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Effective Supply Teaching for Schools
All teachers can remember with a shudder, how difficult it can be to go into a new class and school for the first time. As supply/substitute teachers, it can be difficult to obtain any respect from your students, when they have never seen you before and may never see you again. One of the fundamentals of effective behaviour management is being consistent and always carrying out the action you initiate – this is where teachers and schools need to work together to support each other.
Teamwork is imperative to this working – schools don’t want to have to nurse a supply teacher through the day, likewise, teachers don’t want to feel they have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. At Axcis, the majority of us are teachers, so we know this feeling of abandonment, and we know how difficult it can be for schools that have been sent a teacher that cannot hold their own. Below are some tips we give to both our teachers and schools, to ensure the day for everyone, runs as smoothly as humanly possible!
As time in the morning is limited, it is important that all information is available to the teacher so they can behave in accordance to the individual policy of the school. Each school, no matter how similar, has very different expectations, and we need to ensure these are clear. At Axcis, we recommend a clear, concise handbook of your schools expectations for teachers that they can use for the day.
In providing teachers for you, we only want to send suitable, well prepared teachers to you – if you can let us know any special expectations your school has, we would greatly appreciate them. We like to visit all our schools too, so that we can actually match teachers to schools. By visiting, we can then better prepare supply teachers for their day ahead.
By no means does this need to be the red carpet, merely a point of contact they can report to upon arrival that knows where the supply teacher should be. Several times we have had calls from schools saying the supply teacher is late and has not arrived, when they have already signed in and are trying to find the school contact or have been sent to the wrong class.
- Outlining all Rules/Regulations that the teacher needs to enforce; uniform, out of bounds areas, conduct etc.
- Expectations; Marking of work, lunchtime duty, sports coaching etc.
- Maps, timetables, bells, keys, staff room, toilets, canteen
A quick glance through the window during the first period will give you a pretty good idea about the teacher and how they will cope – it will also give you a chance to enter the room if the teacher is having problems straight away, which can then be dealt with!
If there are difficult students in the class, please have a fellow member of staff keep an eye on the class. Some schools have a neighbouring class ‘buddy’ system. Again, teamwork is important.
Some of our supply teachers have felt completely abandoned, with no senior management presence or further discipline action they can apply to the student, ie, time out room, detention etc.
End of Day
Ask the teacher how the day went and give them your feedback, both good and bad.
Sign their time sheet
- If it is a new teacher, we at Axcis like to know how the day went. Please call quickly to tell us if you thought the teacher was suitable for your school, or if any incidences occurred. That way we can try to fix the issue to avoid it happening with your school or another school again.
- Be organised for your supply teachers and equip them with the knowledge about your school, so they can teach effectively throughout the day.
- Support and back them up as one of your team.
- Tell us just what type of teacher you are looking for, and let us know if they were not suitable.
- Don’t accept incompetent teachers!
At Axcis we are amazed at the teachers we see that have been ‘teaching’ for several years in UK schools, that we find to have unsatisfactory teaching skills. You pay good money to have good teachers in your school, if you are not receiving a good service, then don’t accept it!
Read our recommendations for teachers
Upon reading our recommendations for teachers, Schools will know how they can quickly initiate new teachers into their school, to prevent misunderstandings later on in the day.