Teaching your own child – Sarah Cruickshank

Challenge, nightmare or enjoyable experience?
How are you to cope when you arrive at school to be told that you will be teaching your own child’s class? It is quite a challenging situation, you may feel apprehensive, will you treat your child differently to the other? Your initial worry may be that you’ll be too soft on your own, but you are more likely to be much harder on him/her.
Remember too that your child might feel strange about you being in front of the class.
The class are likely to know you as X’s parent and indeed, many of them might have visited your home and be used to calling you by your first name.
When you enter the classroom, you must make it clear from the start that whilst some of the children may have spent time with you in your house, you are now their teacher and they must treat you as such. Ensure that they understand that you will not be visiting undue favouritism on your own child, nor will you accept standards of work that they would not submit to their regular teacher.

Teaching your own child

Challenge, nightmare or enjoyable experience?

Make sure that your own child knows that whilst you are working, they cannot be the centre of your attention. Explain that you will expect him/her to act as they would if any other teacher was working with them. You will not be giving them any special privileges just because they are “your baby”.
As you are going to know exactly what your child has done for the period you are teaching, it is going to be difficult to ask the usual “what did you do at school today?” questions. Be sure to discuss the day and praise the positives.
Your child may be surprised that you are more strict or do other things slightly differently from their regular teacher. Reassure your son or daughter that in front of the class you are the teacher, but that outside school you are still their loving parent.
Treat the experience of teaching your own child as an opportunity to get a privileged insight into their education, an experience that most other parents are unable to enjoy. Use this experience to help/support your child and his/her regular class teacher to develop their knowledge and skills.
Teaching your own child can be a challenging and stressful experience, but one that can be enjoyable from time to time.

Article submitted by Sarah Cruickshank, Education Writer and Supply Teacher.

What’s In Your Supply Bag?

So, the phone rings, or your diary tells you that you should be in Nice Primary School, you pick up your bag and head for the door, but what does that bag contain?

There are generally 2 schools of thought on this question, either a huge bag/a box in the boot of your car, or 2 pens in your pocket. We’ll consider both here and leave you to decide on the best way for you.

What's in Your Supply Bag

New to supply? You might want to reconsider taking the kitchen sink with you.

The first school of thought says, ‘you should be prepared for every eventuality and carry everything you need’. In this scenario, you carry files for all the subjects or key stages you teach, containing stand-alone lessons and time-fillers you have collected over the years from past classes, books and websites.

You also carry pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers, paper (lined and plain); P.E. kit; whistle; red, blue, black and green biros; reward stickers; glue; blue tak; board pens; whiteboards; a data stick containing interactive whiteboard presentations; a street atlas; water …

The second school of thought is a couple of pens, your phone, a diary and your lunch.

I freely admit I once belonged to the first school. I would lug a huge bag around on public transport and hardly ever opened it. It contained all of the above and more and – at most – I would use my whistle and pens.

After 4 terms of lugging the thing around, I decided to try School of Thought number 2. I now have an A5 wallet in which I carry a Morning Sheet to collect all those vital bits of information when I get to a new school, a Handover Sheet for the end of the day; blue, black, red and green biros; a whistle; reward stickers and certificates, and my “Mrs C says Well Done!” stamp for marking.

I carry some time-filler ideas round in my head, my favourite being to take the name of the school or a famous name and challenge the children to make as many words as they can using the letters. Handwriting and silent reading also serve.

What should I put in my supply bag? #supplychat Click To Tweet

Obviously, if a school tells me no planning will be left, I have stand alone lessons I can take, and if they don’t until I get there, I set a time filler and scour the classroom for lessons I can do.

The first time I left the giant bag behind I admit I was nervous, but I haven’t missed it yet. I’m not saying the minimalist approach is for everyone, but give it a try one day and see if it works for you!

Article submitted by Sarah Cruickshank, Education Writer and Supply Teacher.