Hard a** or fun and cool

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by SacTeacher, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. SacTeacher

    SacTeacher Rookie

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    Jan 26, 2012

    What makes the day go better, drawing the hard line and being the "mean sub" or doing more fun stuff with the class?

    I usually take the hard line, but find myself raising my voice and not enjoying the day at all. I would like to do more positive stuff, but am unsure how to build the rapport and get the class under control in such a short time.

    I have mostly done long term jobs, so day to day is a challenge for me.
     
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  3. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    Jan 26, 2012

    I always had the easiest days when I had some balance between the two. I always was able to clearly set my expectations for the day, follow the teacher's plans, but still be light with the students. I always use a sense of humor to kind of keep them on the good side and bring my own positive reward system in case the class does not have one/it isn't clear what it is. Of course I only sub elementary...if you're in HS, well this is probably worthless :)
     
  4. snapples

    snapples Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2012

    I find I always have a better day when I go in to the sub job with a positive attitude. Luckily I sub at a school I used to aide at so I know the students and teachers which makes it more comfortable me to be both fun/lighthearted, and strict when I need be. I use a lot of humor with teaching so I can't imagine a day of being a total hard a**. That to me would be such a bummer. I agree with setting expectations right away, and if a student isn't following those, addressing it immediately. I don't think you have to be a hard a** when addressing classroom management, just firm and consistent throughout the day.
     
  5. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2012

    I would agree with firm and consistent rather than hard a**. I sub mostly in middle and high school. It is important to let the kids know right away it isn't a "free day" just because they have a sub. I also address any behavior issues as soon as they happen so the kids realize they aren't going to get away with stuff like that.

    I do use humor as much as I can, but I've found I have to be selective with it, especially at the middle school level. There have been plenty of times I wanted to throw in something just for fun, but I could tell the class would start to get out of hand if I did that. So I try to be upbeat and positive with the kids and use humor when I can.
     
  6. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jan 27, 2012

    Something I've started doing without realizing it. I thank the students for just about every time they do what I ask, even if they do it while giving me the death glare. It smooths things over if I asked them to wait to use the restroom until I was done teaching, or that I wasn't writing a pass to the office until the end of the period, etc. And if they are really grumpy about it I usually tack on an "I appreciate it" after the thank you. After a while, the usually give me a sigh, a muttered "your welcome" and get over it. And they are much more willing to cooperate.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2012

    I think it would be very easy to rephrase the question as "Firm and Effective or Pushover?"
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2012

    I agree.
     
  9. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2012

    You can be fun and cool without being a pushover. I've had many students call me "cool" and many more say "Hey, Mr. Cerek is back. You're our favorite sub" when I've subbed in their classes again, but those same kids know I am not a pushover. :cool:
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 27, 2012

    The trick is to find that balance. I would set guidelines of my behavior tolerance. Unless directed otherwise by the lesson plans, I would basically tell them, "It's okay if you work and talk, but if you cannot hear me when I give directions or if another teacher comes in here to rescue me, there will be trouble." However, if the lesson plans called for individual work and quiet, especially while administering a test, I was much more of a tough tush.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 27, 2012

    Sorry, I got interrupted mid post.

    What I meant to say was that the original post seemed to imply that any teacher who wasn't "fun and cool" HAD to be a "hard ***"-- that there's no room for a teacher who is simply GOOD.

    I think that either extreme is a huge problem just waiting to happen.

    How about descriptions like "effective, professional, knowledgeable, hardworking"?? I think that the most effective teachers are seen in those ways.

    Kids are incredibly perceptive: they can spot a phony a million miles away. Anyone trying to be seen as "fun and cool" is in serious trouble, as is anyone trying to be seen as "a hard ***."
     
  12. snapples

    snapples Rookie

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    Jan 27, 2012


    I completely agree that kids are very perceptive. They notice everything!
     
  13. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Jan 28, 2012

    "Fun and cool" is for friends and family. You are not there to be popular. You are in that classroom in a professional capacity. Be fair, firm, and consistent. Trying to win the kids over and get them to like you will only backfire on you when you are substituting.

    In your own classroom, you will have the opportunity to build a rapport with the class and a positive environment. Those things take time that you do not have as a sub.
     

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