Ideas for classroom mgmt as a sub

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Back2Work, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 4, 2006

    I wanted to try and find out what all of you use for classroom mgmt as a sub. I think only once or twice this whole school year, has the teacher left me instructions of their personal behavior plan. (i.e., give/take away points per student or as a group). I find that this is very helpful because the students are already invested in the plan, and they know the rules so I dont have to try and start something new.

    I bring my little goodie bag of rewards (stickers, lollipops, tattoos, etc.), but I would rather have some kind of easy behavioral plan in place. I dont want it to be too involved because I will probably only be there for one day, but I can use it again if I get requested to go back another day.

    So far, I have been letting them know that I have a goodie bag, and that if they behave they will be rewarded in some way. (I also bring pencils for random acts of kindness). But I am starting to feel like I need to have some sort of system that is able to work in the subbing arena. When I have been volunteering in my kids' rooms, I have been paying attention to their teacher's mgmt styles, but they are too involved to work as a sub.

    Any ideas/advice for me? I have been searching around, but most mgmt plans are for full time teachers, not subs.

    Thanks for you help!
     
  2.  
  3. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2006

    Go to abcteach.com. Check out their clip art and their ideas of classroom management. Make up some small posters laminated of course of your own that you can easily tack up and remove when you get there. Take 10 minutes to go over your set of "GoldenRules" with your classes and stick to it. I usually leave a note with the teacher what each class did/didn't accomplish, who was great, who drove me nuts, and I label all rewards and let the teacher hand them out the next day. That way she gets to "share" in the review and the pleasure of rewarding the good ones, and can deal with the bad disciplines as she sees fit. That means, you come out of it with no scars and she doesn't have to listen to 3 hours of how unfair you were to them. Document Document Document. Have roster sheets with a code of discipline anacronyms at the bottomof it. For example:, Sammy Whosit 11/8/06 OS, TO, DT
    Sally LOudMouth TOIII, HB,DC (OS=out of seat, TO=talking w/o permission, DT=Disrespecting teacher, HB= hall behavior, DC= disturbing class. Each student gets 1-3 warnings per day, after that nail them for every single action. "Ohhhh, I am so sorry Sammy, that is your fourth warning, and I will have to doc you. Ohhh, Sally, well you just haven't seen to catch on withthe 3 warnings, so, I guess you'll have to be docked for recess, for ....."x" amount of time. Oh, you say you're in Junior High and you have no recess??? Okay, that'll be all of lunch period sitting in the principals office/ at the teacher's table/ at an empty chair or at the "detention" table with no talking.... Ohhh, no "special" place... Okay, you can have clean up detail after/before school with Mr. Janitor , or you can stay after class and clean this entire classroom by yourself , each and every desk. Or, hows about we call your ma or pa right now on this cell phone and YOU can explain why YOU felt it necessary to interrupt the rest of the class's lesson. I am suuuuurrrre your parent is just gonna looooovee having you interrupt their work day tooo!! Especially when they find out how rude you were to a special school guest!!---- ME.

    Sorry. Get the feeling that I've had this happpen to me one to many times??? youre right. I have.
    IF the regular teachers system is too involved for a one day assignment, write down what it is the kiddies are doing wrong, and which are doing right, so that the teacher can reward the class/ or punish the naughty ones at her own leisure. YOu can even have a pre printed note to go home to the "special" ones (positive/negative) address to the parent just to let them know how their little darling did or didn't behave. Let the regular teacher see these before they go out. Or, if necessary be sure atleast the principal sees it."dear Mrs, Smith: I just wanted you to know how kind little Sally was when we had a guest in our room on ___ of November. Sally demonstrated to the whole class and Mrs. "x" how to write the 3 times table on the board . She is a shining example in our Math class as our class is learning the intricacies of multiplication!! Thank you for supporting and encouraging your daughter's education!! We at XYZ school can tell you really care!
     
  4. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 7, 2006

    As a teacher who focuses on positive discipline, encouraging "intrinsic rewards," I wouldn't really like a sub coming in and "rewarding" students for things they know they are expected to do. (And students WILL take advantage of that! :-D) I'm a little bit hard-nosed that way, but I think it's sad that you feel you need to ask about rewarding students you don't even know! I am sure I will be in the minority on this one...sorry!

