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How to Increase your Pool of Casual Relief Teachers: A Guide for Schools

With the teacher shortage impacting schools right around the country, more and more schools are turning to casual relief teachers to help fill the gap. As demand for casuals increases, you may be looking for ways to boost the number of casuals available to your school, so you’re not left high and dry when you need them the most. Here are our tips for using ClassCover to attract new casual relief teachers and keep your existing ones happy and engaged.  

Keep existing teachers on your list engaged 

First things first — before you look at strategies to increase your pool of new casual relief teachers, make sure you focus on keeping the teachers you already have on your list happy and engaged. Why? It’s easier to hang on to your current teachers than attract new ones. Here’s a couple of tips to keep your existing teachers on side: 

Check in with them (save time by sending a group message) 

At the start of a new semester, it’s likely that the casual relief teachers on your list might not have heard from you for a while. Lots of things can change over the break, and with the impact of the pandemic still lingering around the country, there’s every chance that some of the teachers on your list aren’t available to work. The most effective (and quickest) way to check in with the teachers on your list is to send them a group message. A great place to start is by asking all or a particular segment of your teachers to update their availability. You’ve got 280 characters to play with, so personalise your message and make your teachers feel valued. Ready to get started? Learn how to send a group message to your list. 

Respond to teacher requests 

We know times are busy for schools, but with demand for casual relief teachers rising to bridge the gap left by the current teacher shortage, it’s important to do everything you can to communicate with casuals. When a teacher requests to join your list, you always have the option to confirm or deny this request. When posting a call-out for casual teachers on ClassCover Jobs, you have the opportunity to provide feedback when updating the status of an application. This is quick, easy and is a great way to keep teachers engaged with your school, even if you can’t book them at that moment. 

Advertise new and upcoming vacancies 

There are obviously many different situations where your school will need to book a casual. When time is of the essence, your best bet is to put a callout to your teacher list as normal. If you find yourself with more time to plan, like when you’re filling a planned or extended absence, you should consider posting an ad on ClassCover Jobs. This portal—exclusively for educators—is perfect for all sorts of roles in education. You can advertise for full-time, part-time or contract roles, or even put out a general ad encouraging more casual relief teachers to request to join your list. With 19,800 applications to roles posted on ClassCover Jobs in 2021 alone, this is a great way to get your school noticed by those who matter.  

Focus on relationships  

It may seem simple but making an effort to build relationships with the casual relief teachers working at your school can go a long way to keep them happy and engaged. When a teacher may only be working for a day here and there, it’s easy to overlook them rather than bring them into the fold. That being said, it’s worth remembering that at the end of the day, relief teachers are teachers and face many of the same pressures as full-timers.  

So, what can be done from the school’s perspective to build relationships with relief teachers? A great starting point is ensuring they have all the information they need to succeed right off the bat—a schedule of their day, a map of the school, lesson plans, as well as any information that’s specific to your school. You can even upload onboarding documents and policies to your school profile on ClassCover so teachers can get up to speed before they even walk through the front gates. You should also make an effort to include relief teachers in staff activities and groups, particularly if they are teaching for an extended period. Once word spreads that your school is a great place to work—and it will spread— the job of finding new casual relief teachers will be done for you.  

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