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Old 03-06-2010, 10:45 AM
RealRorschach RealRorschach is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 66
Substitute vs. Regular Teaching

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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Old 03-06-2010, 10:59 AM
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catnfiddle catnfiddle is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,304
Central Ohio
Online English Teacher
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.
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Old 03-06-2010, 02:04 PM
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Special-t Special-t is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,964
SPED 9-12
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
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:11 PM
Ima Teacher's Avatar
Ima Teacher Ima Teacher is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,151
Middle School Teacher
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.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:19 PM
webmistress webmistress is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,007
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.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:31 PM
jen12 jen12 is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,007
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!
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:21 PM
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ms. ms. is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 292
Colorado, USA
High School Reading/English
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.)
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:01 PM
Sshintaku Sshintaku is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 449
High School Teacher
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.
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Old 03-14-2010, 10:23 PM
webmistress webmistress is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,007
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.
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Old 04-11-2010, 04:09 PM
waffles waffles is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 129
Substitute Teacher
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.
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