back to blogs

The Supply Teachers’ Essential Tool Kit

About about 1 month 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

I Stock 1061499342 Min
15 Jun 21, by Alex Schulte

Meet the Team Finding Jobs for Lincoln Techers at Protocol Education’s Newest Branch

​As one of the UK’s leading educational recruitment agencies, Protocol Education operates dozens of branches in towns and cities across...

Read More
I Stock 544356240
08 Jun 21, by Alex Schulte

4 Ways To Overcome Burnout And Become A More Effective, Happy Teacher

Burnout and stress have become frighteningly common among teachers, blighting what ought to be one of the most rewarding career...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Arriving 1155x575
19 May 21,by

The Supply Teachers’ Essential Tool Kit

Whether you are new to supply or just getting back into the swing of things after the school closures, having...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Generic 1155x575 01d
17 May 21,by

5 Practical Ways to Promote Wellbeing and Good Mental Health in your Classroom

As we begin the return to school after covid-19, it’s a good time to think carefully about what can be...

Read More
28 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

How to use catch-up and recovery funding effectively

​The impact of the pandemic on education is still being measured, understood, and assessed. What is clear is that it...

Read More
27 Apr 21,by

​One-to-One and Small Group Tuition: Adopt the Strategies that Really Work

 One-to-one and small group tuition can be extremely effective areas of additional support for students. Dedicated time on learning core...

Read More
Sebastien Marchand D1h Fw0z Ea Ks Unsplash
23 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Your May Payroll

​The Bank Holidays are quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you are paid on...

Read More
Summer Older
20 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

A Guide to Summer School Funding and Staffing

​Funding for Summer Schools 2021£200 million of funding has been made available to secondary and special schools (including non-maintained special...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Firstday 1155x575
15 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Managing Behaviour: Top Tips for Teachers Returning to the Mainstream Classroom

​After distanced learning, returning to the classroom will be a daunting process for everyone involved - from new Year 7...

Read More
Pe Echo Banner 22
14 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

Supporting Children’s Mental Health Week

Last month, Protocol Education supported Children's Mental Health Week, an annual event launched by Place2Be in 2015 to shine a...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Teacher 1155x575
08 Apr 21, by Scott Owen

What support do NQTs need during their first year?

Protocol Education's NQT Pool is helping hundreds of newly qualified teachers find their first teaching job. We will find you...

Read More
Pe Website Blog Firstday 1155x575
29 Mar 21, by Scott Owen

How to write an NQT Personal Statement

​A well-written NQT personal statement is the bridge between you and an interview for the school of your choice. I...

Read More
Protocol Education Easter Pay Dates2021
22 Mar 21, by Scott

Easter Pay Dates 2021

​​Easter is quickly approaching. The Protocol Education Payroll team wants to make sure that you are paid on time, so...

Read More
2021 01 26 14h41 59
29 Jan 21, by Scott Owen

NAVSH Conference 2021

​Protocol Education will be exhibiting at the NAVSH Conference 2021 on the 2nd and 3rd of February.Protocol Education works closely...

Read More
Untitled Design (16)
21 Jan 21, by Scott

Our Educator Webinars

​Please find details of our upcoming and past webinars for educators below. Our educator webinars series cover a wide range...

Read More