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Mind the Gap

Lynn is a experience supply teacher and she knows that sometimes when you get into the classroom you will find no planning or incomplete planning left for you. 

Mind the Gap: Finding No Planning

Picture the scene if you can – the ‘phone rings asking you to go into a school – you grab your bag, your lunch and the car keys and head off. You reach the school full of excitement as you are not sure what fate has in store for you… you enter the classroom to be confronted with the gap – so just how do you deal when you have been left nothing ?

Before blind panic sets in there are a few practical suggestions that can help.

If I am teaching my specialism, I have  a few lessons that I can use especially squirreled away for such an occasion. These are the one off lessons that I have used to fill time between topics or as part of a larger scheme.

If I am on general supply then I have a few numeracy and literacy lessons for just such an occasion – the best suppliers for these are Badger and Chalkface.

In school these are the people that can usually assist you:

  • The head of department – they can tell you who is where and therefore what would be the most beneficial
  • The cover manager – often they are left the work
  • Another teacher in the team – most topics are taught in blocks – so they should be able to point you in the correct direction
  • In a primary school – ask the other teacher in the year as they are often paired together

So what else can you do?

  • I always have a bank of generic resources – literacy and numeracy work that covers all key stages.
  • I also carry my starters, plenaries, AFL, challenge and differentiation deviser – these are all available on TES – but take a tip from me and ensure that you have printed copies. These are a series of activities that you can use in the lesson. 
  • Likewise the teaching strategy manual (TES) and the teachers toolkit (this is a book) can also help – these are activities that you can use – instant lesson planning when paired with the items listed above.
  • I also have my 5 minute lesson plan – to make sure that if I have to plan I can cover all bases – printed copies are the best to scribble on
  • If you can get a computer – TES resources are fab – a quick search can save loads of time.
  • The individual exam boards often publish resources and lesson plans – just search under the subject and level.

Hope this helps and above all remember – don’t panic!


Tags: LynnB, Leicester, Supply

Category: Australian Teachers


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