    If I were subbing, I would likely choose to use a coupon of some sort (Good Citizen, Caught With Character, Thanks for Your Help!) to post on the board for the teacher and students to see. This shows students what good behavior looks like, and there's not much chance it will interfere with anything else a teacher is doing. (We reserve Caught With Character tickets, which are tied to a random weekly drawing by the principal, for "above and beyond" things. For Kinders, it might be picking up after someone else has left a mess or verbally encouraging another student through a tough moment, etc.)

    I applaud your efforts to think ahead and make things successful, but taking a bag of goodies seems to put the focus on something other than academics!
     
  5. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2006

    Thank you both for your comments.

    Munchkin, I will check out that website you mentioned. I have never been there before. I do leave very detailed notes for the teachers. Many have said that is why they request me back again. I guess I just wish more of the teachers would leave an outline of their behavior plan, so I could use it while I was there. For example, award or take away points that they earn throughout the year to trade in for special things. I guess if I leave detailed notes though, the teacher can then do the awarding or taking away at their leisure like you said. I think I will try to do more of the notes home idea that you both mentioned. Maybe I could get them written down during lunch or planning times, when I see kids that go above and beyond good behavior.

    srh-I'll have to say i was a little offended when i first read your post. I read it in a way that made me take it personally...you thinking that I was a sad teacher for giving rewards. Then I reread it, and I think you meant that it was a sad situation that I feel the need to reward them for things they should already do. I agree...it is kind of sad that we often feel the need to reward kids for behaviors that are expected every day. It is kind of a slippery slope too. For instance, I was in a class yesterday for a whole day, and the whole class was very good. I gave out lollipops at the end of the day. They now called me back for a half day today and a full day tomorrow in the same class. Now, this class is probably going to expect some kind of reward because I did it yesterday!

    I am thinking I am going to try and reroute my rewards to those of a more intrinsic nature. I will admit...I have been out of the classroom for 5 years, and just started subbing this year. I was very nervous about how the mgmt piece would play out in the subbing world, since you dont really get long periods of time with the kids. But I guess all in all....most kids would love to bring a note home explaining how they did a great job in school for whatever reason. I know as a parent, I would much rather read a glowing note about my child, than to have them eat a piece of candy!

    Thanks to both of you for helping me open my eyes and mind a little bit more, so that I can be a better teacher!
     
  6. Shane Steinmetz

    Shane Steinmetz Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2006

    Yeah, I don't think srh meant that. From what I can gather, that forum poster is very kind and eloquent. Srh isn't one of those forum posters. I think the second interpretation is right on. :)

    I don't know, guys, but I just have problems with positive reinforcement. I use it to a very limited extent. I never hand out treats or goodies to students at any grade level; I keep the positive reinforcement limited to verbal messages.

    I do use negative reinforcement more easily, though. That's not to say that good behavior goes unrecognized, but when a class is busy and fast-paced, it's hard to stop and recognize every bit of good behavior.
     
  7. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2006

    Back2Work: I am SO SORRY. Yeah, it did sound kinda like that. But thankfully, the other two posters picked up on my intention! Proves you shouldn't reply to stuff when you're wiped out! (I fell asleep during Dancing With the Stars last night, and I'm still made over that!!)

    I did not mean "you" specificially; you're right, I was speaking in general terms. I have lots of friends who do a lot of rewards in their classes, and it just exhausts me listening to it all! The teacher ed program I was in highly discouraged it for many reasons, and I guess I really bought into that perspective. So please don't take offense!

    I also understand that subbing is an animal all to itself, and sometimes it's about survival! I am very sure you do a wonderful job! I hope you got some encouragement and good ideas to think about...that's why we're all here. Good luck!
     
