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Towards the end of 2021, we created a ‘Tip of the Week’ series on social media to support our teachers and teaching assistants. We like to think of these tips as your little survival guide. Some people who come to us have never done supply before, so we like to be a support system for all of our staff that might be unsure on a few things. Each week we will add another tip to keep this post updated for you. We try to keep all tips helpful, short and light-hearted.

Why not bookmark this page for easy access next time you would like a refresher?

Tip #1

Ooze with confidence

Come across as confident and in control even if you are not feeling it. Don’t forget to smile!

 

Tip #2

When in doubt, improvise

No lesson plans left for you? It does happen, but thankfully not very often. Have something prepared for such an eventuality.

 

Tip #3

Having a supply teacher can be exciting for children so make the most of being new and fresh with your unique ideas to inspire your class. Supply’s unpredictable nature is exciting so make it your own, whilst following the lesson plan that has been left for you.

 

Tip #4

If you are unsure about anything during your time at a school, don’t be afraid to ask SLT staff (Senior Leadership Team) for any support, advice or training. This is a good way of covering yourself, should anything be questioned later.

 

Tip #5

When you go to a new school, ensure that you introduce yourself to everyone, be friendly and smile. This leaves a great impression and could increase chances of repeat bookings.

 

Tip #6

Pack your bag the night before

So that you are prepared and don’t forget anything, you should pack your bag the night before you go to a school. This will make your morning easier and minimise the risk of being late. Some ideas to include in your bag: DBS certificate, photo ID, emergency planning, pencil case, hand sanitiser, lunch and a flask of coffee (to keep you energised).

 

Tip #7

It’s really good to leave helpful notes for the class teacher to keep them updated and in the loop. It’s all about supporting one another. Ensure you tell them of any incidents but also any positive feedback and special mentions. This is a good way of keeping a good relationship with the school.

 

Tip #8

It is a good idea to know the address and postcode of your destination so you can plan your route in
advance to ensure you arrive on time and avoid any unnecessary stress. Try and arrive no later than 8:15am and invest in a Sat Nav, if you don’t already have one. It’s always good to keep an eye on the weather forecast as well.

 

Tip #9

Research

Before you go to a new school, we recommend that you spend 10-15 minutes researching the school by heading to their website and getting to know their culture and teaching methods. This could be looking at their policies, goals and mission and vision statements.

 

Tip #10

We recommend that you keep your social media accounts private to just your friends and family.

 

Tip #11

International Human Solidarity Day

In light of International Human Solidarity Day this we would like to take the opportunity to encourage solidarity in the workplace and to always support your colleagues. Achieving a happy and efficient work environment requires solidarity and working as a team. At Claire’s we thrive on working as a team and supporting one another to complete our daily tasks. Our tip this week is to be a motivating 
but kind and compassionate confidant for your co-workers.
Tip #12

To ensure that the children are engaged immediately, it is a really good idea to have a starter task ready for when the day starts. This could be in the form of an ice breaker game or a mini quiz, so that the children are listening and are present.

 

Tip #13

Communication with your agency is vital in order for your needs to be satisfied and for
you to be happy. We love to hear from you and hear your feedback but also to catch up on your thoughts and feelings. It is also very important that you keep us updated for when you’re available and update us with any changes.

 

Tip #14

Ways to remember pupil’s names

1. Arrive early and check out any names around the classroom, eg: coat hangers/lockers/drawers.

2. When completing the register, after each pupils’ response of ‘Good Morning Miss/Sir’, be sure to reply with ‘Good Morning Amy/Joe/…’, to imprint the name in your mind.

3. Try and at least remember one name from each table.

4. Test yourself at break time and when the children arrive back, you could create a game out of it where they can be seated when you get their name right.

 

Tip #15

Safeguarding is incredibly important within schools so it is vital that you bring in your DBS and photo ID when you go into a school. Each school is different but to ensure that you make a good impression, you should always carry both around with you.

 

Tip #16

Make yourself known in the school by making an effort with the other staff. This puts you in a great light for future bookings as there is nothing quite like a recommendation from an existing staff member. We can get you into a school but only you can get you back in. 

 

Tip #17

Appreciate your teaching assistant

Your TA is your most important asset as they can help you understand how the class and school runs. They may also be the main source of feedback on your performance, which could help increase repeat bookings.

 

Tip #18

Tips for supporting children’s mental health

  • Encourage their interests- whether that is being active, creative or trying something new.
  • Talk openly about mental health and let them know that struggling sometimes is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Model good and positive habits for them.
  • Discuss their phone usage (and the effects).
  • Be alert for any changes in their behaviour.
  • Most importantly, listen and empathise.

 

Tip #19

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating love… Love comes in all forms, not just love for your partner but in friendship, family and self-love. Spreading love and kindness is one of the loveliest acts you can do and we encourage this for our tip this week. Our ethos as a business is all about being friendly and spreading positivity so why not channel this and brighten someone’s day.

 

Tip #20

4 Qualities of a successful supply teacher

1. Flexible

2. Organised

3. Approachable

4. Enthusiastic

 

Tip #21

Leave the classroom tidy!

