For supply teachers, the first day at a new school can be a nerve-racking experience. Here are some tips that can make it -and the rest of your time there- a more enjoyable experience.
– Arrive Early: You’ll have a lot to learn on the first day so make sure that you arrive early. Use the time before classes start to get acquainted with the layout of the school. Ensure that you make note of the locations of your assigned classrooms, bathrooms, and the administrative office. Arriving early will also show the principal and other members of staff that you’re professional and wholly invested in doing your job well at the school. You want to show that you’ll add value to the team. First impressions count so make yours a good one.
– Say “hi” to everyone: It’s a great idea to greet and introduce yourself to to most, if not all, members of staff. Each one of them, even the caretaker or office staff, can be a valuable source of knowledge about the school environment you’re entering. A pleasant introduction will make a good impression and encourage people to feel comfortable around you. It will go a long way in helping you fit in with the rest of the staff at the school.
– Find out if the work is predetermined: Sometimes supply teachers are expected to follow lesson plans that were created by the teacher they’re temporarily replacing. You’ll need to find that out beforehand before you start making your own lesson plans or utilising plans you may have used in the past.
– Get familiar with the school culture: Each school has a different school culture and it’s important that you get familiar with it quickly. Ask questions about the school rules and the disciplinary structure. How does the school deal with students who break the rules? How does it reward achievement? These are all important aspects of the school culture that you should make sure you understand.
-Learn about the children: You should ask someone, perhaps a more experienced teacher, to let you know if there are any children in your classes who have special learning needs. With this information, you can adjust your lesson plans or delegate more tasks to teaching assistants so you can focus on the children who need attention.
– Establish your authourity with your students: Children and teenagers love to challenge new teachers, so you have to ensure that you’re clear in communicating your expectations of them. They have to understand that the rules of classroom behaviour and academic performance do not change because of the regular teacher’s absence. Don’t allow noise levels to get out of control and make sure that the students are constantly kept occupied by meaningful learning activities. Once you show that you’re on top of things, you will soon earn the respect of your students.
Supply teachers set the tone of their time at a particular school from the first day onwards. Use these tips on your first day and you’ll be putting your best foot forward.