The first five minutes...

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by MrsCheerio, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. MrsCheerio

    MrsCheerio Rookie

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    Sep 17, 2012

    How do you handle the first five minutes? I just began subbing and still feel awkward at the beginning of class, until things get rolling. Do you start with an introduction, go over your rules/expectations, or just jump right in?
     
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  3. HeatherY

    HeatherY Habitué

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    Sep 18, 2012

    It depends.

    If the kids already know me, then I just get into the plans.

    If it's a new class, then I tell them my name, maybe a quiet signal or some basic expectations of behavior and consequences.

    Sometimes it's hard because the first thing that happens in the room is a routine: pledge on the loudspeaker, read bulletin, etc... Then I wait until I have a whole class activity like carpet time and just let them proceed as normal. If I know that is going to happen, then I meet the class outside and give my name and tell them to do their regular routine.
     
  4. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I sub secondary so I usually try to talk to them as they filter into the room and then right when the bell rings start.

    "Good Morning/afternoon. My name is Miss S (if its a new bunch of kids). Am I correct in saying we are missing A, B, & C? Game plan for today is......."

    And we are off. I don't always do roll aloud, but I'm pretty good at reading the seating chart wrong when taking attendance so I'll double check myself. I usually include behavior expectations when I explain what the plans are. "We are going to be complete worksheet A in partners. As always I reserve the right to break up the groups and have you work individually in silence if you choose to be off topic and distract each other. Please refrain from yelling, running, annoying each other, hanging from the ceiling and/or jumping out the windows." The middle School kids usually giggle and get to work.

    (And yes, I have witnessed students jump out windows. Twice. In two different classrooms. Thankfully it was when I was still in high school and NOT subbing)

    But honestly when the bell rings and you are faced with 25 dead silent 7th graders who look like they would rather be getting a root canal and refuse to speak or crack a smile....there's no way to make that not awkward. I just had that happen last week.
     
  5. Enseignante<3

    Enseignante<3 Companion

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    Sep 18, 2012

    Honestly, it's always kind of awkward for a few minutes. If the class doesn't know me, I usually let them come in and unpack then before I take attendance introduce myself. If there's any kind of circle time I use that to give a few expectations.
     
  6. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 18, 2012

    If it's after the first month or two, I ask if their teacher has been gone before, and how the day went. If they tell me it was good, I tell them today will also be good. If they tell me they got a bad report - and that has happened - I tell them that they've obviously learned something with that experience and that I know today will be much better. I remind them that whether their regular teacher or someone else is teaching them, that they maintain the same set of rules and respect. I also assure them that I have experience with their grade level and that I'm very aware of what I'm doing.
    The younger kids don't always understand what "sub" means, but they've heard the term. I tell them that a substitute teacher is a teacher who goes around to different schools and works with every grade. That generally impresses them, since to their knowlege, most teachers only teach one grade...haha...
     
  7. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Sep 18, 2012

    I know someone who had a middle schooler try to climb out a window while he was subbing. She refused to come down off the sill and he just called security, rather than get himself in trouble for grabbing her and forcing her down. The girl ran down the hall and made security chase her...after hearing that story, I never even jokingly give them ideas! :lol:
     
  8. MrsCheerio

    MrsCheerio Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2012

    Thanks for the feedback. I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one who feels awkward in those first few moments. I will definitely try some of your suggestions.
     
  9. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sep 20, 2012

    Establish your expectations. This can take 5 minutes, but in rougher schools i have taken up to 10. It's worth it, I want to make sure they know what I want.

    I never just go straight to a lesson. Even now, I am in the same classroom for 2 weeks. Some of the classes have been just absolutely amazing. I still talk to them for a couple of minutes, remind them of some of the rules, let them know that they have been awesome, and I want them to keep it up. With other classes it's more of a reminder of what they need to do / not do.
    I always feel like if I don't do this they will think it's gonna be a chill day and they can just relax and not do their best. (I have experienced this a couple of times, and I don't want to make that mistake again).

    But I don't feel awkward at all. I love that I have all their attention, because I know during the first 5 minutes students size up their sub - especially if they're new. Those 5 minutes can make you or break you for the day.
     
  10. ArtistLyfe

    ArtistLyfe Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2012

    Good Morning...Good Afternoon! I'm Artist Lyfe, class has started. Some housekeeping before we get started...
    ( four expectations on the whiteboard) please take out your textbooks and turn to page ____/ or if there is a worksheet i ask some one to start passing it out.
    All conversations need to stop...now.
    Please listen for your name...Attendance.
    5 minutes has gone by and you have established the flow.
    i'm very formal, i don't play.
     

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