Essential teaching hacks for supply staff

As any teacher will know, engaging with students can be complicated and time-consuming. Often, students with varying learning abilities will be placed in one class, which means that teachers may need to adapt their syllabus or teaching methods accordingly.

Whilst this is no easy task for any professional, full-time staff have the benefit of getting to know their students and their abilities. By working with students on an on-going basis, they can understand which methods work best for particular students and devise teaching plans accordingly.

Temporary or supply staff, however, don’t have this option. Whilst supply staff may teach students regularly for a number of weeks, in some cases, they may only have a short time to get to know students. Due to this, it’s essential that temporary staff are able to create rapport with students swiftly.

Getting respect from your class

Unfortunately, students sometimes assume that a supply teacher won’t enforce the rules as rigidly as their usual teacher might. This can result in students misbehaving or becoming distracted. In order to avoid this, it’s essential to assert your authority from the start.

Once students become accustomed to your methods of teaching and your disciplinary methods, they will respond positively. Whilst this will be advantageous in the short-term, there will also be long-term benefits if you are teaching the same class more than once.

Familiarise yourself with in-house methods

Often, personnel who work for teaching agencies visit various schools and educational institutions. If you’re regularly teaching in different schools, it can be hard to keep up with the varying rules and regulations.

Schedules may change from school to school, for example, and students may be allowed to do different things in each learning environment. Whilst one school may permit students to take bathroom breaks, for example, this may be discouraged in other institutions.

Given the chance, students may take advantage of this and attempt to persuade supply teachers that prohibited conduct is acceptable. Familiarising yourself with the rules of each school and keeping a written reminder will ensure that you’re not caught out.

Always be prepared

When teaching in the UK or teaching abroad, you should have access to the practical resources you need. However, classrooms may not always be fully stocked and you may not have access to all the materials you require. As a result, you could lose crucial teaching time whilst you try to collect the items you and your students need.

By taking extra materials along with you, you may find that any disruption is kept to a minimum and that class can begin on time. Whilst schools should always ensure that supply staff have the practical support they need, this isn’t always easy to deliver. By arriving at class fully prepared, you can ensure that the relevant teaching materials are accessible and, as a result, you’ll be able to deliver an engaging and effective lesson.

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