It's the beginning of autumn, and already we've noticed the days getting cooler, staff members getting sick and a hugely increased demand for relief teachers.
If you're planning on relieving this year, it's important to have resources to draw upon - whether these are teaching resources, supportive communities or just useful information.
We went on a hunt and found 14 fantastic resources for beginning relief teachers.
1. Relief Teaching New Zealand
This website is an overview of relief teaching in New Zealand. It includes useful links, downloadable teaching resources, classroom management tips and advice on how to become a school or centre's #1 reliever. Just be warned, some links are out of date.
2. NZEI New Educator's Network
The New Zealand Education Institute is the national teacher's union for primary and ECE teachers. Their New Educator's Network is specifically for student and beginning teachers. They have a great Facebook page loaded with networking events, workshops and helpful links - many specifically for relievers. Even better, you can post on their page at any time and they'll answer your questions - really useful for things like getting your pay and employment practices.
3. PPTA Network of Establishing Teachers
The Post Primary Teacher's Association is the national union for secondary teachers, and their Network of Establishing Teachers is for teachers in their first ten years of service. They have a private Facebook group which secondary teachers can join and ask and answer questions about teaching.
The #edchatnz hashtag on Twitter is NZ's biggest online teaching community. There's so much you can get out of taking part in their fortnightly education chats. There's a huge breadth of teaching experience you can tap into, join the community, take part actively and you'll find there are heaps of educators happy to share their wisdom with you.
5. Relief Teaching Ideas & Relief Teaching Ideas Community
The Relief Teaching Ideas Facebook page and community started as a blog by an Australian teacher, and is now a Facebook page with over 22,000 likes and a group with over 14,000 members. This is a fantastic community for teacher to post questions and get answers. It's less NZ specific than these other communities but given the size of the community, well worth getting involved in.
TKI's online description sums it up best - "Te Kete Ipurangi – the online knowledge basket – is New Zealand’s bilingual education portal. An initiative of the Ministry of Education, it provides New Zealand schools and students with a wealth of information, resources, and curriculum materials." There's tons of useful stuff on this website (though it's a bit of a labyrinth and you'll have to dig to find the resources you need) and it's well worth becoming acquainted with.
Edutopia is a useful website with articles and advice on classroom management, teaching skills, planning and anything else you can imagine that's related to education. There's a section specifically for beginning teachers, and its articles on classroom management will be ridiculously useful for teachers.
8. Relief Teaching Ideas
This blog (from where the aforementioned Relief Teaching Ideas Facebook community came from) is a treasure trove of advice specifically for Australian and New Zealand relief teachers. Though it's no longer updated, there are still so many relevant and useful articles it's worth bookmarking it as your go-to relief teaching ideas site (for example these relief teaching tips).
9. Creative Classrooms
Creative Classrooms is a New Zealand teaching resources site with a large section that has free certificates, calendars, reward charts and activities. There are also lots of useful resources you can buy in the main section of the website, but if you've got a limited budget then there's lots you can do with the free section.
11. Guardian Teacher Network
This is a great UK-based site, created by the Guardian newspaper, with lots of articles and advice for teachers. They have a whole section dedicated to teaching resources. Worksheets, advice, certificates, checklists, posters - all for free. You can narrow it down via subject and year level. This is an extraordinarily comprehensive site, however it isn't the most user friendly website and requires you to register before accessing the resources.
12. Education Personnel 2015 Guide to Relief Teaching
This is an excellent guide for beginning relief teachers. We're regularly in touch with BTs through our Facebook page, and know what you want to know getting started in relief teaching, and put those into the guides. This guide includes information on getting your name on relieving lists, completing paperwork, classroom management tips and ideas for putting together a "relief teaching backpack".
13. Relief Teaching for Beginning Teacher Webinar
This presentation, hosted by Education Personnel's head of temporary recruitment, Scott King, is another great starting point for BTs looking to relieve. Scott is an experienced teacher himself, and spent three years working at one of London's biggest relieving agencies. It's full of useful, real world advice for teachers, and is absolutely worth an hour of your time.