Substituting in Middle School

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers Archives' started by filochica, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. filochica

    filochica Rookie

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    Dec 4, 2009

    I posted awhile back about my vent because a sub job that was promised to me at a middle school was cancelled. Now I'm excited because that teacher contacted me again and this job has been confirmed but I'm nervous b/c I'm used to subbing in elementary school. What are some tips for working with middle school students? How do you motivate them and let them know your expectations? It's so much easier for elem. b/c I have a cute rules poster that I made and I take stickers which always seem to motivate...but I don't think 13 year olds are into stickers and coloring sheets :) Any advice would be great.
     
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  3. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Dec 4, 2009

    Hey filochica, best of luck in middle school! I subbed a few times for the 6th-8th graders and yes they play by different rules at those ages.

    You can write 20 points (however many you want) and you will subtract one point for every time they talk, do not listen to you, talk back to you, do not complete their work, etc. By the end of the period, depending on however many points they still have, you can reward them for free time.

    EX: If they still have more than 10 points left, you can reward them with 5 (or more) free time until the period ends. If they have less than 10 points, they have to continue to work silently until the period ends.

    I suspect that kids in middle school appreciate free time, because they can talk to their friends, read or complete work from another class.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. Joelg1980

    Joelg1980 Companion

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    Dec 9, 2009

    In my experience in the middle school setting I have expected the same from the students. Most of the time, these students are only a year or two removed from the elementary setting, so they are still comfortable with the management tacticts of elementary teachers. Icebreakers work great with them, as do class closures; let them have some "non-instructional" time. They will eat it up.
     
  5. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 12, 2009

    I think that thise X'Mas brteak, I should come up with a poster like that that I can carry with me when I sub. Would you share what you wrote? How big is your poster? Where do you go to buy stickers? Which is the cheapest place?
     
  6. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 12, 2009

    Recently, I was subbing a middle school grade at a school that normally where I do highschool subbing. And this is considered a really good school; it's a charter school but uses the sub pools of the unified district (may be selectively). What I experienced is that the kids who were not behaving well think that they deserve the reward after they started behaving well at the last minute. Until that last minute when I staretd handing out rewards, they'd do whatever they want - talk and not do their work. May be other subs have given into them and rewarded them for being good for like 15 seconds. But most likley, they're just testing me like they'd always test anyone. Then, they probably viewed me as a mean sub:)
     
  7. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Dec 12, 2009

    Here's something you might want to throw back at any student that says you're "mean":

    Yes, I'm a mean teacher. MEAN = Making Excellence A Necessity.
     
  8. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 12, 2009

    Thanks. I will use it. In fact, I will tell them (midddle school) that I am a mean teacher and then write out on the board what mean stands for :)
     
  9. filochica

    filochica Rookie

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    Dec 13, 2009

    Hey CurrentSubber, check your inbox. I answered your questions about my poster and stickers there. Let me know if you have other questions!
     
  10. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Dec 15, 2009

    Jack! Did you hear that phrase from National University? Was your teacher Professor Kimo? He's such a great instructor and he really knows his stuff. I try and put into practice, the acronym MEAN.

    I wonder how he is doing.
     
  11. Joelg1980

    Joelg1980 Companion

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    Dec 15, 2009

    i have been digging being in middle schools. The kids can handle more direct teaching, and I feel I can be even more dynamic in the classroom! I never thought I would like middle school based on my student teaching experience ( I was in 8th/English for a 10 week rotation), but having them by my lonesome makes it completely different. I would dig having a middle school job.
     
  12. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    You are right on both counts! Yeah, Dr. Kimo was my instructor for 2 classes. He's fantastic. AND He's doing great - he's one of the leading instructors for the credential program at NU.

    The complete expression is to be a "phenomenal MEAN DI/BP expert teacher" DI= differentiated instruction, BP=best practices.

    In one class I took, he noticed that our class came from different cultural or linguistic backgrounds. So he got us to write "phenomenal MEAN DI/BP expert teacher" in our native languages on the board. How's that for multiculturalism?
     
  13. myownwoman

    myownwoman Habitué

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    Wow he is awesome! He really energizes the class and he is just so easy to talk to. He is definently one of the best instructors at NU. I am glad he is doing great. Oh I remember, does he still give an A+ on your assignments? He also comments that you are a MEAN Phenomenal DI/BP teacher. Personally, I think he makes you believe in yourself that you will be a fantastic teacher.
     
  14. IAMdoneSubbing

    IAMdoneSubbing Companion

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    Dec 16, 2009


    You have obtained a teaching credential?
     
  15. JackTrader

    JackTrader Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2009

    Dr Kimo

    Yes, he still gives you A+'s on quick write. He does a lot to "pump you up". Like encourage you to watch movies about outstanding teachers - such as "Freedom Writers' Diary," "Stand and Deliver" (I think that's where he got his nickname Kimo - from Jaime Escalante), and "Stand By Me".
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009

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