So how much planning does a new sub need?

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by OhioMike, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. OhioMike

    OhioMike Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2014

    I am so, so nervous. I have never tough nor had a teaching course in college. I have decided it is what I want to do so I am going in feet first right now and chose k-8 as a start point with hopefully 1-2 gigs a week.


    Will teachers have everything ready for me when I sub for them or will it be up to me to have a game plan for that day. I am just so worried I will stand there staring at a bunch of kids not knowing what to do, especially the junior high level.
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Aug 13, 2014

    Usually the teacher will have some sort of plan for the day. If there aren't any, ask a teacher in a classroom near yours for some work. Some subs do have general activities they bring with them in case of an emergency.
     
  4. OhioMike

    OhioMike Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2014



    Will me having "my own plan" have a bearing on gaining a good relationship with others? I am starting off subbing but trying to get an alternate license eventually and some friends told me to do anything to show I care and get noticed. I mean I really do care but if a few little things can make a difference I want to do it.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 13, 2014

    STICK TO THE TEACHERS PLAN IF THERE IS ONE. If no plan, ask grade level partners...they might have been emailed the plan or know where emergency plans are or they might know what the class has been working on and be able to point you towards some activities.
     
  6. atxteacher

    atxteacher Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2014

    Always stick to the teachers plan. To get ahead with subbing, build relationships with the teachers and office admin. Leave notes for the teacher you subbed for telling her about the day and leave your sub number for her so she can request you. but ALWAYS do the sub plans. and build build build relationships.
     
  7. OhioMike

    OhioMike Rookie

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    Aug 13, 2014



    Great thank you for the information
     
  8. Miz_Jay

    Miz_Jay Companion

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    Aug 13, 2014

    Teachers should always have everything ready for you plan wise and you should stick to that plan!

    However, it never hurts to bring things for students who are early finishers. Some teachers have things in the room, but it never hurts to have something in your sub things handy.

    And while it isn't a planning thing per say, I would suggest that as a sub you bring sharpened pencils, loose leaf paper, a pencil sharpener, erasers. Just those few items can help a lot with management because students rifling through their desks, asking friends or attempting to go into the teacher's things.
     
  9. John Lee

    John Lee Groupie

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    Aug 13, 2014

    I've been to 1,000 classrooms over the years, and in terms of preparing anything, I guess it is to each his/her own. If it makes you feel better having plans "in case", go for it. I probably only had 10 days (out of 1,000) where NO plan was left--that is 1% contingency.

    You might think of things to have, to fill 5-30 minutes of time that can come up often. Easiest is to just have them read silently (kids like to draw too. If it is S.O.P. in that class to draw, I allow it. Some teachers don't let them). You can take them outside, play games like Hangman, Brainquest, etc. Or just blab (have a discussion ;).
     
  10. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Aug 13, 2014

    Most teachers should leave plans. Follow them. As czacza said, seek out teammates if you can't find them.

    Here is a tip- secretaries run schools. Seriously. They can make or break your subbing career. Always be friendly.
     
  11. azure

    azure Companion

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    Aug 28, 2014

    I agree, always follow the teacher's plan. So many teachers have told me they request me because I follow their plans. My thought is always, "Well, what else would I do?" But apparently many subs do not follow the plans and allow the students to get them off-track (which they are very good at). They ask subs things that lead to the sub talking about herself, her family, telling stories, etc. Don't fall for that. I'm also very strict and don't let the kids get away with ANYTHING. You won't be popular with the students, but you will be with the teachers!
     
  12. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    Yes, always follow the plan when given one.

    My sub yesterday decided that she would rather have the kids read the story silently instead of with the audio version I left. No biggie, right? Well, it wouldn't have been except we were working on a listening standard . . . and there was no listening. Today I'm having to backtrack.
     
  13. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    Aug 31, 2014

    When I was subbing there was always a lesson plan from the teacher. If there ever was a problem, it was that the lesson plan was much too short. You'll need a backup plan for that, because if you tell the kids that they can use the rest of the time to do their homework or read - they won't.

    Don't bother making subject specific plans either. I've had schools move me around campus - so you'll never know what you'll get. I got a video approved by the district that I would show to classes that had a lot of extra time (Dogs Decoded from PBS). The kids love it and it keeps them in their seats and out of trouble.

    The first time I experienced not having a backup plan (and I told the kids to use the extra time for homework) I had boys getting up and playing with the dangerous shop equipment in the back of the room. I finally got them seated again, but they kept trying to get back up, kept lying to my face about needing to work on the shop equipment, and then they started to throw a football around the room (which is an accident waiting to happen). The next periods I found some videos the teacher had on the projector and just picked random ones for the kids to watch - no further problems.

    Protect yourself by having a good distraction. Kids don't respect subs and you'll have an incident on your hands if they don't have something to do.
     
  14. teach02920

    teach02920 New Member

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    Sep 3, 2014

    build a relationships with the principals! At least in the city I sub in I was told to always build a relationship with the principal because it's him/her who will give you a letter of recommendations when it comes to it.
     
  15. Milsey

    Milsey Habitué

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    Sep 4, 2014

     
  16. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    The main thing you need to plan is your arrival time. Get there at least a half hour before school starts. See yourself as a blank slate until you are in the office getting your assignment. Take that half hour to find the classroom (if you sub at multiple schools, floor plans might overlap in your head), read the lesson plans, and find a full-time teacher who can answer any questions about them. Sometimes, you might get a single paper with the instruction, "Make 200 copies and hand them out for classwork." You need that half hour to fight for copier time!

    Anything beyond that is common sense. Have a way to pay for or store lunch (hard salami and Swiss on a bagel is good if you can't get to a refrigerator). Layer your clothes, especially in the winter, because you never know how the HVAC will be from room to room. The good stuff.
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    One thing I would do is find someone at the school (Principal, AP, person in charge of subs, etc.) what to do if no plan is left. They might say "do your own thing" or they might say something else that they'd prefer. Every school is different. Don't put your own "spin" on things unless you are told that it's ok to do that.
     
  18. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 4, 2014

    Please follow the plan that is left for you. The teacher has planned every activity for a reason, using their knowledge of their students and their classroom. If you decide that the teacher's plans aren't "good enough", you may find yourself not invited back.
     

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