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First Time Substitute Teaching Tips?

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KimberlyH

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I am currently enrolled in an MA Ed. program. I haven''t been working since last June and have my first substitute teaching job on Monday. I thought this would be a great way to get my feet wet in the teaching world and help me figure out which grades and local schools I work best with/in. I have been around children my entire life, but have never taught (aside from a lesson I gave with the classroom teacher observing me) and my tummy is in knots now that I''ve accepted the job. It''s 1/2 day at a local elementary school, and from what I can tell it''s in a spec. ed. class, which is way out of my league, at least it feels that way!

If any of you have substituted, do you have any tips/recommendations for me? I''m on pins and needles!!!
 

Mannequin

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Congratulations on your first sub job!
Way to go, KimH! Before I landed my own classroom, I subbed in various districts for a year and a half and tried all grade levels to find a good fit, too - this is GREAT for you too as you are getting your feet wet.

Don't be too apprehensive about special ed rooms. You will find that you may have aides to help you and fewer students than you would in a regular classroom. Your teacher will likely leave you detailed plans on what to do. Be sure to let the teacher know what you were able to cover and any questions or problems the students may have had with any work while you were there. I usually brought a few things with me to do just in case I needed extra time fillers, like age appropriate read aloud books or Mad Libs. Also, whether you are there a half day or full day, if you have "time off" active sub duty while the kids are out at art or recess or the teacher has a planning hour built into the schedule, I always tried to walk down to the office to introduce myself to the staff and see if there was anything I could do to help out. This makes a big impression and can get you called back.
Also, I don't know how your sub system works, but I used to call the coordinators for one district regularly and ASK for sub jobs, whatever was available, even if it was a few weeks or even months away. I let them know I was very interested in this way, and they started calling me to fill in the days I didn't already have booked, or calling me first when a job came up. I'd have nearly a whole month booked ahead of time!

Good luck, let us know how it goes!
 

Ellen

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Look em in the eye and never let them see you sweat.



I don''t really have any advice, just wanted to wish you good luck! I''m sure you''ll do fine.
 

Miranda

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Good luck...You''re gonna need it!!! Just kidding!!! DH was a sub for a short time after he got his degree and before he got a corporate job. He really liked middle school...He really could not stand K. They whined all day, "Mrs. So and So doesn''t do it that way..." It was so very Kindergarten Cop. You''ll be fine in a special needs room. I used to volunteer in my sister''s special day class. Is there any way of knowing how severe the children are just to prepare a little. In a way being a SDC sub should be a little easier because there are usually aides that help and they will know the ropes.
 

KimberlyH

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Thanks ladies! I really am excited. DH and I are going over to the book store in a few minutes to pick up some activites books so I''ll have things on hand to do in case lesson plans fall short or are lacking in detail.

I''ve agreed to sub K-5th and English classes for middle and HS levels. My degree is in English, so this feels like a safe way to test those waters and see if I eventually want to teach HS level. For now, I''m earning my multiple subject credential.

Equ: our system is set up so that you either get called or can accept available jobs online. The online program lists them as they come up, up to 30 days in advance, which is great.

I''m such a nervous nellie!
 

ladykemma

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you want to be one of those subs who gets called back.

get there at least a 1/2 hour early to figure out the vcr, the instructions, and go to the bathroom. wear a blazer for authority.

carry an emergency movie, like shrek or ice age.

don't deviate from the teachers plans. the kids will try to snooker you into something. For example, last week i had a sub. al the sub had to do was give the scantron test and collect the test at the end of class. i later heard that the kids almost snookered the sub into almost giving them an open book test until the next door teacher heard it, caught it, and stopped it.

do not let the kids run wild or do that shrieking thing. it is the first thing i look for in asking a sub back. i ask imy neighbor teacher if they stayed in their seats. period. low or no voices.

have a big stack of referrals ready to go. develop bass in your voice.
 

