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How to Be a Great Substitute Teacher

Are you new to substituting? If so, welcome to an exciting job! Each day is adventurous and unpredictable! I'm here to help you learn how to be a great substitute teacher! Follow these tips for a successful career in substitute teaching! 

1. Come Prepared

    There is nothing worse than walking into a classroom where the teacher has not left any lesson plans! Unfortunately, this happens due to emergencies. You should always have emergency plan ideas ahead of time. These could include writing and reading assignments, current event lessons, or games that are age-appropriate. I would also suggest asking the other teachers on the team for help and ideas! 

2. Learn the Students' Names

    Although you will only have these students for a short period of time, it is important to learn their names. You could play an ice breaker game, get to know you activity, or have the kids wear name tags. This helps create trust, respect, and builds a small relationship. 

3. Get to Know the Staff at the School

    I suggest getting to know the staff at the school. The secretaries will sometimes create a "preferred substitute list" and start recommending you directly for jobs. It is also nice to get to know the teachers on the team you are working for as well as the principal. You just never know when they may need a long-term sub and they will be more likely to keep you in mind if they feel comfortable with you. 

4. Leave the Room Clean

    You should always stay after school and make sure the room is clean. I once heard a teacher tell her colleagues that she wouldn't have the sub back because of how messy the room was left. It is not fair for the teacher to return the next day and have to clean up the room first thing in the morning. Always leave it in better condition than you found it!  

5. Leave Notes for the Teacher 

    Teachers really appreciate well-written notes when they return. How did they day go? Was anyone absent? Who was helpful to you? Who was challenging? What got accomplished that day? It is nice for the teacher to be able to have an idea of how they day went as well as deal with any issues that may have occurred. This is also a great opportunity to leave a business card with your information on it so they can recommend you or request you in the future! 

     I know these tips will help you become a great substitute teacher. What other ideas do you have to help subs? 


photo credit: cybrarian77 via photopin cc

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