back to blogs

The Supply Teachers’ Essential Tool Kit

About over 1 year ago By

Pe Website Blog Arriving 1155x575

Whether you are new to supply or just getting back into the swing of things after the school closures, having the right supply bag on standby for will help you be better prepared for a day of supply teaching. Here are one of our experienced supply teacher's top tips for supply preparation perfection. If you are currently looking for supply teaching or teaching assistant jobs, Protocol Education have lots of work for you! Contact your local branch or update your diary to let your consultant know you are looking.

My first kit bag consisted of just about everything short of the kitchen sink and Brian Cox. This was, of course, impractical. What I offer you now is an Essential Supply Teachers’ Tool Kit, which is based on what I have found useful:

TRANSPORT – If you teach in rural areas, getting to work requires a car of your own or one you can have access to with only a few minutes’ notice. Make sure you have a reliable sat-nav system which can get you from A to B. If you are travelling by public transport, check routes at the start of each timetable change and tell your consultant where you are/aren’t willing to go.

ID – always carry your identity papers. Schools expect you to have your DBS certificate and photo id, such as your driving licence or passport. Some teaching agencies supply an id badge. Be aware that some agencies require you to carry a proof of safeguarding training to show to schools as well. Speak to your consultant if you have any doubts.

FOOD – you might want to bring lunch or have money to buy one. Don’t go without eating. At least have a treat for after school, so you have something to look forward to! Bring your own water bottle and/or lidded cup. Most schools offer you a drink, but this isn’t always the case, so be prepared.

PENCIL CASE – bring your own pens to mark children’s work (blue, black, purple, green, pink are most commonly used by schools, but bring your own colour ball point pens if you can). You can’t always rely on finding what you need in school, even a whiteboard pen at times. Check with the TA if there is a standard colour for marking and what the marking policy is. This is very important, as schools often have strict rules. As a general rule, if you do marking, add your initials and ‘supply teacher’ alongside what you have done. Also, put scissors, tape, blu-tak, string, colouring pens and pencils, and a sharpener in your kit bag. Label everything and if you lend anything to children, make sure you get it back.

PLANNING AND FEEDBACK FORM – This is a great way to make a good impression. Suggested headings: The Big Idea (suggested planning by the teacher or what you have planned), what is left to do, helpful children, highlights, behavioural issues (the teacher might need to follow-up on something), additional notes, absences, illnesses, accidents. Include your name and contact details, if the school needs to get in touch.

WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? – most of the time, teachers have left you something lovely to teach the children and you get the joy of teaching and marking, then going home. However, when you are called in for an emergency stand-by call, be prepared that there won’t be anything waiting for you. Carry with you at least two or three lessons that can be taught to children within the age ranges that you have said you are prepared to teach. For example, in my bag, I carry three or four story-books from which I can draw English, Maths and Art lessons, with Drama, Geography, History or similar as an additional extra. Include pre-prepared lesson plans with worksheets and activities, and add notes to indicate how you adapted these to suit the children. This takes some nerve and quick thinking in some cases, but with experience and thought, it is fairly easy to achieve. Don’t be afraid to use picture books with Key Stage 2 and non-illustrated texts with Key Stage 1 or even EYFS, children are amazing.

FOCUS OBJECT – carrying a focus object that can be used as a talking stone (you can only talk if you’re holding it) is a handy tool. This can take the form of a cuddly toy or golden pebble, whatever works for you. You can use one in concentration games or in discussions, as children are very good at pushing boundaries when their normal teacher is away and establishing rules is essential when you are in charge.

REWARD – stickers, stamps and other little rewards can have a massive effect on how well your day goes. A child will remember a moment’s kindness, so a little silver star that cost a fraction of a day’s pay, may make your life a lot easier.

PHONE – a quick note here about your phone. Be prepared to pass over your phone at reception or leave it your car if you have somewhere safe to stow it. Many schools prohibit phone usage, even in staffrooms. Valuables are at risk, so please be careful with what you take into school with you. Do take a coat or jumper if the day looks chilly, because no-one expects a playground duty or outdoor lesson like a supply teacher

Image for blog post The benefits of pre-planning for your supply cover in 2023
26 Jan 23, by Scott Owen

The benefits of pre-planning for your supply cover in 2023

​The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought some new challenges to schools, especially around the managing of supply cover....

