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Ready Steady Achoo

The flu season is upon us - how are you looking after yourself? Miranda provides us with her best tips. 

Rub on the anti-bac, keep necking that Lemsip, Spring term 2K5 is underway.

Happy New Year supply teachers! It’s that time of the term when those teachers who merely thrive, win the work and the money. Those with flu and head-colds hit the soft duvet, but can also hit hard times. I worry about going under at this time of year, not because there isn’t work – everyone is ill – but because as a supply teacher, you are moving from school to school catching, transporting and spreading the coughs and colds and sneezes from one authority to the next. If you think about it - and I do today, as work is thin on the ground -  there is greater potential for supply teachers to get ill than others.

For a start, we are only probably in school because someone else could no longer stand and deliver, and who knows, a cloud of their plague may still lurk on the surface of the mouse, key board, remote control…or am I being paranoid.

My advice for staying germ-free, on your feet and earning ££ is as follows:

  • Multi-vitamins, knock em’ back every morning, eat fruit, make soup and drink soup. Try not to worry, the heat will kill all the obvious germs that have thrown up in the corners and up the walls of that gunky school microwave.
  • Stay away from snot. Offer a box of tissues from on high. Remember that what you have on the little snuffling phlegm-machines is height…Don’t bend down to attend. It’s all about independence.
  • Wear layers. The temperature (and your own internal thermostat) in schools is so varied. Some are kept like fan ovens on full. Others are kept like fan ovens on full but with all the windows open to the icy January scree, and those guarded by a chilly North Wind of a TA with a fresh air fetish.
  • Get a flu jab (I always say this but I feel it’s worth repeating). Flu can knock you out for around two working weeks (or, if you’re paid by the day, realistically it may be one week and one woozy, cough-mixture-addled and phantasmagoric five days back at the chalk face).

There are no duvet days in supply teaching. No one will expect you to be anything other than a healthy and vital replacement for the one that’s hit the pillow; so stay well people. Your next class attends you.  

Do you have your fool proof ways to get through the flu season and winter? Email your tips through to Megan (

Tags: Miranda, Manchester, NQT, supply

Category: Australian Teachers

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