On Wednesday 19th September, Prospero HQ in London was host to the second session in our 19-20 CPD series: Supply Teaching Strategies.
To start things off the attendees discussed the kinds of expectations are put onto supply teachers going into primary and secondary schools, and their best tips for preparing as best they can for a day of supply. Chris shared some anecdotes from his time as a cover supervisor and gave advice for ways both teachers and students could make the most out of the opportunity.
The room was very positive about the benefits of supply teaching. They were particularly happy about the flexibility and the chance it offers to hone teaching skills and behaviour management strategies. It was brilliant to hear teachers be so encouraging towards each other; the general consensus was that every day on supply provides an opportunity to learn and improve with the exciting prospect that no day is ever quite the same!
We then looked at the realities of dealing with the ‘cover work’ and ‘supply’ packs provided by schools to supply teachers. We split into groups and devised as many strategies as possible to deal with a variety of common supply teaching stumbling blocks. Our teachers were very receptive to advice and open to sharing ideas, so everyone in the room learned a lot!
After our group work session, Chris shared lots of practical tips for upping the pace and injecting some challenge into uninspired ‘filler activities’ to maximize engagement. We wrapped up with a troubleshooting discussion on behaviour management to help address some of the concerns of teachers not used to this style of teaching.
Armed with these techniques, our attendees stand every chance of impressing schools when out on supply in the future. They’ll be turning the student’s presumed disadvantage of not having their regular teacher into an opportunity to create a fun learning environment and have the bonus of becoming a more skilled teacher in the process.