Before you leave, ensure that everything is put back where you found it, this shows that you respect the school and the teacher that you are covering. 

 

Tip #22

We are always here for you!

If there is a problem, you can always call us at our office for a chat. We are very happy to help or just be an ear for you to talk to!

 

Tip #23

Free Online Teaching Resources

(Check out our previous blog post entitled ‘Free Online Resources’ for a detailed list of teaching resources)

  • Twinkl
  • Tes
  • The BBC Learning Room
  • Supply Bag
  • Resources 4 Schools
  • Primary Resources

 

Tip #24

5 Tips for teaching poetry

  1. Reset Expectations of What Poetry is
  2. Explore a Wide Range of Poetry Styles From all Around the World.
  3. Bring Poetry to Life in Interactive Ways
  4. Encourage Pupils to Express their Voices and Feelings into Poetry.
  5. Encourage Children to Draw from their Own Experiences and Have Fun with it!!

 

Tip #25

Keep your sense of humour!

It can be daunting going into a new school as you want to do your best but sometimes the best way to impress the school is to be relaxed and to be yourself. Have fun with it! Children respond well to that.

 

Tip #26

Teaching strategies to inspire you 

(Evidence based)

  • Use questions to check that your students are understanding things.
  • Have students summarise new information in a graphical or visual way.
  • Allow time for every child to succeed.

 

Tip #27

Make sure you RELAX over the holidays and put the work away! Put your feet up, spend time with your loved ones and get some well-deserved rest.

 

Tip #28

When we message and call about work available, if you could get back to us as soon as possible over the weekends, that would be so helpful. Even it’s to tell us that you are not available.

 

Tip #29

Around Easter is the best time to start thinking about the next academic year and what type of long-term role you would be interested in. If you would like any assistance or advice on updating your CV, we would be happy to help if you wanted to send us your CV to look over.

 

Tip #30

Tips for the last term before summer

  1. Enjoy your time with your students.
  2. Take care of yourself and your wellbeing, as we can all feel a bit burnout at this time of the year.
  3. Leave a lasting impression as schools are starting to look at September job positions at this time.
  4. Set a couple of goals for after the summer holidays, this can help you to reflect on
    your year.

Tip #31

You should always leave a handover note to the class teacher after your time at the school. Whether you are completing a day-to-day or long-term placement.

It should include: what the children did and how they got on, any notable behaviour, any incidents and any other relevant information.

We gave you all a ‘Cover Feedback Form’ when you registered. There is a link on our website, for you to print more copies. You can use these as a template.

 

Tip #32

You are entering lots of schools with many different teaching methods, tools, and resources. You will see some fantastic teaching materials on your travels – don’t be afraid to ask for copies to add to your own resources. 

Job Application Tips

 

Tip #33

Before you apply…

Before you write your application have an understanding why you want this job, what is it about this post that appeals to you and make this clear on your application. Also, take your time to research the school you are applying for, visit the school website and if possible, visit the school.

 

Tip #34

The presentation of your application…

Primary teachers are often expected to be creative in their planning and classroom displays, for example, so use your creativity in your application. Think about how it’s laid out, but be sensible about it. Keep in mind that your application could be one of 30, 40 or even 50 applications, make yours the one that stands out. Even down to if you post or hand in your application in person, pop it in a plastic folder, make it look like you care.

 

Tip #35

Keep it concise.

You need to keep your application to the point, don’t waffle! If your application is one of 50, the interviewer will not have the time (and probably not the inclination) to read 50 applications that are 10 or 15 pages long. What invariably happens they will skim read and select the most attractive few which will be then read in more detail. 

 

Tip #36

Tailor your application and covering letter to the role.

For example, if the position is to teach in Year One, talk as much as possible about times when you’ve taught in Year One or about the closest experience you have. The Head won’t be interested in four pages of the wonderful time you had teaching in Year Six. 
Also, if the application asks for particular skills, address this in your application and make it clear that you have these skills.

 

Tip #37

Sell yourself.

Talk about your strengths and always give examples, this is important because anyone can say “I’m good at teaching drama”. What sounds even better though is discussing specific tasks you have overseen or managed. Don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements and successes.

Not everyone feels confident singing their own praises and talking about how great they are. But if this is you, please don’t worry, ask your lecturers and mentors and use feedback that you’ve been given from your placements.

 

Tip #38

Make a good first impression.

If you visit the school, treat this as your opportunity to create a first impression. Ensure you’re smartly dressed, show interest in the school, ask questions and be friendly but professional to the person showing you round. (Even if this isn’t a member of the management team, they will undoubtedly be asked their impression of you).

 

Tip #39

Get personal

The interviewer will also want to know about you, your personality and whether you will fit in with their team. It’s important to try and get this across, talk about your hobbies and interests outside of school. Try and tailor this if you can into school life, for example if your hobbies involve gardening, you could mention that you would like the opportunity to incorporate this into your teaching.

