One of the biggest challenges with Relief teaching can be the uncertainty of work. Let’s look at some of the strategies that you can use to support you in becoming a teacher that is valued and offered call backs from the schools that you work in:
· Building relationships with students is a vitally important part of our day. Setting the tone for the day by creating a safe and secure classroom environment sends students home happy and very keen to tell their parents and their classroom teacher about the great day that they had with you.
a) To do this ensure that you are familiar with the behaviour management plan in place in the school (this can often be found on the school’s website). If you cannot find one, ensure that you have your own in place that is simple to implement and rewarding for your students. Many teachers choose a raffle ticket and prize box system, but whatever works for you is best.
b) Class Dojo is used in a number of schools; this link has some great downloads for you to use in conjunction with this great behaviour management strategy. You need to register with TES in order to download them. https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/class-dojo-display-pack-and-reward-cards-11092311
c) I have seen some very successful ‘punch reward cards’ which teachers have had made up on Vista or can be bought reasonably from Kats Little Rewards, they are simple and effective and a single hole punch can cheaply be bought from Kmart etc.
· Building relationships with ALL staff, (not just teachers…include aides, the maintenance workers, volunteers) and parents is also a part of you being included and considered to be part of any school’s community.
a) Ensure that you leave a feedback sheet for the classroom teacher (start with the positives of your day first!!) and if there is anything that they need to know about or follow up (behaviour or otherwise) in their absence.
b) Seek out the principal, or the person who books casuals and thank them for the opportunity to work at their school and what a great day you had. A final positive comment sticks with them, and keeps you in their memory for future bookings. Even if your day was eventful!! Be sure to let them know that you will be available for further bookings.
· Knowing your way around the internet and having a fully stocked bag of tricks ready to take on any subject or grade, are absolutely vital. Many teachers have a mobile office in the boot of their cars!!! Flexibility is key, as last minute changes can often be made once you arrive.
· I encourage you to subscribe to Mel Lichnovsky-Klock’sYouTube Channel for plenty of tips and support in your role as a specialist teacherhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jV_VPNbnwk&feature=youtu.be
· I have recently compiled “The Ultimate Relief Teaching Survival Kit” which has over 700 pages including printables, feedback sheets, templates etc.
The Ultimate Relief Teaching Survival Kit is designed for any primary teacher, but essentially with Casual Relief teachers in mind. The book includes teacher written activity sheets and Weblinks to support the teaching of all Key Learning Areas of the Syllabus and save you hours of frustrating searching for online resources. Improve your effectiveness as a teacher with a working knowledge of the internet, enabling you to provide exciting and engaging activities for your students and in so doing increase your chances of call- backs from schools. The resources included in the book gives up-to-date coverage of the context and requirements of relief teaching. It provides a toolkit of professional, technical and pre-tested strategies for use in the classroom that will help make your job as a Specialist Relief Teacher a rewarding one.
Click on the link to access. http://selz.co/VkfbmxS-Z