KimberlyH

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So I went to BnN and picked up a book of quick/easy lesson plans that don''t require special prep or materials. I also picked up a bunch of flashcards: multiplication, division, and states and capitols. I''m putting them all into a my new substitute emergency kit (read: a canvas bag). I figured it was a good place to start and I could add to it as I saw fit.

I''ll have to dig Shrek out, lk, I wouldn''t have thought of that, great tip. I observe in the district frequently and have never seen referral slips. I planned on just keeping a list on a sheet of paper, and making it visable to the students (i.e. placing it in an obvious place on the desk so they could see it, with the word "REFERRALS" across the top of it.

Thanks for the great advice again, everyone!
 

snowflakeluvr

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good luck! i loved subbing. it was a lot of fun(and i subbed at my daughter''s school which was awesome to see her and even teach her). one little tip i always did until the students got to know me. i put my name on the board, well i put "mrs. j" because i have a hard to pronounce last name so i immediately let the kids know that i am a person, not "just" a sub. make sense? i wanted to connect to them!
also, i loved subbing jr. high special ed. i subbed both special needs and LD kids-special needs were fairly severe and frankly, there were several aides, two nurses-i felt somewhat useless. i did take one of the more functional students for a walk, etc.
LD kids have a regular day of classes and lesson plans. usually less than 10 students. get to know as many names of students as you are able-makes THEM feel important too(reinforces the i am more than a sub thing) i LOVED subbing LD students and i often subbed 3-4 days a week at one particular elementary school before i landed a regular teaching gig.
i am sure you will do great. having a friendly, helping staff makes things much nicer too. it is a bit daunting till you get a feel for the particular school. i am home now with two little ones, but really miss my teaching days. have fun!
 

KimberlyH

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What great words of wisdom, snowflake! I love hearing that this will be fun and exciting, a new adventure! I keep hearing "good luck" followed by a snicker, which is sort of cruel, in my mind as i am enthusiastic about this new phase of learning.
 

diamondseeker2006

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I definitely think subbing gives you an idea of the grade levels you prefer. But remember, it's a little like comparing babysitting to having your own baby. It's not quite the same as having your own class. So don't be discouraged if subbing days don't go quite as smoothly as they likely would if they were your own class.

In most cases in special ed., the aide sort of runs the class when the teacher is out and the sub does more assisting.

Good luck and have fun!
 

AChiOAlumna

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I did some subbing while I was getting my business off the ground.

If you sub high school students, know that they''ll try to test you. My DH calls it, "Sink the Sub." They will try to test your authority and see if/when you''ll crack. HS students were my favorite age to teach and they tried all the time to test my patience. I never gave in and maintained boundaries...

One time, I subbed for a teacher, but got called into another class at the end of the day. A student from one of the earlier classes was also in this last class (he was one of the troublemakers)...he saw I was his sub for the 2nd time in the same day and the "Oh no!" and the looks of disbeliefs were precious!! But he didn''t give me any problems in the 2nd class.

Also, as a good tip, leave notes for the teacher on how the classes went, including student behaviors and if the class was good or not...the teachers will appreciate it.

Good luck to you!
 

monarch64

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Kimberly, good luck, sincerely. You''re going to be great--I know you have such an enthusiasm for kids and education and you really are doing this to gain valuable experience (not just for a paycheck like some people who sub but don''t really want to). Your attitude and enthusiasm will show through, I think, and since you''re going in with such a positive attitude you''ll reap the benefits. As in any new situation or first day, there is apprehension, of course, and it may not go smoothly but you will get better each time. You sound well-prepared, and that is definitely key!

I have a good friend who is contemplating pursuing her Masters, I think in special education...she''s been subbing now for over a year and loves it. She''s actually gotten to do a few longer gigs due to maternity leaves and has gotten to really know some of her kids (K-6 level). She always has the best stories to tell when we get together. Anyway I think what makes her successful is her attitude. She is not one to take any [email protected] at all and I bet you will be the same way especially with your background and education.
 

MustangFan

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I also will be subbing soon!
Did you get your 4 year degree in teaching or just going to do your M.Ed?

