Relief teaching is exciting, challenging and rewarding all at the same time!
If you are keen to work as a relief teacher, check out these useful tips.
- Visit the school in person and drop off your CV. Introduce yourself and let the Principal know that you are keen. If you need the work, be happy to teach all year levels and be available every day.
- Register your availability with any agencies.
- Have a bag packed for relief work. It should include folders with a variety of resources across most subjects areas and grade levels. Our teacher resources are also very popular with relief teachers. Check out our website and have a browse. Our Activity Cards are useful as you can reuse them over and over at different schools. Laminate them for durability. Also, you don’t have the hassle of trying to organise photocopying of resources. Many schools require codes for the photocopier and if you have ever seen the queue for the photocopier in the mornings, you will understand!
- Include a variety of books and corresponding activities. You may be interested in our “Novel Response” resource. It has fantastic ideas that can be used with any novel.
- Have a repertoire of games up your sleeve.
- Have a list of phone numbers of all schools in case you are held up on your way to school.
- Make sure you have petrol in the car as you sometimes don’t have much warning in the morning.
- Always bring a hat, whistle, sunscreen, stickers/stamps, whiteboard marker, bottle of water, hand sanitiser, panadol, lunch, cup and tea/coffee supplies, board of teacher registration number, bank details and employee number where relevant.
- Wear a watch.
- Dress professionally and wear comfortable shoes!
- Be near the phone so you do not miss any calls.
- Record the name of the school and the grade level you have taught on a calendar so you can keep a record. Highlight the details once you have been paid for the day.
- Make sure you don’t double book!
- Try and arrive at the school early. Read through any notes for the day along with any medical details and evacuation procedures.
- Introduce yourself to the teacher next door. They can usually help you with any questions.
- Keep rules to a minimum but lay them out clearly at the start of the day. Be clear and consistent.
- Be positive and enthusiastic and most students will follow suit.
- Have behaviour management strategies up your sleeve.
- Follow any plans set by the teacher. Have meaningful and challenging work available for fast finishers. Check out our Fast Finishers on our website.
- Mix with other staff in the staffroom. Be friendly and introduce yourself. Ask open ended questions.
- Provide the teacher with written feedback about the work covered and class behaviour. Some teachers also leave a business card with their name and contact details.
- Have the students tidy the room at the end of the day. The class teacher will notice!
- Thank the person in charge of organising relief for the day’s work. You’ll often get more!
- Make a good impression to get your foot in the door for contracts and more permanent work.
Finally, be flexible and keep your sense of humour.
Till next time…