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My first supply day!

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by alexanderosman, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    I've got a booking for Thursday for my first day's supply! Quite nervous but excited.
    Just concerned about a) having so little time to get to grips with school timings, routines and policies and the planning and b) how the behaviour will be.
    Any advice much appreciated, particularly a general reminder of things to do on a primary day eg. timesheet signed, books marked, friendly good morning.... anything else I've forgotten?

  2. Good Luck! Hope all goes well..
    I always get a box of sticky white labels and write the names of the kids on them - first names. I get the TA to help me do this or use the register before the day starts.
    Also some multi coloured or gold/ silver stars to stick in their exercise books. Kids really love those. And a positive comment.
    Get to know the TA and ask them to show you the ropes. Have worked with some really great TAs in the past and most are really helpful and welcoming.
    Don't forget to leave some feedback at the end of the day!

  3. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter

    Dear Alexandrosman
    I don't have any tips for you since I work in secondary, but just wanted to say congratulations and hope you have a good day.
    It is always nice to hear when people have found work. I am sure you will learn things as you go along.

    Oh one tip... don't forget your lunch and some pocket tissues.

  4. Take a mug and some tea bags/coffee. Some schools have it, others don't, some charge visitors. I find it quicker to have my own. Check if they have a marking policy for supply teachers. Even dare to ask if they have a visitors information booklet or sheet. Again this varies but can be useful if you find things before you start. Ask someone straight away for a list of times/assemblies/breaks etc. some teachers just leave plans and others leave a detailed itinerary for the day. Check if you are on duty and take a whistle. You'd be surprised how many teachers swap their duty day do supply can do it. Set out your behaviour expectations for the day at registration making clear any sanctions or rewards you plan to use. Check for any obvious school systems you can follow though. If you are lucky to have a TA make full use of them and their knowledge but again I have found TAs go missing when a supply is in unless they have a specific group to take or child to support. Have lots of filler activities or songs/games for when lessons dry up. Relax and enjoy. Each school is different so you will always come across new ways of doing things. Congrats for getting the work. Still twiddling fingers here !
  5. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    enjoy it!
    take stickers, beware that some TAs will try and tell you what to do, rather than advise you. Some will also tell you (in many different ways) how much better X behaves usually, almost always a very naughty child who always pushes the boundaries.
    Expect duty, you will get more than the average!
    make sure you do any marking expected, but bear in mind that can be as simple as a tick and S for supply.
    Have a few ppencils and especially a pencil sharpener.
    You may be down for outside PE, so have appropriate dress with you.
    find out what the class reading book is.
    ask for a seating plan or where to find it, some children will swap, if you catch them early it helps your kudos!
    good luck
  6. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    and write your name on the board before the children arrive. Make sure you have and write down the name of whoever you need to summon for either very poor behaviour or to show very good work (always very popular the latter)
  7. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    Thanks for all the advice. I have made a list of things to put in my bag tomorrow and a sheet I can print each time I go to a school with key questions. Will whoever meets me think I'm insane if I work through a list of 8 questions jotting down quick answers? (things like the timings, behaviour policy, marking policy)
    Tomorrow going to sort out an outfit and some activities based on picture books as well as ideas for games and time fillers in case I forget once I get there. Also going to do a practice run to find the school and shower and sort out my hair tomorrow evening so I only have to get up and get dressed in the morning, then follow a planned route - minimising opportunities for panic!
  8. No, they will quite rightly admire you for being organised. One thing I always want to know is: Do they line up outside and we bring them in -- and if so, where exactly will I find them? Is it the same after break and/or lunch? The other thing is about the register: I felt like a right wally on my first ever supply job, struggling with a BromCom. So I always ask: Is it a paper or electronic one? If paper, does somebody bring it or must I get it from the office; does somebody come to collect it, or am I to send a child from the class; if the latter, is there a named monitor or a rota, or do I choose somebody? If it's an electronic register, you must get somebody to log you in to SIMS or whatever software they use. I find that all these little things can make the difference between a flustered start to the day versus a calm, in-control and confident one. And of course, find out the name of the usual teacher for that class -- it's very handy to be able to say, for example "You will sit exactly where you sit when Mrs So-and-so is here". Sorry if that increases your 8 questions to 10! You are wise to check out the route in advance. You are obviously preparing yourself really well, so I'm certain that you will have a good day tomorrow.
  9. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    Thanks Axolotlman. I will add to my questions. I actually ended up going to a school this afternoon - had a good afternoon, didn't ask my questions but did notice the register issue. I will add those questions to my list and make sure I go through them in the morning. I'm definitely keen to do well and can't see any reason not to put the extra effort in since once I'm home (before 5 today!) I have no work to do and have no weekend planning. I think I can manage to be prepared.
  10. So - how did it go?
  11. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    Good thanks, yesterday was lovely with a really well-behaved class, and they asked me back again today. Class more challenging but still a pretty good day and they've asked me to work 1 day a week in a different class from next week [​IMG]
  12. skybloo

