Woe to the substitute up late the night before a lesson combing the internet for free handouts and reproducibles. With just a little bit of extra effort, it's possible to glean excellent substitute teaching resource material on your own by looking no further than three oft-overlooked sources.
Three Overlooked Sources for Substitute Teaching Resources:
1) Public Libraries. Although it is easier in a pinch to resort to online searches, online searches can often return results that are hit and miss, and the information's accuracy can be spotty. Books, however, due to the nature of the editorial accountability, are much more reliable guides. Setting aside one Saturday morning per month to research and glean data from books at your local library may seem time-consuming, but it is a smart move that will pay rich dividends in the long run.
2) University websites. When searching for information online (especially for discussion question ideas) an oft-overlooked resource is that of university websites. Not only is the information on these sites reliable and up-to-date, but universities generally provide a wealth of free ideas and research that many teachers may miss. Accessing this information may be as simple as adjusting your keyword search parameters.
3) Other teachers. Rather than seeing other teachers as your competition, look on them as your inspiration. Seek out the most successful among them. Observe their tactics. Ask for advice. Seek out teachers with decades of experience and ask them their secrets. Of course, not all of them will express the same willingness to help you, but many teachers are eager to share their tricks of the trade. You never know unless you ask.
It's our wish that teachers of all levels will continue to improve their skills through taking advantage of all resources at their disposal. For more information on helpful substitute teaching resources, please feel free to contact us.