If you were a sub before you started teaching..

Discussion in 'General Education' started by sunshine*inc, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. sunshine*inc

    sunshine*inc Cohort

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    Dec 19, 2008

    Did susbstitute teaching prepare you in any way for having your own classroom? If yes, how?

    Were there any skills you developed as a substitute teacher that you would not have gained by only student teaching? If yes, what were they?

    Did you enjoy substitute teaching? I met a middle school teacher who said she loves having her own classroom, but may not have become a teacher if she would have worked as a substitute teacher first.
     
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  3. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Dec 19, 2008

    I didn't so much gain experience that I could transfer to an everyday situation, but rather, I gained ideas. I used to have a notebook. I would write down things I saw that I liked or would want to use. If I had a camera I would have taken pictures. I think I also gained confidence in my ability to handle difficult situations.
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Dec 19, 2008

    No, it did not prepare me for my classroom.
    I actually think that subbing hindered me in the long run. I bounced around so much, I 'lost' some of my strengths and picked up bad habits. Like just reading from a text at times. I never did it while student teaching, but once I saw how easy it was, I have done it in my own classroom (usually when I don't feel well or when I didn't have time to plan something).

    Subbing was OK. It depended on the specific job. There were rough days, but I didn't hate it.
     
  5. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Dec 19, 2008

    I think ALL teachers should have to sub before they teach full time! When I graduated from my teaching program (4 years of placements, courses, etc) I still felt nervous about the idea of my own classroom. I worried I'd screw up and destroy my changes of ever getting hired on in the county I wanted to work in. But because I had another year of uni left (and was a qualified teacher - long complicated story which isn't important to this thread) I subbed 2 days a week. What subbing taught me was that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED I would be able to deal with it. So when I started my first job (which had some serious challenges) I knew I would be okay and was confidant enough to ask for help when I needed it. Subbing basically ensured that classroom management issues were a non-issue for me when I started teaching.
     
  6. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Did susbstitute teaching prepare you in any way for having your own classroom? If yes, how? I thought it did! It helped me with classroom management a lot. I was going into a strange classroom of kids I didn't know, so I had to figure out what worked. It helped me figure out my "teaching personality" and how to interact with kids of different age levels.

    Were there any skills you developed as a substitute teacher that you would not have gained by only student teaching? If yes, what were they? Subbing is different because you and you alone are in complete control of the classroom. There isn't someone sitting in the corner or poking their head into the classroom.

    Did you enjoy substitute teaching?
    It was ok. I'm glad I did it, but having your own classroom is SO much better.
     
  7. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Dec 20, 2008

    subbing helped me to know that I wanted to be a teacher. All my life, I would say that I could never be a teacher. After doing a LTS job when I was 37, I decided to go back to college to become a teacher. I did not ST because I went thru alternate cert program that hired you while doing an internship.
     
  8. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Dec 20, 2008

    Did susbstitute teaching prepare you in any way for having your own classroom? If yes, how? Yes, it was some of the hardest work I'd ever done before.

    Were there any skills you developed as a substitute teacher that you would not have gained by only student teaching? My student teaching really didn't prepare me very well, my cooperating teacher was hospitalized for 6 weeks while I was there & I didn't know what I was doing at all. The district hired a sub to replace her but she worked in the library!

    If yes, what were they? Classroom management, classroom arrangement, organizational skills, what not to do.

    Did you enjoy substitute teaching? I hate to be negative but I didn't. It was hard not knowing where you were going to be from one day to the next.

    I met a middle school teacher who said she loves having her own classroom, but may not have become a teacher if she would have worked as a substitute teacher first. Having your own classroom is so much better, it's nothing at all like subbing.
     
  9. Go 4th

    Go 4th Habitué

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    Dec 20, 2008

    I did love subbing. I met some really great teachers and saw first hand how wonderful they were in the classroom. I know have a built in support system because they knew me when i was hired and it has made the transition easier. Subbing has its perks--no paperwork, no lesson planning, no meetings, choose your days, choose the classes you want to sub for, etc. But teaching your own class is amazing--seeing students progress, knowing each individual student, creating lesson plans that you know the students will be excited about, meetings where you actually learn something new and will try in your room, doing paperwork that will help a student, all those hugs, hugs, and more hugs!
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Subbing was the best thing I ever did for two reasons. First, it gave me experience with different aged kids. I was able to see which ones I meshed better with. I also got to see different things that teachers did and got ideas about lessons and classrooms.
    The second thing I got was a healthy respect for subs. I leave extremely detailed plans, tons of extra work, treats, and a letter thanking them for taking care of my kids. I also tell my kids each year that they are to behave twice as well for the sub as for me. If I get their name from the sub for misbehavior, whatever the consequence normally would be, it is doubled.
    I should have said I got 3 things, because to me, the most important thing I got was confidence. I went into many different settings and was able to handle the kids and teach. That made a huge difference for me.
     
  11. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Yes, subbing was great. We only had about 2 months of student teaching when I went to school. Subbing keeps you on your toes and it is usually new and different everyday. It is a great way to get to know the schools and where you might want to teach. Also you can create a good reputation for yourself. Always eat in the teacher lounge and interact with fellow teachers. My subbing got me my job. I think you also pick up some bad habits and also good ideas from other teachers. I would write down ideas too and take a copy of a good idea if there was extra.
     
  12. BethMI

    BethMI Cohort

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    Dec 20, 2008

    Exactly! Got lots of good ideas that way...organizational ideas too, also, things I wouldn't do. It did help me with behavior management a bit-seeing many different methods, and being able to come in and be flexible.
     
