Being a successful cover supervisor requires a combination of organisation skills, clear communication, and flexibility.
If a class teacher is called away from their regular lesson, a cover supervisor will be needed to hold the fort. They are usually required for a short period of time, often at very short notice. Successful cover supervisors need to connect with the students in front of them quickly, and remain unfazed, even if they don’t know names, and aren’t subject specialists!
Cover supervisors are employed in many types of schools at all key stages. Every school and classroom is unique, and it’s crucial that you’re able to adapt your approach each time. The important thing is to keep the class on track, motivate them to keep up and maintain discipline.
Here are our top tips to help you get it right first time:
Be punctual and professional
Decide when you’re going to leave for school – and leave 10 minutes earlier! Every day goes better when you’ve had chance to make a cup of tea and clear your head before you get going.
Establish clear expectations
Stamp your authority on the classroom early on. It might need a ‘fake it until you make it’ approach, but be clear about your expectations regarding behaviour, tasks and classroom rules. Remember that consistency is key in maintaining a positive learning environment.
Know the lesson plan
Make sure you’re familiar with the lesson plan. The teacher you’re covering will have prepared material for you to deliver, and it’s important you get to grips with the learning objectives, activities, and specific instructions they have given. Be prepared to answer questions and provide assistance.
Manage behaviour effectively
The school will have behaviour policies to help you, but you’ll need to be fair, consistent, and calm in dealing pupils. Establishing a positive rapport with the class will help you keep control of an effective learning atmosphere.
Take care of yourself and those around you
Being a cover supervisor can be challenging. Take breaks when you can, stay hydrated, and manage your stress. A well-rested and healthy mindset will have a positive effect on your performance in the classroom.
Finally, before you leave at the end of the day, take time to check in with your cover manager. Thank them for their support, and let them know you’ll be happy to come back! Their job is stressful too, and sometimes that human touch makes all the difference.
Being a cover supervisor is ideal for anyone wishing to experience school life, and to gain teaching experience. It’s good for teaching assistants who are considering becoming a qualified teacher, and others who are thinking about a teaching career. It’s also a good option for student teachers who are looking for paid while they study.
Most importantly, your Pertemps Education consultant will support you all the way through. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!