Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Good Substitute…

substituteIn John: I Have My Teaching Certificate, Now What? Part Two from Reality 101: CEC's blog for new teachers, John shares some tips for substitutes. These are some good tips! He says,

“I’m going to focus on how to make a good impression with the teacher you are substituting for because that’s what I know best. Some of the tips might sound like common sense, but they are all here because someone has violated them at some point while subbing in my classroom.”

I decided to add a few of my own tips for a substitute teacher.

1. If you know in advance which teacher you will be subbing for, go meet that teacher ahead of time. Schedule a meeting with that teacher and explain you will be the sub and wanted any last minute tips or instructions that might not be in the plan. If you have the time, offer to volunteer during a class period so you can how the teacher runs the classroom.

2. Review the school’s discipline policy ahead of time. It helps to be familiar with it before you arrive at school. So, in case you have to deal with a problem, you are prepared and show that you are in control instead of looking for procedures on how to deal with it. This makes you look unorganized and the students will take advantage of it.

3. Find out the school’s schedule ahead of time (notice class change times and lunch schedules). This is one less thing you will have to deal with when you arrive. I hated when my students didn’t go to something planned or went to the wrong lunch shift because the sub was unaware of the different bells.

4. Take photos of the empty classroom and the teacher’s desk. At the end of the day, you will have a frame of reference to make sure that everything is put back to order as much as you can. I hated returning to my classroom and find all my pens and pencils had disappeared. Or I would have to put the desks back the way I had them.

5. If you lend something from the teacher’s desk or any materials, jot down the name of the student who borrowed it and make sure they return it. A couple of times my stapler disappeared and never returned.

6. Bring some of your own activities in case the lessons end quickly. Share something with my class that you enjoy or tell them stories about your hobbies. This keeps my students engaged and out of trouble. I hated having to deal with discipline problems that arose because my students were bored.

7. Please follow the lesson plan provided by the teacher! Nothing is more irritating than returning to class only to find out that the lesson plan wasn’t followed. Sometimes it is important that the lesson is taught in that specific time frame so when I return to the do the following lesson and find out I can’t, I’m resentful. I hate taking all that time to make detailed lesson plans and find out it was a waste of time!

8. Leave a note telling me what lessons you did, the response from the students, any problems, any notable good things that I can praise my students for. If you enjoyed subbing for me, leave your name and phone number so I can contact you again for possible future absences.

What other things would you suggest for a sub to be considered “good” and would hope for a repeat performance? Please share.

Image: 'Substitute Wanted'
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Jessi said...

My best tip for a sub is to get to know the other teachers nearby so if a question arises about school procedures or where to find supplies there is someone close by to ask. I most often substitute in science classes where students are doing labs so this is especially important for me as safety is a major factor.

loonyhiker said...

@Jessi That is a great suggestion! Thanks for sharing this tip!