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Any teachers out of school yet? Need advice!

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luckystar112

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So, I just got hired to be a substitute teacher!


Since I have ZERO classroom experience that doesn''t involve sitting in one myself, I was wondering if anyone had any advice. I''m pretty nervous!

I won''t be working for a particular district, but for a company that provides substitutes for Charter schools (I can give more info here if needed. The company was started by a woman who has been in education for decades. She was successful in Atlanta and just recently moved here).

I know that the school I will be subbing for the most has about 500 students and is grade K-9.
I am pretty sure I will shadow the founder of the company on the first day......but what about after? Ahhhhh


Any tips on what to look out for? How do you prepare your subs for the day? Is there anything that you hate that subs do?
 

Elmorton

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I just subbed for the first time last Friday (I teach college students M-R, so I figured I could probably be productive on those Fridays off).

It was DEFINITELY different than teaching college students, haha. I subbed for 2nd/5th music teacher (half day - figured that a full day would be overwhelming to start out).

It was EXHAUSTING but actually really fun! First, expect anything. I figured that I''d be popping in a video. Ohhh no. The lesson plans were a little complicated and I actually wound up teaching, which I wasn''t really expecting. Also, recess duty was innnnteresting. I had no idea what to expect there, but it was a lot of "If Julie doesn''t want to play with you, then you need to find someone else to play with" - and by the end of recess I had a TON of crud in my pockets. The kids kept on running up to me and handing me things they found on the playground. If you live anywhere cold, bring a hat. I forgot one and after 12 minutes (recess is SHORT!) my ears were freezing - it gets cold when you''re just standing there.

More 1st day tips:

Let other teachers you see know that you''re a sub and that it''s your first time - I had a couple teachers help me out and give me some pointers. One teacher even yelled at my class for being unruly, which was nice, because I wasn''t about to do that in the first 10 minutes!

Find out right away what the teacher/school''s signal for "Be Quiet" is - a lot of times it''s making the Boy Scout sign or a peace sign and raising your arm in the air. Sometimes there''s a little catch phrase too that you say and then they repeat. Knowing this is killer. Also, you can figure out right away which kids will be helpful. Don''t be afraid to rely on them and ask them questions (like "Do you know where Mrs. Smith usually puts the chalk?"

Get there are little earlier than suggested just in case you can''t find the lesson plans or need to read something over a few times or locate materials. It took me nearly 15 minutes just to find all the stuff the teacher referred to in her notes.

The tip that I didn''t use but probably should have: don''t be afraid to send kids to the principal''s office. Your sub notes should tell you how to do that/where referral slips are.

And this is the tip that came from my BFF the kindergarten teacher - write really detailed notes for the teacher you''re subbing for. They WANT to know what happened in their class, and if students are misbehaving, the teacher should take care of it (which will make your/future sub''s jobs a lot easier!).

Thanks for starting this thread! I felt REALLY lost on my first day, so I''m really looking forward to hearing what others have to say.
 

Italiahaircolor

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No advice...just congratulations!
 

KimberlyH

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I have subbed for 2.5 years and just started a part time/temp teaching position today, so I can speak to you from the perspective of a sub whose asked your questions and been doing it for a while.

Come prepared. Bring flash cards, a few of your favorite books, have some songs to sing in your head for the younger guys etc. for down time.

Create a feedback form that allows you to tell teachers: 1) What went well. 2) What was difficult about your day. 3) What you did/didn''t complete from their sub plans. 4) Who the helpful students were. 5) Who the difficult students were.

Have a plan in mind for kids who cause problems. A "Take A Break" system or something along those lines that allows the kid to cool down without feeling punished (as a sub sometimes it''s just about keeping things calm, not being the displinarian).

Follow teachers'' plans. They work hard to create them, be sure to execute them to your best ability.

If there''s something a teacher could have done to help you a bit more, you may want to share this with them for future reference.

Don''t rule out what you are/aren''t willing to teach. I dipped my toes into special ed and fell in love, I''m so glad I did. Don''t limit yourself until you try things.

This is all I''ve got for now, if I think of anything else I''ll let you know. Hope this helps.
 

