Relief Teaching MojoPosted: March 2, 2010
We are in week 6 of term 1 and I seem to have found my place in the world as a relief teacher. As of today I’ve done 7 1/2 days in 4 weeks in 7 different classrooms and today was the first time that I went back to a class that I’d already had and I’m going to have the same class again next Friday. All I need now is for the money to come flooding in. So far out of 7.5 days I’ve only been paid for 1 and that wasn’t even my first day. I’d really like to do more days than what I have been doing to bring the old income up a bit. I’d also like to be more organised to get things done at home on the days I’m not working but it will all come in time.
I’ve got myself organised for whatever the day might bring with a folder for each year level and a folder with a pre-printed report form to fill out and leave for the classroom teacher and a supply of “Happy-grams”. A Happy-gram is a certificate I’ve designed with a big smiley face where I can fill in the student’s name and say that they have worked hard and cooperated really well during the day. So far I’ve used the happy-grams on three days. On the first day I wrote kids’ names on the board as I noticed them doing good things and then added ticks, on the second day I wrote everyone’s name on the board so I wouldn’t miss anyone but I was searching the list for names all day so today I made a quick seating plan after I took the roll and ticked the names on that. This worked the best because the students were very eager to hear an update on how many ticks they had throughout the day. They have all been very nice to the kids that have won the happy-gram so far – giving them a round of applause. I hope that lasts!
I’ve looked for evidence of whatever behaviour management tools the teacher is using in each room I’ve been in and I’ve put what they are doing into practice whenever I can. In most classrooms the “steps” for people who misbehave are up on the wall so it is easy to come in and adopt the system. I’ll have to think about my own system for when there isn’t one evident. Some days have been great as far as behaviour goes and some have been awful but when it is awful it is always comforting to know one is walking out the door at 3:00pm. I can see myself picking up a range of different strategies throughout the year.
I am missing having a class of my own and space of my own to work in and I’m missing the chance to use technology with kids. I guess I need to make it known that technology is my thing and then I may get more opportunities. Many classrooms I’ve been in have had interactive whiteboards but I haven’t done too much with them yet. I’m really keen to learn how to use them because there are so many “off the cuff” things I could be doing using websites which would be engaging for kids.
As for life away from work I have also found my knitting mojo again – that was lost for a few weeks there and I’m onto the second sleeve of Eric’s Lion stripe jumper. I’ve been to a couple of Sunday afternoon knitting covens, one Saturday morning and a couple of Knit and Natter sessions at Threads and More which has helped.
Goals for the short term:
- Keeping my relief teaching bag stocked up
- Keeping a supply of clothes ready in case I get a few days in a row
- Having ideas for meals at least a day ahead
- Making more use of the crock pot
And for the future: