Top Tips for Casual Teachers (Relief Teachers)

The life of a casual teacher can be challenging – new students, new schools and new routines each day. But taking on relief work if you are early in your career can be a fantastic opportunity to develop your craft and skills as an educator. It is rare for teachers to have the chance to experience a wide range of classrooms, setups, routines and approaches to teaching like relief teaching offers.

Whether you are in your first year of casual teaching or a seasoned teacher, we have collated 8 tips to help you get organised, find work and have schools ask you back over and over again:

1.Write a Professional CV/Resume

Make sure it isn’t too long and ask someone to check it, so it doesn’t have any errors. We suggest to personally deliver your CV to all the schools in the areas that you would like to work so people can put a face to a name.


2. Get Organised

Setup a calendar system that works for you where you can keep track of school details and bookings. It is important to be able to know quickly and easily if you are available to work when a school calls you.

3. Start a Resource File

Collect spare worksheets and resources as you go. File them according to the subject area or grade level. They will be good to refer back to and use if you need to do any planning yourself. Take notes and photos of good ideas that you would like to use in your classroom one day and talk with experienced teachers, get their advice, insights and ideas.


4. Feedback Forms & Thank you Notes

Have a set of class or teacher feedback forms ready to take to each teaching day. It is essential that you give the teacher you are replacing quality feedback about what happened throughout the day. Adding a thank you note is also a thoughtful touch.


5. Every Day you Teach Casually is like a Job Interview

Dress well, listen to what is expected of you and conduct yourself professionally at all times. You never know when a more permanent position is going to pop up, and you want to be at the forefront of the Principal’s mind.

6. Ask Questions

When you are called in for a casual or relief day, it is helpful to ask some questions, so you can be better prepared. Don’t talk the person’s ear off because no doubt they are super busy, but a few quick questions will demonstrate you are eager and a professional.

7. Prepare for the Day

Plan your behaviour management strategy in advance and pack whatever you may need to support this (a small prize box, raffle tickets, awards or stickers). Make sure you have a spare lesson ready to go should you need it and pack your lunch and plenty of water because you may not have time to leave the school during break times.


8. End the Day Professionally

Make sure the classroom is clean and tidy (either in the same or better condition than you found it). Wipe down any whiteboards you used through the day, close all windows and lock the classroom door. It is also recommended that you mark any work the students completed in your care. Finally, it always a good idea to say goodbye to the person in charge of booking casuals and thank them for the day.

Finally, don’t forget your role is a significant one in a school. Conducting yourself professionally and bringing enthusiasm to your work will ensure schools invite you back to work again.

Need more help, strategies and advice? We have created something special you are going to LOVE!

This resource is designed to provide you with a one-stop shop to help you with all your questions and queries as a casual teacher. It includes preparation and planning checklists, easy to understand information about the general role of a casual teacher and a place to store teaching inspiration, ideas, reflections and 30+ printables to use as ready to go lessons!

Check out our Casual Starter Kit here.



Take the tips you found helpful in this post, leave the ones you don’t and share it with anyone else you think it will help! Thank you for visiting and best of luck teaching this year!

What to read next:

8 Ways to Use Number of the Day

10 Tips for New Teachers

share this post


More Posts

Report Writing Timeline: 5 Easy Steps to be Time-Effective

6 Things we want New Teachers to Know

Our Number 1 Favourite Harmony Week Activity

Time Management for Teachers – Time Saving Tips, Tricks and Hacks {Part 3 of 3}