Sometimes it's hard to find inspiration in a classroom. Tired of the old 'draw a self-portrait', 'how many cm cubes can your pencil case hold?' or 'write a time-slip story'?

In our ideas section, you will find a feed from our PInterest board 'Ideas for supply teaching'. Updated almost daily, click on any item to see further details!

Also, take a look at our resources section. This section is compiled from our interviews with supply teachers, in which one of the questions is 'What is your favourite supply teacher resource?' And please do let us know what your favourite resources are!


Want to be a better supply teacher?

Wondering who to model yourself on?

#ultimatesupplyteacher suggestions:


Barack Obama

Bear Grylls

David Attenborough

Dr Who



Jack Black

Jenson Button

Jim Carey

John Keating

Detective John Kimble

Johnny Ball

Mary Poppins

Mr Majeika

Mr T


Mr Tumble

Professor Brian Cox

Professor McGonagall

Steve Jobs


Top of the votes so far?

Stephen Fry!


Who would be your ultimate supply teacher? Let us know and we'll send out 30 free Otis the Owl stickers to you!

Supply Teacher Blog Award

Supply Teacher Blog Award

Every other bi-monthly issue, resident blogger Jenny Smith will be choosing her favourite from the ever-growing list of supply teacher blogs, and we will be sending them this award to display on their blog!

Winners will not only get to display this badge, but also get a tweet-a-day for 2 months from @SupplyTeacherUK direct to their blog, a mention on our Facebook wall, and in the Supply Teacher Network group!  What could be better?!  Oh go on then, you'll get a mention here too!  

Got a supply teaching blog?  Let me know and we'll add you to the list, or add yourself to the list in Supply Teacher Network > Files > Supply Teacher Blogs.... Best of luck to everyone!

P.S. This is not an award for supply teachers blogging about border collies, only on their supply teaching journey!

The Supply Teacher YouTube Playlist

by Sharon Wood

I have started a PlayList on YouTube for supply teachers.  Hopefully one day, I'll catch up with technology and get some of my own videos online, but for now, I'm collecting those made / uploaded by others.

As the title of the playlist suggests, this is not all research!  Some of it demonstrates good practice, some of it is just for fun, and a few videos (though I'm not saying which!) are perhaps ones that will make you realise why sometimes supply teachers have a bad name!

I intend to add to this playlist... The most recent additions will be at the top, so do check back on it often!

‘Mr Brown’s Suitcase’ by Kate Hughes

Mr Brown's Suitcase by Kate Hughes‘Mr Brown’s Suitcase’ took twenty-two years to create. Well, that’s not strictly true; the kernel of an idea was there twenty-two years ago, it just took twenty-two years of teaching experience for the idea to become my debut novel.

‘Mr Brown’s Suitcase’ is the emotional story of a troubled boy, Jez, who is unhappy at home and challenging at school. It is only when a supply teacher, Mr Brown, takes over his class for a while that things begin to change. Jez becomes fascinated with the suitcase which Mr Brown has brought with him and is determined to get his chance to take a look inside.

I wanted to write this story because, over the years, I have had a great deal of experience with difficult children and I am always interested in why they behave like they do. What makes them so disengaged, sad and angry? We all know the theory, but what is it actually like for them to have a chaotic home life, then have to come to school with all its structure and rules, sit quietly and learn. I also wanted to show that there is much more to those children than the loud, badly behaved characters that we have to deal with in the classroom.

With all the negative press teachers get these days, I wanted to show in the book that we are in a privileged position. We can be the adult in a child’s life who can provide a little bit of stability in an otherwise turbulent world. I used a supply teacher rather that a class teacher because, as a supply teacher myself who frequently feels undervalued and invisible, I wanted to show that, even for the short time we are in schools, we can make a difference to a child’s school experience. Mr Brown’s back story also shows that, unlike popular myth, supply teachers are not just teachers who can’t get a ‘proper job’!

When I started writing, I actually aimed ‘Mr Brown’s Suitcase, at children aged 10 years and older. However, I have been thrilled that it’s become a book which lots of adults are enjoying too. It has particularly appealed to those in education as obviously it’s based in a world they are familiar with and experience every day. I have been thrilled with the reviews that I have had on Amazon – everyone seems to have taken Jez into their hearts!

It took about a year to write the book itself. As well as being a teacher, I am a mum of three girls, so writing had to be fitted in to any spare parts of the day!  When I was happy with my final copy, I began the arduous task of sending it off to literary agents. After a multitude of polite rejections – it seems that the world of publishing is harder to get into than Buckingham Palace – I decided to go it alone and self-publish on Amazon; a friend of friend had done it with a great deal of success. The process was long and quite often I felt like throwing my laptop across the room in frustration, but I persevered. My book, which I had carefully written and rewritten, had a special place in my heart and I wanted to see it in print! 

And so here it is…’Mr Brown’s Suitcase’. Have a look and see what you think… 


Article kindly submitted by Kate Hughes, author and supply teacher. Contains affiliate links to Amazon.

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