New sub, scared to start!

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by mrsbananers, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. mrsbananers

    mrsbananers Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2012

    I just graduated, and received my degree with emphasis on teaching secondary biology. I did one semester of student teaching, and loved it.

    So, as I wait for jobs to open up, I've decided to sub. I'm on the list since last Friday. I've looked online at the list, but am so hesitant to accept jobs!

    I imagine myself in the classroom, especially elementary/middle schools, and feel absolutely unprepared! I want the experience, but I’m having a hard time pushing aside the anxiety and fear of getting eaten alive.

    How do I get over the fear? Deep down, I know I’ll be fine, it’s just very hard to get started. Any advice?
     
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  3. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jan 17, 2012

    Are you signed up to sub in the school you student taught in or even the one you attended? Going somewhere where you know the layout, rules, and maybe even some of the students makes things a lot easier.
     
  4. mrsbananers

    mrsbananers Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2012

    That's a good idea. I have a job with my old mentor next week, which is nice. I keep an eye out for that school, but there's very little jobs listed so far. I need to branch out a little...I guess I just need to go in and do it!
     
  5. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Jan 17, 2012

    Yeah pretty much you just have to just suck it up and do it. I REALLY do not like going into new schools, but I do it when I have to. If you go in with the mentality that this is something you have to do and then just do it, it helps.
     
  6. Nitch

    Nitch Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2012

    This is what I do. If I need to think about, I give myself a few min. If its gone when I go back it wasn't ment to be. If its still there I take it and try it. Just because a particular class is hard don't give up on that subject or that school. I have gone back to schools I struggled at and loved it in a different subject and the same subject ay different schools can be easier too. I live in a diverse community. Some schools have easy kids and lots of money and pretty buildings. Other schools in the same dist hav less money, difficult kids with difficult living situations, and run down schools. This is a good time of year to sub. The kids are into behaving and ruiteens. At the beginning they are still learning the ropes.
     
  7. Wifey/DogMom

    Wifey/DogMom Rookie

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    Jan 17, 2012

    Ah, I understand the feeling. I have been subbing for three months and still get nervous before each job. First of all, if you can arrive at a job a little early to understand the layout of the classroom and find the sub plans, that helps you feel better. I like to arrive about ten minutes early so I can locate the room (and teacher's lounge), read the teacher's lesson plan (I try to read it a couple times), locate worksheets, and know teachers who can help. Don't show you're nervous. Each class introduce yourself and say you are the sub for today. Write on the board the assignments the teacher has left. If you have students seriously misbehaving have the other teachers come in. If that doesn't do it whip out some referrals and call the office.
     
  8. snapples

    snapples Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2012

    When I go in to a sub job at a new school or new class I always bring a security blanket with me. I bring extra worksheets, books, music for freeze dance, fun games we can play like silent ball...etc. It always makes me feel a little better knowing that if all goes wrong I have a back up plan.
    After completing a job at a new school I feel a little sense of accomplishment because then I feel I have a new school under my belt. I think it just takes a little time to get comfortable at any school. As a sub it's like we're walking into a new job everyday, it's harder than people think!
     
  9. Oregon Sub Girl

    Oregon Sub Girl Rookie

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    Jan 18, 2012

    Mrsbananers, I can completely understand where you are coming from. I was trained as an elementary teacher and spent most of my student teaching in 3rd grade and under. Well, when I started subbing, I needed to work as much as possible, so I had to accept any grade level and any specialty just to get enough work. The first time I accepted a job in middle school, I was terrified.

    My best advice is to go in with as open a mind as possible. Learn as much as you can from the other teachers and don't be afraid to ask for help, we all had to start somewhere and teachers are generally an exceptionally helpful bunch.

    Here are some random tips that have worked for me off the top of my head:
    *Keep the students as busy as you can as that will minimize behavior issues
    *Speak confidently and firmly state your expectations
    *Smile and be friendly with the students
    *Be as interested in each student as possible. Go around and talk to a few as they come in to class.
    *Don't talk over them when addressing the whole class, this just trains them not to listen. Instead, state that you'd like their attention and you will wait. (Try bringing a bell or something to get their attention.)
    *Go in as relaxed as possible and prepared for a fun day, your mental state makes a big difference.

    You'll do great, just the fact that you are posting on here shows that you care and that will help you be successful. You will learn very quickly.

    Subbing really is a great profession. While I was terrified at first, I've come to appreciate and enjoy each age group and I look forward to each group. Enjoy the learning process and good luck!
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Jan 18, 2012

    Check out the "How was your day?" thread when you get a chance. That is a group reflection and conversation among many of the forum's substitutes. It might help you a bit.
     
  11. Nietzsche

    Nietzsche Companion

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    Jan 20, 2012

    I am certified for secondary social studies but my most meaningful and sometimes challenging days are with elementary classes. I spent two days in a 4th grade class for a teacher who is very intense and dedicated. There were four pages of single spaced lesson plans for each day. The first day I was somewhat overwhelmed but the second day everything went well. The next day I went to a 5th grade class that was very easy.
     
  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jan 20, 2012

    There's no other way to get the first subbing experience over except to just do it (looks like you have, now). You'll learn and grow the more you do it. Just try to prepare yourself, and this forum is a great way to help you do so.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jan 20, 2012

    Sub for as many grade levels, subjects, districts, etc. as you can so you can see what you like & don't like. Subbing allows you to get a taste of them all, but without the commitment.

    I remember the 1st time I ever subbed. It was a 1st gr class & I remember thinkig how little they were since I am never around kids otherwise (I don't have kids, neither am I around friends w/ kids, neighbors w/ kids, etc.)
     
  14. Mellz Bellz

    Mellz Bellz Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2012

    As others have mentioned the best thing to do is dive right in and the more you do of it the more comfortable you will feel. Subbing is a great way to gain experience. I did it for 3 years before finally finding a job and it taught me so much. You will be surprised how well you can actually teach when you are thrown into a sink or swim scenario. As others have mentioned arrive early to review plans and locate materials. You want to be firm but kind. It's a good idea to bring along something extra to use as a filler whether it be a fun worksheet lesson, a book to read aloud, or flash cards. I always carried around a set of multiplication flashcards and as a reward for good behavior I would let them play a game such as "Around the World." You mY also want to bring a notebook to jot down different ideas you see in classrooms you visit. Finally ALWAYS leave a note. Even if it's just "The class was awesome today. You have a great group of students!" Some would advise you otherwise but be honest if the day went badly. Remember not every teacher you sub for is going to like you, but if you're good you'll know.
     
  15. SetterHugger85

    SetterHugger85 Rookie

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    Jan 23, 2012

    I am certified in secondary biology too and until you jump right in you will be anxious. Read up on books, especially those that teachers that you have respected in your program or that your cooperating teachers have recommended to you. Learn the layout of the school...for some schools I still don't know the layout but know that once I arrive there it will all fall into place. I highly suggest reading the article online called "The Art and Zen of Substitute Teaching"....it helped me a lot!

    And reflect every day, whether in your mind, or in a journal, etc. It is important and helps you learn and grow. I realize things I could have done differently every day but it helps you become a better teacher in the end. It is a leap of faith, you have the tools you need!
     

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