Letting subs know of your routines is important!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by zmp2018, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. zmp2018

    zmp2018 Rookie

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    Sep 13, 2019

    I know many of you have had good and bad subs in the past. I just wanted to throw it out there that letting the sub know of your typical classroom routine is important.

    I’m a building sub at a local high school, so I know many of the teachers and students. I was requested by our freshmen English teacher to sub for her yesterday. I was nervous because I had never subbed for her between last year and the start of this year, and the freshmen don’t know me, yet.

    Well, on Wednesday, she went through her whole routine with me. I took some notes and figured out how the day would go. Yesterday, I acted as if everything was normal—just their teacher wasn’t there.

    The kids didn’t miss a beat. I had zero behavior issues. I did everything exactly how the regular teacher does things, and they were great. This teacher also has a strict “no cell phones” policy, and I thought they’d challenge me on that, but I didn’t see one cell phone the whole day.

    They know their routine. Please make note of your typical routine for the sub. It makes it so much easier.
     
    Backroads likes this.
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  3. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 13, 2019

    Sadly, most subs don't have the luxury of meeting with the teachers a day or two before the actual absence to go over every little detail. That is a reality that the vacant teacher and the sub need to be aware of, which may explain days that don't go as "perfectly." Subs can only follow what is written down, and it is amazing how many teachers just never get around to writing things down, in detail, but are incensed that the sub was so inept that they couldn't follow a one sentence "routine" perfectly. Hey, I've been on both sides of the coin, so I have experience both ways.
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Sep 13, 2019

    My goal is to get my emergency sub plan binder done, and I am taking this all into consideration.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Sep 13, 2019

    I think that really good subs should come prepared for less than stellar plans that will provide some kind of educational experience, don't rely on unreliable machines like DVD players, Video players, or computers that are finicky. They will be doing themselves and the students a big favor if they bring some items like brain quest cards with them that are appropriate for several age groups. It may not be exactly what the teacher asked for, but they look pretty good after the electronics won't work, for whatever reason, or the DVD has gone missing, probably borrowed by another staff member without giving a heads up. If subbing for young students, I always had "Green Eggs and Ham" with me, and for all grades above third, "The Sign of the Seahorse" was my favorite. I have even read that one to HS science students, because the theme meshes with both biology and Env. Science. If in an English class, and desperate, there so many outstanding examples of literary devices, and the students loved it.

    As a teacher in a very restrictive environment school for students with disabilities, I don't care how sick I am, I will be sending in work to my supervisor every morning that can be shared with anyone covering my classes. I have many of these lessons saved on my home computer, so sending them is not hard. When I run across something that is good for this purpose, I scan them into my computer, and then I can edit them to make them more appropriate for my specific students, and for varied grade levels. Our "subs" are aides that are employed at the school, with varied amounts of experience and education. Our students are difficult. The work I put in at home negates the students being able to say they didn't understand the work, since the format is known to them, and most of the subs know not to believe the song and dance meant to waste time while disrupting classes. Any student who tries the whole "I don't understand" card will have to deal with me the next day, so they generally grumble but work, making that period better for the sub, and allowing me to praise my students for following the rules and expectations upon my return. I have a strict policy with the subs to document any student who tries to disrupt the class, leaves class, or creates behavior that needs to be seen by the principal. Some subs think they are doing the students a favor by not "telling on them", but other staff know I keep track of these things, so I get the report anyway, and now I know that sub isn't trustworthy with my students. That really is important when dealing with our kind of students.

    To both the subs and the teachers who need to be out let me beg both to be able to go with the flow, expect the unexpected, realize that s*** happens, which means the best laid plans go awry, and accept flexibility without bad-mouthing other individuals, since you are probably never going to know what went wrong, and what was tried to rectify the situation. If a sub is providing resources to fall back on that aren't terrible, praise them for it. If you know of similar, but better, easily accessible resources, share them, without making it sound like a reprimand. If you don't want substitute material used, leave copied material that has enough copies to share with everyone. Subs seldom have a lot of free time to use the copy machine, so provide these copies with your sub plans. You may be able to do as I do, by having lessons ready to go, that can be emailed either directly to the copy machine, or to your supervisor or closest teacher friend to be printed off. You will be happy with the work students are given, and the students can't blame the sub, since you sent in the work.

    Subs go to multiple districts. Each has their own way of doing attendance and lunches, etc. It can't take that long to paste a copy of the directions that explain how YOU do these things, giving a clear set of directions on the sub plans folder that leave little to the imagination. The less that a sub has to decide for themselves, the fewer misunderstandings and mistakes they can make.

    It is the beginning of a new school year. Subs should beef up their back up plans and activities, and teachers should consider how they can best prepare the sub to be successful when they cover your classes. Hoping both segments can have a wonderful year.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019

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