I''m getting my degree in managerment with a minor in elementary education and psychology and going to pursue my M.Ed in Special Ed.
I was in Special Ed classes all my life, and it''s not so bad in elementary , but high school was tough, kids in HS are just placed in your classes if they misbehaved and they acted like animals.

I wish you luck and let us know how it went!
 

phoenixgirl

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I''m a high school English teacher so I can give you that perspective.

I agree that "snookering" is a concern. Last year I had jury duty while my honors students were taking a test. While I was grading the test, I noticed that two best friends who should have been sitting on opposite sides of the room both wrote "Bachtovin" when the answer was "Beethoven." Further investigation revealed that the substitute had let the students both move their seats and talk during the test. ???

The icing on the cake was that he left me this really long note begging me to use him again. See, he was a regular sub at our school, and we have some classes full of rough kids, so he was just so grateful to have the "good" kids that he let them do anything they wanted. Another pair of best friends had identical answers as well. (I gave them the chance to admit their guilt so that only the cheaters would take a much harder make-up test, but only one came forward, and she renegged her admission when she realized she was the only one.
So the whole class had to take it.)

I had the opposite experience a couple of weeks ago when I moved. In addition to honors classes, I have two classes of the rough kids, so I tried to politely warn the substitute in my note. I could tell from her note saying that she wouldn''t want to teach Shakespeare to a certain period that this class hadn''t been all that good, but she had still taken the time to single out one student as being particularly helpful to her (I made sure to give him candy in private just in case he would find that embarrassing). When I returned, the students were all very anxious to know if the sub had left notes about them too or smiley faces next to their names (these are tenth graders!), so she had obviously done a good job of motivating them with the idea of a reward.

I was particularly worried about my other "rough" class because they would have a substitute for two days and are unusually slow and needy. Well, I needn''t have worried! The students wouldn''t stop talking about how great the substitute was. "Mrs. Phoenixgirl, the substitute wrote a summary of Julius Caesar on the board so we could understand it!" I told them how proud I was of the good note I had received, and they explained that since she "wasn''t mean" they didn''t have to misbehave (funny how their logic works). This substitute has that knack that it took me a few years to learn -- how to insist that they behave properly in a calm and authoritative manner, while also not overreacting to little things.

As a teacher, the most important things to me are that the substitute follows my plan as much as possible and leaves me a note telling me if anything wasn''t accomplished. Because just as the kids will try to snooker (love that word) the substitute and say that Mrs. Phoenixgirl never makes them turn in their worksheets or take quizzes silently or whatever, they''ll also report to me that the substitute said they didn''t have to do X, Y, Z, as though the substitute just threw out my lesson plan on a whim. So it''s important that I get the facts from the sub. I hate it when all the sub writes is, "Great classes!" when I know that wasn''t the case.

Generally speaking, as far as classroom management goes, I would recommend that you make it clear that you respect the students, and so you also require their respect. Some teenagers (and adults for that matter) get something out of playing the victim, so sometimes the easiest way to head off misbehavior is to give them no reason to feel you are being unfair. Seems silly, I know, but it works with the "rough" ones. It basically just involves being calm and not taking the bait the first time they try to get you into an argument, and being a little humble. I won over a sweet but hardened girl living in a group home once because I apologized to another student for wrongly identifying him as the one who had thrown something. He said, "Pshaw, don''t make a big deal about it," and I said, "Well, I was wrong, and when you''re wrong, you should apologize. It''s the least you can do," and the group home girl mulled that over and then gave a hearty, "Yeah!"

The kids want to know that you are glad to spend the day with them, not afraid of them or disappointed to be stuck with them. If they get that sense from you and then see that even though you''re "cool" you won''t let them get away with anything, then you should be fine.

If they are not listening to you, reserve shouting for the big finale of you getting them settled down. First try calmly and loudly stating, "I am waiting for your attention," and then make eye contact with as many kids as possible. This will get them to shush their classmates. You don''t want it to devolve into you shouting and no one listening.

