Teaching Methods for Supply Teachers

supply-teacherHaving a solid understanding of what it is that improves a child's ability to learn can make all the difference in the classroom, though sometimes it can be difficult to find an adequate teaching method that suits all the pupils.

Many teachers have their own distinctive methods of teaching that have proven to be a success in the past, whilst knowing your students well can give you a better platform to structure a lesson that is certain to contribute to their learning.

However, many supply teachers struggle to adapt to the various pupils that they end up having to teach making the effective method of teaching difficult to identify. Here are some basic teaching methods that can give you a head-start upon arriving at your latest supply teaching job.


Sometimes getting your point across through speaking or writing is ineffective, in which case turning to graphical learning might be the answer. Methods of graphical learning can include anything that incorporates imagery with the subject you are teaching. For some subjects such as Mathematics or English this can be a difficult task but you can always combine generic interests with mathematical concepts, for instance a children's programme or a familiar sporting event.

Prior Knowledge

Giving your students something to relate to is always a great way of building on their learning. Always make sure you are aware of what the students have been learning about prior to your arrival so that you can relate in some way to some of the things they have already been made aware of. This helps to build the confidence of the students when asking questions or introducing new tasks.


Teachers that work full-time are likely to introduce long-term goals for their students but the benefit of being a supply is that your learning goals and rewards can span over a month or even a single week. This is a great way of providing your students with an extra incentive to learn, making your job a whole lot easier.

Repeat Yourself

Regularly using the same vocabulary and repeating some of the key parts of the lesson are vital in order to get your point across, especially if you're new to the class. Jumping from one subject to the next can confuse your students to the point where they forget some of the most important parts of your lesson, so try and keep your approach simplistic and easily understandable.


To get ahead of the pack try and familiarise yourself with the rules and regulations as set out by Ofsted, that way you can tailor your lessons and teaching methods to those which will help gain your school positive praise during inspection time. And do’t forget it’s not just your school who can repa the rewards of glowing Ofsted reports. It can play a pivotal role in your own career progression too. Highly rated teachers are the ones that climb the pay sclaes fastest and are also the most likely to stick in the memories of the children they teach!

Bernadette Carlson is a primary school teacher with 8 years of teaching experience. She has contributed this post on behalf of Red Box Teachers, London’s premier teaching jobs agency

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