Elmorton

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Oh, one more - I wasn''t used to trying to get into a school while kids are being dropped off. Give yourself extra driving time just to get into the parking lot/navigate the street where the school is located.
 

paeony

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Yay! Congrats--
I think subbing can be fun (I did it for a while before I taught)
It really helps when the teacher plans well for the sub (i.e. has activities to take up the full class time)
One thing I hated as a teacher was-- when I was planning on being out-- putting together detailed lesson plans and activities to keep the kids occupied
then coming back after being off only to find that everything was left untouched on my desk-- the sub just sat and read a book! grrrr

Just try to think of good subs you''ve had (as a student) and what they did to be effective.
When I subbed I would let the students chew gum (not allowed in school)-- they were much more willing to cooperate because I gave them this one luxury (I did tell them-- if I saw it or heard it, it was all going in the trash)-- not saying that you should do this- but you get the idea

Try to walk around the room a lot, try to engage them, if one student is acting up while you''re talking, just mosey on over in their direction.
(I can''t give much advice on the younger ones-- I taught HS)

Also, get to know the teachers in the neighboring rooms-- you never know when you might need them!
It is a weird experience when you are in the room alone with the students for the first time-- hopefully being in the same school, you''ll get to know some of the students-- that helps a lot!
Good Luck and have fun with it!!
 

Tuckins1

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Congrats on graduating and finding a job!! I work for a charter school- I know that at my school, they are tight with their subs. If a teacher doesn't like what the sub has done, they do not ask that sub back. I would suggest keeping good control of the class. Even if it means straying from what the teacher has left for you for a bit. Take a "brain break" and play a game or do something that lets them get some of their energy out. Hopefully the teacher has left good lessons for you and has provided you access to the appropriate materials. If worst comes to worst, have some back-up games to play in case there isn't enough work to last the whole time.

Here's a link to a fun game- Sparkle Spelling. Depending on the age group, you can chose words that are appropriate for them.
Sparkle spelling

Good luck!! Just relax and have fun!!
 

luckystar112

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Amazing advice so far!!!

One of my biggest concerns is in regard to discipline. Since I will be working for a company (and when I say company I mean this woman....it is her company and it is just starting out) instead of for the school, she prefers that the principal''s office is a last resort. In fact, she has told me that if I have any problems she would prefer that I call her before sending anyone to the principal''s office. I guess I trust her, since she was a teacher for over 20 years...but it feels so disconnected at the same time.

I''m worried that some kid will be on their cell phone and I''ll tell them to put it away and they won''t listen! haha.

I''m also worried that I''ll be put in at 4th grade class or something and the teacher will have left me NOTHING to refer to and I''ll have to scramble to try and remember what I did in 4th grade.

Or what if I accidentally slip and say "shit" or something?


Does anyone have any recommendations for busy work? Should I bring any games, or perhaps my own video just in case?
 

luckystar112

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Date: 3/2/2009 7:05:38 PM
Author: Tuckins1
Congrats on graduating and finding a job!! I work for a charter school- I know that at my school, they are tight with their subs. If a teacher doesn''t like what the sub has done, they do not ask that sub back. I would suggest keeping good control of the class. Even if it means straying from what the teacher has left for you for a bit. Take a ''brain break'' and play a game or do something that lets them get some of their energy out. Hopefully the teacher has left good lessons for you and has provided you access to the appropriate materials. If worst comes to worst, have some back-up games to play in case there isn''t enough work to last the whole time.

Here''s a link to a fun game- Sparkle Spelling. Depending on the age group, you can chose words that are appropriate for them.
Sparkle spelling

Good luck!! Just relax and have fun!!
I haven''t graduated yet....I''ve got about a year left. Sigh.

Okay you''ve definitely put the pressure on....now I''m afraid I''m going to tick off the teacher!


From what I understand, all of the teachers at this school are Turkish, and they even celebrate Turkish holidays. And I guess the kids are enrolled by a lottery system, but they only accept the brightest of the pack.

Elmorton, the story about recess duty was so cute! haha.

Oh, I''ve heard that if they get really unruly I can threaten them with "DPS points", but I have no idea what they are or whether it is better to gain them or lose them! lol
 

Tuckins1

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Date: 3/2/2009 7:15:00 PM
Author: luckystar112
Date: 3/2/2009 7:05:38 PM

Author: Tuckins1

Congrats on graduating and finding a job!! I work for a charter school- I know that at my school, they are tight with their subs. If a teacher doesn''t like what the sub has done, they do not ask that sub back. I would suggest keeping good control of the class. Even if it means straying from what the teacher has left for you for a bit. Take a ''brain break'' and play a game or do something that lets them get some of their energy out. Hopefully the teacher has left good lessons for you and has provided you access to the appropriate materials. If worst comes to worst, have some back-up games to play in case there isn''t enough work to last the whole time.