Also, feel free to use the school system of discipline to remove particularly troublesome students. For example, at my school you can send them out of the room to what is basically a holding pen for the period. If one student is acting as a ringleader and getting the others to misbehave, then removing that one distraction may make all the difference. But again, use your discretion. If you have to call the office instead of simply sending the student out, then you really want to make sure it''s an absolute necessity. You don''t want to be seen as unable to control the classroom or too needy by the office staff. Of course, you''re not a martyr, you''re an employee who should be working in acceptable conditions, so it''s all a balance.

Good luck! Substituting is a great way to get experience and make contacts as you get your masters. So have fun and don''t sweat the small stuff.
 

blingless

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Kimberly, good luck in your adventure. Think of it that way. Its an adventure to be undertaken not with fear of performance but with the anticipation of a new experience that will reward you with unexpected opportunities for success and the wonderful feeling of accomplishment. Special ed can be challenging at times but on most days not much more so than regular ed. In any event don''t sweat it. Not withstanding your direct experience, you have been very well prepared through your academic training and you''ll be just fine. Relax and enjoy the experience. Be sure and let us know how it went :)
 

zoebartlett

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Hi Kimberly,

Good luck on Monday! Let us know how your first day of subbing went. It''s definitely a great way to get experience with different grade levels see which one you like best. I teach at the primary level in a small school, where we have a few particular subs who are called in very regularly and are often requested. I think it''s a good idea to go to the office during any "free time" you may have, like when the kids are at specials such as music, gym, art, etc. Often our subs do this and the secretaries are very happy to have help, whether it''s copying notices to go home and then putting the notices in teachers'' mailboxes or something else. Also, if you have time and are willing to do any correcting of papers the kids have worked on that day, it would be greatly appreciated by the classroom teacher. I know when I''m out for a day I often leave papers for the sub to do with my kids. When I return, it''s SO NICE to be able to find corrected papers that I can file away or send home with my kids right away.

As for the teacher''s plans, most will leave way more than needed on a given day. I always leave my regular plans plus extra papers, activities, or games such as a math game, etc. I think in general most teachers'' plans are written thoughtfully, with notes on who works well together, etc. I don''t think you''ll run out of things to do, but I love your idea of bringing an emergency sub bag with you, just in case. BTW - Mad Libs is a great idea too. My kids love them (mine are aimed at lower grades and are much simpler than regular Mad Libs, but they''re a big hit).

As for movies, I''m not sure how your district handles this. In many schools, teachers have to request permission (either from parents or just the principal) to show a particular movie, especially if it''s rated PG or above (probably more strict at the elementary level). Also, some district are stricter than others when it comes to allowing teachers to show a movie not directly relating to the curriculum. I''d just make sure to run the movie by the principal first before showing it.

Would you like any ideas on other things to do? I can give you simple directions for easy math games. Just let me know and I''d be happy to do so.
 

KimberlyH

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Thanks so much everyone!! I so appreciate your kind, well-thought-out responses!!!

So here''s an idea I am toying with, please share what you think: I''ll write my name on the board and underneath this: "ule for the day: We will show respect for ourselves, each other and education. I think this rule sums up what needs to take place for good behavior in the classroom. Is this cheesy or good?

Zoe: absoulutely share more tips and ideas!! Also, what have you discovered are your best methods of discipline/classroom management? I''ll remember correct papers and offer help in my free time!!!

diamondseeker: that is a great analogy!

AChio: I am one of those overly prepared people, I will need to work on not leaving a book for the teacher on the day!

monarch: You are so, so kind! I appreciate your words of encouragement so very much.

