A call from your agency to go to a new school can seem daunting, but don’t let it put you off! It is a great time to not only develop your own skills but also show another school what you have to offer and increase your chances of repeat work.
It is advisable to have a look at the school’s website before you go. Of course, sometimes this can be difficult with late calls from the school however a quick glance at the school’s behavioural and safeguarding policy can be beneficial ahead of time therefore you can ask any questions you may have when you arrive.
The school’s website will have a staff list which can help you gain an understanding of who you may report to on that day or who will be a key point of contact for you. The school website may also indicate parking, easiest ways to get there and any other important information to know ahead of your day.
Regardless of whether the booking is next month or the same day, try to obtain as much information from your agency on the school/class/any additional needs and if there is any cover work left. Your agency should give you as much information as they can and offer advice on directions, parking and help with any other queries you may have. If it is a pre booking, they also may be able to obtain planning ahead of time. Your agency is there to support you therefore make sure you utilise them.
Have confidence! Remember you have worked hard to gain your teaching qualifications, you are experienced and can deliver great lessons and produce outcomes. It may be a new schools, but have the confidence in your teaching! Going into your class confident and prepared for the lesson will help pupils adapt to the change of having a supply teacher, by having a strong organised teacher leading the class.
Use the plans. If plans are left, make sure you use them to the best of your ability. By using the plan provided when the normal class teacher returns they will be satisfied that they can pick up where you left. This leaves a great impression of you as a teacher, and may mean future bookings! This can be further enhanced by leaving a thorough handover note to the classroom teacher informing them of work completed, details of who excelled and who needed more support etc.
That being said, we all know unfortunately some days you turn up to see ‘Complete pages 65-69’ or hear the words “no plans were left”… during this moment you can panic or you can rise to the occasion and deliver a great lesson pre planned by yourself. Making sure you have a supply bag full of resources which you are confident in should settle you nerves. You can have faith that a spare 10 minutes at the end of class can be filled using your own resources, or you have a lesson plan ready to go if all else fails.
Smile! The school want and need you there. Without you they would be in a very muddled and panicked situation with a lack of staff. They requested you and you have arrived on time and ready to help – so smile! The staff will most likely have a sigh of relief seeing you walk in the door, therefore smiling and giving a great first impression will not only help you (fake it till you make it if you are a bit nervous!) but will put their confidence in you.
Don’t let the name of a new school put you off a day’s work. It is a great opportunity to see a new school setting and add value to even more children’s education. Ask questions, be confident and enjoy it! We are all here to support you.
If you are keen to experience a variety of local schools suited to your skills, please register online at www.opusteach.co.uk or call us on 03301 242801 for more information.