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Tips For Subs: How To Avoid The Sunken Sub Scenario

Over the years we have heard many suggestions on how to best handle the assignment of substitute teaching. Meeting a room full of new people can be hard enough but when the "people" are 3rd graders, it can become a whole new experience.

We have gathered a few of the best-of-the-best tips for avoiding the sunken sub scenario.

  • Arrive Early
Probably the best piece of advice to help avoid the stress of being rushed. Allow enough time to check-in with the administration, confirm plans for the day, check the teacher's In Box and familiarize yourself with the classroom and location of the supplies you will need that day. Grab a cup of hot chocolate (coffee could have you searching for the teacher's restroom), take a few deep breaths and open the door as the students start their day.
  • Greet By Name
If possible, find a seating chart so you can greet each child, by name, as they settle into their seats. A roll of painter's tape and a sharpie can create instant name tags. Your responses are going to be much more favorable if you call out to specific students rather than trying to address the class as a whole. Of course, there will be the select few whose names become immediately imprinted in your brain when they make your job a bit more difficult.
  • Know Your Challenges
The student that presents the greatest challenge is the student you want to keep your eye on. Especially with the very active or disruptive child, making sure they are actively engaged in some kind of activity or chore can mean more time for you to focus on the rest of the class. Often the designation as the teacher's "helper or assistant" can give your challenging child purpose and focus.
  • Enlist An Partner
You will learn to recognize that child who seems to possess a quiet sort of wisdom and an even temperament. This is the child that can be your greatest asset in the quest for a productive day. They will often hold a wealth of valuable knowledge about everything and when they feel drawn into your confidence, they are happy to share. This is the student that the other students respect and admire.

These tips for subs have proven to be valuable and effective in the past, we hope that they can help you in the future. This is also how we feel about our SubAssistant online service which can be a great tool for the substitute teacher. When you try it for yourself, you will find it to be a valuable and effective partner in your search for substitute teaching success.

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