Mustang: My undergrad degree is in English. I am going the online school route to earn my MA Ed. because they were the only school that doesn''t require me to go back and complete 2 more years of undergrad work. I just didn''t have the gumption or the patience for it. The idea of sitting in classes with a bunch of 19 year olds just wasn''t sitting well with me. I graduated from college in 2001 and have been working in the corporate world ever since, up until DH encouraged me to quit in June, go back to school and follow my passions, not a paycheck (which wasn''t very good to begin with). Aside from the beauracracy that comes from online education being new, and far from perfected, I am pleased to say I have been quite challenged through the program, much more so than I ever imagined. I am quite proud to say that my overall GPA is 3.99. I will say I think this school makes it easy for everyone to pass, and I''m not sure the work I''ve done deserves marks as high as those I have recieved, but I am definitely giving my all to the program. But I think that it''s common in most universities now, including schools like Harvard (there''s no such thing as a Gentleman''s C anymore, it''s now a Gentleman''s B+).

phoenixgirl: Thank you so much for all of the great pointers. Classroom management is definitely one of the toughest parts of teaching, that''s for sure. And picking and choosing one''s battles is part of that. My fear is that I''ll be too strict as opposed to not being strict enough. It''s all about balance!

blingless: it definitely is an adventure, and an exciting one at that...but I am a nervous nelly about everything. I have that terrible perfectionist thing going on, I expect a lot of myself, perhaps a bit too much at times, and I get so frustrated if I don''t meet my own, sometimes unrealistic expectations! I''ll keep your words in the back of my mind, for sure!
 

zoebartlett

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Hi Kimberly,

My cousin went the online route too (Univ. of Phoenix), and he''s not teaching English at either the middle or high school level. He really enjoys it. What will your student teachg/internship experience be like? I didn''t have my undergrad. degree in education, and when I went back to school full-time for my masters, I took one year (including summers) of classes and then did a year long internship student teaching in first grade. I spent the whole school year in the same classroom, whereas many schools (universities) require you to do 8 weeks (or 6 wks., or whatever) in one room/grade and then switch to another room/grade.

Okay, as far as games, here are some that I have my kids play often. I''m not sure what grade level you''ll be going to but these games work well with elementary-middle school.

If the school uses the Everyday Math program, the kids will probably be familiar with "Top-It" and "Name That Number." For both games you''ll need a deck of cards and you''ll need to divide the group in partners or in small groups. If EDM is used, you''ll probably see decks of EDM cards in the classroom to use. If not, use a few decks of regular playing cards. J=11, Q=12, K=13, A=either 1 or 20 - you can decide. Top It has several variations (addition, division, or multiplication).

Top-It directions: This is more commonly known as "War" but I guess that name is frowned upon by schools. Students each flip over 2 cards. If you''re playing Addition Top It, have each student add the two numbers on the cards. The one who has the highest sum (or the lowest sum, depending on how you decide who the winner is) wins both cards. Keep playing until the cards run out. If you''re playing Subtraction or Multiplication Top It, the game is essentailly played the same way, only the kids use a different operation when playing.

Name That Number directions: Again, have the kids work in pairs or in small groups. Shuffle a deck of cards. Flip over the top five cards and put them face up in the middle. Flip over the next card and place it face up above the others. That single card is now the "target number." Basically, kids take turns to add, subtract, multiplay, or divide (whatever works) the combinations of numbers to try and reach the target number. The player whose turn it is takes the cards used to make that target number, and the target number itself and places it next to him/her. Then it''s the next player''s turn. The imp. thing to remember is that there always has to be 5 cards played. So when someone is finished with a turn, he or she has to replace the cards used with new ones. This is a great game for practicing math facts and my kids love it.

I''ll see if I can think of other ideas. Sorry for the really long post.
 

zoebartlett

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Best methods of discipline/classroom management...hmmm...

I always beign the day with a morning meeting (and I encourage subs to do so as well if I''m not there.). Have kids come to the circle and introduce yourself. Tell them what one of your favorite things to do is. Have kids introduce themselves to you, one at a time, also saying what one of their fav. things to do is.

Also, you can write a morning message on the board or on chart paper. Something like: "Good morning! Today is Monday, February X, 2007. I am happy to be here today and I am looking forward to getting to know you today. Let''s have a great day! What did you do this weekend?"

After reading the morning message together, ask kids to share what they did over the weekend. Connecting with them is KEY.

