What teachers wish Subs would do

Discussion in 'Substitute Teachers' started by bridgetbordeaux, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. bridgetbordeaux

    bridgetbordeaux Companion

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    Aug 3, 2008

    Are there any teachers that could give me some hints on being an effective substitute teacher? I just signed up with our district and am excited but really want to do a good job. I have a handbook that HR gave me with some good filler activities and some suggestions for behavior management but any info would be appreciated. Thanks
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Aug 3, 2008

    Stick to the lesson plans I leave, as much as possible anyway

    Take attendance and mark tardies

    Make my students clean up before they leave

    Don't take my fancy pens

    Leave a brief but thorough note letting me know about anything odd or unusual that happened. Let me know if anyone caused trouble because I WILL take care of it upon my return. (I don't like my students getting away with anything.)
     
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Aug 3, 2008

    Arrive early enough to read my plans and locate materials.
    If you aren't able to complete some of the plans, please let me know.
    Let me know of any incidents that happen during the day.
    Do show up for all classes and duties on time
    Ask in the office if you have any questions.
     
  5. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    You don't have to write a novel to me, but at least leave notes in the margins of the plans or on a separate piece of paper about what you covered and any issues that arose. I hate it when I come back and there is not a single note from the sub about how the day went at all.

    Please don't accept a kindergarten subbing position if you don't like kindergartners or don't care to be around them. Really, there is no need for everyone to be miserable.

    I appreciate subs and, for the most part, have had good experiences. The fact that you are asking these questions in the first place shows that you want to do the best. Attitude, really, accounts for so much!
     
  6. bridgetbordeaux

    bridgetbordeaux Companion

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    thanks for the tips
    I probably will lwrite too much information but better too much than too little!!
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Keep your sense of humor! As a vet substitute, I can assure you that even the kindest of students tends to slack off when their regular teacher is out. Take this with a grain of salt, but make sure to document the ones who go above and beyond making your day annoying. In most schools, that is a serious offense.

    Have a wonderful school year.
     
  8. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Well above all, stay in the room with the kids at all times!! If there is an emergency call the office! I know this sounds very common sense but I had sub who left my class unattended and went to the office. Awful! He was the same one who slapped, yes, SLAPPED one of my children on the cheek. Ugh!
    Subbing is hard! I have done it too. I understand how hard it is. It's not just sitting around watching kids do work. It is tough! I appreciate good subs so much and always request them if they love the kiddos as much as I do!!!!
     
  9. wig

    wig Devotee

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    I have a regular sub I just love for the following reasons, she:

    • arrives early enough to read my plans, notes on specific students and classroom and emergency procedures
    • follows my plans
    • writes notes in the margins
    • rolls with the punches (you know: the unexpected assembly, fire drill, etc.)
    • grades objective papers (I NEVER expect that, but she will if there is a key and it is not graded in class)
    • has good classroom control

    I think being a sub is very difficult and I have appreciation and admiration for those who do it.
     
  10. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Oh yes- Please do NOT rearrange my desk!! That makes me cry. :(
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I hate when a sub leaves a note that says "the kids were great" and then I hear that XXX got in trouble for this and YYY did that. Please tell me about behavior issues. The kids need to know that I will find out how they behaved!

    Ditto on the not taking pens/office supplies.

    Don't slide in at the same time as the kids and complain when you don't have time to read the plans for the day.

    Make sure to count the kids when you leave the cafeteria/playground/etc... don't assume they all got in line when you called them ;)
     
  12. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Ditto on all of the above.

    I work really hard to give my subs detailed information. Some of my students need the structure, so don't throw my lesson plans out. I had a sub once that decided she wanted to show a movie to my kids. She showed The Wizard of Oz. It didn't have anything to do with what I was teaching at that time, and I don't show full length movies. We have to have permission to show movies by our principal. I was not a happy teacher when I got back the next day. I would never have thought about doing anything like that when I subbed.

    Another: Remember we're people too. Sometimes we may make mistakes in our sub plans. Getting ready for a sub takes more out of me than anything else. And when I'm already feeling bad enough to call in for a sub (that's pretty bad-means I can't physically drive), I do the best I can.
     
  13. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Oh another: If I ask you to teach something a specific way, please don't put your personal twist on it and teach the kids another way. I had a sub do this last year and my kids were so confused when I got back. It was a lot of work to re-teach the kids the way we were trying to learn it. The sub had told them the way she did a certain type of math problem, but when I got back the kids realized that her "rule" (strategy) wasn't really true for what we were doing. My low kids were very confused and couldn't get her "rule" out of their way of thinking. Usually a concept leads into another concept.
     
  14. TXTCHR29

    TXTCHR29 Cohort

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    Aug 4, 2008

    *Please follow the lesson plans, I spend a lot of time planning for a sub and it angers me when I come back and NOTHING has been done (exactly what did the kids do all day???)

    *If the kids are acting up, discipline them and let me know who caused problems I will take care of it when I return. I often threaten my kids with their life when I have a sub!!! :D

    *Do not rearrange my classroom! You are a guest and I have my room arranged the way I do for a reason! (yes, I've actually had a sub rearrange my room!)