 

Job Interview Tips

 

Tip #40

Be prepared for the interview

First of all, really well done if you have got an interview, as it is can be very competitive.
Make sure you know the location of the school and how you will get there, give yourself extra time to arrive to allow for eventualities (even if it means sitting in your car round the corner for 10 minutes, this is better than being late) 
Be prepared and research your school, understand their ethos, read the website, social media, ofsted reports etc and make it very clear in your interview that you have done so. Find away to compliment them about their ethos or values. 

 

Tip #41

Why do you want this job and why do you think you are suitable for it?

Have three very concise and strong selling points for yourself, you can take these from the school’s OFSTED report e.g., extended writing may need developing … ‘in my placements I focused on building writing skills amongst students and implemented schemes to support them’. Be prepared to give examples. 

 

Tip #42

Things to remember…

  • Be aware of your body language, for example; don’t slouch, don’t sit with your arms folded, try to stay relaxed and most importantly don’t forget to smile.
  • Be confident, but not arrogant.
  • Dress the part; maintain a neat and professional appearance.
  • Greet the interviewer correctly; first impressions mean a lot.

 

Tip #43

Being unsuccessful…

  • If you aren’t successful don’t beat yourself up, ask for feedback and try to learn from it. Keep trying and you will get there, I promise. 
  • Be open to criticism and embrace it; no one is out to see you fail. 
  • Give yourself time – if you’re an NQT you’re still learning; even if you were at the top of your class being awarded outstanding grades for every assignment; you will still make mistakes. 
Tip #44

14 Ways to get the most out of summer:

  • Watch a sunrise.
  • Be a tourist in your own hometown.
  • Fly a Kite.
  • Build a Sandcastle.
  • Go for a Nature Walk.
  • Plant a Garden.
  • Watch Fireworks.
  • Go Camping.
  • Go to an Outdoor Concert.
  • Go to a Sporting Event.
  • Spend Time with Family and Friends.
  • Take Photos.
  • Star Gaze.
  • Travel As Much As Possible.

Tip #45

Ways of saving money over the holidays:

  1. Vouchers or money-off coupons
  2. Swapping your usual shop for cheaper options
  3. Using public transport or car sharing
  4. Plan ahead for your days out
  5. Checking your local council for free events
  6. Reviewing your monthly spending
  7. Searching for childrens deals, eg: ‘Kids eat for less than £1’

Tip #46

Tips for returning back to work after summer:

  • Try and stay organised- a clean place makes a happy space.
  • Ease yourself in- don’t bite off more than you can chew! Take tasks one at a time. Ignore the urge to tackle it all.
  • Plan your days, make lists and start prioritising tasks one by one. This will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Reflecting on your summer could also help with adapting to the new term. In terms of any possible problems or successes you had throughout.
    Getting back into your work schedule can mean unhealthy habits creep back but continuing to care for your wellbeing and diet is still important.

Tip #47

What to pack in your bag
– Your DBS certificate
– Photo Identification
– Emergency planning
– Pencil case
– Hand Sanitiser
– Lunch (with a flask of coffee?)

Tip #48

Make friends! Don’t be tempted to eat in your classroom. Bring your lunch to the staffroom to meet people, especially if it is a new school.
You never know where a positive review might come from and therefore being friendly and making an effort, could increase the chance of you getting a repeat booking.

Tip #49

Use the feedback sheets!

Not only are the feedback sheets helpful for the class teacher to come back to, but they are a useful tool for you to cover your back. Let’s say there was a situation where not all of the lesson planning was completed, you can explain all of this in the feedback.

You can find a link to the printable sheets on our website under ‘Staffing Stationery’.

Tip #50

The end of the day

Once all of your children have left the school premises and your responsibility for them has come to an end and work has been marked and the classroom left neat and tidy, you are free to go home. Remember to hand back passes, laptops etc, and sign out in the visitors’ register.

Tip #51

Smile!

It’s great to be the new and fresh face, you really can brighten up a school with just a happy and friendly smile.

It is so important that you enter the school with an approachable manner as it makes the pupils feel more at ease and you can also start to feel a connection with the class.

It’s all about making a good impression!

Tip #52

ADHD Resources for staff

  • CHADD.org (Website)
  • TeacherVision ADHD (Website)
  • ADDitude magazine (Free download poster, 31 ways to raise awareness)
  • Youngminds.org (Website)

ADHD Resources for children

  • GoNoodle (Website and App)
  • ADHD Voices (Website)
  • Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Street (App)
  • Learning Ally (App)

Tip #53

World Mental Health Day 2022

This year’s theme has been designated as ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority.’

The Mentally Healthy Schools team at the Anna Freud Centre have collated lots of resources to help you improve your pupils’ understanding of mental health.
Mental health can be a tough subject to talk about and you might be unsure how to approach the topic so we think these resources could be really helpful.

Just simply type ‘World Mental Health Day 2022 toolkit’ into Google search.

 

Tip #54

Remember you are an ambassador for our company. Please leave schools with a good impression.

We are very proud of our company and our reputation, so remember that you help us to build and maintain that.

Even if you do not wish to return to a school, leaving a good impression keeps the door open for other teachers and support staff.

