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Old 09-19-2008, 09:01 PM   #1
auburnchick
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Advice for Substitute Teaching?
Hey y'all!

I started subbing in some of my district's schools. I'm hoping that this will open a door to a teaching position...get the schools familiar with my name so when I apply, they'll give me an extra chance.

I had my first two subbing jobs this week.

My question...

If any of you have subbed and done it successfully, what tips can you offer?

My days went very well. Today, my last class was extremely talkative, which was disruptive to what we needed to do. We got through it, but I think that next time I need to address this issue differently (I didn't yell, though...good girl!).

Thoughts and ideas?

TY!

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Old 09-19-2008, 09:03 PM   #2
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What age are you working with ?
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Debbie View Post
What age are you working with ?
Oh, sorry! That would help, wouldn't it?



I'm subbing at middle and high schools. This week was high school, as is next week.

BTW, I accepted a subbing job at my kids' school, and unknown to me, it's for my daughter's history teacher! The thing said "Social Sciences," so I figured it was safe to accept it.

Fortunately, she doesn't have this class that day, but a bunch of her friends do! I'm going to pretend like my kids don't go there and be my usual professional self.
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:47 PM   #4
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Old 09-19-2008, 09:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Knitting_Guy View Post
I have two words for you: whip...chair
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:19 PM   #6
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I subbed in elementary school while in college so not sure anything I did would be helpful. Subbing pretty much convinced me that I did the right thing NOT following in my mothers teacher footsteps.
My father was a sub while he transitioned out of the Navy and found that standing chatty kids at parade rest in the back of the room really seemed to quiet things down.

P.S. you are a brave soul for subbing in high school !
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by vaknitter View Post
P.S. you are a brave soul for subbing in high school !
Maybe that's why I'm getting a lot of assignments??

My subject area certification allows me to teach middle or high school. I'm crossing my fingers for 8th grade history, but I discovered today that I would love to teach a high school government class. THAT would be fun, although some of the kids seem like,

They just need a good teacher to keep them challenged.
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:48 PM   #8
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Wow. Good luck to you.

I was a classroom teacher for 7 years, and have done some substitute teaching since resigning my classroom position. I never had any problems as a sub, because I already knew what to do in a classroom, I know what to expect, I know the "tricks", I know what to say and do when certain situations arise... not to imply that you don't know what you're doing, but having 7 years of classroom experience helped. Thats being said, just the fact that a sub is there changes the dynamic of the classroom. The kids aren't the same as they would be with the regular teacher, and no amount of experience will change that fact.
The biggest challenge I think subs have is classroom management. There's lots of things you can do to make sure that the class runs as smoothly as possible:
1. Call the students by name; if the home teacher didn't leave a seating chart, make one.

2. Get the kids working/engaged right away. Do the "business stuff" (attendance, handing out/collecting papers, etc) once they've started.

3. Follow the classroom teacher's rules *as he or she left them*... if the rules say no gum chewing, don't let them chew gum, even when they kids say "but she usually lets us!"

4. Don't engage the kids with arguing about what is and isn't allowed. I call any kind of retort detailing why they "should" be allowed to do or not do something "arguing". Example:
--but I was just...
--I need to...
--he said I...
Further, have a line ready so when they "argue", you put it to rest right away. Something like "This may not be what you're used to, but this is how it's going to work today. Thank you."
As a classroom teacher, I said "I don't care" a lot... as in "I don't care why you're up, please sit down". You might not be comfortable with this technique

5. Being the students' "buddy" never works... it just invites them to push boundries.

6. Please and thank you work wonders! These little words will show that you respect the students AND eliminate the posibility for discussion.

7. Get to know the teacher next door; he or she can be helpful.

8. Get there early and be prepared... have the papers in order, have stuff on the board already, materials/manipulatives ready to be passed out, etc.

9. Don't be afraid to call home! "Hi, this is Ms. AuburnChick and I'm subbing for Mr. Science Teacher today... Joey was in my class 4th period, and I wanted to let you know what happened today..."

10. Leave detailed notes for the regular teacher, both good and bad stuff!

11. Don't leave directives up for discussion... There's a difference between "Susan, will you please sit down?" and "Susan, please sit down".

12. Sending kids to the office is a last resort. Tell them to move their seat, stand in the hallway, whatever, and then talk to them, privately (instead of berating them in front of their peers).

The best thing you can do is go in there and know what you're doing. Even if you're not sure, pretend; if you look like you don'tknow what you're doing, the kids will pick up on it and all hell could break loose!

Finally, only offer to sub in classes where you *honestly* think you'll do a good job. As the music teacher, I got subs all the time who just thought it would be fun to sub for music, and then they had a hell of a time in the classroom


Again, good luck!
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Old 09-19-2008, 11:50 PM   #9
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I meant to add, I've found that in high school, the kids are generally well-behaved. The real jerks will hear there's a sub and cut your class anyway.
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Old 09-20-2008, 12:07 AM   #10
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Wow! Thanks so much for all of this info!

I did get to class early so I could calm my nerves and check the teachers' notes. That helped a lot!

I think that subbing will help me when I have my own classroom...give me a different perspective and more appreciation for the subs!

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