What is your substitute teaching experience?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Jen78tx, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Jen78tx

    Jen78tx Rookie

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    Aug 12, 2015

    I would like to hear from different people what their substitute teaching experience has been.... For all different grade levels. I am starting as a substitute soon and I just want to know what to expect! I really appreciate it!
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    My first day as a substitute, I had a desk thrown at me.
     
  4. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    You have to stay attentive at all times. That is really the only universal advice. Every day, even every hour in secondary, will be different. Schools matter to an extent, but even the 'best' schools will have 'bad' classes and vice versa.
     
  5. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I've had great experiences and horrible experiences. The great ones were all at one school where I was well-known and *I* knew the school culture and expectations. Kids knew me and knew they couldn't pull anything over on me.

    Horrible experiences were where the administration thought just as little of subs as the students did :(

    I'm very glad I subbed. And very glad that part of my life is over.
     
  6. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I honestly never had a terrible experience subbing. Other things about subbing (not knowing where I was going to be from day to day, for example) bummed me out, but the subbing itself was fine and even fun. My advice would be to focus on the things that are in your control: Show up early so you have time to look over plans, find things you need that aren't out, and familiarize yourself with the schedule etc. Have a couple of things handy in case you walk into a room with no or little plans* - a couple of picture books with related activities, a fun writing activity, that kind of thing. I did a Pinterest search for sub plans and came up with a few good things. And be confident! For the most part, kids will follow your lead. If you act like you know what you're doing, they'll believe it.

    I would really encourage you to try lots of different ages. For me, that was one of the real benefits of subbing. While they were cute as buttons, I came away from subbing with the knowledge that I'm probably not a K-1 teacher. I also discovered I enjoyed 5th and 6th grades more than I expected. That was really beneficial experience.

    Most importantly, have fun! It's not the same as having your own room, but it's not bad either.

    *This never really happened to me. There were a couple of times I covered for unexpected absences due to teachers being snowed in, but they always emailed another teacher who pulled stuff together for me. But it happens.
     
  7. Jen78tx

    Jen78tx Rookie

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    Thanks everyone I appreciate it. I guess I am wondering if there will usually be good lesson plans or if it all just depends on the school. I mean what do you tell them to do if you have no lesson plans? lol
     
  8. smile3

    smile3 Rookie

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    there will be times where there is no plans....then its time to think quickly on your feet and make the best of the situation
     
  9. misswteaches

    misswteaches Companion

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    I enjoyed most of my subbing experiences and I realized as I set up my own classroom this week that I have learned so much from it!
    I liked elementary better than middle, and I didn't do high school. The only classes I enjoyed at the middle school level were SPED or ESL classes; the subject classes were boring to me and I found the kids were very disrespectful. Of course it just depends on your personal preference.
    You should always carry a few worksheets or assignment ideas with you. If you walk into a classroom and find no lesson plans, put the assignment on the desks before they come in or write instructions on the board. That way you will have a few extra minutes to figure out what you are doing while they work.
    My favorite experience subbing was in kindergarten. I became the go-to sub for all 5 kindergarten classes at one school and it was just too much fun. :)
    My worst experience was in one of the local middle schools. I had students who were just horribly disrespectful and one who threw a chair....not my favorite thing to deal with. I stopped subbing at that school because it wasn't worth the stress.
    All in all, I am glad I subbed because it gave me great experience, but I could never do it as a long-term job. I have huge respect for people who have subbed for years and years.
     
  10. MLB711

    MLB711 Comrade

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    Aug 13, 2015

    - SSR
    - Team Scattergories (works better with middle school. They work in small groups to come up with words that fit a list of categories and all start with the same letter)
    - read a news article online and lead a discussion about how it's relevant to them
    - just look around the room to see if there are any games or materials out that you can use
    - play some kind of game with content (like in math classes I would split the class in half and give one student from each half a practice problem. You can do it with vocab words in other subjects or spelling words for little ones)
    - have them tell you their names and something about them to introduce themselves at the beginning of class
    - or you could give out index cards and have them write 3 facts about themselves from most obscure to dead giveaway. Have the class guess who the mystery person is.
    - I always carried extreme connect the dot (100+ dots) and word puzzles in case students finished but didn't have any other work to do.




    I agree with 2ndtimearound that my best subbing experiences were in schools where I knew the culture, the students, and the other teachers. But it took time to get there. Recognize that you'll be nervous at first and that's all right. Don't let your nerves impact your teaching. Ask other teachers for help even if you feel like you should know that already. Don't act like you're a babysitter. Act like you're there to teach.
     
  11. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    I subbed for a couple years, and I agree with the posters who said that you will gain so much experience! Experience in what TO do but also what NOT to do. Some hints:

    Arrive as early as you can. Honestly, there were days when I was one of the first people in the building. But that way you can look over the plans, find your materials, get familiar with the technology, etc.

    If you will be doing little ones (preschool, K-1) learn some quick songs, fingerplays, line up chants, etc. I brought my own CD of songs to use. They love this and it works like magic to get their attention!

    I always brought a few of my own HIGH INTEREST books, depending on grade level. These are the "crowd pleasers," like Big Wide Mouth Frog, What Do You Do With a Tail Like This, If I Built a Car. These were great for K-3.