The teacher who you''re taking over for on a particular day may have some things in place. Hopefully he or she will tell you all about it in his/her plans. If so, for consistency sake for the kids, try to follow that.

Here are some things I do (this may have to be modified since I teach at the primary level):

1. When you want to get everybody''s attention, turn the lights off. Inevitably (sp?), kids will freeze and look at you. Then you can proceedd to give directions, etc.

2. To have it quieter, say in a low voice, "If you can hear me, clap once." Kids will begn to clap. Then say -- for those not listening, "if you can hear me, clap twice." Keep doing this until everyone is following your lead and is quieted down.

3. When I want my kids on the rug or at their seats soon, I''ll say "Let''s see if you can [fill in the blank with your own set of directions] by the time I get to 20 (or another number). Then begin counting aloud. Most likely, the closer you get, the faster kids rush to try to beat you.

4. Some teachers do this. I haven''t but I''ve seen it work. When you want kids'' attention, say aloud "One, two, three, eyes on me." Kids will need to be taught to say to you, "one, two, eyes on you." Then they''ll have to be looking at you and showing that they''re listening.

Hope this helps!
 

ladykemma

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yes, and if it's high school try this:

No, sit down.
No, do your test.
No, eyes on your work.
No, stop talking.
No, get to work.
No, no passes.
No, you can't move your seat.

about five such "NOs" should do it.

becuase they are just trying to let them go take a two hour lunch, or a 1/2 hour bathroom pass, or to go meet their girlfriend in the hallway.

edited: and shut the door, because they will slip out when your back is turned.

oh, when I said have a stack of referreals, ready it's so you can get a ringleader of trouble out, and quickly. in our school we have 4 police officers who will report and remove, no questions asked. i teach in a rough school.

you can be nice, funny and pleasant but don't be a wimp.
 

ladykemma

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Date: 2/24/2007 10:15:40 AM
Author: KimberlyH
Thanks so much everyone!! I so appreciate your kind, well-thought-out responses!!!

So here's an idea I am toying with, please share what you think: I'll write my name on the board and underneath this: 'ule for the day: We will show respect for ourselves, each other and education. I think this rule sums up what needs to take place for good behavior in the classroom. Is this cheesy or good?
cheesy and they will immediately identify you as shark bait. put your name on the board. that's it.

act like you eat nails for breakfast.
 

KimberlyH

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Great suggestions, everyone!

Zoe, do you use responsive classroom? Don''t apologize for the long post, I am cutting and pasting every one into Word and bringing it with me as encouragement/help! My student teaching will be 10 weeks in one classroom, then a break, then 12 weeks in another classroom, if memory serves.

lk, I am choosing not to teach HS for this exact reason. At this point I am often mistaken for a HS student and I''m not sure if I have enough of a commanding presence to get and hold their attention. Thanks for being honest with me about the rule, I appreciate it. My DH used to work in admin for a small private school and often got called upon to sub. He was sharing some of his experiences with me last night, he is one of those eats nails for breakfast guys.
 

blingless

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Kimberly, this isn''t specific to teaching but when I read the post about a morning meeting and sharing something you like to do with the students I thought I''d share something I''ve always done. I always carry something unusual in my pocket to use as an ice-breaker. For the past week I''ve kept a couple of the new US dollar coins. When I''m speaking with someone I haven''t had to interact with in a while or whom I don''t know personally I''ll just pull out my unique something and ask have you seen one of these, tell them something about it, and let them hold it. Its always worked to warm things up even in very difficult business relationships. You might want to stop by the bank and get one before monday. Really anything unusual will work. Just something I always done. It also can be used to avoid unwelcome conversations by distracting, chewing up time, and then proclaiming that you have to run but it was great speaking with whomever. Cheers!
 

ladykemma

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yes, but not money. something large. it will be stolen by the second kid to hold it and then you''ll create a scene by having to call in the principal and do a shakedown.
 

jas

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Congratulations on this! It's certainly a great way to launch into teaching.

