Best Way to Take over Someone Else’s Class

Taking over someone else’s class can happen at any time. Whether you are new to the school, teaching supply or doing cover lessons, at some point you may have to take over where another teacher has left off.

Cover lessons and supply are generally easier to deal with. Usually you will have been left some lesson material, and all that is really required of you is to teach it and look after the class. If you are a new teacher, or are taking over a class halfway through a term, you may find more problems.

Initially, taking over someone else’s class is a bit like going to Manderley, the house in Daphne du Maurier’s novel, Rebecca (1938). You will be constantly compared to those you replaced, and they will always have done whatever it is you do much better.

Take Class Best Way to Take over Someone Else’s Class

You can either be content to work in someone else’s shadow, and continue as they had started, or you can break away completely and start afresh – either approach works amply as well.

The top five tips for taking over someone else’s class

  •  Remember, it’s your class now – regardless of whether you are cov­ering for someone else, or you have inherited the class on a perma­nent basis, you are in control of the class. Just because the students constantly remind you of ‘but Mr Johnson lets us do it. . .’ doesn’t mean you have to conform.
  •  Make your mark – whether that is by establishing ground rules or launching straight into the teaching, gain your position at the head of the class.
  • Don’t change too much too soon – if you do decide to change the way things are done, go slowly. Making too many major overhauls will be unnecessarily stressful for you and your class.
  • Do some research – where possible, take the time to find out about the class and give yourself some ideas on what to expect. Check out past grades, behaviour reports and exercise books.
  •  Ignore the ghosts – wherever possible, stay clear of making refer­ence to your predecessor, and definitely do not criticize them, even if they have left things in an awful mess for you! Don’t make your­self paranoid wondering if you are better or worse than they were: be confident in your own skills and abilities.

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