 

Tip #55

Forget about work when you’re on holiday! Relax, unwind and have some much-deserved downtime.

 

Tip #56

The Ultimate Supply Bag

  • Stationary- Pencils, Pens, Erasers, Ruler (perhaps a spare), Whiteboard markers, Glue, Lined paper, Index cards, BluTac.
  • Safety pins
  • Tissues
  • Snacks, in case you don’t get time for lunch or have lunch duty
  • A bottle of water
  • A Claire’s School Solutions’ coffee mug
  • A watch, set to the correct time
  • Personal toiletries if required
  • Warm clothing, in case you end up on the freezing football field!
  • A file of emergency lesson plans for each year level
  • A file of emergency resources for each year level. While it can also be handy to have these on a USB. (you can also find useful resources on Tip of the Week post #23)
  • A collection of fun educational games and websites for a range of ages and learning style, to help ensure students can always engage in meaningful learning activities while on your watch.

 

Tip #57

Stress awareness week

  • Write down what you’re grateful for
  • Hang out with friends and family
  • Play with your pet
  • Try watching a funny TV show
  • Learn to say no

 

Tip #58

It’s always worth having a few entertaining ideas and tricks up your sleeve, to fill some time. 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 late. These could be quick games, or stories that the children are familiar with.

 

Tip #59

Don’t feel like you can’t ask questions

Going into new schools, it can be difficult to grasp each schools’ different policies and methods. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good question to ask could be, ‘Is there anything important I should know?’

 

Tip #60

Say Goodbye

It is really important that when you leave a school, you leave a good impression. Part of that is saying goodbye and thank you to whoever you have been working with that day. If you have had a good day, make sure you tell them, schools enjoy getting positive feedback, too – and say you’d like to go back.

 

Tip #61

Network within schools

It’s a good idea to make friends within schools. Other teachers can help with the day to day tasks whilst you’re at school. Your TA is a valuable resource and will often be the person that reports back about how the day has gone.

…and don’t forget about the office staff. Often they will book supply so you want them on your side.

 

Tip #62

We have said before to research the school you are about to visit, including the behaviour policies. This is a good idea to better understand the school’s culture and you can therefore borrow features from it. For example, if you can start phrasing things in the language of the school, then that can have a particular impact.

 

Tip #63

Think about what you want and what you have been doing.  

Maybe you are ready for a change of pace or a new challenge.

Perhaps you doing day-to-day and would prefer to do long-term from January, or visa-versa?

The week before the schools are back, we are in the office (from 3rd January), therefore this would be the best time to discuss any changes with us. Also, if you are wanting a long-term role, the period from now until then would be good to update your CV.

 

Tip #64

We want you to make sure you make the most out of this time and relax, spend time with loved ones and HAVE FUN!

 

Tip #65

As it is the new year, why not see this year as a fresh start; an opportunity to make any changes if you wish to.

We are back in the office tomorrow if you wish to speak to us about the new year!

 

Tip #66

The schools are back this week so make sure your pencils are sharpened, you have ink in your pens and there isn’t a rotten piece of fruit in the bottom of your bag from last term!

 

Tip #67

Today is Brew Monday, it was created to encourage support around this time of year, as it can be tough for people. So, the tip for this week is all about reaching out and supporting your loved ones. Perhaps, inviting someone for a catch up over a brew?

 

Tip #68

Feedback: Give feedback to the school on how your day was, the work that was completed, and highlight the positives throughout the day.

Integrate: Get involved into the school community. Try to talk to other staff members, and go to the staffroom.

Ensure: Try to remain consistent. Follow the school rules, processes and procedures to the best of your ability.

Remember: Manage your expectations. Use and trust in your teacher instincts

You: Throughout the process you are the key messager when wanting to leave behind a good impression. Make yourself credible and show that you genuinely care.

 

Tip #69

It is so important that when you enter a school, you are dressed professionally, practically and smart, as you are a representation of us and our company. We understand that you want to feel relaxed in school but you can still look smart and feel comfortable. First impressions count.

 

Tip #70

Start the day right- Wake up early

Waking up early means you can have the best start to your day, be stress-free and have plenty of time to eat breakfast, have a coffee or just relax before work. Just some examples of benefits of getting up early; improved cognitive function, better sleep quality, time for morning workouts, better mood and mental health and of course increases organization and productivity.

 

Tip #71

6 Class Activity ideas for Valentine’s Day

Prepare some Valentine’s facts to share.
Create a gratitude wall- write something they are grateful for.
Create a compliments box.
Make a Valentine’s card.
Make a Valentine’s Day gift bag.
Read and share a love story.

 

Tip #72

Being passionate makes a great supply teacher. Expressing your passion for teaching can grab your students’ attention and willingness to learn and experience new things. You can also get the opportunity to demonstrate your passion for teaching every working day.

 

Tip #73
Top Online Resources for World Book Day
(Quizzes, activities and videos)
  • The World Book Day site
  • Teachit
  • Tes
  • Kapow Primary
  • Twinkl
  • www.teachingideas.co.uk
  • ‘Saved you a spot’ blog

 

Tip #74
Ask about the children
When entering a new school, it is a good idea to ask someone who is familiar within the school, to make you aware of any children with specific needs. This will make it easier for both you and the children.

