Question Detail

what suggestions are there for substitute teachers?

Jan 4, 2015 3:33am

teach all grades and all subjects potentially

  • English Language Arts / Math / Science / Social Studies / Technology
  • 3 / 8 / 10
  • Behavior / Class Culture / Engagement


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    • Jan 10, 2015 12:52pm

      I work in a very low performing school, so if you "sub" in these types of schools, many times teachers may not leave lessons for you. Always come armed with "something" for ths students to complete just in case this happens. Students usually like current event material, so I would print a class set of some current event article, and have copies of a graphic organizer designed for students to plot major ideas from the article. You can even use the article as a discussion prompt to espouse other discussions, questions, and concerns. Another nice activity is to bring in a Document Based Question (DBQ) of a modern-day topic. You can get many of these for free from resources like Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility. These questions/activities come loaded with graphic organizers, discussion prompts, and writing activities that foster student engagement. Remember, prepare this just in case the teacher does not have something planned for students, which is not uncommon in schools with low performance, high turn over, high discipline and behavior problems.

      • Jan 4, 2015 3:32pm

        I would recommend setting clear expectations in each classroom and also having fun with your students! If you are able to reach out to the teachers prior to being in their classroom, ask them what discipline systems they have in place/suggestions they have. As a teacher, I really appreciate finding one solid substitute and using them anytime I am out of the classroom. If you are able to make personal connections with 2-3 teachers, then you can focus on those classrooms rather than bouncing around between many.

        • Jan 4, 2015 3:33pm

          One more thing I just thought of is the value in being hired by one school as an in house substitute. This way you know the expectations of the school and also get to develop relationships with a variety of teachers and students.

          • Jan 4, 2015 4:29pm

            The more you can sub for the same teachers the easier it will be for you. It will give you a chance to understand and get to know better their classroom settings, rules, and procedures and especially the students!

            • Jan 10, 2015 11:07am

              Also, leave a note for the teacher at the end of the day. Let the teacher know what was covered and what wasn't. Try to leave a few positive comments about the class in general. If you would like to sub again for that teacher, let them know. Try to get a file together of lesson plans for different subjects and grades, just in case a teacher had an emergency and didn't leave a lesson plan. Leave the room neat.

              • Jan 10, 2015 11:04am

                If the teacher didn't leave a seating chart for you, draw one up quickly and as you take roll, write the name of the student on the chart. This way you can easily connect a name to a face. Read the lesson plan before the class and write the agenda on the board. As the students enter the class, greet them at the door. Us the seating chart to call on students.

                • Jan 11, 2015 1:10am

                  Building relationships through classroom management is a key first step.