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Geronimo! Dr Who and Supply Teaching

Orianne is a Canadian teacher working through Protocol Education Bristol branch. It would seem that saving the universe and supply teaching do, after all, have a lot in common.


The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who kicked off with a bang!  Not only did I have a blast watching it in theatres with some fellow supply teachers, but many of my primary students did as well.  The classroom is still abuzz with students’ reactions, and I can’t help sharing the enthusiasm.  And it made me realize that The Doctor can actually teach us a lot through two of his greatest traits: preparedness, and improvisation.

Bigger on the Inside

The Doctor is equipped with a vessel unparalleled in its importance, allowing him to be prepared for virtually anything: an unassuming police box with the space inside to equip and care for an entire planet.

A supply teacher needs the same.  You may only be able to bring one bag, but you must find a way to make it bigger on the inside.   For maximum preparedness, you may fit into one small bag:

  • One folder containing emergency worksheets (art, language, and math)
  • Two story books that lend themselves to a wide range of age levels
  • Books of stickers
  • Time sheets, and teacher feedback notes
  • One purse / wallet with ID and DBS
  • One pencil case with pens, pencils, erasers, sharpener, stapler, glue, and white board markers
  • Another pencil case with prizes (should bribery be necessary), tissues, band aide plasters, wet wipes, and plastic bags for students who can’t make it to the garbage can (it happens).

And you are pretty much ready to face whatever a primary supply day throws your way!


The Doctor is infamous for making plans up as he goes along.  And supply teachers often have to do the same.

There are some things that are more terrifying than the words “I’m all done.  What do I do now?”… but not many.  Especially in a class where students are too rowdy to do silent reading, and the photocopier requires a code that you cannot crack.  Creating an activity for the whole class out of a six-page storybook can seem daunting, but sometimes your best ideas are also your most manic ones.

Dr. Who approved.

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Tags: Orianne, ProtocolEducation, Canadian-Teacher, Supply, DoctorWho,

Category: Australian Teachers

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