 

Tip #75
It will impress schools if you do your best and want to show them what you can do.
When you make a positive impression, you never know where it’ll lead or the opportunities that could be offered. 
Be the sort of supply teacher you’d like to have in your own classroom.

 

Tip #76

As it is International Day of Happiness, we want to emphasise the importance of being nice and friendly to everyone in school and showing your happiness to be there. We know it goes without saying but this will increase your chances of repeat bookings. Also, if you are not interested in going back to a school that is fine but we do ask that you end the day positively, so it leaves the door open for other people in the future.

 

Tip #77

Marking

Grasp any chance during the day to mark work. However, you should use your lunch time as an opportunity to mingle. Perhaps you could mark an exercise together as a class.

It would be a good idea to look back at previous work that the teacher has marked, if it is possible, so that you can use the same style, approach and pen colours. If you mark all work completed you will be more likely to be asked back.

 

Tip #78

Relax

We say this every school holiday but it’s because we mean it. Use this time to RELAX! As teaching and support staff, you all work very hard and you need time for yourself, to regroup and collect your thoughts. We can’t recommend it highly enough.

 

Tip #79

Enjoy the sun!

The weather has been a bit on and off recently but when the sun is out, get out in it. Being out in nature and soaking up some vitamin D is so good for your physical, mental and spiritual health!

 

Tip #80

Ways to remember pupil’s names

1. Arrive early and check out any names around the classroom, eg: coat hangers/lockers/drawers.

2. When completing the register, after each pupils’ response of ‘Good Morning Miss/Sir’, be sure to reply with ‘Good Morning Amy/Joe/…’, to imprint the name in your mind.

3. Try and at least remember one name from each table.

4. Test yourself at break time and when the children arrive back, you could create a game out of it where they can be seated when you get their name right.

 

 

Tip #81

Arrive in good time

Supply teachers who are late do not tend to be asked back. A surprisingly high number of teachers set off without an A-Z or clear directions of where they’re going. Being early gives you the opportunity to find out how the school operates and what you need to know about your class. So, you want to be arriving at around 8:15am.

 

Tip #82

Another tip for remembering names:

“Handing out the books really helps too. The children always want to do that to be helpful but each day, by handing out books and saying their name as you give it to them, you can have face to name encounters around 5 times for every child.”

 

Tip #83

Get enough sleep and rest

When you get home, try not to think about the exams. There is no point in worrying about what has happened as it is in the past or what may happen. Go for a walk, do something you enjoy, but most importantly, don’t worry about school.

 

Tip #84

Plan something nice for the year 6’s

The year 6’s had a tough week last week with their SATs exams. If you haven’t already, it might be really nice to plan an activity of some sort, for them this week. Perhaps something creative and fun, or even an activity outdoors?

Job Application Tips

 

Tip #85

Before you apply…

Before you write your application have an understanding of why you want this job, what is it about this post that appeals to you and make this clear on your application. Also, take your time to research the school you are applying for, visit the school website and if possible, visit the school.

Tip #86

The presentation of your application

Primary teachers are often expected to be creative in their planning and classroom displays, for example, so use your creativity in your application. Think about how it’s laid out, but be sensible about it. Keep in mind that your application could be one of 30, 40 or even 50 applications, make yours the one that stands out. Even down to if you post or hand in your application in person, pop it in a plastic folder, make it look like you care.

Tip #87

Keep it concise

You need to keep your application to the point, don’t waffle! If your application is one of 50, the interviewer will not have the time (and probably not the inclination) to read 50 applications that are 10 or 15 pages long. What invariably happens they will skim read and select the most attractive few which will be then read in more detail.

 

Tip #88

Tailor your application and covering letter to the role

For example, if the position is to teach in Year One, talk as much as possible about times when you’ve taught in Year One or about the closest expereince you have. The Head won’t be interested in four pages of the wonderful time you had teaching in Year Six. 

Also, if the application asks for particular skills, address this in your application and make it clear that you have these skills.

Tip #89

Sell yourself

Talk about your strengths and always give examples, this is important because anyone can say ‘”I’m good at teaching drama”. What sounds even better though is discussing specific tasks you have overseen or managed. Don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements and successes.

Not everyone feels confident singing their own praises and talking about how great they are. But if this is you, please don’t worry, ask your lecturers and mentors and use feedback that you’ve been given from your placements.

Tip #90

Make a good first impression

If you visit the school, treat this as your opportunity to create a first impression. Ensure you’re smartly dressed, show interest in the school, ask questions and be friendly but professional to the person showing you round. (Even if this isn’t a member of the management team, they will undoubtedly be asked their impression of you).

Tip #91

Get personal

The interviewer will also want to know about you, your personality and whether you will fit in with their team. It’s important to try and get this across, talk about your hobbies and interests outside of school. Try and tailor this if you can into school life, for example if your hobbies involve gardening, you could mention that you would like the opportunity to incorporate this into your teaching.

