Tag Archives: relief teaching

What a Month!

8 Oct

Wow! It has been far too long since I last posted… life just runs away sometimes!  The month of September was CRAZY!!! My first month flying solo and I’m finally getting around to reflecting on my time in Year 2.As many of my fellow graduates have discovered, real-life teaching is very different to what we experience on Professional Experience placements.  The excitement of finally getting to live out our ‘pedagogical dreams’ is overwhelmed by the flurry of students’ names, unfamiliar routines and lapses in self-confidence.  To be completely honest, there were a couple of days where I went home thinking teaching was the last thing in the world that I was made for.  But when I reflect on my first 20 days of teaching and wise words from my principal I know that this is the career for me.


  • Developing rapport with students quickly
  • Stepping into another teacher’s routines and expectations of students
  • Reacting positively to “But normally MrsX does it this way…”
  • Knowing when to take things personally and when to reflect and move on


  • Having parents let me know their students are loving coming to school
  • A break through with a reluctant writer
  • Watching the students shine in their school concert
  • Beautiful thank you/goodbye cards
  • Developing relationships with school staff

At the end of the day there will always be distant students, concerned parents, hectic timetables and crisis of confidence.  What is important is that we focus on what really matters – being genuine and transparent in the classroom, collaborating with and supporting our colleagues and passionately pursuing professional development in order to care for our students best.  I am setting myself the goal of focusing on the positives and the things that I can change each and every day.


Casual Teaching Tips

8 Aug

Today’s GUEST POST is from Miss Michael, a fellow 2012 graduate teacher, has kindly agreed to share some of her Casual Teaching Tips for those of us who are yet to begin our relief teaching.  Enjoy 🙂 Mrs Wansink

Having only just finished uni (approximately 1 hour ago) and having only just begun my casual teaching (5 days so far), I have pretty limited experience in the field… Nonetheless, I’ve agreed to put together a small collection of things that have worked for me so far as a casual teacher.

As a casual, it’s important to be able to quickly access quality resources for those 7am calls when you have very limited time to prepare a days worth of lessons. I keep my resources in a portable filing box so if I’m really short on time, I can just bring the whole box with me to school!

Two top inclusions for a casual toolkit:
1. Resources that can be used across several (or all) year levels. It’s really handy to have a few things that you know can be easily adapted for any year level – this is particularly handy for when you plan for one year level and get switched to another class last minute. (Trust me, it can happen!)
2. Children’s books that you know really well.  This saves time looking for an appropriate book at school and if you know it well enough you’ll be able to deliver a way more interesting reading of it to the students.

While it’s great to be prepared, you can’t be set on things going the way you’ve planned.  There are a lot of variables that can come into play throughout a day (many of which you might not be told about).

Those I’ve encountered so far include:

  • Changes to the daily routine (assemblies, special events, specialised language/music instruction etc)
  • Finding out your class is studying a particular unit of work. (You can choose to ignore this or take it as an opportunity to adapt part of a lesson to relate to this unit)
  • No access to the SmartBoard … and the list goes on…

STAYING POSITIVE (one of Mrs Wansink’s favourites!)
Being a casual teacher can be tough. Not knowing the class, OR the school, OR the routines OR the effective behaviour management strategies can be daunting and difficult to get your head around. Find a way to stay positive even in the moments you find yourself completely lost (I have found that eavesdropping on Kindergarten conversations during recess is sure to cheer you up!).

Some final tips:

  • DO learn students’ names
  • DO get to the staffroom and mingle on your breaks
  • DO leave the room neat and tidy
  • DO take notes during the day to leave for the teacher

Miss Michael is a 23 year old fresh-out-of-uni, primary teaching, music playing, cooking enthusiast! You can find out more about Miss Michael’s teaching adventures at littlemissmichael.wordpress.com

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