Best Way to Survive a Cover Lesson

There will come a time when you are asked to cover someone else’s lesson. This can be a daunting task for any teacher, whether you are a permanent member of school staff, or a supply teacher from an outside agency.

Cover lessons are usually best if they are simple and don’t require you to teach too much about a subject you are unfamiliar with. They are even better if they have already been planned by someone else!

Survive Cover Lesson Best Way to Survive a Cover Lesson

Top tips to survive a cover lesson

Before the students arrive:

  •  Make sure you know where you should be, what lesson you’re covering and what class to expect.
  •  Sort out a class list or register and find out where exercise books, paper, pens, and other equipment are kept.
  •  Get there before the students and read through any notes or lesson plans that have been left for you. If anything seems too confusing, don’t attempt to teach it. You will only end up con­fusing the students too!
  •  Greet the students at the door and seat them where you want them, not where they want to be.
  • At the beginning of the lesson:
  •  Introduce yourself – even if the students already know who you are. Explain why are in the classroom. If necessary, write your name on the board.
  • •Take a class register.
  •  Use the nose left by the usual teacher to explain the lesson’s aims and objectives. If necessary, write them on the board.
  •  Do not apologize for not knowing the subject material – never admit you are out of your depth. Remember, you are in charge.
  •  Check that the whole class understands what they have been asked to do.
  •  Keep checking that pupils are following the task set, just as you would in your own lessons.
  •  Do not use a cover lesson as an opportunity to mark work or read a book- treat cover lessons with the same importance as your own lessons.
  •  If there are any problems, write them down. This includes names of poorly behaved students or any undesirable incidents. Later, pass this information on to the teacher you are covering for.
Survive Cover Lesson 1 Best Way to Survive a Cover Lesson

At the end of the lesson:

  • Leave the classroom in a clean and tidy state. Make sure all books and equipment are put back where they belong.
  •  Ensure that any notes or lesson plans are left in the classroom -don’t take them away, as others may need them for subsequent sessions.
  • Dismiss the students in an orderly manner.

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