high school tips for the elem school sub?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by 0066, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. 0066

    0066 New Member

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    Jan 2, 2011

    Can somebody give me tips for subbing at a high school? How does it differ from elementary school? How can I gain their respect and keep control of the classroom?

    I am educated as an elementary school teacher, and sub in upper elementary classes frequently. I'm happy and confident teaching these younger kids, but don't have experience teaching high school students.

    I need more days of work, so am broadening my horizons. I've accepted a high school placement for tomorrow.

    Thanks for any advice!
     
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  3. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 2, 2011

    Go in and read the plans a little early. Know what you are teaching and spend the entire time teaching the students.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Jan 2, 2011

    Frankly, when I have a sub, I generally schedule a video or give an assignment that students have to work on individually (and that I'm pretty sure they won't be able to finish, so that they'll work all period.) The key for my subs is to get them on task and keep them there. I've been burned in the past when I've left content that needed to be covered--I've had subs who either couldn't or didn't want to actually teach and as a result my classes were behind when I returned. (Needless to say, those individuals are on my "don't call" list.)
     
  5. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Like Mrs. K said, I don't know *any* high school teachers that leave content for the sub to do with the kids. Our sub assignments mirror what she said, videos and/or individual work on stuff we've already covered.

    Follow whatever notes the teacher leaves you, monitor the class, and take good notes yourself to give back to the teacher. Don't battle the kids. Expect them to sit down, behave and be respectful, but if someone refuses to work, unless they are disrupting the class, don't sweat it. The regular teacher will deal with it when he/she returns.
     
  6. HSSub

    HSSub Rookie

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    Jan 2, 2011

    hs subbung

    I sub HS only and have a few suggestions. Be very firm from the start. Introduce yourself, possibly without even smiling. Tell them what their assignment is. It should be something they know how to do, or maybe a movie. Unless the teacher says otherwise, don't let them work together. Tell them it is quiet, independent work. Hopefully it will be due at the end of class. If you don't have your teacher's policy on bathroom breaks, you don't have to let them go. If you do, only one at a time. Unless they are bleeding, don't let them talk you into letting them go anywhere! They'll try to go to the Media Center, the counselor, talk to their math teacher, the band room, football... Don't fall for it. Also, you should find lots of previous posts on HS subbing. I hope this helps.
     
  7. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Jan 2, 2011

    What Bandnerd wrote.
     
  8. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    They will absolutely try to get out of class, but be careful about refusing to let them go to the restroom. Lots of subs (and teachers) have gotten in to serious trouble for that. Ask the front office what the school policy is when you sign in for the day. If they don't have one, and the teacher hasn't left one, then I would agree with the "one at a time" rule, but please remember that you need to be flexible. If there really *is* an emergency, and you don't let the kid go, you will have to prepared to face the principal and parent.

    As for letting them go to other places, I wouldn't let them go unless they are called for specifically by that person. But again, PICK YOUR BATTLES. I don't know the school environment where you will be subbing, but if it's a big, urban-ish or rough school, you don't want to draw lines in the sand. They have nothing to lose and you have *everything* to lose. If a kid demands to leave, let them leave. Write it down, document the time, and if possible, send a note down to the office stating that the child left without permission and where he/she said he was going.
     
  9. waffles

    waffles Companion

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    I'm going to contradict everyone about letting people leave.

    Yes, you don't want to let everyone go anywhere they want. And you obviously shouldn't let people go out at the same time if you get the idea that they just want to get out of the room together.

    High school kids are weird, and I mean that in the best way possible. I had one once who wanted to go to the special ed teacher because he was having issues and that this was something he was allowed to do whenever he felt like he needed to. If I'd followed the advice here he would have stayed in class and hopefully been fine. But really, who knows. I figured since he told me that story there were only two real possibilities of what would happen.

    1 - He's telling me the truth and no harm would come of it.
    2 - He's not telling the truth and would pay for it when the teacher got back.

    Sometimes they have a reason for wanting to leave, and the teacher doesn't have every little thing written down.

    And sometimes the office will thank you for letting the kid leave and then writing them up for skipping class when they don't come back because there's only so many times the office staff can say something when the teachers don't do anything about it.
     
  10. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

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    > They will absolutely try to get out of class, but be careful about refusing to let them go to the restroom. <

    As a full-time teacher, I had a policy that no one would get a restroom pass during the first or last 10 minutes of class, nor during a quiz or test. As a sub, that was always my 'default' policy unless the teacher provided different instructions (and many did).

    BUT I dealt with the "emergency" situation this way: if a student sought permission to go to the rest room at a time I normally didn't allow, I would tell the student that I couldn't give them "permission" to go to the restroom at that moment, but if it was a genuine emergency, I recognized that they would go anyway and they'd need to face any consequences later. I don't think any student ever pursued that "option."

