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Tricks of the Trade

Want to get your supply day running more smootly? Try out these tips from Lauren when you head back after half term. 

In every event, it is always helpful to know little tips and tricks that can get you further and save you time. There are some things which I have noticed over time that are going to save you hassle and help you manage your students all the better:

Your name: ALWAYS write it up on the board.  Students are more comfortable and confident to talk to you when they can approach you and say your name.  Sometimes you can have an ice breaker as they try to spell your name before you write it (mine has a silent letter so it is always fun)

Get to know them: Before I start the register, I tell them that when I say their name, they need to raise their hand so I can see who they are.  It helps getting to know their names.

Register:  Just like you appreciate when someone knows your name, children like when you know theirs.  That means saying it properly.  As I read the register, I allow only that student whose name I’m calling out to correct me if I say their name wrong.  I tell them this beforehand.  Then, if I mispronounce it, I write it phonetically beside their name on the register to help me remember it for afternoon register.  It’s worth it when you see their smile during afternoon register that you remembered.

Attention:  when you first get there, ask a student how their teacher normally gets their attention.  They respond better if it is to something they are used to, and every classroom teacher has a tried and true method that they regularly use.  If not, clapping a rhythm always works.

In your school bag: have a green pen, a red pen, and a black pen.  The first two for marking as those are the two colours schools use, and more often than not, it is amazingly hard to find one in the classroom, and black to fill out your time sheets.  As well, a ball.  There are sooo many things you can use a ball for: taking turns talking, silent ball, etc.

Collecting children:  This is what teachers are most likely to forget to tell you.  Always ask where to collect the children and at what time in the morning.  And when students go out to play, ask them if the teacher normally meets them in the playground and where exactly.

Timesheets:  When you first get to a new school, as you are signing in, ask if their school is online or paper timesheets.  Many schools have switched to online this year, and there is no point wasting the paper of a paper timesheet if the school does not use them.

These are little things that I have used over my year of teaching and have found they save me those little bits of time and make the day run more smoothly.

Got some handy tips to share? Why not share them with us by emailing Megan ( 

Tags: LaurenK, Canada, London,

Category: Australian Teachers

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