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What to bring subbing

Subbing for the first time is very nerve-wracking. Would they listen to you? How does lunchtime work? How will you manage the staffroom small talk? What on earth will you do with a class full of children for a whole 6 hours? What if you run out of things to do?

It'll always be a bit nerve-wracking going to a new school, but every single day of subbing you do makes the next one a bit easier as you gain more experience!

Personally I bring very little with me. I've seen lots of people online talk about their fancy 'subbing bags' and I've tried preparing my own one, with spare worksheets, games, resources etc.

Honestly though, I've not once used any of that stuff! I've subbed in four different schools, in quite literally every single class (including learning support). Every class will have work that you can continue, most of the time the teacher will have left work, given you a plan of what to do, or at least shared their monthly plan with you for you to choose some lessons to tick off.

Try to get Gaeilge, English and Maths done, anything after that is a bonus! Teachers know that subbing is hard so they're not expecting you to get through mountains of work. Students themselves will also be a big help, so don't be afraid to ask them how lunch works, what they're working on at the moment, what copies they use etc.

So, without further ado, here's what I bring with me subbing!


Essential Documents

  • Teaching Council Number

  • Garda Vetting

  • Statutory Declaration Form

  • Banks details & PPS number (these are only needed your first time, so the secretary can put you in the system)

Everything else

  • Whiteboard markers

  • Bell

  • Presentation pointer

  • Notepad

  • Lunch

  • Water bottle

  • Fidget popper

  • 1 or 2 picture books if you're going into infants - you'll generally find a book in the classroom though anyway!

So there's my very short list!

I have a Twinkl account, so can login on the class laptop if I want to quickly find a PowerPoint to pull up or worksheets to print out. I also find that giving the children ample reading time affords you the opportunity to figure out what you're doing - plus they love reading, so it's win-win! You can also ask them to share their news etc. if you need to fill some time. As ever, the main resource in the classroom is you!


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