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Great Supply Expectations: Part 2

Samantha's first blog of her series Great Supply Expectations covered what to do before getting to a school. Now she has moved on to what happens and what you should do once youi arrive at the school. 

Great Supply Expectations Part 2: At The School

If you have read part one then you will have a packed lunch with you including items to make hot drinks. You will have arrived in time and parked or walked from the station with ease, found the school just where it should be and be about to walk up to the reception. Of course with all the best intentions this doesn’t  always go right but we are outside the school at least and that's a lot of the hard work done, as navigating to a new place can be easier said then done.

Upon arrival go to reception and explain who you are, where you are from and any name of contact you have been given, manners cost nothing and create a good impression so use them here. Apparently we take ten seconds to judge someone when we first meet them, so make sure you hair is brushed and smile!

Once you have been shown around or given instructions for the day make sure you ask any questions, get them to go over anything you missed. This is the better time to do that so you feel relaxed and they know you want to do a good job as well. The toilets and staffroom are a good place to start, the classrooms are a second as the students will often happily point you in the right direction for these ones.

It is a good idea to carry a bag that fits all of your paper work inside it as schools will always give you a map and policies when you arrive, stuffing these into a small pouch or holding them seems like a small detail but can become annoying. I used to leave my main handbag in the staffroom and take with me a small pouch or pencil case to the classrooms. I always felt part of the school in doing this as the contracted teachers will leave their bags in their office or locker and mostly stay in the same classroom and so not carrying a nag like the students do.

I had a beige coloured sparkly pencil case bought for the grand price of £3 from a popular high street retailer. It was a great ice breaker as a lot of the students will comment on the 'bling' creating a nice start to a classroom entrance when feeling more nervous than they are. I packed pens and pencils of varying colours including red and green as a necessity. A lip-gloss or balm and mints as speaking to a class can make you require both of these items. I would also carry my inhaler, hay-fever eye-drops and any medication I needed through the day.

Finally I would take my phone which sounds like a bad idea but I could look at it within the pouch to check the time and google an information that I didn’t know and  desperately needed to. This was seldom used but when you cant log on to a schools computer system, the lesson plan has run out and your subject knowledge is lacking then a quick google can save the lesson descending into chaos but mostly I used it for the time!

Lunch time has arrived and all you can think about is food, I have made it to the staffroom and I pull out my very smelly egg sandwich. This day I made no friends at all, and interestingly the day I bought tuna with me as well. I like to eat a healthy lunch and one that you don't have to heat up is practical so I find, salads, cold pasta or soups in a cup are a good option. Lunch eaten, healthy fruit devoured and I’m sipping my tea from my favourite mug from home. Some school will offer you drinks and sometimes food but its always best not to be left hungry or thirsty.

With lunch done find someone you have said hello to and strike up a conversation because teaching in a different school every day can be a lonesome experience after a long period of time and a lunch time conversation can feel wonderful. Even better still find the person that decides if you are booked again and have a conversation with them as long as they are not busy and have time to do so. They will undoubtedly ask how your day has gone so tell them, be honest with any pitfalls but keep it positive.

Finally the day is done, before you leave ask if there is anything else you need to do, they will nine times out of ten say no and you can be on your way but this small gesture shows a huge amount of willingness from you. If they do ask you to quickly do something then do it happily and graciously making yourself the agency and everybody happy because the next time they need a supply they will be asking for you. Now you can go home happy in the knowledge you had a good logically functional day at the office.

Samantha is secondary drama teacher and is currently in a long-term role in East London. If you missed Great Supply Expectations: Part 1 you can find it by clicking here

Tags: Samantha, Bromley, Secondary, drama, supply, daily, teacher

Category: Australian Teachers

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