Although I was fortunate enough to have landed two LTO (long term occasional) assignments since becoming an occasional teacher, I’ve learned a few things during my days as an on-call supply teacher too:
Bring something for the headache.
Wear comfortable shoes.
Arrive as early as possible to review the day plan and make sure the resources listed are actually on hand. And to use the washroom.
Don’t forget to pick up the attendance again at lunch.
If you can mispronounce a name, you will.
Count kindergarten children before and after they so much as walk through a door, every time.
Always make sure there are smocks before getting out the paint.
Bring a whistle. And something to write with. And it wouldn’t hurt to bring your own white board markers. Really.
No matter how clear the lesson plans seem to be, the students will ask you a question about the assignment you won’t be able to predict–and probably won’t be able to answer. (Bonus: when you are the classroom teacher, be sure leave explicit instructions. And an answer key where necessary.)
Kids love it when you know Percy and Junie B. and Chester and Babymouse and Raina and Geronimo and…
Even if you have to speak to “that” student over and over again, she’ll still smile and wave and say hello the next time you are in. You should do the same.
Nothing beats a good read aloud.