for any emergencies or if you get lost on the way to a new school.
  5. Aim to arrive early to give yourself enough time to familiarise yourself with the school, their policies, the staff room, toilets and your classroom.
  6. If you have been left a lesson plan for the day, read it through, ask other school colleagues if you have questions about it, and prepare resources if you need to.
  7. Have some back-up lesson plans ready just in case you haven't been left one. Having a few plans in literacy and numeracy for different age groups will help you, and a few subject specific lessons too.
  8. If you are using your own plan, bring your own resources in case the school's ones aren't easily available to you.
  9. Think ahead to how you can keep behavioural disruptions to a minimum – perhaps use a starter exercise before doing the register to get the class settled or use your own exercises if pupils run out of work to do. Pupils who are kept busy are less likely to make a fuss.
  10. Ask for help if you need it. Don't be afraid to ask your school colleagues if anything crops up that you are unsure of throughout the day. Also keep in touch with your agency to give feedback too.

These are our tried and tested tips, although we're sure there are plenty of other ways to get ready for your supply day.

If you want to find out more about Smart Teachers and the supply jobs we offer, take a look at our job vacancies or call your local branch today.

Good luck supply teaching!

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