  8. ILJ3022

    ILJ3022 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2006

    HI Everyone,
    I am new to this great panel and also to teaching in general. I have been doing a lot of subbing and I feel that I have a very successful classroom management style. I simply say at the beginning of class that I always look forward to giving the classroom teacher a positive report on how well the day went, that I take notes on not only student behavior but also attitude throughout the day and that I know we will have a great day together etc...that seems to kick things off in a positive way. It doesn't work for the kinder's or first graders as well of course but if I stop during the day and remind them (like if they start getting to noisy or if I notice folks being off task.) I will say "I don't think Mrs. Frazzle would want to read in my notes I am leaving for her that the class was noisy lining up for library"...etc Also, I smile and smile and smile. Lots of eye contact. I do a little meditation/prayer before I get out of my car in the morning and get geared up for a good day ahead. Teaching is an awesome responsibility and I want to help every child to have a great, productive day and to help them feel secure and safe and listended to in their class. I think this shows or comes across to the kids (because it is my genuine wish.) Also, I make a seating chart (if not provided) and get the names down right away. Kids are so amazed that I know their names I think that translates to them that I really care and want to be there. Children can spot sincerity instantly. I don't try to entertain them but I do look for an occasional opportunity to inject a bit of silliness in their day. This works so well. My mentor teacher also taught me something fantastic to say if the class is out of control or doing some Olympic class "testing" of the teacher (in this case me) Ring the bell or five four three two one and when every one is quiet wait an extra 5 seconds for dramatic effect and then in a gentle voice say something like "I may be mistaken ...because I am new to all of you but I am beginning to feel like some of you are acting in a really disrespectful way towards me right now and I just need to tell you that I don't appreciate it" I say it in kind of a wide-eyed way. I have been amazed at how well this works. I think, again, it is because I mean it when I say it. I do like the teacher who commented on helping children to recognize the intrinsic rewards of behaving in a respectful way. I got to see fabulous teachers during my student teaching who were firmly grounded in this and I am trying to make that my way also.
    Don't know if any of th is was helpful but it does work for me! GOOD LUCK!
     
  9. hope037

    hope037 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2006

    re: sub techniques

    Every sub needs to find his or her own style that works. But regular ed teachers need to realize that a sub has to work within totally different parameters (I think MOST teachers do!)

    For a sub, a classroom management plan has to have immediate feedback and results. Kids know you're not going to be back tomorrow. And even though the regular teacher might be supportive and provide consequences upon her return, some kids just don't mind postponing "punishment" for a little bit of fun and freedom.

    True, a sub shouldn't rely too much on extrinsic rewards. (But most schools use them...blue tickets? Prizes? Passes? Those are extrinsic rewards.) But subs shouldn't rely on them too much. For one thing, it can get expensive. Second, kids learn quickly that you're a treat giver and they will come to expect them. Third, they will manipulate you to get them! "If I'm good, can I get a candy?" Fourth, regular teachers resent the rewards because their students ask why they don't give them out like the "nice" teacher. And last, do you really want to ply the kids with sugar all day? That alone can backfire!

    However, with that said, there is room for treats. I've subbed grades 1-8. Here is how I used "treats."

    For the younger grades, I do not use candy. I keep a stash of smelly stickers. Not just any ol' stickers, but the ones that have yummy smells. The kids love those. But I do not promise stickers or show stickers. I do not give them out often either.

    If I see a student working hard and quietly, I'll stick on on his or her hand. Everyone else gets the picture and gets down to business. But I do not give out stickers then because I know they are working just for the sticker. I tell them that I have to catch them working quietly...not just when I'm giving out stickers or when I'm right next to them. They never know when I'm watching them so they stay on task.

    For the older kids--4th and up--I keep a bag of Jelly Bellies. Same thing as above, but I place just one tiny jelly belly next to them. They love the different flavors and never know what flavor they'll get. Again, I do not give them out liberally. It's funny to see the 8th graders work hard just for a teeny tiny little jelly bean.

    -----------------------------------------


    But classroom management is more than rewards for working quietly. You have to set the tone when they first walk in. A sub needs to be friendly but firm. I always tell them that I know the teacher's rules and that she asked me to leave her a detailed note about their behavior. I tell them that my job is to do exactly as she says. They know the rules. I know the rules, and I have no choice but to be sure they follow them. You also can ask the kids to tell you the rules. This reminds them.

    I start off with a huge attention getter:"Good morning. Good morning! Come and have a seat because I have some good news and some bad news and you're going to want to hear it!" They listen up.

    "The bad news is that your teacher will not be in school today. The good news is that she will be back tomorrow and the good news for me is that I get to be your teacher today!"

    I tell them a little about myself (my kids, etc) so they bond with me and see me as a person. They're less likely to act up when they feel they know you. I go around the room and they tell me their names and one thing about themselves. Establishes a connection. I'm very friendly during these moments. It's hard to be disrespectful to someone who likes you and whom you like.

    Knowing names (use the seating chart) is critical. A general "Quiet down!" or "Pay attention!" does nothing. Being specific ("Brian, we're on page 10 now.") really works best. I avoid just telling them to stop talking. I direct their attention to their work. If talking starts up, I say, "I guess from your talking that you're all done with your work so we can move on."

    The younger kids need attention getters. Instead of saying, "Sit down on the carpet and I'll read a story!" then trying to herd them all to the carpet...Sing (to the tune of If you're happy and you know it): "If you want to hear a story, find a seat (clap, clap). If you want to hear a story, find a seat (clap, clap). If you want to hear a story, fold your hands and then your feet. If you want to hear a story, find a seat (clap, clap)" and repeat it as the kids flock around you and sing along...

