Tips for your first day of Relief Teaching
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
The first day of beginning your teaching experience can be exciting while also nerve-wracking! You are not alone in this feeling, as it can be daunting on the first day for anything.
Here are some tips to support you through your first day:
1. Be organised and prepared.
The night before your first day make sure you have your bag sorted and ready to go for the morning. Prepare your lunch for the day before the morning and have your clothes ready to go for the morning as this will buy you some time in the morning. Make sure clothing is professional/casual and have comfortable shoes for on the go during yard duties.
When starting, it is good to have a "Plan B" just in case the day doesn't go to plan or if nothing is left. Have some lessons and brain break games within an A4 Folder up your sleeve as back-up just in case the day doesn't go to plan or if nothing is planned for the day.
2. Research the school.
Sometimes if you don't know what school your going to, it is a good idea to do your online research about the school. You can find out about what the students learn, the school values and also what the school looks like. Also, check out the car parking situation from the location of the school.
3. Get there early.
Getting to the school early is a really good idea especially if parking is limited within the area. Use your phone calendar to pop in your shift and school location. On smartphones when you pop in the location of where you are going in your calendar, you can access Maps and get ready to follow the route to the school. Maps also provides you with the approximate time you will get there.
Getting to the school office by 8:30am shows you are organised and are ready to be inducted in the school for all needed information for the day (yard duties, where the classroom, staff-room and bathrooms are located etc). You won't feel rushed and you will have time to prepare the classroom for the day, read through lesson notes and speak to other staff members that may support you throughout the day!
4. Be flexible throughout the day.
Being flexible in any kind of situation is what we do as teachers! It could be a last minute yard duties, change in lessons, or a technical difficulty with ICT or a change of year level on the day of the shift. If you show the school you are flexible, it gives them the perspective that you are capable and adaptable to minor changes. This can work in your favour by receiving more shifts as the school!
5. Leave class-notes for the classroom teacher.
When signing up with Free Agency, we send a Feedback Template to use when out at schools to leave the classroom teacher on any important notes throughout the day. These notes could be about student/classroom behaviour, what was completed or needs to go further, and any superstar students that were very helpful. Don't forget to mention some positive notes of the day even if it was a challenging day. We sometimes write the negative side of the day.
6. Leave classroom how it was left in the morning.
You will need to make sure the room is left how it was the first moment you walked in the morning. A great tip is to have around 5-10 minutes before the end of school bell goes to get students to pick up any rubbish on the floor, chairs up
Make sure all air-conditioners/heaters off, classroom laptops are on charge, television screens off and lastly make sure all windows and doors are locked.
If you don't get a door key on the day, mention to the office staff or teacher next door that the door is still open when signing out or leaving for the day.
There are many things to remember for the first day, but this will become routine when you are constantly out at schools.
We wish you all the best when beginning your teaching career and just remember that it is okay if the first day does not go to plan. You are still establishing your craft in teaching and it comes with constant routine. One shift does not define you as a teacher.