Here''s a link to a fun game- Sparkle Spelling. Depending on the age group, you can chose words that are appropriate for them.

Sparkle spelling


Good luck!! Just relax and have fun!!
I haven''t graduated yet....I''ve got about a year left. Sigh.


Okay you''ve definitely put the pressure on....now I''m afraid I''m going to tick off the teacher!



From what I understand, all of the teachers at this school are Turkish, and they even celebrate Turkish holidays. And I guess the kids are enrolled by a lottery system, but they only accept the brightest of the pack.


Elmorton, the story about recess duty was so cute! haha.


Oh, I''ve heard that if they get really unruly I can threaten them with ''DPS points'', but I have no idea what they are or whether it is better to gain them or lose them! lol
You aren''t gonna tick off any teachers!!

Just don''t be afraid to use some discipline, that''s all I meant.


This will be a great experience for you, and plus you won''t be as intimidated when you actually get your own classroom!!
 

palomablancabride

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I''ve never subbed, but I''m a teacher. As someone previously stated you should follow the teacher''s plans to the best of your ability. If I''ve heard or seen that my plans were blantantly not followed, I immediately let the assistant principal know that the sub was not good and usually he or she is not seen in our school again.
 

Haven

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Date: 3/2/2009 7:24:53 PM
Author: palomablancabride
I''ve never subbed, but I''m a teacher. As someone previously stated you should follow the teacher''s plans to the best of your ability. If I''ve heard or seen that my plans were blantantly not followed, I immediately let the assistant principal know that the sub was not good and usually he or she is not seen in our school again.
paloma and Tuckins--I''m jealous that your schools follow through on teacher feedback about subs. We have a gaggle of really awful substitutes in our district, and nothing is ever done about finding better ones. The worst of them has her own agenda and usually teaches my students about some conspiracy theory she has brewing about the government.

lucky--Congratulations on the job! You''ve gotten really good advice thus far.

I just want to stress how important it is to follow the teacher''s lesson plan. It takes a really long time to create lesson plans for substitutes, and when they don''t follow them it is extremely frustrating, and what''s worse, it cheats the students out of an entire day of instruction.

As for classroom discipline, students will intuitively sense your level of confidence over the situation, and they will react accordingly. Have you ever watched Cesar Milan on The Dog Whisperer? If so, you''ll know what I''m talking about. Enter the classroom with a quiet sense of control and they will respond well. If you seem scared or unsure of yourself, they''ll capitalize on it.

Good luck! This is really exciting!
 

swimmer

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Take attendance! I hate when I get back and there is no record...actually it is a legal record, so you should be given a list. When you have kids whose names are not from your world of familiarity, try to just pick first or last and add a Mr. or Ms. if you need to go with the last name over first; if you can''t grasp the first or last, just good luck. Or ask the girl who comes in early, there is usually one, to help you as you skim.

In my school you can get subbing as your "duty" so I used to print out wordsearches that are easy to photocopy before school and hand out when there is no lessonplan in sight. This is just in an emergency and to keep them quiet as you will not be asked back if there is total chaos. Know that no one can expect you to whip up a lesson based on your memory of yourself at that age. However, to echo Paloma and Kim, most teachers avoid subs who don''t follow directions and either don''t do anything or would rather make stuff up than read the directions. A sub once made up historical facts and sort of rambled to my students about her inaccurate version of the Civil War -the kids were supposed to answer questions about the SPANISH Civil War from their textbook and she missed that bit so tried to lecture and missed badly. The instructions were on the board and could not have been more clear, she could have read her novel, and sadly the kids lost all respect for her. I guess I''m saying it is OK to take some time to look around before just plunging in. It is better to look unprepared, kids are used to that, than to dive into a misstep.

Sometimes the kids have been told to work on a project already in process, they might need some jogging of the old memory in order to get going on that. Good luck. I love getting notes about who was trouble, teachers will already know who is trouble, but it is good to have confirmation and I bet most of us give them heat for any mistreatment of a sub.

Here is the site of the folks who make the free printable wordsearches, not really intellectual, but I found that for older kids they refused to create crosswords with their own vocab terms, so just found something topical to help them stay on task. Come to think of it, it tended to be lower level classes where the teacher had left no plans, terrible isn''t it? link
Congrats on getting a job!
 

Haven

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Sorry if someone already said this, but introduce yourself to the teachers. I can''t tell you how many substitutes we have walking around the building who put their heads down when they pass me in the hallway, and then end up sitting across from me and four of my colleagues in an interview several months later. Wouldn''t it have been nice to have made a real connection?
 