    This "you know if it's really an emergency" policy was based on personal experience: on MY first day as a student in sixth grade, near the end of English class, I felt nauseous and raised my hand to ask permission to use the restroom; the teacher clearly saw me, but ignored me. When I felt I could wait no longer, I got up and ran out of the classroom, down the hall, and into bathroom and threw up.

    I also had a very awkward situation one day when subbing for the first time in one 7th grade classroom; a girl took the bathroom pass during the first few minutes of class (which the teacher's instructions allowed), but I began to worry when she hadn't returned after 5, 10, 15, then 20 minutes. I opted to call the office and ask if a female administrator could check on her to make sure she was OK (and of course, to verify that she was in the restroom and not wandering elsewhere). It turned out she was having her first period, and was both unprepared and embarrassed.
     
  11. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Jan 4, 2011

    I'm an elem school teacher/sub by trade, and today I turned down a HS opportunity. My biggest problem with HS subbing (to me) is that it works to drain me in my enthusiasm. When I go to my normal work (elem), I am compelled. Even on days when I might not be all there (in terms of enthusiasm), the bright-eyed kids usually get you going.

    HOWEVER, I find HS to be the opposite. I find it a depressing place. Kids who drone around from class to class... no enthusiasm, they seem wrapped up in whatever else nonsense (phone, music player) they got going on in their life, etc.

    That's why I turned it down. Especailly starting the new year. I just don't want to have to take opportunities that conspire to sap my enthusiasm for my job. That's my take.
     
  12. doxieteacher

    doxieteacher Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2011

    I LOVE high school! I had myself convinced that I was going to teach elementary or middle (I am currently subbing to network for my own classroom), but I like high school so much more. I don't have to walk kids to the bathroom, make sure they are in a perfect and quiet line in the hallway and for the most part, they do behave. I agree that you have to pick your battles and be firm. I find that actually talking to the kids and getting to know them helps, they often just want attention!
     
  13. Vince

    Vince Rookie

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    Jan 14, 2011

    I dreaded my first day subbing at the high school, that was 2.5 years ago. Now I look forward to those jobs. I do enjoy elementary school, but sometimes it's nice to have a break, where, as the teachers above said, they leave a dvd or the students have work to complete. It's just my job to keep them on task and make sure they don't kill each other LOL

    IMO Middle schoolers are the worst. The only time I have ever been cussed out was by a 7th grader.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I feel the opposite about primary vs secondary schools. The only time I was able to handle elementary school subbing was in the library. I can read books in fun voices and then supervise an activity, but that's about it. Elementary school educators are made of strong, patient stuff!
     
  15. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    Jan 16, 2011

    My suggestion is to sub more districts rather than HS. I sub HS (in fall) because the heat gives me headache and I need to avoid going in and out repeatedly which i have to do with elementary classes.

    (1.1) Do not wear expensive jackets/coats and leave on the chair while you move around. It *may* get stolen depending on the HS. Do not carry cash (if you do, hide it) or even wallet into the classroom. Kis do not rat each other out. Once it's stolen, it's gone.

    (1.2) Carry a cell phone and keep it on your body (save the office ph no.(s0 in the cell to have them handy); keep the room keep on your body as well.

    (2) Be friendly but firm. Do not believe/trust anyone. Be VERY alert. Stay one step ahead of them mentally and physically.


    (4) Let the kids write down their names on a sign in sheet for attendance IN THE ORDER they sit - do not pass the sign in sheet - so the teacher would know whether they sit in the assigned seat or not. Some kids would sign-in and and move to another seat; you need to keep your eyes on them and make a note about that (in your own code or else some one'll see it and tell that kid and that kid would give you a hard time) quickly.

    (5) There will be kids who are not supposed to be there; 99% of the time, these kids are the worst. They'd disrupt the class. Get a roster printed (ask the office). As they write down their names, you check the names. if the names do not match or the kids drag time to write, he doesn't belong there. Sometimes, the kid is smart enough to move around, evading to write his/her names. That's why, you would count the heads after you get all their names on the sign in sheet but preferably, you keep an eye on them to see who is moving around too much during sign in time and didn't write his/her name. Some kids are hyper and they do move around a lot even during sign in time but the way they move would be different. You will get my drift once you sub HS.

    (6) If you get some really bad kids (yes they do exist), hopefully, the school is cooperative enough to send campus security and take them out if the kids do not leave on the own, with your note or a phone call to the security office.

    You need to find another forum like "proteachers" for HS subbing. In this forum, most sub elem.
     
  16. Subber

    Subber Companion

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    Jan 16, 2011

    True that some of them want attention. Yes, give to them w/o compromising your duty. My previous post on this thread is for the bad kids (yea they do exist).
     

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