I am often asked for a relief teaching tip on how to use the program left by the classroom teacher.
Most teachers see relief teaching as fillers - not always in a bad way.
Relief teacher fill an important space in the system.
Most teachers HATE preparing work programs for relief teachers. Some teachers would rather come to work than prepare a day's program for some one else.
So here is a relief teaching tip you should know. Teachers often prepare time fillers of questionable educational value.
If I was a class teacher I wouldn't leave my best lessons for someone else to teach either.
So what do you do if the teacher leaves you a program and it is AWFUL?
Some schools have a policy that teachers are expected to leave work for relief teachers. I have never had such a policy in my schools. I know teachers HATE it and it is totally understandable.
If I was a classroom teacher, I would hate preparing work for a relief teacher.
You need to make the call whether the work left is important work, and how to incorporate that work into YOUR plan.
My experience is that problems occur during long bouts of time fillers. Kids tend to get restless and it is often hard for most relief teachers to bring them back to task.
I am guessing you would be able to determine if the work is purposeful or not.
Kids are pretty astute these days and can smell a time filler from 100 metres. If you arrive and there is a daily program left by the teacher, scan it for purposeful work.
When scanning the work look for the following.
Specialist timetables must be followed to the letter. If a class has a specialist lesson, my relief teaching tip is to ensure you keep it.
As a relief teacher, you may be asked to cover another class rather than accept a non-teaching time.
There is no option here. You must allpw students to go to specialist lesson.
In bigger schools the specialist teacher timetable is a vital curriculum link..
If there is any follow up as a result of the specialist lesson, then that should be important too.
At the end of the day, it is up to you as the relief teaching professional at the chalk face to make the professional decisions.
And the most professional relief teaching tip is, which ever way you go, you should always leave a detail of your day plan for the teacher with some feedback notes for the classroom teacher.
The format does not need to be complicated. Simply photocopy your day plan ans include annotated notes would suffice.