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The Supply Teachers Guide to the Galaxy

We welcome to our Protoblogger team Laura. Laura is Canadian trained primary teacher who works for Protocol Education in Cambridge. Here is her debut blog. 

The Supply Teachers Guide to the Galaxy (Or in this case Cambridge)

Arriving and settling in to a whole new country is an overwhelming experience in and of itself. Now add starting a new job in a town that you have just stepped foot in. Here are my top five bare necessitates to bring with you on your supply days.

1) Brush up on your boy scout skills and become the master of navigation:

After receiving your assignment for the day bright and early, you will need to set forth on your journey and navigate your way to schools all over the Cambridgeshire area. Trying to locate a school at the crack of dawn in a place that you’ve never been to can be, shall we say, just a tad stressful. But never fear, simply become best friends with your smartphone, GPS, or a map of the Cambridgeshire area (if you like to rock it old school). Map out your route; take time to learn the bus system, trains, and road ways. Don’t be afraid to ask for directions, or call your branch to help you find your way! Before you know it you will be an expert in the morning commute.

2) Hands on top! “That means STOP!”:

Good classroom management skills are a gold mine in the world of teaching. Having these skills is a must to survive a day of supply teaching. All you need is a few go to strategies to use in the classroom. Be prepared to switch them up when your favourite one crashes and burns. Find out the strategies that the teacher uses in the classroom, this will save you BIG TIME. Lay down the law in the morning and it should be smooth sailing for the rest of the day!

3) Always carry a magic bag of tricks!
Some days you will walk into a school to find zero plans for the day, that the plans mysteriously went missing, or the plans only go until 2:45 and school doesn’t end until 3:30. Yes, this is a serious let down and can ruin anyone’s day. But before you hit the panic button, keep calm and carry on. Reach into that magic back of tricks that you’ve brought with you and rock that work day. Some things you can pack into your magic bag are easy lesson plans that can be adapted and prepared for any class. Have some of your favourite books to share. Games are always good time fillers and will win you some brownie points with the kids. Learn some songs that you can teach the class. Never leave home without these things and a day without plans will be, well… just another day!

4) Never leave home without a smile
Not a morning person? Me either. After waking up epically early in the morning, making yourself look presentable, travelling over an hour to your school, and using multiple forms of transportation, putting a smile on may be the last thing on your mind. However, as soon as you walk through the doors to a school a perma-smile becomes plastered on your face. Having a positive attitude and being friendly with the staff and students will leave a good impression and have the school asking you back in no time! So even after breaking up a fight between Timmy and Bobby or dealing with the class from you know where all day, keep on smiling. 

5) A little extra goes a long way!
Take initiative during your supply day. Tidy the classroom, mark the work with a little umph, and volunteer to help where you can. These acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed and will have on the road to success.


Take these five golden tickets with you to your supply day and your debut as a supply teacher will be a big hit!

Related blogs on supply teaching:

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Tags: LauraR, Cambridge, Canadian-trained, supply, teaching, learning, guide, expectations, help, behaviour

Category: Australian Teachers


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