Benefits of Starting as an Occasional Teacher
I have now been supplying for over one month and I couldn't love it more! Supply Teaching provides you with the opportunity of gaining exposure to different grades, types of classrooms, types of learners, types of communities. It allows you to learn flexibility in teaching because sometimes not everything may go as planned, and thats okay! It allows you to learn different teaching strategies or ways to set up the classroom environment based on the grade/needs of the learners. It allows you to practice your behaviour management and attention grabbing strategies. What works for one grade/school/class/student, may not work for another so you are always curating a variety of strategies that meet the needs of a variety of learners. It allows you to enhance time management and organization skills in that you must plan your time accordingly to travel to and from different schools/areas, stay on task with the lesson plans, prepare needed materials, co-ordinate resources, etc. It allows you to enhance your communication skills as you are: communicating expectations/tasks to your students, collaborating with grade teaching partners or other supports in the classroom, and reporting to the classroom teacher or office as required. There are many more benefits, but these are just a few!
My Top 5 Recommendations
Here are a few tips and tricks that I personally find helpful within this role:
1. Sleep at a reasonable time: the more you sleep, the better you feel, and the more productive you are!
2. Take your vitamin C!: you want to keep your immune system strong so that you don't miss out on days of work!
3. Track your jobs: keep track of your jobs and conduct a weekly check to ensure that when you have completed the job it says "finished". Sometimes secretaries get busy and forget so it is your job to ensure you get paid on time.
4. Manage your time wisely: if you have accepted a half day job in one town in the morning and you get called for an afternoon job 2 towns over and don't think you can make it on time, don't accept that job. You always want to set yourself up for success and that would just add unnecessary stress for you.
5. Keep a "bag of tricks": whether its a binder, in your mind, or an actual bag full of items you should keep a bag of tricks that will keep your students engaged. There will be times that a teacher does not leave any plans due to an emergency leave, or if students finish their assigned work and have nothing else to work on for the day. This is where you need to be prepared and have some backup lessons/ ideas/ games that you can implement so that your students remain engaged.
You can purchase these cute tote bags from ThirtyOne
New Look to My Educational Social Media Accounts
I have really been enjoying this experience and even though it has only been a short amount of time, I feel that I have gained many valuable learning opportunities that will continue to enhance my Professional Practice as a Teacher. Not only am I curating ideas for my future classroom for myself, I am also sharing these ideas with other Educators Globally through my Educational social media accounts @Educate.Invest.Inspire so that together we may build a strong network and enhance classroom experiences for all learners within all communities!
My Educational social media accounts used to reflect my own lessons/ideas/curated resources within my Kindergarten classroom during my role as a Designated Early Childhood Educator. You may still access all of those resources if you scroll down in the feed. Now, my Educational social media accounts will focus on ideas/lessons/resources that I am currently curating within my Occasional Teaching Role within York Region District School Board. This will reflect grades from Kindergarten up until Grade 10.
I look forward to continuing on this path as an Occasional Teacher, but I also look forward to obtaining my first LTO! Can't wait for that day but until then I plan to inspire my students each and every day!