    Job Interview Tips

     

    Tip #92

    Be prepared

    First of all, really well done if you have got an interview, as it can be very competitive.

    Make sure you know the location of the school and how you will get there, give yourself extra time to arrive to allow for eventualities (even if it means sitting in your car round the corner for 10 minutes, this is better than being late).

    Be prepared and research your school, understand their ethos, read the website, social media, ofsted reports etc and make it very clear in your interview that you have done so. Find a way to compliment them about their ethos or values.

    Tip #93

    Why do you want this job and why do you think you are suitable for it?

    Have three very concise and strong selling points for yourself, you can take these from the school’s OFSTED report e.g. extended writing may need developing… ‘in my placements I focused on building writing skills amongst students and implemented schemes to support them’. Be prepared to give examples.

    Tip #94

    Things to remember…

    • Be aware of your body language, for example: don’t slouch, don’t sit with your arms folded, try to stay relaxed and most importantly don’t forget to smile.
    • Be confident, but not arrogant.
    • Dress the part; maintain a neat and professional appearance.
    • Greet the interviewer correctly; first impressions mean a lot.

     

    Tip #95

    Things to remember…

    • If you aren’t successful don’t beat yourself up, ask for feedback and try to learn from it. Keep trying and you will get there, I promise.
    • Be open to criticism and embrace it; no one is out to see you fail.
    • Give yourself time – if you’re an NQT you’re still learning; even if you were at the top of your class being awarded outstanding grades for every assignment; you will still make mistakes.

    Tip #96

    This summer have fun and relax!

    Tip #97

    Ways to make money over summer

    • Private Tuition
    • Activity Camp
    • Childcare/babysitting
    • TaskRabbit
    • Dog Walking
    • Pet Sitting
    • Forest Schools

    Tip #98

    Reflection

    With the return to work approaching, why not use this time to reflect on your last school year. What are you proud of? What would you do differently? How will you progress into the new academic year?

    Tip #99

    If you are going straight into a long-term role…

    • Have you done your research on the school?
    • Do you know what you have to bring with you?
    • Do you know how to get there?
    • Have you got your planning up-to-date?

    Tip #100

    Tips that you sent in to us…

    1. Draw out a rough plan of the classroom when you arrive and note names down on it as you do the register.

    2. Draw a picture of yourself on the whiteboard with your family/pets/interests. Get the children to ask you questions and draw their stories on their whiteboards.

    3. Be prepared to be flexible and adaptable – lesson changes/room changes. 

    4. Tell the class you’ve heard they’re the best class in the school/county/world and ask if it’s true and why it’s true?

    5. Be prepared and have something up your sleeve, in case there isn’t any planning or resources. For example, take an object of interest – get them to look at it, talk about it, tell the story of it.

    6. Take your documents with you – e.g: DBS

    7. Be open and friendly, have a good vibe and attitude about you.

    8. Take your favourite story book in and say you will share it at the end of the day if they earn 10 points off you for great learning.

    Tip #101

    How to earn repeat bookings and/or permanent positions…

    • Arrive early to set up the classroom and get to know your surroundings. If you are a TA, you can also use this time to get to know the teacher you will be working with.
    • Prepare your own lesson plans that can be taught across varying year groups and topics, just in case one isn’t given.
    • Learn the timetable – make sure you know the daily routine.
    • Bring your ID and DBS every day.
    • Think outside the box – coming up with new ideas for lessons can help you stand out.
    • Always be prepared – bring your own equipment.
    • Introduce yourself to the children and get to know them.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
    • Talk to other teachers – get to know the staff and let them get to know you!
    • Leave rooms tidy and equipment where it belongs. Also, if applicable, make sure to help with marking.
    • Use our feedback forms to leave comments for teachers letting them know what you did in lessons. (If you’ve run out, you can find more under ‘Staffing Stationary’ – feedback forms.)

     

    Tip #102

    Learn and maintain the routine

    When working for a new school, it is important you learn the school’s daily routine. It is your job to ensure that the children’s education is not affected by their teacher not being there. Therefore, maintaining the daily routine is essential as it brings stability into the learning atmosphere.

    Tip #103

    Be prepared for last-minute bookings to minimise stress and anxiety

    • Make sure that you always have lesson plans ready in case one isn’t left for you.
    • Always have a packed lunch ready each night in case you get a last-minute booking.
    • Make sure you have backup lesson plans in case your pupils finish the work early and you need to find something else to do.

     

    Tip #104

    How to make a positive first impression

    • Don’t avoid the staffroom, introduce yourself.
    • Be friendly and smile.
    • Be respectful of the school’s rules.
    • Learn the pupil’s names.
    • Make sure to write notes of what you taught for when the teacher returns.
    • Stay positive and remain calm.
    Tip #105

    Long-term roles

    If you want a long-term role after half-term and haven’t got one already, please let us know some time this week as our working hours are shorter during half-term break.

    We still have some long-term vacancies for TAs, with a mix of part-time and full-time roles.

    If you are a qualified teacher looking for long-term work, why not try one of our TA vacancies?