    skybloo New commenter

    Congrats on the regular work. I'm thinking of going into supply. Just want to think about pros and cons of it. Also wondered hw long you have been teaching for?

  13. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    I've been teaching for 7 years so fairly experienced across the primary age range. From my (limited) experience of supply so far, I would say pros are only having to worry about teaching and marking and not all the other rubbish that goes with being a permanent teacher, so that you can leave school at a reasonable time (usually between 4.30 and 5 for me once I've marked and written handover notes) and no work at weekends. Also have less pressure to be perfect, so long as the class do the lessons left you're fine and if you do a reasonable job at that schools will ask you back.
    Cons would be that there isn't enough work to fill a whole week, but you can't relax even when there's no work, have to be up in case you get a call etc. so can't take full advantage of days off. Alongside this is the lack of money - not that the pay is awful but you don't get enough days work, although I think I've been lucky to get approx. 3 days' work each week.
    I think it depends on your financial situation - if you aren't relying too much on your salary and want better work life balance it's great, if you need the money it's not so great.
  14. skybloo

    skybloo New commenter

    Thank you so much for a great answer. At the moment I am in 2 minds about leaving my current school. I have 9 years teaching experience and have worked in the same school for the past 7 years. I also leave about 5 but of course most of the time take work home with me. I'm unsure whether to leave as the big pulling point to stay at the school is the staff. I'm at the moment feeling very burdened with work load & the pressures of being a good teacher & then of course aiming for outstanding as the more experienced you are the better a teacher you should be. I do not wish to be teacher of any lead position. I want to be good teacher and do the best for the children in my class. I have also thought about reducing my hours but again there are pressures as you are at the same school & the need to be perfect, like you said. I have 2 small children & want to spend my time with them not planning etc!! It is a massive decision & plays on my mind a lot. Especially recently as time to hand my notice in is creeping up on me!!

    Why did you decide to do supply?

    Sorry to have poured out my thoughts on you!!
  15. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    It's no problem. I definitely understand not wanting full time workload as I don't particularly want that and I don't have any children yet. I was kind of pushed into doing supply because I left my previous school without a job to go to, but I made the decision not to apply for jobs because I wanted to experience a range of schools before I made a decision about what to do in the future. It's worked out really well because I'm getting regular experience in a year group I've never taught before, which I would now really like to work in permanently, although ideally part time.
    How old are your children? I don't know the technicalities, but have you considered exercising your right to request part time in your school? For me if I was making the decision again the financial issue would probably be the decider - if you need regular income I would try to go part time at your current school, or apply for part time jobs elsewhere. If you don't depend on your income too much day to day supply would definitely reduce your workload as once you had finished the marking you would be free. As soon as you get regular work you'll have to start planning again though.
  16. Just read your Post. Will reply tonight as I'm off to work. Your situation just sounds so much like mine.

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