A long term substitute position is a great opportunity to gain valuable classroom experience while simultaneously adding to your resume. The requirements and challenges of a long term position means it must be approached differently than a day-to-day subbing position. It is possible that the position may open up full-time or other positions may become available in that school; it is important to put your best foot forward and show that you are an excellent candidate for a permanent position.
If possible, contact the primary classroom teacher prior to the start of the position. He/she will be able to provide insight into possible classroom management challenges, student academic progress, and the curriculum to be covered during the absence. This information will help you better prepare to walk in on your first day and have a firm and intermediate grasp of the classroom.
Once in the classroom, take advantage of whatever resources the school has to offer. First, introduce yourself to the department chairperson and be receptive to advice. That person can serve as an informal mentor for you as you complete the long term substitute position. Inquire about a school book room or teacher work room. These spaces will have important physical supplies and may also serve as a meeting place to interact with other teachers in the building. You can use their experiences both with the curriculum and with the students to your advantage.During the placement be sure to keep accurate records of what you have accomplished, and the students' progress. This is not only good professional practice, but it will also make a transition back to the primary teacher easier.
As a long-term substitute, you have been trusted with another teacher's classroom and their students. This is a big responsibility, but is also a great opportunity for you. While much of what you may have learned while substitute teaching will be applicable, be prepared for a whole new learning curve. The long-term substitute position can be very rewarding, but he comes with significant challenges. For more ideas on how you can handle substitute teaching jobs, contact us!