Im a supply teacher and have been doing it since September. I havent found any of the issues that you have on your rant 'list'. - I havent found a desk full of clutter (yet) - and its their desk - work space (your only visiting it) - No idea what you mean by complicated group activities (if you dont understand the work left - make something else up as long as the theme is met by the class, and the class understand the work you give them its normally not a problem) - I carry my own tool box full of pens pencils and other basic equipment so ive never had a problem of a shortage of equipment and no need to mess someone elses room looking for things (students also know where this sort of stuff is in most classrooms/workshops). - I have my own sheets covering a variety of projects/themes just in case Im unable to access the work left by staff, most schools dont give you a password unless your there for a few days and have read and signed their internet T&C's. I also carry a few KS4 ref books just in case I need to explain or expand an idea with one or two students. - Ive done cover where objectives have just been left - the objectives made no sense so I'd soner have a list of instructions, Then I know what the staff want. - More often then not staff are off sick and have left no cover work, so a bank of sheets are handy for period one lessons just in case other staff have been unable to print stuff in time. I was advised by my supply agency to carry a few pens, pencils and a couple of worksheets just in case cover work hasnt been left or students finish it quickly. A small tool box with some work in isnt that much to carry and makes it easier for you to deliver work if you know it.