Read More
Image for blog post Five great reasons to work in SEND in 2023
12 Jan 23, by Michelle Tilley

Five great reasons to work in SEND in 2023

​The number of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) has increased over the last five years. In 2022, there were...

Read More
Image for blog post Maths until 18 and the future of jobs
05 Jan 23,by

Maths until 18 and the future of jobs

​Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a plan to require pupils in England to keep learning maths up to the...

Read More
Image for blog post The Educator Series 2023!
21 Dec 22, by Kierah Hamilton

The Educator Series 2023!

Continuing on from our hugely successful Autumn Term Educator Series, we have some more exciting training events lined up for...

Read More
Image for blog post The impact of the pandemic on pupil reading, wellbeing and inequality
08 Dec 22, by Scott Owen

The impact of the pandemic on pupil reading, wellbeing and inequality

Schools that already face huge challenges are now faced with a large number of very low-attaining pupils. A report by...

Read More
Image for blog post Your Christmas Payroll 2023
08 Dec 22, by Scott Owen

Your Christmas Payroll 2023

​Christmas and the end of term are quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you...

Read More
Image for blog post Our Recruiters’ 3 Top Tips for Acing Every Question in Your Teaching Job Interview
07 Dec 22, by Scott

Our Recruiters’ 3 Top Tips for Acing Every Question in Your Teaching Job Interview

​So you’ve landed yourself an interview for a teacher – congratulations! You’re no doubt trying to anticipate what interview questions...

Read More
Image for blog post Trauma Informed Practice - An Insider's Guide
24 Nov 22, by Lucy Turner

Trauma Informed Practice - An Insider's Guide

​Before joining Protocol Education as a consultant, Lucy Foster worked for nine years in mainstream and Special Needs schools in...

Read More
Image for blog post Supporting Anti-Bullying Week
11 Nov 22, by Kierah Hamilton

Supporting Anti-Bullying Week

​Anti-Bullying Week is coordinated in England and Wales by the Anti-Bullying Alliance. This year it will take place from 14th...

Read More
Image for blog post World Teacher's Day: Why Teaching is Still a Great Career!
04 Oct 22, by Scott Owen

World Teacher's Day: Why Teaching is Still a Great Career!

​October 5th 2022, is World Teacher's Day, an opportunity to celebrate the work of over 85 million teachers worldwide. Eighty-five...

Read More
Image for blog post Understanding a Shared Experience this ADHD Awareness Month
01 Oct 22,by

Understanding a Shared Experience this ADHD Awareness Month

Protocol Education is pleased to join in solidarity with other organisations across the world to celebrate ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity...

Read More
Image for blog post The NTP in year three: A guide to making the most of your school's funding
22 Sep 22, by Scott Owen

The NTP in year three: A guide to making the most of your school's funding

The changes to how the DfE is allocating tuition funding to schools are now in effect. The expectation from the...

Read More
Image for blog post Everything You Need to Know About Catch-Up Funding for This Academic Year
14 Sep 22, by Alex Schulte

Everything You Need to Know About Catch-Up Funding for This Academic Year

​The National Tutoring Programme has returned for a third year, this time with a new funding model.Schools now receive their...

Read More
Image for blog post How To Make Yourself More Employable as a Daily Supply Teacher
30 Aug 22, by Sam Layng

How To Make Yourself More Employable as a Daily Supply Teacher

​Being a supply teacher is extremely rewarding. It can also be challenging to establish yourself in the profession. As someone...

Read More
Image for blog post How Supply Teachers Can Earn More Money And Grow In Their Careers
23 Aug 22, by Alex Schulte

How Supply Teachers Can Earn More Money And Grow In Their Careers

​Supply teachers are vital for preventing disruption to pupils’ education. From an educator's perspective, supply work offers an appealing degree...

Read More