Effective relief teachers are prepared relief teachers. One might ask, “Be prepared for what?” Robert Baden-Powell the founder of the Scouting program would reply: “Why, for any old thing.”
Being prepared for any old thing is sound advice and should be implemented before every class. A simple and efficient way to prepare for the classroom would be to put together a TeachKit (a relief teacher kit). A TeachKit is like an emergency kit for the classroom and should contain a variety of useful and necessary classroom supplies and materials.
The contents of your TeachKit should be organised into four categories:
- Personal and Professional Items
- Classroom Supplies
- Rewards and Motivators
- Activity Materials.
The specific contents of your Teachkit will be personalized to fit your teaching style and the levels you teach most often.
The following are some ideas of things to include in your TeachKit:
Clipboard: Carrying a clipboard provides quick access to a seating chart, the roll, and anecdotal records, as well as creates a sense of authority.
Disposable Gloves & Plastic Bags: Whenever you encounter blood or bodily fluids you should wear disposable gloves to help safeguard against many of today’s medical concerns. A plastic bag can be used in an emergency when you must dispose of items exposed to blood or bodily fluids.
Newspaper: A newspaper can be used as the basis for a story starter, spelling review, current events discussion, and a host of other activities
Tangrams: Tangrams are geometric shapes that can be used as filler activities, as well as instructional material to teach shapes and geometry
Tickets: Tickets are a great way to reward students for appropriate behavior. Students can use tickets to enter an end-of-the-day drawing or redeem them for special privileges and prizes
The number one trait of a successful relief teacher is having a collection of resources in a TeachKit. To be confident and prepared, a good teacher will enter a classroom with a set of tools, much like a builder would enter a construction site. No one wants to begin a lesson plan and then discover that a simple item, such as a pair of scissors, cannot be located. Likewise, when a lesson plan receives a “boring” response from students, introducing a motivator idea from a TeachKit can bring a renewed enthusiasm for assignments.
Teacher Kit inspired by STEDI