    *Please let me know how the day went! I really do want to know!
     
  15. SuzieQ

    SuzieQ Companion

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    Aug 5, 2008

    I also don't like it when my personal stuff is used inside of my desk.Whatever is on top of my desk I really don't mind. When I subbed I carried my own personal tool box with pens,stickers,stamps,post it notes etc.. along with extra fillers if needed. Although I don't own the computer in my classroom I don't expect it to be used to go on Myspace. I always check my history on the computer when I return. But I do get to learn a lot about the sub that day from reading their myspace!:woot: and oh yes, no movies!
     
  16. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2008

    After substituting for 5 years I can tell you to make sure you know where you're going ahead of time or leave extra early. I had several days where I was following my Google Maps that were a little off so had to figure it out on my own in neighborhoods I'd never gone to before!

    Arrive to school early-- about 1 hour before the kids get there. It usually takes about 30 minutes to read the plans, locate things, etc and then it's nice to be able to actually talk to other staff, restroom, email, etc before the kids show up. I've had both kinds of days and appreciated the extra time to get familiar and settle in for the day. Good luck -- it's hard work but I try to remember the fun days I had when the kids were polite and I left smiling.
     
  17. lowes48

    lowes48 Companion

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    Aug 6, 2008

    This info. is very useful since I plan on subing until I get my license. I will be sure not to rearrange anything and follow the directions that are left for me. Thanks!!
     
  18. K-5Sub

    K-5Sub Rookie

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    As a sub-

    As a sub I also like getting there early enough to talk to the other grade level teachers. At the school I sub at, the grade level teachers "look out" for the sub and make sure he/she is doing alright, or give a phone number so to be able to call for assistance. I am (yes again) very fortunate for all the support and help these teachers give me, so that I can continue to learn and grow as a substitute teacher. Most of my subbing is pre-planned, but when an emergency arises, there is a sub folder with things to do.
     
  19. K-5Sub

    K-5Sub Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2008

    Teachers

    I love the teachers I work for, they all have such nice detailed plans for me!!! time - do this, time - do this, even bathroom breaks are in there, and such. Copies are with each subject, and all I have to do is collect each subject - I try to provide the names of who did not return his or her work. Pus, if I am unable to leave a detailed note, I do leave a note telling the teacher to check his or her email so I can properly leave detail and resolution to any issues that came up. I also stop by the classroom the next day in the morning if I'm not working and during one of my breaks when I am. This way the children also have also learned I stay in touch with their teacher. Thank you for all your efforts in your sub plans, "I" love it! Sincerely, a sub in Arkansas
     
  20. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    And you know when we find a great sub, we request that sub again. For example: I will be gone for 3 days at a time, 4 times throughout this coming year. I would love to have the same sub for each of those dates, or at least the same sub for the consecutive days. It's really better on the kids with cases like that.
    A couple of years ago I had a sub that did really great with one of my special students. Any time I had to be gone that year I requested the same sub. Even though we use AESOP, it is still possible for us to request subs through our secretary if we know plenty of time in advance.
     
  21. K-5Sub

    K-5Sub Rookie

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    Aug 24, 2008

    Special needs

    We use an SOS system and all I have to do is give the teache my phone number and they call me in and give me the job number. I am one of the "subs" that can sometimes reach the special needs children. Even a leader at the church has asked me to pray and consider starting a special need Sunday school class, and be the lead - getting proper people in there and such. Autistic children seem to accept my demeanor and come to me, I am learning more and more sign language, and can usually get the silent ones to eventually communicate with me. In my formative time being a sub, I was so very fortunate to be a personal aid (for an extended period of time) to a special needs child that had to have someone with them at all times, and the teacher in the classroom was one of the best teachers I could have learned from. Quiet, patient, I learned how to keep the learning moving forward without having to say , "No, not now" or some other innocent negitave words. I also learned how to ignore those who wanted negative attention. I learned how to praise those being good and just not mention the bad behavior going on. This has greatly influenced my teaching style and I believe I am a better person in and out of school because of that teacher. I am so thankful.
     
  22. nasimi77

    nasimi77 Groupie

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    Aug 25, 2008

    As a sub I follow the teacher's lesson plans to a t. I see it as I'm a "guest" in their "house" and I respect the fact that this is not my classroom. I leave it as clean if not cleaner than it was when I first showed up. Having had my own classroom helps. I know I hated it when I'd leave plans and the sub decided to do their own thing. It can really throw your day off.
     
  23. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Aug 26, 2008

    I agree with all written above but have a little something to add...I would suggest being professional at all times. Sounds like common sense however:

    I had a sub who went into the staff lounge and during lunch made a huge deal about how my students "should NEVER be allowed to use glue 'til they're 30." She was so loud and obnoxious that when I got back to school, I heard it from literally every single teacher AND the principal. (This was a retired teacher of 25 years too...)
     
  24. stepka

    stepka Comrade

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    Aug 27, 2008

    I must say that all these "bad sub/bad teacher" stories are pretty entertaining. I guess there are lu-lus in every profession, and I'm guessing that subbing attracts more than its share. Well some of us are pretty dedicated, and those who are not, are not here.
     

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