Tips for Teachers, Supply Teachers and Cover Supervisors

1. Bring a sense of humour to school and a thick skin. Remember that pupils don’t cope with change very well.

2. Don’t take things personally.

3. Set clear expectations and boundaries at the beginning of the lesson.

4. Present yourself as firm and fair.

5. Be sure to follow through on the consequences of poor behaviour. Address the behaviour not the person. Keep the two separate when dealing with discipline e.g. ‘Your behaviour is not acceptable’ as opposed to ‘You are not acceptable’.

6. Avoid power struggles with children and young people. If a pupil refuses to do something, react politely and pleasantly to show they haven’t ruffled you. Repeat the request, followed by a time frame which explains when you will return to the pupil. After giving the instruction walk away, this shows the pupil that you trust them to manage themselves. Follow up your actions and give appreciation when the pupil complies.

7. It is best not to remain seated during a lesson, walk around the classroom and interact with the class. Keep calm and confident – do not shout.

8. Be prepared for technology (computers/projectors/interactive whiteboards). Sometimes technology fails, so always have a backup.

9. Try to learn the names of the children and young people you teach and make use of them during the lesson.

10. Remember to carry your own equipment especially your board pen.

11. Try and socialise in the staff room.

12. Thank the cover co-ordinator for your day and let them know you would love to come back.

13. Make yourself known to the senior leadership team, it may mean you are requested above other supply teachers or cover supervisors.

14. Request information about each school’s policy regarding rewards and sanctions. Each school has different systems, so it’s important to know how to recognise and act upon good/bad behaviour in line with school policy.

15. Never leave the pupils alone in a class, use other adults or pupils if you require something.

16. Please don’t assume that schools will be able to provide all the resources you need. This may be part of your responsibility.

17. Always request relevant information on your first visit to a new school.

18. It is always the responsibility of a teacher to manage the role of teaching assistants. It is important to build relationships and rapport with the all the other adults working in your classroom.