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Surviving Supply: Electronic Ease

28/10/14

Jessica explains how we should move into 2014 and use electronic devices help us out when we are supply teaching. 

Surviving Supply: Electronic Ease

It’s Monday morning. You get a call from Protocol Education asking you to cover a class for the week. You arrive on time, and enter the classroom to find your lessons have been laid out, perfectly organized, with copied worksheets and all the supplies you need for the week!

Then you wake up.

It’s a dream day in the life of a supply teacher to have detailed lesson plans and all the necessary materials at your fingertips. This is not always the case. There will be times when you arrive at your placement and realize that there has been absolutely nothing left in terms of lesson planning. This could be because the classroom teacher called in sick at the last minute, had to attend to an emergency, or just didn’t feel like writing up a plan! When this is the case, it is always helpful to have some pre-planned lessons up your sleeve.

You probably have all kinds of lesson plans available from previous teaching experiences, at another job or during your teacher training. You may even have accumulated some good plans from your time as a supply teacher. It’s okay to borrow (read: shamelessly steal) ideas from lesson plans you’ve delivered as a supply teacher. The hard part is getting all these paper plans onto the tube!

But it’s 2014. There is no need to lug around dozens of plans, never knowing when you might need to teach Year Four 3-digit column addition! There are plenty of ways to bring your plans with you electronically.

USB Stick: The classic choice. These can run you anywhere from £2 to £50, depending on how much storage space you need. Upload your lesson plans to your stick, throw it in your bag, and you’re off! You should be able to access files from your USB stick from any computer.

Google Drive: My personal favourite. This free online file storage service allows you to access your files from any computer, anywhere in the world! I’m notorious for losing USB sticks, so, before moving to England from Canada, I put all my favourite lesson plans onto my Google Drive. I can access and print them on the fly from any school. I can even view and add files from my phone. All you need is an internet connection and a Gmail login.

Weebly.com: Here, you can create your own website for free! I have used Weebly to make my online portfolio, which I can send out if I’m looking for a long-term or permanent teaching position. I’ve also added many of my lesson plans to my site. This allows my potential employers to see the types of lessons I’ve created, but it also gives me access to those files from any computer, tablet, or phone.

There is no need to lug around dozens of plans, never knowing when you might need to teach Year Four 3-digit column addition!

GeniusScan: You’ve got all kinds of digital files, but what about those good ‘ole paper lesson plans and worksheets? This app (available for Apple or Android) will turn your paper plan into a crisp digital image in moments, and then allows you to save that image to your device or upload it to another app, like Google Drive.

There are many other options for keeping your files digital, and it’s definitely worth looking into different options on your own. Regardless of which method you choose, you’ll be happy to have some resources with you when you (inevitably) need to create a plan on the spot!

We welcome Jessica to our blogging team and look forward to her next blog. Jessica is a primary teacher from Canada, who has made the move to London to teach. 

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