If you've decided to become a substitute teacher, you might be seeking out tips for subs that can make your life easier. No matter what tips you find, you can't expect the life of a substitute teacher to be perfect every day. You're going to have very good days, but also very bad days based on various issues ranging from disorganization to rowdy students. Using a little psychology, though, the best tips involve dealing with situations during and after class.
Learn a Little About Each Student Right Before Class Starts
As the kids come in to your classroom, find out a little about them. Even though there's no more than a few minutes to do that, you can at least learn some names to become more personally acquainted. This more personal connection might prevent those students from turning on you and becoming a problem during class. Or, it can create more of a powerful impact when you spout their name to stop doing that negative thing they're doing.
Keep Your Eyes Open All Around the Room
Sometimes students will do things behind your back that you need to scope out. That might be practical jokes of some sort or other activity you may miss while looking the other way. Be aware of your surroundings at all times to catch these activities. Students are more tempted to do things they shouldn't when they know a substitute teacher is there for one or more days. Walking around the classroom (even during study periods) can help you keep in control of what's going on.
Always Have the Students Engaged in an Activity
On some occasions, you're going to be called in at the last minute with no idea of what lesson plans the regular teacher is using. While students can sometimes help with that, you shouldn't always expect them to help. If all else fails, create an on-the-spot lesson plan or educational activity for the students to do. Make them engaged in something interesting so they'll stay quiet as a preventative in taking over the classroom.
Stay Professional to Keep Your Reputation Intact
Don't ever do something that goes against the school rules. If you do, you'll be called out and could possibly affect future employment as a sub. Also, dress professionally and never use profanity in the classroom. The students might report you for doing the latter. Part of that professionalism also means keeping things in control and not looking like you're intimidated by any rowdiness.
Things to Do After Class
The most courteous action you can take after class is to write a note to the regular teacher telling her what your experience was with the students. You also should take the time to clean up the classroom if it was left in a shambles. Doing this will leave a huge impression that can be used as a future positive employment reference.
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