Essential Tips for Supply Teachers & Assistants!


Essential Tips for Supply Teachers & Assistants!


There are golden rules for supply teachers and assistants to follow to ensure their day gets off to a great start – and continues in that vein.

  • Check Your Route Before You Leave. Teachers who are late are not often asked back. Pre-plan your route before leaving.
  • Have your documents to hand. Take your current DBS Certificate with you if it’s your first teaching assignment at a school. At some schools it is policy not to let you beyond the school office unless it’s been checked. Also have some form of photo ID and your Salford Supply Desk ID Lanyard.
  • Smile – it’s free! Introduce yourself to everyone you meet. An easy way to stand out is to smile. and say hello to other teachers, assistants and staff within the school, not only is it good to see a happy face but it leaves a great impression.Office staff can be helpful, too, so make yourself known to them.
  • Find out if the work is pre-set. Will you need to bring your own ideas or has the teacher left teaching plans to follow?  Also, check to see if you will have use of a w hiteboard and, if so, that it will be set up for you
  • Ask about the children. Someone in the school who is familiar with the class should make you aware of any children with particular needs, and whether there are any children who need medication, so that you can organise use of teaching assistants, adjust any plans, and take into account those who would find change difficult.
  •  Make yourself familiar and find out about routines. Get to know the timetable for the day, the school’s writing style, class rules for behaviour, how children are expected to move around the school, The start of the day is crucial to how well the rest of the day will go, so make sure that you are aware of the daily routine.  Children will be reassured those routines haven’t changed and that you are in command.
  • Always follow plans. It may be tempting to try out one of your own ideas, but unless the teacher’s notes say otherwise, always follow their plans down to a T.
  • Don’t disrupt groupings. There is method to the madness, and although it might not make sense to you, keep the children in their prescribed groups.  Most of them will know which group they are in, but some won’t and others will just play up. Put the group list in a visible place, or write them on the board.
  • Have fun ideas for time fillers. There are always times of the day when you will need to fill short gaps, such as when a session finishes early or assembly is running late.  It’s always worth having a few entertaining ideas.
  • Leave a note for the teacher. Teachers will worry about their class when they are away, so if you can give some useful feedback about the sessions and the children, it will be much appreciated. It’s a really small thing but can make a big difference to the returning teacher, who may find the break in continuity unsettling. Leave a note at the end of the day, detailing the work done, where you are up to in set work, any incidents, that books were marked, and if so, where they’ve been put.
  • Return things to their rightful place. You know how infuriating it is at home when someone uses something but doesn’t return it to its original place. It’s even more stressful for teachers when this happens because they have to adhere to strict timetables and ensure curriculum coverage, so remember to put things back where you found them.
  • Leave the classroom tidy. By the end of the day, things might look very different to the original pristine condition of the classroom so don’t leave it like that. Leave it as you found it, and that is usually clean and tidy
  • Always Mark work (if applicable).Take time to go through any completed set work; mark fairly, consistently and appropriately, and pay attention to the school’s marking policy. Leave a few encouraging comments to illustrate where children have done well or have tried hard.
  • Brief a Head or Deputy Head before you go. Pop into the head of department, deputy head or headteacher’s office before you go to give a quick rundown of the day, say how much you enjoyed it, and mention any children who behaved well.
  • And, please keep us up to speed with your availabilty …Always call the Office on 0161 743 3720 (please don’t text) and let us know by 7.30am if you’re too ill to carry out a booking….and keep us up to speed if you are no longer available. This helps as we will be trying to find work for you if you have told us you are available.

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