Once you have had your first few subbing opportunities under your belt, you can’t help but wonder how to get more jobs. Many school districts try to send out notifications to everyone so that all substitute teachers have an “even playing field,” but you know there are certain subs that seem to be called all the time, and you want to be in that group.
Teachers are under constant pressure to stay on top of developments in their own fields. They read blog posts, books, and magazine articles. They attend seminars. They keep themselves apprised of current research and discoveries, often sharing what they are learning with colleagues who teach similar subjects. Because this process is often time-consuming, many teachers find little time left over for collaborative professional development.
This is a shame, really, because collaborative development offers benefits that cannot be found any other way.
For many special education teachers, getting a substitute when they are gone can be a real struggle. People feel uncomfortable dealing with kids they do not understand, and many people form stereotypes about special education children. This misconception has led many people to avoid substitute teaching in special education classrooms. It is important to understand special education is not a part of the school to fear but a place where you can have great substituting experiences. In most schools, special education will be divided into different levels to accommodate the different students’ needs.
Winter is upon us full force, and that means there are a variety of viruses going around. A substitute teacher is so important during these months because they are the ones that need to come in and continue educating students when the regular teacher is out with a cold, flu, or stomach bug. For this reason, substitute teachers have to be especially careful to stay healthy because calling in sick is usually not an option. Use these tips to strengthen your immune system and be a better sub during cold and flu season.
Putting aside classroom management and emergency lesson planning, the real icing on the cake that is you as a sub is presenting yourself to your peers in a professional and mature manner. You can be the best at orchestrating a well-run classroom, but if you present yourself in a poor manner to the school’s students and staff, you won’t likely be asked to return. Keep this in mind as you consider how you interact with the school staff,
A sports-themed lesson plan is great tool in the bag of ideas for substitute teachers. The wide world of sports offers an enormous resource of topics for projects, papers, presentations and just about any type of classroom assignment in between. One secret to exploiting this robust idea whether you are a substitute teacher for a day or a week is to keep in mind is how it lends itself to taking advantage your audience’s ignorance has about certain sports and their familiarity with others.
As a substitute teacher, the day can be stressful enough. Between taking attendance and trying to understand and fulfill the teacher’s plans to the best of your ability, it can be a handful. Of course then there are always those extra ten minutes that seem to appear out of thin air. Using some fun classroom activities can be a great way to keep kids engaged and motivated during those spans of time. Remember an engaged classroom is one of the best ways to manage said classroom!
Let’s be honest: subbing is not always the easiest job in the world. But being a substitute teacher is not about taking the easy path. It is about putting our best professional feet forward in an effort to ensure that educational excellence continues even in the unfortunate event that a classroom teacher is ill or facing a personal crisis. (Or away on a holiday. Let’s not be completely pessimistic!)
Although the following steps might sound as if they might take a bit of extra time or personal effort, remember that they are worth the investment.
Early in our teaching careers, we no doubt all found lesson planning to be a complete mystery. While engaging in this often time-sucking task, perhaps we begrudged each minute spent behind the desk, wondering if all of this paperwork was what we really signed up for. After all, when we pictured ourselves as teachers, we likely did not imagine that it would involve so much paperwork!
Eventually, though, the truth dawned, and we realized that only through thorough lesson planning we were able to succeed during the in-class hours. The harder we planned, the more smoothly class time would go. (Barring the inevitable, unforeseen emergency classroom dramas, of course!)
Even if you are new to the skill, lesson planning does not need to be a source of frustration. By following some simple steps, you can decode the mystery and fall into a planning rhythm that suits your needs.
Substitute teaching is no longer seen as babysitting. With rising costs for schools and a growing population of students, substitutes are now being viewed as the vital resource they are. As a substitute it is imperative that the tasks left by the classroom teacher are completed effectively.
Being an effective substitute is much like being an effective teacher yet in some way it is more challenging. In most cases you will not know the students as well as their teacher. You may not be as knowledgeable on the subject area as the teacher, this is less of an issue at the lower grades but anyone who has walked into a 12th grade AP Physics class will tell you, this can be a challenge. And most importantly you have less time to prepare.
So how can you conquer these challenges and teach a lesson more effectively?