Having had some interesting subs the last few days, please keep in mind that you are there for the teacher, not for the kids. I mean, yes you are there for the kids. You are responsible to the teacher and for the kids. (I hope that makes sense). As many people have posted, follow the plans to the best of your ability, and if the kids say that it's wrong, say, "I hear you. I've got to follow the plans, but I will mention your concerns in my note and your teacher can sort it out when he/she returns." Puts the onus where it belongs, you know?

Also, I left a film for one class...the film was of the book we were reading, and I needed the class to finish the film that day so we could do an "extended response" practice for our upcoming NCLB test-a-palooza.

The kids were, naturally, not thrilled with the film and told the sub it was "boring" -- he said, "You're right." And turned it off. The kids, needless to say, were thrilled, but also the next day were snickering about it.

He had also promised the kids a "party" when I returned if they were good. Of course I had promised no such thing.

To quote on of my students, "You mean we were good for nothing???"

Talk about logic! And a funny comment. (Not funny ha-ha)

They did actually like the sub I just had who circulated the room when they were working, took an active interest in their work (and also noted who was and was not working). That also helped me.

When I subbed, it took a while to find that marvelous balance. Yes, I mean business, yes I follow the plan, yes, I've seen every trick in the book so yours is not new and precious, yes I enjoy teaching, yes I can help you, no, you may not set me on fire. I think i actually used that speech to start some days at the middle school. It worked. For me.

Do let us know how it goes!
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
Date: 2/24/2007 12:23:32 PM
Author: ladykemma
yes, but not money. something large. it will be stolen by the second kid to hold it and then you''ll create a scene by having to call in the principal and do a shakedown.
How about a shark, to prove that I''m not shark bait!
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,194
Date: 2/23/2007 11:56:06 PM
Author: AChiOAlumna

If you sub high school students, know that they''ll try to test you. My DH calls it, ''Sink the Sub.'' They will try to test your authority and see if/when you''ll crack. HS students were my favorite age to teach and they tried all the time to test my patience. I never gave in and maintained boundaries...
my favorite too. i love my kids! i love teaching chemistry! actually for teaching a lab class you have to have a friendly iron grip on the class or you will never be able to do labs or cool, dangerous stuff.

that said, I''m not perfect. a kid stole some matches from me yesterday. i had one box of matches at each station and after first period one box of matches was gone. reported to principal.
 

blingless

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
58
Ladykemma, my goodness, do you teach in a reform school? lol Sounds like we should be telling her to load up with duct tape and pepper spray :)
 

fatafelice

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
1,756
Congrats on your upcoming sub job! It is awesome that you are so excited about it -- I wish all of my subs were so enthusiastic.


I teach 7th grade English, so I can''t offer much advice about K-5, but let me know if you need any intermediate help. They are a breed of their own.


I think that everyone else has given you really good advice! Here are my main tips (as a teacher who is looking for good subs):

1. Follow the teacher''s plans as closely as possible.
2. Leave detailed notes.
3. Organize any papers that you collect and lable them (like with sticky notes) as to what they are/ what period they are.
4. If you have time and ability to grade something, the teacher will be hugely grateful! (as long as you do it right
)
5. Try to go the extra mile. Even if the kids are just supposed to do worksheets, walk around and try to help them. Don''t just sit at the desk reading the paper.
6. Be tough, but not mean.

My worst sub ever? Read the paper the whole time. Told kids the work I said was homework was NOT homework. Fell asleep...in two different classes. AND LEFT THE ROOM FOR TEN MINUTES in one class, leaving a room full of 13-year-olds to their own devices. Ugh. Don''t do any of those things, and you''ll probably be fine.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
Yes, in answer to your question above, I use Responsive Classroom. It''s pretty big around this area and I''ve used it since I began teaching. If you ever get a chance to your attend a week-long training session, it''s well worth it (and it looks good on resumes and in interviews too). Here''s the site:
http://www.responsiveclassroom.org. I''ve attended RCI and I''m hoping to either attend the RCII or the literature related session this summer.
 
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