Whether you have been substituting for years or you are just starting, you might be wondering how you can be a better sub. One of the keys to being a great substitute teacher is making sure you avoid certain habits.
While some teachers have great lesson plans, which will keep the students busy all day, other teachers' plans will be less complete. Have at least one or two activities prepared to keep the class busy during down time.
It is also important to be prepared for the weather. In some schools, particularly in elementary school, you may have to spend time outside. For example, you could have bus duty, or you might have to take the kids outside for recess. There could be a fire drill or another reason you will have to spend significant time outside.
Leaving the Room in Disarray
At the end of an exhausting day, it might be tempting to get out of the classroom as quickly as possible. It is important, though, to make sure the room looks good before leaving. Clean-up the floor. Make sure books and other materials are put away or at least somehow organized. In some cases, you can save significant time by having the students help you clean-up. Elementary school kids often love seeing if they can find and throw away a specific number of pieces of trash. This is especially true if there is a reward, such as a piece of candy.
Do not go overboard with organizing, though. What might appear to be a disorganized pile of papers on a table in the corner might make sense to the permanent teacher.
Skipping the Note
Unless you are able to discuss your day with the teacher personally, it is important to leave a note. Let the teacher know what went wrong, what went well, and anything else you think the teacher needs to know. Most of the time, a short note is sufficient. Even if the day went wonderfully, do not skip writing the note. The teacher wants to know when the day went well.
Of course, there are many other things you should avoid doing if you want to be a better substitute teacher. What are some simple changes you have made to make yourself a better sub?