Substitute vs. Regular Teaching

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by RealRorschach, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. RealRorschach

    RealRorschach Rookie

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    Mar 6, 2010

    Ive had about 3 days last week when I was substitute teaching and the students were absolutely dreadful. There seemed to be nothing I could do to get them in control, and Im a strict male guy who walks around the class like no other. Im starting my student teaching in a week and I am a little discouraged.
    I have a great sense of humor and I will be teaching junior high science (I wish it was History) next year. Are there great differences in being the sub and discipline managing and being the regular teacher because I am kinda frustrated.
    Is substitute discipline always worse than regular teaching discipline, or is there no difference at all?
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Virtuoso

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    Mar 6, 2010

    In many cases, students don't behave as well for substitutes because they don't feel the same accountability to them as they do to their full-time classroom teacher. If you sub in a certain classroom on a regular basis, you'll probably see the behavior problems diminish.

    It may feel similar at first when you student teach but that will change. As your cooperating teacher (CT) lets you take over the reins, they will see that you have say over their daily activities. You'll also have a regular rapport with them that will grow over the weeks you are with them. They'll know you care about them (and it's so important that you let yourself love them). They'll trust and respect you more each week.
     
  4. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Mar 6, 2010

    I've been a sub for about 3 years and I'm working on my 2nd long term assignment. Management is a lot different when you're with the class every day. The students know they are accountable for their behavior, and you can reiterate your expectations on a regular basis.

    My best advice is that it's not just behavior management - it's management of the entire classroom environment that will keep things running smoothly.

    As a day-to-day sub, we usually just concentrate on behavior management ... and we don't have their parents phone numbers ;)
     
  5. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    Mar 6, 2010

    When I was student teaching, I was with a long-term sub for almost the entire time in second grade. I noticed an immediate change in behavior the day the teacher came back. The kids even stood up straighter in line.

    Special T, the one time I was subbing at a school rife with behavior problems and another teach came in and told the kids I had a cell phone with me that I could use to call all of their parents.

    I've made some threats as a sub that worked, but I realized later I really shouldn't make. Like "I don't mind if we all stay in the classroom for lunch, I'm not hungry." Usually i can tell when I need to get them ready for lunch early which gives me plenty of time to make them think I'm making good on this threat and still get them to the cafeteria on time.
     
  6. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    Mar 6, 2010

    While I didn't have any major issues when subbing, I did deal with behaviors that I do not see as a regular classroom teacher.

    One of the hardest things I've ever done was have a student teacher. I work hard at procedures, routines, and expectations with my students. It was really, really difficult for me to sit at my desk and watch my students act like morons with the student teacher.
     
  7. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Mar 6, 2010

    The kids don't have to know that you technically can't call the parents. As a sub, I always mention that I have an extra cell phone used only for calling parents, and that I will call their parents if need be.
    It works like a charm, along with other things that I do/say, so it's just one way to get through to some of the kids.
    As the regular teacher, if you make that threat, you have to back it up. I'd end up calling 10 parents in 1 night. Very draining.
     
  8. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Mar 10, 2010

    Students think a sub day is a day off. Management is always difficult. I did fall upon a tactic that worked one day and I was shocked that it worked.

    When going out to pick the kids (4th grade) up from the playground, I had a hard time finding them, so they were one of about five classess still standing in line. When I walked up to them, I heard one kid say "let's just walk ourselves in!" When I walked up to them and tole them who I was, he shouted "finally!" which obviously marked him as a problem to me.

    Then as soon as we got inside the classroom and the kids were sitting down, he started yelling in the classroom. I looked him square in the eye, called him by name, and told him if the two of us were going to have a problem that day, he could just go to the principal's office right then and spend the whole day there. That got a shocked reaction from him and the entire class and I really didn't have problems the whole day.

    Classroom management is hit and miss as a sub, but I'm starting to think that if you come on strong from the first seconds, maybe even let them think you're "mean" it'll work for you. Best of luck to you!
     
  9. ms.

    ms. Comrade

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    Mar 11, 2010

    I loved my student teaching experience much more than subbing. I was able to step in and take over everything on the third day of student teaching. (My co-operating teacher was out most of the classroom most of the time, after the first week.) I pretty much had my own class, and I loved every minute of it. I student taught a mix of 5th, 6th, 7th and 7th grade classes in science, reading and social studies. Three of those classes were intervention (resource room) classes.

    I've found that students are much less respectful towards substitute teachers, and try to get away with much more mischief. (This is a generalization, but it's usually true.)
     
  10. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Mar 12, 2010

    I think bad experiences would rank from sub being the worst, to student teacher second, and regular teacher 3rd.

    Students know that subs really don't have much power over them, and they will abuse that to all hell.

    They generally THINK student teachers have no power, but depending on the school, you will at least have more than you would as a sub because you can set day to day routines or even punishments (ie. lunch detention the next day.)

    Regular teaching is much better.
     
  11. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Mar 14, 2010

    Wow, I've always gotten way more respect as a sub than as a student teacher.
    My Cooperating teacher was what I would call a 'military style disciplinarian', 20 year vet, so when I took over the class (even before and after I took over) I guess I was a joke to them because I was in her shadow.
     
  12. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    Apr 11, 2010

    Kids talk, especially at that age. The first few days at all of the middle schools in my district the kids thought they'd have an easy day. That ended when I sent kids to the office. Once word got around that I'd write referrals the kids started behaving, albeit they were afraid of me. Then once they figured out that I didn't really want to write people up we've all gotten to the point where they know what I expect from them and even the worst kids at the school behave for me.
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Apr 11, 2010

    I agree with this, for the most part, although I don't have nearly as much problem with kids abusing me as a sub teacher as I might expect.

    The absolute BEST management tool I've found as a sub is to learn the students' names. They think you don't know who they are so it gives them a form of anonymity, even though they are in front of you. As jen12 mentioned, if you can call them by name, not only will it shock the heck out of them, it will also get their attention and their cooperation much quicker.

    Last Friday, I subbed at a high school. As soon as I arrived, the middle school math teacher asked if I could also cover his 8th grade class since it coincided with the planning period for the teacher I was subbing for. I told him I would. THAT class was a lot of fun (mainly because middle school math is my chosen area).

    I went into the 8th grade class with no roster sheet, so I had NO IDEA what the kids' names were. I settled them down and started the class by saying "Alright, I need to take role, but couldn't find the attendance sheet...so anybody who isn't here needs to raise their hand for me." It took the students a minute to get what I had just said. When they commented on it, I said "That was just to see if you were actually listening to me." Then I began our lesson. I often use a British accent to change to keep the students' attention and this class loved it. Finally, about halfway through the class, I mentioned that - if I had a list of their names - I bet I would know at least half of them by name already. To prove my point, I stopped the lesson and asked the student's their names, one-by-one. I then began calling on each of them by name for the rest of the class (I have something of a photographic memory and I've always been able to memorize things pretty quickly - but it usually only lasts short-term).

    To make a long story just a little longer, I had absolutely no problems with this class because my style was so different than their regular teacher. During the period, we talked about topics as varied as favorite music groups, the Beatles, the death of John Lennon, respecting different religious and political viewpoints and STILL managed to cover the content left by the teacher. The class was so fast-paced, the kids never had time to even think about misbehaving.
     
  14. PEteacher07

    PEteacher07 Cohort

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    Apr 18, 2010

    Kids know that subs are in one day and out the next. Eventhough my teaching assistant and I have been together in our gym for 5 years, anytime I am gone she admits that the kids can be a little off and they know her very well! It happens sometimes when she is gone too.

    Routines and building a long term relationship will be the key for being a successful teacher.
     

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