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Four Tips to Keep in Mind as a Long-Term Substitute Teacher

For some subs, the “here today, gone tomorrow” model works well: after all, if you run into a poorly behaved class one day, you're unlikely to see them again. However, taking on long-term substitute teaching position gives you a whole new realm of authority and a bunch of new tasks to perform to ensure your success. Keep these tips in mind when starting a new long-term subbing position.

Knowing the Students

As a sub, you're used to meeting new students every day and getting a grasp on their personalities and their behaviors. As a long-term sub, you will get the chance to know these students in much greater depth. You can use this to your advantage.

For example, a poorly behaving student may open up to you over time and reveal the reasons they act out. Long-term subs have the chance to build a trusting relationship with their students in a way that normal subs don't.

Making Lesson Plans

Long-term subs don't have the luxury of turning to the normal teacher's lessons plans: they must create their own lesson plans every day, from scratch.

Don't panic! There are dozens of online lesson plan resources which you can turn to in times of emergency.

These lesson plan resources serve a two-fold purpose: they're great for backup plans, but they can also serve as a guideline for creating new and fun plans your students will enjoy.

Building Authority

As a long term sub, you need to quickly assert your authority with your students. Remember: you're not going anywhere any time soon and students that don't trust your authority will quickly rebel.

Immediately declare yourself in a friendly manner and explain how long you're going to subbing and why.

Make it clear that you are the authority figure in the room now and what you say goes. And make sure they know you have the power and authority to write them up, if necessary.

Don't hesitate to write poorly behaved students up quickly, to show them who's boss.

Work on Behavioral Modification Plans

Behavioral modification plans are likely the most difficult part of being a long-term sub. Students that have severe behavior issues often have these plans, which are designed to eliminate the problematic behavior.

And you have to stick with it, no matter what, in order to keep their behavior in line.

Talk to the principal or guidance counselor if you have any confusion over the way these behavior plans are implemented. However, if you've fully established an authoritative presence, it shouldn't be hard to keep these plans in order.

Do you have any long-term substitute teacher tips you like using? Why not contact us and share them? We'd love to hear from you.


photo credit: Sushi Making Party - 388 - (license)

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