How to Settle Back into the New School Year as a Supply Teacher

As another school year creeps closer, we thought we would provide some handy advice on how to settle back into the new school year after the well-deserved summer break!


Coming back from the summer break with a positive mindset will help you prioritise your work effectively and deal with the rush of work at the beginning of the term. Remind yourself of your capabilities as a teacher and that this year could be the best year of teaching you’ve ever had!

Come back with fresh ideas, lesson plans that excite you and a drive to teach students something worthwhile every day. This focussed and refreshed mindset will be vital to settling back into the school year!


As you probably tell many students, asking for help does not show weaknesses. Be confident to ask for information about the school you’re teaching in, such as behavioural policies and heads of departments. You will then be able to use direct names of staff, as well as follow school policies to ensure consistency in the classroom. All of these will help aid classroom behaviour and boost your confidence. It will also familiarise you with the school, should you ever return, or you are on a long-term placement.

As a supply teacher, surprises should be expected. Surprises can vary from having no lesson plans to a larger class than expected! Expect the unexpected and anything else will be a bonus! The element of surprise is a bonus for many supply teachers as it really tests your reactive skills as a teacher and can challenge you, leaving you with a sense of achievement once you have completed your placement.

Make sure over summer you have refreshed your ideas for what happens in multiple surprise situations, this means you have prepped your solutions even before you’ve encountered the problem, leaving you prepared in any situation!


That awkward moment where you go to write on the board and every pen is dry? Stop that happening again! Treat yourself to a set of new stationaries to pop in your supply bag. This means for every child that ‘forgets’ their pen or every classroom you visit without a board rubber, you will be able to smoothly continue the lesson without having to run into the nearest classroom. Not only does it help your lesson stay on track, but it can also offer you some extra confidence and reassurance when you head into a new school, with a bag full of fresh new equipment ready to go.


Before you head back into the new school year, reflect on what worked last year and what you gained a sense of achievement from. Think back to any lessons you enjoyed, topics you loved teaching and experiences which moulded the way you now teach.  Reflect on why and how they worked and incorporate them from the beginning of the term. As much as it is ideal to say that everything went well, there would of course been some issues and days where nothing went right. Think of those, remember you’re only human and mistakes happen. Being able to reflect and evaluate the last school year can really put you in a great healthy mind set for the next year.


Trying to learn everyone’s name in a day can be difficult, however even asking things about a pupil’s hobbies or what they enjoy in school can begin to establish a relationship which can in time lead to gaining their respect.


Most of all, teaching is an incredible career with rewarding outcomes, so enjoy it! You can teach something new to children every day and make a difference. If you aren’t enjoying it, students will pick up on it and no doubt make your experience even worse. Enjoy your days of supply and teaching, and the different experiences that each day brings.

We wish you the best of luck for the new term!

If you’re interested in more information about supply teaching, or are interested in registering with Opus Teach, please get in contact! You can either give us a call on 03301 242801 or drop us an email at [email protected], or alternatively you can register on our website by clicking here.

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