Handy Hints

25th February 2000 at 00:00
Non-contact time is precious, and it's always disappointing when you lose it - perhaps at short notice - to cover for an absent colleague. But you can lessen the pain by following a few basic guidelines.

* As soon as you know you have a cover lesson, contact the head of department or subject leader to see if work has been set, and to ask for any support you may need.

* Children may be fed up at losing their teacher, so arrive in good time, and in good humour. Learn and use names as quickly as you can.

* Try to have your own supply of paper and pencils - you don't want to be arguing with children you don't know, or searching a trange room for equipment.

* Don't confront a difficult pupil you don't know. Seek help from a senior colleague or through the school's emergency system.

* Take an interest in the set work - walk around and talk to some pupils about it.

* If no work has been set, don't just childmind. A letter-writing lesson is always useful - discuss layout and choose a topic that appeals. Or you could ask pupils to choose, and be ready to explain if called upon, their best piece of work from the past couple of weeks. The discussion will fill up some knowledge gaps.

Gerald Haigh.

Next week: taking pupils outin the minibus

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today