    Tip #106

    Relax this Halloween!

    Make sure that you relax this half-term and have fun celebrating Halloween!

    Halloween activities you could do this week:

    • Try making pumpkin soup
    • Bake some Halloween treats
    • Do an escape room
    • Dress up
    • Go pumpkin picking
    • Try apple bobbing

    Tip #107

    What to pack in your bag:

    • Your DBS
    • Photo Identification
    • A packed luch and a bottle of water
    • Emergency planning
    • A pencil case (including pens, pencils, ruler, highlighters ect)
    • Your Claire’s School Solutions coffee cup
    • A warm set of clothes in case you end up on PE duty!
    • A change of shoes in case you end up on the muddy field

     

    Tip #108

    How to deal with bullying

    • If you see someone being bullied, take action. The sooner it stops, the better.
    • Make sure the pupil is happy with how you deal with the situation
    • Let the student choose which member of staff they tell about the bullying
    • Resolving one bullying situation doesn’t mean others won’t occur. Keep an eye out for any negative behaviour.
    • Bullying can have long-term effects on the victim and the bully. Make sure pupils get as much support as they need.
    • Bullying is still bullying whether it’s in school or out of school. If you see it, take action.
    • Make sure you inform another member of staff of the situation, especially if you’re only there for the day.

     

    Tip #109

    World Children Day – Tips for supporting your class

    • Make every child feel seen. Simply being heard can make a massive impact on a child’s development.
    • Be someone they feel comfortable talking to
    • Look out for changes in behaviour
    • Be the teacher the children need

     

    Tip #110

    Feedback Forms

    It’s really useful to leave notes behind on the feedback forms to keep the teacher updated.

    Make sure you let them know what you covered in lesson, and if there was anything you didn’t have time to complete.

    Make a note of any positive feedback or special mentions, but also any children who were struggling. It is also helpful to note down any incidents that may have occurred.

    This is a great way to maintain a positive relationship with the school.

    Tip #111

    It is often exciting for children to have a supply teacher; therefore, it can be hard to get children focused at the start of the day. So, it’s a really good idea to have some starter tasks prepared to make sure the children are listening. This could be something as simple as a game or quiz.

    Tip #112

    Christmas Bingo

    For this weeks ‘Tip of the Week’, we have created a fun Christmas themed bingo for you and your pupils to complete! You may even find some Christmas activity ideas in there that you could do with your class! We hope you enjoy!

    Tip #113

    With only one week to go, we want to remind you all to relax over Christmas. Spend time with your loved ones and remember to have fun! We hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

    Tip #114

    Is your new years resolution to be organised this year?

    Be organised and pack your bag the night before with these important items:

    • DBS certificate (some schools will turn you away if you do not have it)
    • Photo ID
    • Pencil case
    • Back-up resources/emergency planning
    • Lunch and a flask of coffee (to keep you energised)
    Tip #115

    Ideas to remember pupil’s names

    1. Arrive early and check out any names around the classroom, e.g: coat hangers/lockers/drawers.

    2. When completing the register, after each pupils’ response of ‘Good Morning Miss/Sire’, be sure to reply with ‘Good Morning Amy/Joe/…’, to imprint the name in your mind.

    3. Try and at least remember one name from each table.

    4. Test yourself at break time and when the children arrive back, you could create  game out of it where they can be seated when you get their name right.

     

    Tip #116

    Keep in touch

    We love to hear from you and hear your feedback but also to catch up with you. It is important you keep us updated so we can make sure we are giving you roles that are right for you. It is also important to keep us updated with your availability and any changes so we’re not pestering you when you’re not free.

    Tip #117

    Introduce yourself to everyone

    When working in a new school, it is a great idea to introduce yourself to all of the staff. School caretakers can often be a font of practical knowledge, and office staff are great to go to if you have any questions or if there’s anything you need. 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.

    Tip #118

    Plan your route

    If you’re heading to a school you haven’t been to before, you could plan your route the night before so you get familiar with where you’re going. If you ever get lost, please call us as we can help direct you and let the school know if you might be late.

    Tip #119

    It’s okay to make mistakes

    Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You often learn more form making mistakes than from theory or practice. It can also put the children at ease as it shows them that mistakes are a part of life and you can always try again.

    Tip #120

    Valentine’s Day Classroom Activity Ideas

    • Make a Valentine’s Card.
    • Make a Valentine’s Day gift bag.
    • Create a compliments box.
    • Read a love story – perhaps a fairytale.
    • Prepare some facts about Valentine’s Day to teach your class what it’s all about.
    • Create a gratitude wall – write something they are grateful for.

     

    Tip #121

    Relax!

    It’s been a busy half-term so we want to remind you all to take a well-deserved break this week and relax! Forget about work, relax, unwind and have fun!