Elegant

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Hmmm...

My advice as someone who has been a teacher for grades 2,3,4,and 5 (I've been a teacher for 9 years...5 years longer than I thought I would be), and as someone who has been a substitute teacher:

Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared - keeping the little rug rats busy is the secret of success - busy and engaged with their work. When they are busy they are less likely to talk and be distracted and be annoying.

Make sure you have your own discipline plan ready before you get there just in case you can't see or find the existing one. Something like a warning, then a time out with a reflection sheet at a separate table to document what happened in their own words. Just let the kids know first so that they are forewarned... they know what to expect.

Make sure you have a back up plan, just in case the teacher didn't leave plans or sometimes teachers don't put enough stuff in their plans. Usually, from my experience, you teach (except for social studies and science - sometimes teachers are lucky to have time to teach those subjects):
1-2 hours: Language arts/reading
1 hour: Math
15 - 20 minutes of silent reading after lunch to calm them down
45 minutes: Social Studies
45 minutes: Science
40 minutes: lunch
20 minutes: recess

Make sure you have some fun educational games to play, basic math facts practice, a couple of quick read books that you can read aloud and then have students summarize and illustrate...

Also, look at each subbing job as an opportunity to show your stuff, make yourself known, and create a professional reputation for yourself.

You can never really prepare for your first time substituting...it's just something you have to do and get it over with. But subbing is nice because you get to practice with other people's plans and students...

I hope this helps!
 

Jelly

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I''ve been teaching for 9 years and I subbed a bit before taking a full time job.

My main advice is to be consistent with your rules and discipline. Don''t worry about the kids liking you. They don''t need a friend, they need a teacher and someone to keep structure in the classroom. That doesn''t mean you can''t be fun, smile, laugh, and enjoy the kids....but they can smell weakness. Remember that you are the adult in the room and it is your responsibility to keep order.

I would definitely have some games and rewards up your sleeve.

Good luck!
 

Sabine

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Congrats! As a current hs teacher who subbed for a year, I will say:
1. Get there early. If there is some problem, missing plans, missing supplies, it can be a relief to have time to sort it out (plus traffic issues).
2. Create one backup plan for yourself of something you would feel comfortable leading any group of kids doing in case the teacher''s plans won''t work for some reason (i liked to bring a book of games - check out amazon or half.com) and then interesting newspaper articles that kids could read and then write summaries/share/debate about.
3. Leave DETAILED reports, especially when things go wrong. This is more for the teacher than you, but when I''ve had bad classes that I know are bad, and the sub just leaves a note saying "they were terrible" with no specifics, there is no real way for me to punish them afterwards, and I definitely feel they should be punished severely for not behaving for a sub.
4. If kids complain, get used to saying, hey, I''m just doing what your teacher wants. No need for you to deal with their brattiness.
5. Ask right away when you get to the building for a list of phone numbers/people to contact. IE, who to contact if you have a kid who is so bad they need to be removed, the nurse, the secretary, etc.
6. Don''t be afraid to ask anyone and everyone for help if you need it.

Good luck and have fun! Overall, I LOVED subbing and I think I would rather do that than teach full time a lot.
 

KimberlyH

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Discipline:

I have used the "If you waste my time I''ll waste yours" and made kids/classes stay in during recess and lunch.

If you''re run into a cell phone issue confiscate it. Give it back at the end of the day and let the teacher know there was a problem.

Also, let them know you''ll be in communication with their teacher.

Games:

Around the World w/ Math/Science/SS/Whatever facts (kid starts at first desk you ask a question, if they get it right they move on, if they miss it they have to sit in the desk in front of them and the student who was sitting it gets a turn)

Flash Cards. Group kids (2-4), have them make a set regarding what they''re studying and quiz one another.

Creative Activity. If you don''t have plans figure out what they''re studying in a subject (Native Americans, Persuasive Writing, etc.) and have them create a collage about the subject (i.e. they can create a picture story to persuade)

If I think of anything else I''ll get back to you.
 

phoenixgirl

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I''m a teacher too.

I think your boss''s directive that you come to her with discipline problems is a little odd. If, as in your example, a kid won''t give you a cell phone, what good would it be to call some lady who doesn''t work at the school? I would follow the school''s discipline plan as much as possible. Your boss might be happy if you don''t bother the office very often, but the teachers hear from the kids if subs let the kids get away with things, and I''m worried that''s how it would be spun. She''s probably thinking that it reflects poorly on the company if her subs don''t seem to have good classroom management, but how are you supposed to have good management if you can''t call the office if the need arises?

