As a relief teacher, you are always expected to have your own 'bag of tricks' in case there's not much given to you in terms of a lesson plan by the classroom teacher. This situation is inevitable and the seasoned relief teacher understands, preparation is key. 

A teachers high school bag of tricks will look very different to the bag of tricks of a primary school teacher, and while there's a plethora of tips and tricks with countless ideas for the primary relief teacher – it can get a little sparse for the secondary relief teacher.  

 

Making an impact with eye opening, thought provoking lessons, one teaching day at a time.  

Teaching is one of the most rewarding careers out there, any teacher will tell you that. Teachers have the power to shape minds and inspire the next generation of thinkers and doers which is a significant responsibility.  

Relief teachers are only in classrooms for a short period of time, moving from classroom to classroom and school to school. This restricted time absolutely has a direct impact on the effect a casual relief teacher can have on students. 

However, this limited impact can be increased with innovative teaching methods. If the list below is anything to go by, having one powerful and thought provoking lesson is enough to have a disproportionately large impact on students compared to the time you have with them.  

 

We've compiled a list of great secondary school classroom activities and resources that are designed to get your temporary classroom engaged and talking. 

 

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1. Classroom resources by Hidden Brain (podcast) 

Using science and storytelling, the Hidden Brain podcast reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships. 

Hosted by social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, Hidden Brain links research from psychology and neurobiology with findings from economics, anthropology, and sociology, among other fields.  

Listen to the podcast in class and do the prepared classroom activities that pack a thought provoking and memorable lesson punch! 

 

 
 
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2. Critical thinking classroom activities by Global Digital Citizen and Facinghistory.org

How can students own their learning with critical thinking activities they’ll really love? Allowing students to take stands on issues that matter to them engages the classroom in a way that fosters great critical thinking. Who? What? Why? When? Where? How? When they can relate these questions to themselves and exercise personal self-reflection, we build community and “heart-centered” learning. 

Let’s get to the critical thinking skills that really matter. Find a list of 10 amazing critical thinking activities that you can do with your students in the link below 

Compiled from www.facinghistory.org, by Global Digital Citizen. 

 

 
 
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3. Facing History and Ourselves - educator resources

Facing History and Ourselves is a not for profit international educational and professional development organisation. 

Their mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. 

 

By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives. 

 

 
 
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4. RightsED: Human rights in the classroom – Australian Human Rights Commission

The Commission's series of education resources - RightsED - are designed to help students gain a critical understanding of human rights and responsibilities, and to develop the attitudes, behaviours and skills to apply human rights in everyday life. 

The RightsED resources are mapped to the national curriculum and include interactive activities for teachers and their students. RightsED resources are free to download and can be photocopied. 

 

 
 
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5. Celebrating Australia's Cultural Diversity – Harmony Day classroom resources

Harmony Day is a celebration of cultural diversity – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home and is held every year on 21st March. The Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

With Harmony Day fast approaching, you can get in the spirit now by utilising these free classroom resources for not only secondary students, but primary also. 

 

 
 
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