Supporting school workload as a supply teacher

Paul Boyd

Friday, 15 March 2019

As a supply teacher, I see the never-ending workload of my full-time colleagues. Lesson prep, meetings, pupil updates, marking, progress reports, parents’ evenings.

It really is a never-ending to-do list. If we then blithely breeze in just before the first lesson of the day and waltz out not long after the final bell has gone, we are being inconsiderate to the nature of their work (I know none of you would do this!). Being the best possible support for that school should be our primary objective.

Let’s consider how we can support teacher workload even if we’re only there for one day.

Allow ample time

No matter the reason for your being needed at a particular school, give yourself plenty of time before and after the school day to be available. This creates two advantages; firstly, it gives the school piece of mind, as they’re not worrying about where you are and have time to discuss the needs of that day.

Secondly, it gives you the space to acclimatise to your temporary home. If you can figure out many of the practicalities and logistics yourself, it gives the school less to worry about.

Dive right in

Don’t wait for people to bring everything to you. If you’ve been a supply teacher for a while, you’ll know your way around most classrooms quite easily. Get things set up to your needs, help to prepare resources and find materials if needed. Get access to the online systems of that school immediately so you can treat the space like your own.

classroom desk

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About our Community Expert


Paul BPaul Boyd
Community Expert

Paul is an actor and English teacher from Northern Ireland. Alongside his acting career working in theatre, film and television across the UK, he also teaches in primary and secondary schools throughout London.

Paul provides performance coaching to both individual clients and businesses.

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