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Any advice on supply teaching behaviour management?

(9 Posts)
universalis Thu 07-Jul-11 20:07:49

I have recently applied to join a supply agency having not worked for 12 years yes 12 years. My youngest is due to start reception in september and I'm hoping to do two days a week. I am desperate for tips on classroom management as I remember how badly kids would behave for supply teachers even when usually those same kids were normally focused and well behaved. Any ideas out there?

Littlefish Thu 07-Jul-11 20:08:54

Is this primary or secondary?

Would it be possible for you to go and spend a few days volunteering in a classroom just to get a feel for it again?

universalis Fri 08-Jul-11 10:26:07

Yes I did do some volunteering and that went well, maybe I'm worrying unnecessarily, I guess I'll just have to see how it goes

balroymum Sat 09-Jul-11 21:11:53

Hi! I am an English HoD in a secondary school teacher and my top tips would be: know the school systems inside out - then the little darlings will know that you know how things work; ask office for class lists with photos if the have them so you can learn names fast; deal with low level disruption in class without always asking for help- then you've got somewhere to go!; make your own resources as well as using dept ones- then they'll see that you've put the time in; obvious I know, but mark their work like their usual teacher would - then they'll know that you care about their progress.

Some of these work best for long term supply but in my experience, supply staff who do these things are more likely to get a long term contract which I would imagine would be preferable. Try not to worry too much. Essentially, the kids are still the same - they want to do well and be liked by their teachers!

Good luck - let us know how you get on! I am back to work for four days at end of July then have the summer off before the mayhem begins in Sept!

roisin Sat 09-Jul-11 21:38:10

Secondary? What subject?
Supply is always tough in secondary.
Your greatest strength is your personality. Don't go in there all guns blazing, being strict and grumpy, because they'll just want to sit back and enjoy the entertainment.

tethersend Sat 09-Jul-11 21:42:15

My friend has a blog on the subject...

My advice is pick your battles; let them get away with the small stuff, get them on side and that's half the battle.

universalis Sun 10-Jul-11 08:47:03

Thanks it's actually primary I'm going in to. I swing from really looking forward to it to thinking I can't do this!!

StrikeUpTheBand Mon 11-Jul-11 09:08:10


I am on supply after relocating during maternity leave (and was on sick for half of my pregnancy so hadn't worked for 2 years effectively). I am primary. Tips I would have are

- Go in early enough to be well prepared (by 8 at latest). Make sure you write down key facts about the day, and know who to ask if there is anything else.

- Behaviour management wise, remember the names of the children's teachers and explain to them that you will be feeding back at the end of the day but that Ms/Mr X has said that they are a really good class.

- Clamp down on calling out to be 'helpful', i.e. "Miss normally does this...". Explain that while they are being very helpful they must put up their hand/you will ask if you need help.

-Consider asking for KS1/Foundation at first. Not that they are 'easier' but you are more likely to have a TA supporting you and someone around who knows what normally goes on is worth its weight in gold

- DO not go mad with stickers etc. Try to expect good behaviour and use praise and the school's own behaviour policy instead, as this settles the children better than if you change things I've found.

- For infants, if there is no usual way the class know they need to stop, try getting them to put their hands in the air and say (or sing) "stop, look and listen!" They have to copy and also put their hands up. Alternatively, clap a short rhythm and they need to copy you. Then do another rhythm clap and they copy that, until you have all of their attention. Another way is to do a sort of Simon says game to get their attention. Or sing a little song "Everybody do this, do this, do this. Everybody do this - just like me!" while tapping your shoulders, clicking your fingers, tapping your knees etc. Choose a few children to lead the song once you have their attention.

You might already know all this but sometimes it helps to be reminded!

universalis Mon 11-Jul-11 19:09:18

Thanks that's really helpful, it all sounds familiar from my children's school. What do you take with you? emergency lessons, or do you find work already prepared?
I really appreciate your answers, after 12 years at home with the kids Im also nervous of interacting with adults and at the moment entering a staffroom seems like a huge hurdle !! but that was never a problem before so I expect it will all come back hopefully

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