Top tips for your first day as a Supply Teacher


Entering into a new school environment can be daunting, especially if you’re not a regular member of staff, but there’s plenty of ways to make your first day in supply teaching a success.

If you’re looking to avoid any anxious moments, planning and preparation are key, which is why we have some handy tips to help you overcome any first day nerves.

Know the key information before you start

Ahead of starting in a new school, it’s important to do some research – understanding the school’s behavioural policies and general ethos will go a long way when it comes to settling in quickly.

Knowing these elements should make overcoming challenges and controlling pupils that little bit easier, helping you to foster a positive learning environment.

Take note of other essential information like key contacts and lesson times too and give consideration to whether you’ll need any additional materials such as pens, paper and other stationary.

Look the part

It may sound obvious, but looking and acting professional in the classroom can help a supply teacher to gain the respect of pupils, and have greater control over behaviour.

You may even find that dressing smart provides an added confidence boost too.

Arrive with time to spare

If you’re new, you’ll likely be given a guided tour of the school facilities to ensure you know where everything is, but it can also help to have some additional time to explore the school surroundings at your own pace.

That way you can get a feel for the layout, while having a few extra minutes can be useful for any supply teacher looking to brush up on the school’s policies again.

Ask about routines

Some children or classes may have different routines, so knowing these can help to limit any potential disruption.

Speak with other school staff, teaching assistants, or with the teacher setting the supply work if possible, as they’ll be best placed to provide help and guidance – don’t be scared to ask for guidance on anything you’re unsure on.

Bring extra pens, paper and resources

As a supply teacher, it’s highly likely that you won’t know where teaching supplies are kept, so it’s always useful to have additional pens and paper handy, as well as extra board markers.

Having these resources can also help to limit disruption, as pupils will not have an excuse to wander around the classroom if they are lacking something.

If you know the age groups you’ll be working with, having extra resources to hand can also help to fill time should pupils finish any pre-allocated work early.

Be as flexible as possible

Given the nature of supply teaching, it’s also important to be flexible when it comes to your availability – schools may need you to fill in at short notice, or provide additional work should you make a great first impression!

We offer a wide variety of placements so if supply isn’t for you, we also offer long-term and permanent positions. Contact us to find out more.