Flourishing in an LTO

LTO = Long Term Occasional Job e.g. covering a maternity or sick leave.

Congratulations! You are starting an LTO! Here are a few tips to help you flourish, thrive, crush it, swim and not sink and many other idioms that I will think of at 2 am that I could have added here.

  1. If you are thrown in with no preparation time, just treat the first day like a regular substitute job. You can prepare for the week at the end of the first day – and that’s all you need to prepare for that first day.
  2. If you have time, talk with the teacher you are replacing to get information and if possible, get her email so you can ask questions later. However, ask as few questions as possible – she is on leave for a reason. Other teachers can provide you with many answers.
  3. Try to keep the room, schedule and class rules as close as possible to what is already established – this helps the students with the transition. Also, sometimes teachers come back before the end of their leave and the teacher will appreciate not having to change things back. This can lead to more LTOs or a permanent position.
  4. The students know what they have and haven’t done, where the textbooks are and how she dealt with the student who is throwing her applesauce on the board. They are your best source of information. Other teachers are also great sources of information.
  5. It will take a while for you to get completely organized. Give yourself a break. The lessons don’t have to be excellent for the first while, just done! And even some of them may not get done – it’s ok. The students will love you for a free period while you get organized!

Please feel free to contact me to ask specific questions about your LTO! An LTO is a great way to get to know if you would like to work in that school or not. Sometimes a horrible LTO is a blessing in disguise later when you have the choice to take a permanent job somewhere else!!


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