Tips from Substitute Teachers
to Substitute Teachers
¨ Once on the sub list arrange personal schedule to leave on short notice.
¨ Keep seating chart readily accessible! When you use students’ first names, they sense that you have control of the classroom. If one is not available or isn’t current, write names and location on paper. Movement is empowerment; by walking around the classroom, your presence is known, and you can write down students’ names by looking on their papers and notebooks for your seating chart.
¨ Dress for the class. Middle or high school can dress up a little more. Elementary teachers can jazz it up a little bit. Wear nothing distracting in clothing or jewelry such as religious items. The layered look is in and oh so handy. Rooms in one building can be quite warm to very cool; be prepared. Washables is the keyword for your teaching clothes.
¨ Smile and praise go a long way with a class or individual student. Always check plans in substitute teacher folder for classroom rules and discipline.
¨ Ten minutes before dismissal can be bedlam. It helps to read to the elementary class or have quiet tables. This way all control is not lost all at once.
¨ Arrive early, and start lessons quickly.
¨ Stand to teach; move about the room during study time.
¨ Control voice and use a soft voice; it is more effective than a loud one.
¨ Teach well rather than skimming to cover a teacher’s plan.
¨ If interest is lost, examine questions and responses. Adjust your style.
¨ Be firm; don’t nag.
¨ Leave adequate plans for the next day.
¨ Be clear and consistent with the teacher’s rules right from the start.
¨ Follow the lesson plansexactly. Do well what you do – it isn’t always necessary to cover it all, because many times the teacher leaves more work so you won’t run out of work. Tell her in the note* and note areas where they may want to re-teach for emphasis or to make more clear.
*Note – a one-page note is usually enough – teachers do not have time to read a book. Indicate on the note location of papers (graded if time). Use post-it notes to label (bring with you in your bag) top priority items or quick reference items.