Knowing what to take with you when you are supply teaching can be tricky. Hannah gives us her best recommendations.
If you’re preparing for primary supply teaching this term, it’s a really good idea to have a bag with some essential items that you always have ready to take out with you. Here are my top 10 things you will need to be truly prepared!
Here are my essentials to pack:
1. A plastic wallet with your DBS, timesheets and handover sheets inside. You probably won’t need the first two, most schools use the electronic system, but the day you don’t take them is the day you’ll need them! Just pack them and they’re there if needed.
2. A small selection of lightweight books. You can teach from them, fill time with them, and end the day with them, once you’ve got the classroom ready for hometime a bit early.
3. A waterbottle and/or a cup, depending on what you drink throughout the day. Some schools are really precious about their cups, most are friendly and generous, but if you have your own, you know you’re not messing with their system.
4. A green pen, a blue pen and a black pen. You don’t want to waste your time going through other people’s drawers trying to find a pen. Most schools mark in green or black/blue (depending on which colour the children’s handwriting pens are), and a flick to the previous page will tell you which one they use.
5. Stickers. It’s worth buying a few sheets of stickers (you can get them cheaply online) and just having them ready. It’s best if you can use the school’s behavioural system (moving names up a colour/weather/smiley chart is popular), but if you can get a few more eyes and ears on you with the promise of a sticker, everyone’s a winner.
Here are other things to bring along too:
6. Your own lunch. If you don’t know the school, you don’t know if there will be any shops nearby, and you might not be able to use your lunch break to find out. Most schools will not offer you the option of school dinner. Some will, but you’ll know that for next time.
7. Your coat! Chances of you being on break duty are higher as a supply teacher, and just because it’s freezing or raining a bit, doesn’t mean you’re not standing out there, so you want to be prepared.
8. A healthy snack. Obviously take all the sweets and chocolate you need as well, but if you are on playground duty, it’s silently frowned upon to eat that in front of all the children. Take out some fruit and you have the energy to teach after break and no one is judging you.
9. A whistle is good for PE, as it saves your voice, and throat sweets are a must for me in particularly noisy classrooms.
10. A map. If you are new to your city of supply, buy a little A-Z of your city, whether you travel by bus, bike or car. The chances of you getting lost are really high, so having a map could really save your skin!
That’s my little list of things I would advise bringing along. I have a bag that lives by the door with these things (except food) in, so that I don’t forget anything. It also has my own dry wipe pens in, but I’ve never used them!
If you are a supply teaching and would like to blog about your experience, contact Megan by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.