4 Tips for Supply Teaching in a New School

Whether you are supply teaching for one day or on a more long-term basis, we share our top tips to make your first day a great day!

Get there early

This may sound obvious but being early for a day of supply teaching is vital. Try to arrive before 8am if you can. It gives you chance to have a look around, familiarise yourself with everything and figure out what you are doing for the day. You’ll also have time to read any planning that has been left for you. Plus, you’ll have chance to do all of this with a cup of tea in hand.

Questions to ask when supply teaching

Maybe you can remember supply teachers coming into your school when you were a pupil? Were there some that didn’t care to learn the rules? If you don’t know the rules and routines of the school, then how can you manage a class effectively? There are some important questions to consider asking on you first day of supply teaching in a new school. Here’s some ideas to get you started –

  • Is there a seating plan? Or can pupils sit where they want?
  • What are the general rules in the classroom?
  • Is there a behaviour system for you to follow?
  • What is the daily routine? When are assembly, play and lunch times?


What’s in your supply bag?

On your first day as a supply teacher in a new school it pays to come equipped. Bring a bag of your favourite supplies so that you are prepared for all circumstances. Some of the favourite things our supply teachers have in their bags are –

  • Pens and pencils
  • Paper
  • Trainers (you never know when you’ll need them!)
  • Water
  • Chocolate

Don’t forget to have fun!

Supply teaching should be fun, interesting, and varied. Sometimes work that has been set is finished early. What then? It’s always a great idea to have some go to activities for when you must fill short amounts of time in class. Depending on the class you are covering, you may choose to have maths, writing or reading activities to turn to at a moment’s notice. These can be made into fun classroom activities, ideal for the end of a class.

TOP TIP = leave handover notes

This is a great tip and one that will help you to stand out for being an excellent supply teacher. Leaving notes for the next day will be a great help.


If you are looking for supply teaching opportunities, we’d love to help! We work with primary and secondary schools across Wales and the North West and have lots of fantastic opportunities with some really great schools. Get in touch with our Supply team today – 01978 281881