A Supply Teaching Nightmare?

For some supply teachers, this is the worst thing they could find on a teacher’s desk:

Worst case scenario for a supply teacher?

Familiar feeling?

My apologies for the drawing, I’ll keep trying!

During many years of supply teaching, I only had this experience a handful of times. The Post-It note. Fortunately, I didn’t mind. I loved it. For me, it meant I didn’t have to do PE, RE, Geography or DT! I could do observational drawing, poetry, and numeracy, three times!

If the thought of arriving at a school to find no planning strikes fear into your very core, there are a few things you can do, now, to calm your nerves:

1. Think of a word or phrase, and try and come up with, in 30 seconds, a rough lesson idea connected with it. You might go off on a tangent, but never mind. Your creative juices are flowing!

2. Think of a different word or phrase, and try and come up with, in 2 minutes, as many rough ideas for activities based around it as you can. You don’t have to teach these, this is training your brain to improvise!

3. Have a handful of emergency lesson plans at your disposal (try my resource-free one off lesson plans for Key Stage 2!) Make sure they can be adapted to suit a wide range of abilities, and that they are resource-free as much as possible. You do not want to be carrying round (or spending lots of money on) a great big lever arch with 30 copies of every worksheet, just in case, and a crate on wheels full of lollipop sticks, 3D shapes and 12 copies of Goodnight Mr Tom!

4. Remember, the majority of children can talk the spots off a giraffe with little encouragement, about anything. They can lead lessons with a little guidance!


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About Sharon Wood

Sharon Wood, aka NuttySupplier, launched the forum at SupplyBag.co.uk in 2005 whilst on supply. Having worked as a primary teacher for too many years, I chose supply teaching as a career, in order to achieve a good work / life balance.