Advice for a new substitute

Discussion in 'General Education' started by NewSoCalTeacher2017, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2017

    Hi everyone,

    I was recently hired as a sub for two districts that I would LOVE to work for full time and I want to make good impressions. My questions are what items do you always bring with you (books, materials, mini lessons, etc)? Also what spiel do you say to the class when you first greet them (rules, expectations, etc)? Do you use any standard forms to communicate with the regular classroom teacher? What is the best way to get to know the faculty and staff at a school site? Finally, aside from following lesson plans and keeping students safe, what other advice do you have?

    Thank you for your time!
     
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  3. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2017

    What grades will you be working with?
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Sep 14, 2017

    Please follow the teacher's plan as much as you possibly can.

    Please leave a good note explaining what went well and what didn't. I always hated getting "everything went great!" notes from subs in my worst classes, especially when I returned to filthy messes, holes in the ceiling, and stolen items. Clearly everything did not go "great", so either the sub was too preoccupied to notice or thought that what happened was acceptable. I'm not really okay with either scenario.
     
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  5. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2017

    Mostly K-6.
     
  6. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Thanks! I'll do that. :)
     
  7. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Fanatic

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    Sep 14, 2017

    Remind kids of hallway expectations when traveling. Be respectful of all employees and children. TAKE A PICTURE OF THE PLANS WITH YOUR PHONE IN CASE YOU MOVE IT AND CANT FIND IT. Then keep your phone away whenever kids are with you.
     
  8. AmyMyNamey

    AmyMyNamey Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2017

    Don't focus on impressing people, but instead focus on doing your job to the very best of your ability. People can get turned off if they sense you are trying to charm your way into an organization.

    When working long term, stay late, put in the necessary hours. Volunteer. Help out during after-school events and activities. Take lunch in the teacher's lounge and be yourself around your peers.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
  9. CherryOak

    CherryOak Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2017

    Welcome to subbing! It's crazy, but it can be fun. I think the best way to make a good impression to the staff is to not require any effort on their day. Lay low, take care of what you need to do, do not data mine them, and always smile and act like you got it under control. (That said, don't hesitate to reach out for help if it all goes to somewhere...) You will largely be judged by others from your class' hall behavior since that when you're most visible. I let my card communicate my credentials and don't mention it otherwise unless directly asked.

    My spiel is usually just kind and reassuring for those ages since they can be afraid of you at first. I don't have extra things in my bag. When in doubt, teach them something. My bag does have office supplies (paper clips, sticky notes, pencils, etc.) so I do not need to go into their desk. My rewards, if used at all, are the really good pencils in cool colors. It's ageless and never a trash problem for the teacher. I like the idea of taking a picture of the plan. I LOVE my clipboard. It's the type that you can put some stuff in. I always put the plan and some notebook paper on it. I have a small whiteboard, expo marker, pencil, and the numbers to the office/nurse in it. I can put the plan in it and carry it everywhere. If I put it down, I'm looking for a clipboard instead of just a piece of paper in a sea of thousands. Always leave an honest note. If something goes so wrong the teacher may be getting contacted from a parent (like you messed up a dismissal change), email the teacher, too, so they can know immediately. Do not expect a reply. But, it's their room and they have to know no matter how embarrassing it is for you.

    If you get a class that's hard to transition well, use the authority of a book while they do it. They usually settle down whenever and adult reads a book and that's useful. If you can take control of the upper grades (have a commanding presence without stepping into power struggles), let the coordinator know since a lot of elementary subs sort of avoid them. I hope something in all this helps. Good luck!
     
  10. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    Sep 15, 2017

    I have done supply (as we call it in the UK) for the last year. In my school bag.

    Coffee mug with lid
    Tea bags
    Coffee
    Milk
    tea spoon
    Whiteboard markers
    Three A4 sized exercise books that can be used as writing paper. You can replenish these as you go along from schools where you are working
    Green pens
    Red pens
    Pencils
    Highlighters
    Ruler
    Notebook
    Calculator
    Stopwatch
    A selection of flash drives containing useable resources. Mostly in science as that is my subject but also many other subjects.

    Any chance you get download resources from the schools you work in and always offer to share any that you have.
     
  11. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Sep 15, 2017

    Don't do what a sub I had recently did: stop and/or talk over the movie I left and tell my students I left instructions for a writing assignment based on the viewing. I did not. No report left, either.
     
  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Sep 17, 2017

    I subbed from January-June last year. I was very nervous when I started but had a good experience overall.

    -Leave a note to the teacher everyday. Start the note in the beginning of the day so you can write as you go. I usually organized my note by subject so I could write about anything that came up.
    -Know when you should bring issues to the teacher vs when you shouldn't. If a student called out a few times during a lesson, you likely don't need to let the teacher know if you have addressed it. If a student has been disruptive all day or hasn't done any work, I let the teacher know. If the kids were great, let the teacher know!
    -I usually start class saying "Good morning! My name is ____________ and I am here for your teacher today. I'm going to start by taking attendance. Please say here when you say your name. There will always be kids who are silly during this and say other things instead of here. I usually chose to ignore it.
    -Introduce yourself to the teachers around you (in elementary school especially). I've found they are so willing to help if you need anything!
    - Follow the teacher's plans! If there is any reason you couldn't, let the teacher know why...but this shouldn't happen often. It only happened to me once when the teacher next door told me to do something different.
    -Be organized! You'll have papers kids turn in, lessons for the day, notes from the kids. It is stressful if you don't have everything organized throughout the day.
    -Don't be afraid to move students to other locations of the room if they aren't meeting behavioral expectations. This solved most behavioral issues for me.
    -If aide subs pay the same as teacher subs, try to take an aids sub job for your first day. You can get to know the school without the pressure of leading a classroom.
    -Ask the office about lunch count or any special attendance policies. Sometimes the teacher doesn't leave a note about this!
    -Don't talk over the kids, but use attention getters to get their attention first. You can ask neighboring teachers what the teacher uses if it isn't in the note. Lots of elementary school classrooms have chimes which is great!
    -Make sure only one kid goes to the bathroom at a time. I usually write names on the board to help me remember who is out.
    -You will have kids ask to go to the nurse! Use your judgement. If it's not an emergency, it's ok to ask them to wait until math, for example, to see how they feel.
    -At the beginning of the day, pick out a book or two that you can read to the class if you have any time you need to fill!
    -Don't be afraid to turn down jobs, especially if you use an online system. I've never subbed for gym or high school because I just wouldn't be comfortable. I have also turned down jobs where I didn't have a great experience the first time I was in the classroom.
    -If there is an aide in the room, you might not be taking over as the teacher. So make sure you communicate so you know what you're doing for the day!
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017

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