    Rarely did I need to fill time. Most teachers will do their best to leave thorough plans, and especially with the time crunch teachers are in, they will expect that everything on their plan gets done.

    Kids can be remarkable resources. The first time I ever experienced a SmartBoard, I had 3rd graders basically leading the class because they knew how to work it. If you aren't sure how a Morning Meeting is usually conducted, ask a student to be the guest leader. They will love it. Also, I usually started the day by letting the kids know right off the bat that things might be done a little differently or in a different order, and that was OK.

    There will be good days and bad days subbing. Overall, my experiences were good. You might only be there for one day, but you have the opportunity to make an impact in a child's life. Be kind, be consistent and don't be afraid to ask for help. Good luck!
     
  12. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    It depends upon the school and the individual teacher. Have a set of your own plans in the event that nothing is left.

    BUT...don't use those plans if something is there for you. Never do something extra content-wise because it can really mess up a teacher's long-term plans.

    If there are no plans left, ask a neighboring teacher. She may have something in her email to give you.
     
  13. Jen78tx

    Jen78tx Rookie

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    Thanks, you have all been a really big help.. Great ideas! I am curious to see what this is going to be like!
     
  14. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    I subbed for 8 years, and I loved it. I worked about 160 days out of 180. If I was going to be working at the elementary school, I always had a book to read aloud. The overwhelming favorite of 3-4 graders was "Sign of the Sea-horse", and I can still recite some of it by heart. I have read the same book to my high school students, as we study environmental issues of pollution in the oceans. They always think it is a kid's book until they really listen to it. Rhyme does not equate to childish. If you are going to the itty bitties, try having a copy of "Green Eggs and Ham", or "The Cat in the Hat" in your bag. By middle school I always carried the Brain Quest Trivia card sets with me. A great way to learn, manage behavior, and have a little fun that hides the learning. I still use those sets with my lower functioning high school students, and we will be in teams, so that the pressure is never on just one student. I, of course, love the science ones, but my son has some that include president, Latin culture, black history, English language, social studies, and math. Best money I ever spent.

    I loved middle school, and I wasn't eager to do the little guys - I could only tie so many shoes, and wipe so many snotty noses before knowing I was in the wrong part of the building! I "got" the middle school personality, with hormones raging, everyone is insecure, even when trying to seem composed, and they are just learning to like themselves. I never subbed in high school, and I am glad of that. They are able to completely ignore a sub, if they want to, because they pretty much figure they will chat in class and just do the assignment at home. Actually, it is time management for them, and the reality is that if they can do that, who can blame them? HS teachers tend to leave not enough work, and seldom do they want the sub to actually do any real teaching. Before high school, you will always be involved, all day long.

    I always had a science DVD that was in my bag, for emergencies, and I always had a few super deluxe gaudy pencils to hand out for exceptionally good behavior. The kids always knew with me it was pretty random, which seemed to work in my favor. You can't bribe them to be good, but you can reward someone who is doing everything right without being reminded. They all knew if someone was caught in a "random act of consideration, compliance, and niceness." True story - one student who was a little younger than my son, took a picture of his pencil, earned in about the fifth grade, and put it in a thank you card, sent to me when he graduated high school. Those are the kinds of things you can't make happen, but they will touch your heart if it happens to you.

    Enjoy the roller coaster ride - it becomes much more fun after year one.
     
  15. Jen78tx

    Jen78tx Rookie

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    Well it definitely sounds like it will be an experience... Since I have never been a teacher or in a classroom, they suggested to me to take a paraprofessional position to start, of course it does pay less, but may be a good way to get into it...
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    My first day subbing was great. There was an aide in the room so she knew what to do. Some students also got materials ready for me. I learned fast that this was not typical! Every day (unless you're in the same room for more than one day) is different. There will be students who switch seats and pretend to be other students, some who won't do any work because the "real" teacher isn't there, etc. You never know! Just do the best you can with the plans you are given and get through the day.
     
  17. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    I, personally, would stick with subbing. You have to get that teacher experience somewhere along the way. I was an aide for a lot of years and it was good experience, but it's not the same thing as teaching. A lot of the interviews I went on seemed to value my time subbing and covering maternity leaves more than my time working as an instructional/behavioral aide.

    Not sure if you were really asking for advice but that's my two cents anyway. :2cents: :)
     
  18. smile3

    smile3 Rookie

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    I was an ABA for some time, then student taught, then received a teaching position. I also subbed, which was a great experience as well
     
  19. Jen78tx

    Jen78tx Rookie

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    Thank you everyone.............
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Hey experience was great. I mainly subbed secondary, and I subbed all but five days the whole year. When a few times I subbed elementary or intermediate, but I preferred high school and middle school. The entire second semester I was at the high schoo, in two long-term jobs in my area of certification.

    Rarely did I find no plans, and when I did there was someone there to assist. I was. At the same schools so much that I felt like I knew the procedures and kids well.
     
  21. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I only subbed a handful of times before student teaching. Right after student teaching, I was hired as a full-time classroom teacher.

    The main reason why I only subbed a few times is because I worked at a bank throughout college.
     
  22. Gerelt

    Gerelt Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2015

    Why did someone throw a desk.
     

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