    Tip #122

    How to avoid burnout…

    Tip #123

    World Book Day Activity Ideas

    • Dress-up
    • Guess the character
    • Read a story
    • Make a book cover
    • Write a story as a class
    • Make a bookmark
    • Do a book review as a class
    • Make a comic strip

    Tip #124

    Red Nose Day Activity Ideas

    • ‘Red-to-toe’ – Blue Peter are turning red to celebrate, and they’re asking everyone to dress ‘red-to-toe’! You could even turn your classroom red!
    • Quiz – you can download a quiz from the Red Nose Day website or make your own (perhaps on all things red!).
    • Red Nose Day themed wordsearch.
    • Get your class to create their own red nose design.

     

    Tip #125

    Be persistent and patient.

    Landing a permanent role can take time, so be persistent and keep trying. If you are looking for permanent work, taking on long-term roles is a great way to establish yourself in a school. It is possible your role could be extended or could lead to you being offered a permanent position within the school.

    Tip #126

    Free resources.

    If you’re ever looking for inspiration for lesson planning or have ended up with no planning and need something quick, we have put together a Pinterest account to share loads of free resources for you to use. We are always adding to our boards and updating our Pinterest, so please feel free to check it out. We hope you find this useful! Our username is: claires_schoolsolutions

    Tip #127

    Relax!

    It’s been a busy term so we want to remind you all to relax over Easter and have fun! We hope you have all had a wonderful Easter.

    Tip #128

    Ways to remember pupils’ names (Part 1).

    1. When doing the register, respond to each pupil with ‘Good Morning (child’s name)’.

    2. Look at the names on coat hangers/locker doors/drawers and any pictures up in displays.

    3. Try and remember at least 1 name from each table/group to start with.

    4. Get students to write name cards to stand on their desks.

    Tip #129

    Ways to remember pupils’ names (Part 2).

    5. Make a seating chart – if you’re not given one, try to make a quick seating plan you can use to learn names.

    6. Use their names as often as possible to help you remember.

    7. Test yourself at break and when the children arrive back, make it a game where they can be seated when you get their name right.

    Tip #130

    Ways to remember pupils’ names (Part 3).

    8. When handing out books, make sure to take note of each pupil’s name.

    9. Play name games – arrange themselves in alphabetical order.

    10. Have students tell you what their name means/why they were named ‘Amy/Joe’.

    11. Link something from their appearance to someone with the same name and feature.

     

    Tip #131

    Always have a plan B, C and possibly D.

    Sometimes plans change suddenly; your role could be cancelled, or you could get a last-minute call. Make sure you are prepared for sudden changes. Bring extra planning, subscribe to some teaching resource sites, have a backup plan if technology lets you down, carry your favourite children’s book around and some fillers if pupil’s finish early.

    Tip #132

    Free resources.

    If you’re ever looking for inspiration for lesson planning or have ended up with no planning and need something quick, we have put together a Pinterest account to share loads of free resources for you to use. We are always adding to our boards and updating our Pinterest, so please feel free to check it out. We hope you find this useful! Our username is: claires_schoolsolutions

     

    Tip #133

    How to support pupils during SATs.

    1. Stay positive: if you believe in them, they will believe in themselves too. Stay calm and encouraging, and if they are struggling with any revision, give them a helping hand.

    2. Spend time outside: if possible, head outside after exams or to revise. A change in environment can positively affect mental wellbeing.

    3. Stay active: this year’s Mental Health Awareness week theme is ‘Moving more for our mental health’. A great way to help ease SATs or exam stress is getting active.

    4. Let them relax: it’s important to give pupils time to relax as it can help reduce their stress levels. Maybe reward them with a fun activity after a period of revision.

    5. Help them understand their mistakes: there’s nothing wrong with making mistakes. Help children understand why they got something wrong when revising, so they can learn from it.

    6. Celebrate: plan something fun to do once SATs are over so they have something to look forward to throughout exams.

    Tip #134

    Safeguarding Awareness Week – 20-26 May

    We’ve all got a shared responsibility to help keep our children safe. With this in mind, here is a list of what and who you should seek out when working in a new school.

    • The designated safeguarding leads, their classrooms/offices and contact details.
    • The safeguarding and pastoral procedures, including the process of reporting incidents.
    • If you are on a long-term placement, you should request a briefing with the safeguarding lead to identify any students who are vulnerable, at risk of have specific safeguarding needs.

    You should also remember to bring your ID and DBS to every school you go to.

    We offer up-to-date safeguarding training for our staff every year, but if you feel this is something you’d like to re-do, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

    Tip #135

    Relax!

    It’s been a busy half-term so we want to remind you all to take a well-deserved break this week and relax! Forget about work, unwind and have fun!

    Tip #136

    Seek feedback.

    If you don’t get the job you applied for, please don’t beat yourself up. Make sure to ask for feedback so you can improve and learn from it for future interviews.

    Job Application Tips

     

    Tip #137

    Before you apply…

    Before you write your application have an understanding of why you want this job. What is it about this post that appeals to you? Make this clear on your application. Also, take your time to research the school you are applying for, visit the school website and if possible, visit the school.

    Tip #138

    The presentation of your application.

    Primary teachers are often expected to be creative in their planning and classroom displays, so use your creativity in your application.

    Keep it neat and well organised. Keep in mind that yours could be one of 30, 40 or 50 applications so make yours stand out.