The last time I was out, I left plans for my sub to start Julius Caesar with my kids. I typed up 4 pages of notes for the kids, sort of an Act I for Dummies guide. Well, apparently my sub did this awesome job explaining everything himself, and the kids asked me, "Why did you bother making those notes? You should have just let the sub explain it." He left my a typed one page note thanking me for having him and telling me how wonderful my classes were. Definitely classy! I passed along his name to the secretary who handles subs and the department chair as someone we should use as much as possible.

On the other hand, it''s frustrating to receive almost no feedback, maybe just a note "Your classes were good." Then my friend next door tells me my 1st period was off the chain crazy that period. Thanks for lying, sub! The only time I have ever complained about a sub was when he let my kids switch seats and talk during a test. I discovered this by the impossibly similar answers that friends who didn''t sit near each other had on the test. What a dumbo. He was so clueless he actually made a point to stop by and tell me to use him any time, as long as it was a day when I had all honors classes and no lower classes. Oh, sure, I''ll be sure to cater to your desire not to have to deal with less well behaved classes just so I can waste a day retesting a class that you let cheat because you didn''t care what they did as long as you weren''t bothered! What was your sub number again?

Most subs fall in between these two. The papers appear to have been handed out and collected. Some note is left. But to make good connections, I''d try to be like Mr. Typed Written Note sub and not like Mr. "Sure You Can Talk During the Test" sub.
 

diamondgirl4382

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I''ve been a sub in the past too, right now I''m working at an elementary school as an assistant while I get my special education certification. I agree with the PP who said the kids sense your comfort level with the situation and react accordingly. That is so true. If you go into a classroom with confidence, knowing you are in charge, the students will respect you. If you go in there scared and nervous that something will go wrong, the students will pick up on that and they probably won''t behave.

Classroom management--prevention is the key. Address any issue at the very first sign, don''t wait for it to become a major problem. But don''t be overly negative--simple things like walking over and standing next to the student who is misbehaving, or redirecting them by asking them a question, or moving them away from their friends can help a lot. If they don''t stop, address the behavior quietly, clearly and directly ("I need you to stop talking, please.") Don''t call them out in front of the class, that often makes it worse because they are getting attention. Pick a number of "warnings" they get before you give a consequence, and stick to it. Ask the other teachers in the school/grade what they usually do for consequences, a lot of teachers have a classroom management plan that you can follow. Don''t show the kids that you are frustrated with their behavior, even if you are. "Never let ''em see you sweat!"

It also helps a LOT to praise students who ARE doing the right thing...especially in an elementary school. Kids love attention, so give them the most attention if they are following directions and doing things right!!

Don''t worry, I''m sure you will be fine. Like others have said, make sure to follow the lesson plans. Keeping the schedule/workload, etc as close to their normal routine will help a lot.
 

luckystar112

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You girls are amazing!

I got my background check done today and tomorrow I meet with her to discuss the details. I also get to quit my job tomorrow!!!!!
I''m very excited because I grew to really hate my job.

Phoenix, I agree it''s weird that I''m supposed to call her. She also said that I can just leave the school at 3, without telling anyone first.
I feel like I should at least stop by the office and tell them I''m heading out. I dunno.
 

Definitely. Maybe

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Date: 3/3/2009 7:14:13 PM
Author: luckystar112
You girls are amazing!

I got my background check done today and tomorrow I meet with her to discuss the details. I also get to quit my job tomorrow!!!!!
I''m very excited because I grew to really hate my job.

Phoenix, I agree it''s weird that I''m supposed to call her. She also said that I can just leave the school at 3, without telling anyone first.
I feel like I should at least stop by the office and tell them I''m heading out. I dunno.
Wow. That seems really odd to me. Where I live the subs have to sign in and out... They get paid according to the hours on the sheet.

I would stop by the office anyways. It''s good to let them see your face and get to know you. Best of luck subbing! :)
 

luckystar112

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I subbed for the first time today!!!

1st graders!
Boy am I BEAT!!!!!

It was considered an "easy" day since the kids were in other classrooms for the whole morning (art, music, PE, etc). But once I got them..............WHOA. I really need to find a balance between being nice and providing discipline. It was hard to keep the kids in their seats and get them to stop talking. Very hard. The "bad" kids sat in the front of the class. Boy were they a handful!!! And one kid spent the better part of the day crying. No joke......allllllll day. The Principal heard him from the hall and removed him from my room.
They also kept hitting and pushing each other. Grrrr.

