Top Tips for a Day Supply Teaching

Staffroom education (1)1. Look up where the school is

Take the stress out of trying to find the school on the day by doing a test run a few days before, especially if you are using public transport. Find the right bus routes and where to get on and off. There is nothing worse than being late on your first day at a new school.

Just in case the worse happens such as an accident causing traffic, have the schools number saved to your mobile so that you can easily let them know of the situation and your estimated time of arrival. Communication is key, schools will not mind if you are late due to extenuating circumstances if they are made aware and know.

2. Get there early

It is always best to arrive earlier than needed so that you can familiarise yourself with things such as the school’s behaviour policy before your first class, where the staff toilets are, the work the teacher you are covering has left, where the staffroom is and the tea and coffee making facilities. This will save time when you have a small break to grab that well deserved coffee

3. Bring your own back up resources

Although teachers will leave pre-set work for you to hand out, always be prepared for the worse case scenario. Have a USB handy of teaching resources so that if the worst-case scenario strikes you are well prepared and not left stranded.

4. Introduce yourself

This may sound like an obvious one but the children’s first impression of you counts, so have in mind how you are going to introduce yourself to the children, not just giving your name but also outlining your expectations for the day. It is also important to introduce yourself to the staff, from the school caretaker and office staff, to the head teacher. Making yourself known to the staff and being friendly will leave a great impression which may lead to further work in that school or even a permanent position.

5. Learn names

It will take time and effort and even if you are only in a school for a few days, making a conscious effort to learn the names of the children will ensure a good relationship between you and your pupils. It is also good practice to learn the names of the head teacher, deputy head, class teacher who you are covering and the office staff. You can find this information out on the school website and this will show professionalism and allow you to easily communicate with staff rather than trying to find out their names on the day.

6. Ask about the children

Find out whether there are any pupils that have allergies and require an asthma pump or any other medications, medical conditions or behavioural issues that require a change to the teaching of the class.

7. Know the routines

Find out the daily routine at the start of the day, and rules surrounding bathroom breaks. Find out the ruling the school has regarding bathroom breaks such as how many can go at one time and whether they require a pass or not. Once a supply teacher seems to not know the rules of the school some pupils may try to take advantage of your lack of knowledge.


Do you have any other handy tips for supply teaching in a new school? If so we would LOVE to hear them so drop us a comment in the box below.

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