Featured video of the week: Doncaster Executive Member Claire Langford with Top Tips for Supply Teachers

Find all Claire's Top Tips for Supply Teachers

at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqYnsfdjcRiIhEz3ZLhpAYw

Be prepared

You need to be up and ready to go early in the morning to snap up the mornings jobs

Be proactive

Call the agency to see if there is any work, letting them know you are ready to travel immediately

Check in 

Check in during the day: many jobs are taken by lunchtime.


To teach different subjects and negotiate your pay.

Is the work is pre-set?

Will you need to bring your own ideas or has the teacher left teaching plans to follow?  Also, check to see if you will have use of a whiteboard and, if so, that it will be set up for you.


Take a map: arriving late will not create a good first impression or win you repeat business.

Get there early.

There are a few key things that you will need to be familiar with, like the school’s behaviour policy, the teachers written plans, staff toilets, tea and coffee making facilities, and where you can prepare resources, so it makes sense to get to the school in good time.

Bring your own resources.

It’s a good idea to have suitable teaching ideas up your sleeve so that you have something to fall back on if you need it.  

Introduce yourself to everyone you meet.

The school caretaker is often a font of practical knowledge, and office staff can be helpful, too, so make yourself known to them. Smile and say hello to other teachers and staff within the school, not only is it good to see a happy face but it leaves a great impression.

Ask about the children

Someone in the school who is familiar with the class should make you aware of any children with particular needs, so that you can organise use of teaching assistants, adjust any plans, and take into account those who would find change difficult.

Make yourself familiar

Get to know the timetable for the day, the school’s writing style, class rules for behaviour, how children are expected to move around the school, and whether there are any children who need medication.

Find out about routines

The start of the day is crucial to how well the rest of the day will go, so make sure that you are aware of the daily routine.  Children will be reassured those routines haven’t changed and that you are in command. 

Know your groups

Not off by heart, of course.  But have names of children and relevant groups to hand so that the class can easily organised.

Have fun ideas for time fillers

There are always times of the day when you will need to fill short gaps, such as when a session finishes early or assembly is running lat


Complete marking that maybe required.

Leave a note for the returning teacher detailing work undertaken and any incidents. 

Say goodbye and thank who has been looking after you during the day. Give postive feedback and say you'd love to be rebooked.