Ms Bostrom, a Day in the Life of a Supply Teacher
It’s 7.46am and the mobile is ringing. I’ve been dressed a while, the supply teacher pack is made up and I’m good to go. Today I’m off on the country route to Bedworth, far quicker than the M6 for anyone in the know. It’s amazing how important a good start and untroubled journey makes to a supply teacher.
On arrival at the school, I soon realise there’s a slight change of plan and I’m covering several different classes across the school, throughout the day.
For the inexperienced teacher this might seem a daunting thought, however on this day for me it turned out to be a gem. Fortunately, someone had made a timetable of where and when I should be in each classroom, so it took the strain out of it.
First I set off to Year 2, it’s Science to begin with and I’m thrilled, as I’m a bit of an enthusiast. A few years ago, I had an article published alongside a colleague and became a member of ASE – The Association for Science Education. ase.org.uk Today’s science is living things and their habitats and it doesn’t take long for the children to share a variety of animals, which they already have lots of knowledge about. For children, talking about their experiences of their pets or animals they’ve happened upon, is one which they express with real zest and joy. I utilise this enthusiasm as motivation for the task ahead, before we get deep into the throws of discovering new animal facts.
We have two key tasks to perform, including writing a biography about one animal from a selection, which they can choose and name as a pet! Great idea.
So, I encourage the children to write about an animal they would like to know more about. Several children wrote about Puffins, the animal class name, there were a few spiders and snakes, as you would imagine. However, the challenge came when a couple of children wrote about a crab! Not so difficult I hear you say, until they asked, “what do they eat?” I pondered for a moment…and discovered a void in my information brain box. “Do they eat sand?” one child asked, well they may but it wouldn’t sustain them, I replied. The children began to debate what they might eat including fish and chips, which was great to listen to, whilst I swiftly searched the internet for a clue. So now I’ll tell you, as I did the class, so when you get that pub quiz question, you’ll be ready.
Crabs are omnivorous, which means they eat pretty much anything. They scavenge across the shore line, eating living or dead plants, shell fish, marine worms and they’re quite happy to eat other crabs too! Class gasped! britishseafishing.co.uk As I wrote the list on the board, I assured the children marine worms were their McDonalds! The specific gem, which hooked the children in was the chance to imagine, own and name a pet out of the ordinary. This motivated them to investigate further through discussion with each other, research books and internet. For me, this successful start was the key element to being on a roll throughout the day.
After break I went to Year 1 to complete the English task with two groups and then back to the second Year 2 class to complete the R.E. with a small group.
After lunch, I taught Year 4 art which would usually be a more relaxed session for any teacher. However today they were to paint on canvas! Now we all know how expensive it would be to buy a small canvas for each child and the importance of producing a valuable piece of work. No pressure! So, I talked at length with the teacher beforehand and understood they were painting the base colours for a volcano in the style of Andy Warhol, an American artist famous for his pop art. The class and I talked in depth about drawing the outlines first and being in proportion. I demonstrated and assured them, they’re dramatic or personal style could be shown, by good colour choice and shade mixing from the primary colours. The end results were really good and all individualistic. The children were really keen to share their work with each other and pleasantly surprised at each other’s interpretations.
After a swift clean up operation by all concerned, I finished the day with some handwriting with the Year 3’s. Enthusiastically, waving five new packets of stickers I was very keen to give away, when marking later, the children settle down quickly into the last lesson.
So, it turned out that ‘A little bit of this and a little bit of that’ can be really interesting, well for me?
Supply Teacher, EY specialist and science enthusiast.
Aspire People would like to thank Ms Bostrom for showing how rewarding and exciting Supply Teaching can be! With a little bit of a willingness to adapt and enthusiasm for teaching, Aspire People are happy to support and encourage hundreds of supply teachers who make a positive difference to Teaching and Learning in their various settings! Get in touch with Aspire People if you would like to know more about the exciting opportunities and flexibility that Supply Teaching may have for you! If you register with us today you will receive a £100 bonus once you work 10 days. Contact us on 0330 221 1226.