Besides that, I had kids coming up to me every two seconds asking to go the bathroom, to get a drink of water, to go to the nurse (SEVERAL times they''d ask to go to the nurse). I finally had to start saying no. I also had to send two kids next door (to the other 1st grade teacher) who wouldn''t stop talking.

Yikes. The good kids were REALLY good, and the trouble-making kids caused a lot of trouble. There was no middle ground.
I''m glad I got my feet wet though! I have so much more respect for teachers now!!

For one period I was in a class with 9th graders. They whispered amongst themselves and passed notes, but it was a lot more bearable. And they were so friendly!!! Every time I saw one of them in the hall after that they''d be like, "Hi Mrs D.!"

I''m sure the next time with the 1st graders will be easier, now that I''ve done it. It was a crazy day, but fun!
 

Tuckins1

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I''m glad to hear that your first day wasn''t terrible!! Believe me, it will get easier. Congrats on your first real teaching gig!!!
 

swimmer

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good job making it! go to bed early, it is the only way to beat them at that youthful energy thing.
 

paeony

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Congrats on making it through your first day!!!

And with 1st graders!!?? Whew!! I applaude you again

(now you can probably see why I taught High School!!)

(I love that one of the students said Hi to you later
)

Keep up the good work!!
 

Definitely. Maybe

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When I decided I wanted to be a teacher my BFs mom gave me the book The First Days of School, by Harry K. Wong. It is a GREAT book. It is all about classroom management, etc and has a lot of great tips. Even though you are only subbing, as opposed to full time teaching, it is really helpful.

As far as the bathroom/ nurse... I was always told to hold them off as long as possible and the ones who really need to go will remind you. If you just say yes you open the door for the whole class to ask... as you''ve already noticed.
So, for example, just ask them to wait until the end of the lesson or 15 minutes, etc... most will forget and not remind you once they''ve realized you won''t let them go. Also letting them know you only let X amount of people leave the room every X amount of minutes is a good rule. You will learn to be able to tell who needs to go and who is testing you.

Glad your first day went ok and at least you are through it! Best of luck with your next day!! :)
 

zoebartlett

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Date: 3/2/2009 6:17:46 PM
Author:luckystar112
So, I just got hired to be a substitute teacher!


Since I have ZERO classroom experience that doesn''t involve sitting in one myself, I was wondering if anyone had any advice. I''m pretty nervous!

I won''t be working for a particular district, but for a company that provides substitutes for Charter schools (I can give more info here if needed. The company was started by a woman who has been in education for decades. She was successful in Atlanta and just recently moved here).

I know that the school I will be subbing for the most has about 500 students and is grade K-9.
I am pretty sure I will shadow the founder of the company on the first day......but what about after? Ahhhhh


Any tips on what to look out for? How do you prepare your subs for the day? Is there anything that you hate that subs do?
I''m way late in joining this, but I thought I''d answer your questions, Lucky. And a warning -- I''m feelin'' chatty!


Congrats on getting a subbing position! I''ve never heard of a company that provides subs but it sounds interesting. I also don''t have any experience with charter schools, but they sound interesting as well.

Whenever I leave sub plans, I always type my plans up with as much detail as I can. My sub plans for a typical day tend to be about 3-4 pages. I''ve seen other teachers'' plans, and it''s sad how little information they give their subs about what to do or what they can expect. I always include a class list and a list of what to do in case of a fire drill, practice lockdown, or other emergency situations. Better to be safe than sorry. I always leave a detailed explanation of my behavior system and what I expect. I teach second grade, and I want my kids to know that the sub is their teacher for the day. I expect the same courteous behavior when someone else is in the room that I expect when I''m there.

I''ve had some subs that are pushovers and some that are "mean" (according to my kids). I think you can have fun but still be firm with kids when needed. I don''t mind if a sub goes off track a bit and does his/her own thing to a degree, but it does take a lot of planning when you know you''re going to be out. It''s a lot of work typing up plans in detail so the sub feels that he/she knows the kids and the routine. It''s annoying when my plans are completely ignored. I''ve come back to my room and thought to myself after hearing how the day went from my kids, "what did yoiu do all day? I didn''t write THAT."

I don''t leave a lot of busy work for the kids to do. My sub plans are, for the most part, the same lesson plans that I would have prepared if I was doing the teaching. I may have more to add after I read others'' thoughts but that''s all I''ve got for now.
 
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