First Day Subbing

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Springdruidess, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Springdruidess

    Springdruidess Rookie

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    Apr 27, 2007

    Hi all

    Today was my first day of substitute teaching. I've just finished my teaching degree and was hired on by the local public board for substitute work. So I spent this morning in a grade one classroom, and it went okay. Not great, but okay.

    The kids were fine - the weird part was that the teacher I was subbing for was in the room for more than half the morning. She'd had some sort of meeting first thing in the morning and then was basically using the rest of the morning as a free prep time. But it was just weird having her in the class when I was supposed to be the teacher. The kids weren't really sure who to ask for help etc... and she wasn't consistent about whether or not she would answer them. One time she'd say "I'm not really here, go and ask Ms. S" and then the next kid she would answer/tell them to bring the work to her/give them permission to leave the room etc... Personally, I found this really nervewracking and frustrating.

    It also became apparent that I tolerate more noise in the classroom than she does. I don't have a problem with students talking (quietly) while working as long as the chatter is work-related and isn't disturbing their table-mates/people near them. I don't think she's in to that. Several times I caught her looking like she wanted to jump up and tell them to be quiet. I did once or twice when the darlings started to get too noisy, but overall they were one of the better behaved (noise wise) classes that I have seen. Plus - the point where they were starting to get noisy was at the end of 1.5 hours of straight seatwork (1/2 hour silent reading, 1/2 hour math tubs, 1/2 hour math worksheets) and right before a special lunch (donut day or some such) so I couldn't blame them for being a little loud.

    Anyways... all in all it was an okay first experience. I'm not really into 1st grade -they're still a little young for me - but it was good experience I suppose. Hopefully next week is a little less nervewracking1
     
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  3. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Apr 28, 2007

    The teacher was in the room with you? That's kind of weird...I have had teachers that were in the room for a few minutes because they were either coming or leaving when I was there, but never a teacher that was in the room having free "prep" time! I think things will get better- it is hard not to be nervous if there is someone there breathing down your neck! Good luck! :)
     
  4. Zanadu

    Zanadu Companion

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    Apr 29, 2007

    I had something similar happen to me. I subbed for a student teacher one day, however, her mentor teacher was in the room. It was very odd. She told them they were hallucinating and that she wasn't really there. Occasionally she'd pipe in to add a remark during the lesson. I also subbed a Geometry class that week. The teacher's wife had just had a baby but he was there for most of the morning. He's also a floater so the other teachers in the classes were present. It's kind of nerve racking. I kept praying I wouldn't screw something up. Eventually I just chalked it up to good practice should I ever have to be observed.
     
  5. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2007

    Having the regular teacher with you in the room as you teach it. Nice. I had that experience on my very second assignment as a substitute teacher, and that was a week-long assignment for a special education class.

    I have a strategy for dealing with that, though.

    You don't even have to actually be confident or know everything there is to know about the lesson plans. Project a confident image and make an active effort to maintain a level of discipline in front of the regular teacher, and you will probably be left alone. Of course, you may not be totally familiar with the class's policies if you weren't briefed or you don't see them posted on the walls. Pay no mind to corrections or "chime-in"s from the regular teacher; just take what's said and move right on, maintaining confidence throughout.

    During one of my early assignments at a middle school, I did not enforce the 10/10 rule as I should. (Students were not allowed to leave at the first or last 10 minutes of class.) A teacher's assistant (a nice, somewhat elderly woman) was in there with me, and when I tried letting a student go to the bathroom within the last ten minutes, she said, "No, sir, it is the last 10 minutes of class. Students cannot go."

    She was professional and direct in the way she spoke. She wasn't rude. Even though I was corrected in front of the students, I just took it as a normal remark and continued the conversation without wavering.

    So, treat incoming remarks like hot potatoes. Hold onto it for only a second, throw it into the soup of progress, and keep boiling it on through!
     
  6. GatorGal

    GatorGal Cohort

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    Apr 29, 2007

    Wow, I would have been really nervous too, Spring.

    Occasionally I'll have aides come in with a student to help them during the period...but never the regular teacher. Thankfully I've gotten used to the aides. It was a little strange at first because they are usually a lot older than me, and I always felt as though there was a better way I should be doing things.

    Let us know how subbing day #2 goes!
     
  7. Springdruidess

    Springdruidess Rookie

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    Apr 30, 2007

    Thanks for everyone's replies. I had thought it was a rather weird situation - good to see that others thought it might be a little odd as well :) Today was subbing day two - different class, different school - and it was great. It was a 5 / 6 split class and they were really great. The teacher was again in the building, but she stayed far away from the classroom - and what a difference it makes. I still had an Ed Assistant in and out - something I'll have to get used to - the EA's in my practicum schools did solely pull-out programs, so having another person in the classroom for a decent length of time is a little weird - but much much different than the teacher sitting in the room.
     
  8. Kerfuffle

    Kerfuffle Rookie

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    May 5, 2007

    I've found a few benefits to working with aids and teachers in the room:

    1. Help!
    2. Observing different teaching styles.
    3. Being asked to come back, because a professional at the school knows how I work.

    The first two are especially helpful to me as a career-changer; I have not yet been through a credentialing program or student teaching. Perhaps I would feel differently in your shoes... Anyway, hope this helps! :)
     

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