Substitute teaching Elementary for the first time

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by Georgeabgsu, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. Georgeabgsu

    Georgeabgsu Guest

    Mar 17, 2016

    Hello everyone,

    So I've completed my methods and student teaching already to acquire my 7-12 teaching license and just signed up to sub until I can get a full time job. I wasn't too worried about this already having taught in classrooms, however, I received a call to sub elementary tomorrow and I'm a little nervous solely because I've never taught anything other than high school.

    I was wondering what I should expect from a third grade class compared to high school and anything procedural or role expectation wise that I should expect that is unique to subbing elementary.

    Thanks so much.
  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Jul 20, 2012
    Likes Received:

    Mar 17, 2016

    I remember back before I became a teacher... hadn't student taught yet... No real idea what I was doing. I subbed in a middle school class. No big deal. The kids knew the routines and procedures. I followed the plans. The class went smoothly. Then I subbed in a first grade class and about lost it. One kid asked to sharpen a pencil. I said yes. Soon, I had a line of 10 kids who needed to sharpen a pencil. With elementary, you have to be a lot more structured and explicit about the expectations. Otherwise, kids are kids. I'm sure your student teaching has prepared you well enough. Follow the teacher's plans. Don't be too nice just because the kids are little compared to what you are used to. Keep the same firmness that you would use with the high school students. You'll be fine.
  4. Topsy

    Topsy Rookie

    Dec 3, 2014
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    Mar 17, 2016

    Get in 30 minutes early and make a seating chart!!! Usually, each child's desk has his/her name on a banner or a card taped to the desk. Then, when they come in to unpack, you can watch and see who is who. I usually write little notes on my seating chart like, "Charlie, dark curly hair, freckles... Austin, blond buzz cut," etc. Then when you need to call on them you won't have to ask, or say something like, "SO who knows how to find the common denominator? Umm.... you, in the blue Nike shirt, what's your name?" Not knowing children's names gives them an extra 10-15 seconds to continue their current behavior and/or for you to lose everyone's attention. It destroys your momentum. A seating chart also gives you a way to take attendance without a roll call.

    OK, now that you've made a seating chart (10 minutes), you have plenty of time to read through the plan and locate the materials you'll need. In an elementary class, you'll be doing all the subjects. For math, you might need manipulatives like counters or rulers. For social studies, you might need a globe or a map.

    If you need the overhead projector or smart board (although teachers don't usually leave their laptops that would give you smart board access), turn that on as soon as you get into the room. Write your name on the board, and if the teacher has not left morning work or a "Do Now," write one on the board (or on a blank slate if using a document camera/overhead). Even if it's something like, "Good morning! Please unpack and get ready for our day. When you are done, you may read at your desk," you are leaving nothing to chance.

    As bella said, you set the tone. Something I do during morning routine is walk around the classroom. If someone is dilly-dallying, I (armed with my handy seating chart), say something like, "Jayda, I still see your jacket and backpack on the floor." That sends the signal to Jayda and everyone in earshot that you know what you're doing and that you have expectations.

    Good luck!!!!!

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