Relief Teaching Issues that Matter

I received these GREAT questions by email from Elissa about some critical relief teaching issues. These issues are so important I thought I would share them here.


Hi Bob,

Thank you for your relief teaching website. I have found it very helpful and rarely leave the site in less than an hour, so many useful topics & resources!

I began relief teaching last year, returning after 7 years family leave.

So much has changed but I am comforted that good teaching is still good teaching and I am adapting to curriculum and terminology changes.

My question is about the admin of relief teaching. As a casual relief teacher, can you please share your advice on record keeping.

  • Do you keep a record of the date, school, grade and content taught?
  • Aside from tax receipts, would you recommend any other record keeping?
  • On the subject of tax, I am working in a government and a catholic school. Do you know if that will affect me at tax time?

I'm curious because I am doing the same 'job' but with different employers.

Relief Teaching is certainly a different world to contract or ongoing employment! I have particularly enjoyed your relief teaching articles on best practice and teaching tips, such as "My Bag of Tricks" and "How to Get Noticed".

I wish there was a 'like' button on your website because although I don't often comment, I would love to be able to show appreciation and feedback for your fantastic articles.

Thanks again,



Relief Teaching Issues

Hi Elissa,

What fabulous questions you have asked. I hope you don't mind if I share my answers because these issue are critically important to all relief teachers.

Relief Teaching 1

Do you keep a record of the date, school, grade and content taught during relief teaching gigs?


I keep all my files on my netbook and each of my daily programs are PowerPoint cover sheets. These cover sheets contain hyperlinks to the relative files for the lessons. I even hyperlink to the worksheets if I need them. Have you ever looked for a file you need but can't find it. So my relief teaching day is about clicking the hyperlink and the lesson comes up. Easy.

A copy of one of my cover sheets is below for your information. It is nothing flash. Just a one page PowerPoint page.

Relief Teaching Sample Day

However, I put this on the screen first thing in the morning. It does focus the kids when they enter the classroom in the morning.

Anyway, I keep all these cover sheets in a folder on my net book so it is a record of what I have done with the grades I have taken. It is also very handy for when I take 6H I just rename the file and change the title on the cover sheet.

In reality I use the same page over and over again.

I can also replace a lesson with another one if I feel like a change.

My day is fully prepared. I can also print the cover sheet out for class teacher.

File management is a hobby-horse of mine, but I would hate to teach you to suck eggs so let me know if you need help in this area.

I keep the cover sheets in a folder on my netbook called DAY PLANS  and name them with the school, grade and date - eg. KKSS 7A March 4.ppt

That way you could filter searches to help you to find them again.

I only provide relief teaching services for a few schools so it is not a big issue. However, if you service heaps of schools, this filing issue is important to avoid repetition of lessons.

Aside from tax receipts, would you recommend any other record keeping?
Relief Teaching 2

show me the money

Relief Teaching and Money

You must also keep a record of the schools and the days you  work. I have found that schools and systems are very efficient but there are times when my relief teaching paper work has not reached the right person. I have only needed to contact schools very occasionally for pay queries but it definitely worth keeping a track.

I am sure you love your work, but you didn't select relief teaching for charity I am sure.

I generally don't keep much more than this. If you visit a lot of schools, I would keep a record of the school contacts of the people who manage the relief teaching timetables.

On the subject of tax, I am working in a government and a catholic school. Do you know if that will affect me at tax time?

I am certainly no tax expert but working multiple jobs for multiple employers should not really impact on personal tax. Generally, relief teaching attracts 35% tax anyway which is pretty close to the top rate anyway.

Your tax rate is generally based on the assumption that you earn $68 per hour which of course, over the period of the school year, you won't.

You might even find you could get a good tax return.

I have to advise you that this is not financial advice and you should seek expert advice if needed.

Many thanks for your kind comments, Elissa, and I hope these comments help you and others with critical relief teaching issues.

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(2) comments


Gosh you are super organised! Thank you for your reply and generosity in sharing your teaching experience and success. I love the insight you provide as a principal and relief teacher. Your advice is much appreciated.


Hi Bob.

To say I am impressed is an understatement. These are brilliant ideas for keeping my relief teaching lessons in place. Actually, I can’t see why any teacher wouldn’t want to use this strategy. I love the filing structure you use on your laptop. Do you think you could share that with all of us?

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