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Teach a Lesson More Effectively as a Sub

Teaching a Lesson more Effectively
woodleywonderworks / / CC BY

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?

  • Be professional
  • Prepare
  • Remain Calm
You may not know the students or have the same rapport with them that the classroom teacher does but student respond to professionalism. Dress the part and act the part. Use your teachers voice and act the same way you would if it was your classroom every day.

The subject area may not be yours but you can handle this without a problem, you’re a professional substitute. Arrive as early as you can so you can acquaint yourself with the lessons and worksheets the teacher has left you. Grab a textbook for each class and look over the sections that are relevant for your lessons, the teacher should leave you one and if not they can usually be found in the classroom. Always remain calm and collected. Teacher will almost always leave you lesson plans unless it’s an emergency or unexpected situation. If you do walk into a situation with no lesson plans be creative. Effective substitutes should arrive with some emergency lesson plans in hand just in case. Activities for lower grades can be fun and easy and every sub should have some.

Now that you have looked over the lesson plan and familiarized yourself with it as best you can in the time allotted it is time to teach. Use the classroom resources. Don’t simply read off the lesson plan. If there is a chalk board: use it. If the classroom is equipped with a computer and projector: use it. If you’re left with an overhead projector: use it. Take ownership of the resources and the lesson. Speak clearly and ensure the students follow the normal rules of a classroom.

Treat all substitute experiences as an interview for the job. If you perform exactly how you would if it was your classroom everyday you will do wonderfully. Contact us for more information on subbing and subbing placement and find out how we can help you be a more effective substitute.

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