You may think that working as a supply teacher involves the same skills whether you are working in a small rural school or in a large urban primary but you would be mistaken as the role varies greatly with some supply teachers preferring one over the other.

If you are asked to do supply teaching in a larger school the first difference you may encounter is when you arrive at school finding your way around the building. If you are new to the school this can be quite daunting and often requires help from other members of staff until you become familiar with the layout although the children are often helpful in this situation.

The amount of staff in a large school may make it difficult to remember names and roles but always make sure you know the Head Teacher’s name and who you need to approach if you have any concerns. If the class teacher is in school when you are covering their class, it is easier as they will be able to assist you when you are familiarising yourself with the classroom and the class routines.

At break times if you are not on duty you may decide to visit the staffroom. Be aware that in some schools, certain seats and cups are used by some members of staff who do not take kindly to supply teachers using them, so check first – it can stop a frosty atmosphere in the staffroom.