    Also, "1-2-3, eyes on me!" works.

    The hand clap signal works well, but if the class does not participate, be sure to give a reward to the student who does. Next time, the rest of the will follow suit.

    Well, this is long. Sorry! But a sub can't really play the mean card because she is temporary. She can't play too nice or the kids will walk all over her. She CAN remind the kids that she is an extension of their regular teacher and the regular classroom rules are in place and she will do what the regular teacher does (detentions, principal referrals, parent and teacher notes). Worse, if they don't have proper classroom behavior, they can't stay in class today which will be a fun time. (I always bring something small and engaging as an incentive for them to finish their regular work quickly.)

    Anyhoo. That is all for now! :)
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Nov 8, 2006

    While this alone won't always work, your tone of voice (and behavior and preventive maintenece are two critical things for subs.
     
  11. Back2Work

    Back2Work Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2006

    Thanks to all of you for your great advice!! I have been writing all of your great ideas down so that I can refer to them while I am subbing, and hopefully they will become second nature to me. Hope037, I love how you start your day, and then just sporadically "catch them being good." I am so glad I asked for some help with this. This forum is full of such talented people!
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,066
    Likes Received:
    1,534

    Nov 8, 2006

    I'm very much NOT an elementary school person, and I'll always remember one day when I had second graders. I'd been called last minute . . . called me as the kids were arriving in the room. When I arrived, it was rather like a zoo . . . even though someone WAS watching them. "Watching" being the key word there. I had NO idea how to make them be quiet. One little girl came up to me and said, "If you hold your hand up like this and put your finger to your lips, they'll be quiet." She demonstrated. I followed suit and they were SILENT within seconds. Who knew??
     
  13. srh

    srh Devotee

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,199
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 8, 2006

    IMA--That's the beautiful part about teaching a primary grade...they are SO wanting to help! Even the ones who create disturbances and noise are thrilled to know when they are "helping" the teacher. That's why those "catch them doing good" comments are so powerful with them. Wouldn't it be great if they maintained that attitude through high school?! :-D
     
  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,066
    Likes Received:
    1,534

    Nov 10, 2006

    That actually works with the older kids, too! Most of the time if I'm absent, I know it ahead of time. I'll give "jobs" to the kids. Even the ornery ones really love helping out. I was out two days this week with my dad, and I'll be at a conference Monday & Tuesday. The kids are doing all kinds of things for me while I'm gone. I've showed them lots of things throughout the year. They can hook up the microphone system, work the smartboard, take attendance . . . and they even remind the sub when I have restroom duty.
     
  15. MUgrad1990

    MUgrad1990 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 10, 2006

    This is my little trick and it works like a charm every time I sub. Admittedly, it works better in grades 3-5, but I alter it a bit for the primary grades.

    When I enter the room in the morning, I write the word JOKES on the board. When the kids come in for the day, I explain to them that they can earn 10 minutes of "joke time" at the very end of the day. For every time I need to speak to them regarding noise/behavior, I erase a letter. As long as they have one letter on the board, I give them their reward. There are rules they must follow, as in the joke must be appropriate for school and their grade level, and they must be a courteous audience. If they break the rules, joke time ends and they lose the privilige. I have to say that they LOVE this. I sub at my son's school, so all of the children know me. When they see that I'm subbing, they immediately ask "Are we doing Jokes today?"....and then I ask them what they think, and they reply "We have to earn it!"....

    In the primary grades, I've used the same concept, only with sharing instead of jokes. 1st and 2nd graders LOVE LOVE LOVE to show you things that they have brought to school, or tell you something about ANYTHING. They eat up that attention.

    This works best for me, along with the teacher's classroom management plan.

    Marcy
     
  16. hope037

    hope037 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 11, 2006


    You have a smartboard???!!?? Do all the schools in your district have one? Oh, I wish we had smartboards!!!!
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,066
    Likes Received:
    1,534

    Nov 11, 2006

    Right now I'm the only teacher who has one. I got it last year. I often get new gadgets because they know that I'll actually learn how to use them and incorporate them into my classroom on a regular basis. I'm also allergic to dry erase markers, so the board helps there, too!

    This year they got 15 activeboards, and I'm getting an upgrade!
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn
Total: 156 (members: 1, guests: 140, robots: 15)
test