Once you have graduated and completed your practice teaching or want to return to the classroom, you may not be able to obtain a position in a school, immediately. One way to obtain extra experience or to get known at the schools around where you live is to offer to be a relief/substitute teacher.

Included below are some ideas to help you begin the process of becoming a relief/substitute teacher.

Firstly, decide, in advance, which schools you want to work in. Decide on your a set of criteria to use to make that decision, e.g. distance, size and so on.

Next, drop your CV into the Deputy Principal giving simple details about how to contact you, when you are available and your teaching expertise and any specialist knowledge or skills you have to offer. These could include computer skills; ability to play a musical instrument; experience in drama productions as well as various sporting or athletic skills or coaching experience.

Once you have decided on your school list, determine how long it will take you to travel to each school. This will ensure your arrival in plenty of time to organize your day. Check the school staff parking arrangements.

The first time you go to a school, get there at least 30 minutes before start time to orientate yourself with the school geography and to meet the school officials, e. g. Deputy Principal, Office Staff, Curriculum Coordinator.

Once you have received your teaching appointment from the school administration for the day in a primary school, seek out your teaching partner, introduce yourself and ask for whatever help or advice you need. In a high school, introduce yourself to the head of department.

Always be firm but kind in your dealings with students. Expect the normal courtesies from them. Read the School Behaviour Management plan when you get settled. If discipline problems arise that you cannot resolve, seek help immediately from your teaching partner or head of department

For future classroom use, collect any worksheets that can be used with many age groups. Develop folders with worksheets for each year level and/or a set of generic worksheets or teaching ideas that can be used at all year levels. Include problem solving or critical thinking exercises that can be used in many year levels in the future. Try to get ones that go from the simple to the complex. As well collect rules for simple games, in and out of the class room, that you can use in the future or make up your own.

Finally, ask the school if they have a Relief Teacher’s Induction Kit to allow you to acquaint yourself with the school’s culture, policies and procedures. This you may get access to when delivering your CV. This indicates you want to do the best you can for the school and students while you are there.

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