by Sharon Wood
Yes, planning will be left for you! Ok, maybe not. However, a supply teacher walking into a classroom to find no planning left is a rarity. We cover all sorts of issues facing supply teachers on this website, and the problem of illegible scrawls (or rather non-existent illegible scrawls!) is one of them. Following lesson plans accurately is critical, if they are left for you.
You will no doubt encounter a plethora of types of lesson plans as a supply teacher. The variety will range from nothing, to post-it notes on worksheets, to a timetable on the classroom wall, through to 3 A4 pages handwritten for each lesson.
If plans have not been left for you, find either a parallel teacher, or an SMT member and ask what is expected. You may find the children know their timetable, and will be able to tell you as much as you need to know to scrape by, but you should arrive at the school long before the children do, and therefore have plenty of time to prepare.
I have rarely gone into a school to find no prepared work. However, I do not use an agency, and 90% of my supply teaching work is pre-booked.
I do find it amazing though that not all weekly lesson plans for a particular class are saved onto the school server somewhere. I was saving my weekly plans onto a shared file in the early 90's, so SMT could check it, so the English and Maths coordinators could check their subjects were being covered/taught properly, so that the school had a definite record of subject coverage etc. for OFSTED, and so that if I wasn't able to turn up to school through illness and they got a supply teacher in for the day, all the plans were available to them! (Rant over!)
You must follow plans that have been left for you. No matter what you think of them! If you make alterations to the plans, leave a full and detailed account of why and how you did this, relating it to the children's learning as much as possible.
Glossary of Terms you may find on a lesson plan:
V/A/K – Visual/Aural/Kinesthetic learning involved in this lesson
IWB – Interactive Whiteboard used in this lesson
LO – Learning Objective
DLO – Desired Learning Objective
OBJ – Learning Objective
SC – Success Criteria
CN – Children
MA/A/LA – More able/Able/Less able
(Random Initials) Support – Support available from TA/HLTA/CS with those initials