1. Plan 3 main activities (1 Literacy, 1 numeracy and 1 PE) that could work or be adapted to any grade level.
I found that it was exhausting and really hard work to plan 5 solid activities for every grade level, especially as a new teacher who hasn’t quite built up a bank of activities yet. Having a set of 3 core, but adaptable, activities allowed me to use them with whatever grades I was placed with that day. Each of the activities I chose were relatable and transferrable to one another. For example, If I was doing a punctuation lesson with my students around the different punctuation marks they could use for different sentences. I could then transfer this into an art lesson, asking the students to use the punctuation marks they had learnt to create an art piece.
2. PINTEREST IS YOUR BEST FRIEND!
Pinterest is a constant source of amazing relief teaching ideas! Having it handy helped a lot when things weren’t going to plan and at lunch time I had to quickly find a new activity. Pinterest helped me to also find other bloggers who showcased their amazing ideas and strategies. This was particularly helpful for me when I needed some behavioural strategies to have on hand.
Melinda and I have also created our own Pinterest to help out relief teachers and classroom teachers with ideas for specific learning areas. Come take a look and follow us!
3. Be flexible.
During my term as a relief teacher, things often changed with little notice. One minute I was on a Kindergarten class teaching maths and the next lesson I was in year 5 teaching PE. With this fast changing environment I had to be on my feet and constantly okay with change. This can sometimes be a hard thing to deal with, especially when you have an activity you really want to do but it isn’t catered to the year level you have been placed on.
So my advice is to be flexible. Have resources that are adaptable to different grades, but aren’t too easy that they will get them done in 5 minutes. Have a bank of resources that you can use and keep them in a binder ready for the day so you can be somewhat prepared.
4. Build your resources and keep them organised.
As the saying goes, don’t reinvent the wheel! Most classroom teachers are happy to share their resources with you. If you see an activity you like being taught, ask if you can get a copy of it. This is an excellent way for you to build your resources with activities that are tried and tested for that year level.
Place them all together in a binder, organised into year levels so that you’ll always be ready!!
Check out our relief teacher binder specifically for YOU!
5. Behaviour management is KEY!
Just because you aren’t their usual classroom teacher doesn’t mean you don’t deserve the same level of respect! Before you go into the classroom know who are are as a teacher and DO NOT BUDGE! What do you expect from them and what can they expect from you. Have some strategies on hand too, this will help you out when (and it does happen) faced with some trying students.
Check out some of our ideas for behaviour management strategies, these can also be found on our TPT and are included in our relief teaching binder!
These resources can be found on Mel’s TPT store (P.S Don’t forget to follow):