  13. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Subbing taught me EVERYTHING I know about classroom discipline techniques. My student teaching experience was lacking in this because my cooperating teacher never let go of control, so the kids never saw me as the source of power. Subbing gave me about twenty ways to gain and hold classroom attention and respect as quickly as possible.
     
  14. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Dec 20, 2008

    Substitute teaching absolutely prepared me for my own classroom! First of all, I got the opportunity to teach in all areas, across the grade levels so that I could decide which grade level/content area is for me. It also helped me get to see which schools I enjoyed the most and which principals were easiest to get along with! This was invaluable for me because I knew where I wanted to teach and only bid on those schools. Then, too, because I did several long term sub jobs, it was pretty much (especially the whole year position) like having my own class- with all the paperwork, grading, etc, but with less pay (although now that my pay is spread out over the whole year and insurance & retirement comes out it's like taking a pay cut!).

    I enjoyed substituting because most of the time (when I wasn't doing long terms) I got the luxury of not having the responsibility for giving grades, dealing with parents, etc. plus I could just not go in one day if I felt like staying home, and I could turn down jobs I didn't feel comfortable with with no repercussions. On the other hand, substituting helped me realize that in order to bring about any real change in a student's behavior or to have any lasting impact on a child, I would need to get my own classroom where I can spend time with the same kids and get to know them one on one...

    I wouldn't trade my subbing experience for anything, and I would probably go back and sub again after retiring!
     
  15. tammylocks

    tammylocks Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2008

    I subbed for almost 2 years. I did love it because I got to teach everyday but I didn't like it because I never knew where I was going. Sometimes I got called to sub at 9:15 and school had already started so it was a big rush and the admin/secretary looked at me like I was unorganized and late when really I couldn't have been there on time even if I was already in my car when they called me.

    Subbing gave me such self-confidence. I always figured I could do it (teach) but I doubted myself until I got thrown into all sorts of classrooms with all sorts of kids and you had to be prepared for every situation. I then absolutely positively knew I could do it and never doubted myself again! Right now I'm teaching on a temporary contract and I would go back to subbing again if I had to but I don't want to! I just love having my own class and not having kids speak about me as not a "real" teacher. I hated that! I think that subbing should be mandatory for a while at least. You gain so much - way more than student teaching - and people who were subs are much better teachers!
     
  16. old-new teacher

    old-new teacher Comrade

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    Dec 23, 2008

    In some ways, it helped, in other ways, not. I did get a lot of ideas for classroom organization while subbing, and I did learn how to cope under pressure, all valuable for my regular classroom. However, the classroom management you use in a subbing situation can be very different from a regular classroom. In a regular classroom, I get to choose my behavior expectations and then model and practice them over and over until the kids get it. When subbing, you have to follow someone else's expectations and hope that the kids will behave well enough to follow them for you too.

    Of course, subbing did very little to nothing to help me learn how to plan curriculum over the course of a year, so that was just something I had to figure out on my own and with the help of my mentor.
     
  17. really?

    really? Rookie

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    Dec 23, 2008

    I really didn't like subbing.

    My first subbing job was for my cooperating teacher when she went on maternity leave after I graduated. I learned so many things. It was weird because I knew the kids and had taught them for weeks during student teaching, but being on my own was so different!

    I guess I got to make a lot of first-timer mistakes in that position instead of during my first year teaching in my new district. Not that I didn't make mistakes, (of course I still do in my third year), but I got to spread them out. It's kind of like the thread that is discussing "I'm glad no one knows about that!"

    But actually going into a new room daily was not a good match for me. I felt too lost. I especially hated elementary. I've always known my calling was not for elementary. . .
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Dec 24, 2008

    In some ways, it did. I didn't learn much from my elementary subbing and my out-of-area subbing because those weren't things that I was planning on ever doing anyway. However, I did find that I learned a lot about the climate of each school. I spent a good portion of the year I subbed working as a full-time sub in two long-term positions for English teachers at the high school. One was a maternity leave, and one was a medical leave. The maternity leave required me to follow the teacher's lesson plans, but I did all the grading and daily running of the classroom using her expectations. In the other situation, I was completely in charge and finished the year--12 weeks total. Those two long-term positions led directly to me being hired at that school. A couple of years later I took a leave position for a middle school teacher, and I was there all year long. That led to the position I have now. Those long-term positions allowed the staff and administration of the schools to "test run" me before a job was even available.

    I didn't feel like I did much student teaching at all. I had no interactions with anyone other than my classroom teacher. I spent three months in the school, and I never met the principal, assistant principal, or anyone outside of a couple of people right by the classroom were I taught. Subbing was WAY more useful to me.

    Naturally I liked some days better than others, and I absolutely HATED subbing for elementary school. A few of the high school & middle school positions were yucky because the teachers didn't run a tight ship when they were there, so I had to fight that while I was there. I never would have imagined liking middle school because I had heard all kinds of awful stories about it--regarding staff and students. Ended up being my favorite place! I love it there!
     
  19. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Dec 24, 2008

    I subbed for a full school year on two separate occasions, first right out of college and again later when I wanted to ease back into the classroom. Both years subbing was the result of not finding a teaching position before the start of the school year, but I really loved subbing. I got to experience many different age levels from kinder through seventh grade and try out/improve/cast out different management techniques. I also learned that I could handle a classroom on my own; I was very uncertain about that when I graduated. Being a sub also taught me how I should write lessons and prepare for anyone subbing for me, helped me store up many different ideas about everything from decorating a room to seating arrangments to organiziation of just about everything. I loved subbing and the constant daily changes and challenges. I have often thought that being a sub would be ideal for me if I were married and raising a family. There is a lot of flexibility it offers.
     

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