You turn up for your relief teaching gig and what do you find? No flippin' program. Nothing. Not one message left for you by the classroom teacher. This can be a BLESSING or a CURSE.
Turning up at a relief teaching gig to find no program can be a BLESSING because you can do what you like.
If you are like me, you have a good bank of lessons which you can pull out at the drop of a hat.
Before you get too carried away and launch the fireworks, take these couple of steps to make your relief teaching gig go as smoothly as you can.
1. Find out who the class captain is. Most primary classes have some form of student leadership position. In secondary classes, a student leader will be easily identified by some type of badge. This is the person to whom you can direct all the initial questions - where the class roll is, what does that bell mean, etc. These are important questions but if you put the question to the whole class, you may find you have just given ammunition to the smart alecs who like to call out smart answers. That generates a giggling episode from the "brains trust" and you then have to quiet the maddening crowd. So if you need these answers, direct your question to the student from whom you expect to get an answer and use a palm up to quieten those who like to call out.
2. Pull out your favourite reliefteaching.com lessons downloaded from this site.
I suggest you only do work in the MATHS BOOK (every teacher has a MATHS book) or an ENGLISH book (sometimes called a LANGUAGE book).
Teachers appreciate when you check, sign and date all work you complete during the day. It also sends the message to the students, that you care about and will monitor their results during the day. Don't hesitate to pull up students for inadequate work.
Not being left a program for your relief teaching day can also be a CURSE.
You really need to know the procedural activities of the day such as - when the kids go to specialist lessons, which kids are needed to go to where and when.
If you are not aware of the procedures your day can be spoilt.
This can spoil your day if you don't know, so check with someone early in the day about these issues. Sometimes the office staff can provide this information, sometimes you need to check with your teaching partner.
The other alternative is to check with one of the student leaders in your class. Why a student leader? Because they are less likely to give you a smart answer.
What ever the situation, preparation will improve your relief teaching experience.