Saturday, January 1, 2011

How to Launch a Successful Day in Someone Else's Classroom

Baca Juga:

With substitute teaching, every day is something different. All you need are these simple steps to start the day off right... and to pick up the pieces if you don't find a teaching plan waiting for you.

Start the morning right
The morning of your substitute teaching day, arrive a little early and stop by the office to check in. This is your opportunity to ask about the building discipline plan or any special events that are on the schedule, such as an assembly.

Then head off to the classroom to see what plans have been laid out for you.

TIP: Take some time to look over the whole day's schedule - sort of like reading the entire recipe before you start mixing ingredients, you want to know where you are supposed to end up before you get started.

If you see teachers in neighboring classrooms and they appear to be free, introduce yourself. Remember, these teachers will be assessing you all day long as well. Every teacher in your vicinity will take note of whether your room is a noisy disaster all day or an island of calm and mentally add or cross you off their list of preferred substitute teachers.

Somehow find out the process for picking up the kids from the outside of the building at the start of the day. If in doubt, head out to the playground before 9:00 and do what the others do.

After the kids are seated, employ all of those methods you learned during student teaching to get their attention and introduce yourself. Keep it short, but kids do want to know your name and a little about you.

Time spent building a little bit of a relationship now will serve you well later.

Working the plan
If the plan for the day is not clear in a particular area (either academic or schedule), you will have to ask the class what they are working on or how they normally handle art class (for example).

TIP: If in doubt about the plan, ask the entire class; some may lie but some will tell the truth, or at least their facial expressions will reveal that you can't take the assertions of the loudest kids at face value.

Here's where all of those college classes come into play: if there are no clear instructions for the math block, and the kids all confirm they have been working on fractions, then you should be able to teach them something about fractions even with no advance preparation.

You can always start by asking students what they already know and make a list on the board. Kids love to show their smarts!

Make it happen... for the kids and for your job prospects

The two go hand-in-hand; if the kids have a successful day, you'll get called back. And subs who get called back also get called for job interviews...sooner rather than later.

Betsy Weigle is the creator and founder of http://www.Classroom Teacher the detailed information source for new elementary school teachers. For more tips on starting your sub day off right, visit our section on successful subbing at

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