Effective Routines for Substitutes
a. PLAN AND PREPARE YOUR TOOL KIT OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES
• Prepare a “lesson plan” for each of the subjects and grades for which you are likely to substitute teach.
• Include in each of these lesson plans an interesting activity that will gain attention quickly. involve the students and be easily related to their subject or current topic.
- Call or meet with the teacher and discuss the goals, plans and challenges of the day.
- Visualize having a great experience, as you are driving to or arriving in your vehicle.
b. MAKE A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION
- When you are given the assignment, ask if and how you can contact the teacher.
- Every good morning starts the night before, plan to look your best, dress well, and to project an in-charge personality.
- Arrive early, meet the principal and office assistant, meet and greet other teachers.
- Review the lesson plan, and include the learning goals in all that you do.
c. GET OFF TO A GREAT BEGINNING WITH THE STUDENTS
- Start the class by teaching; get them involved in the lesson in the first 30 seconds. Note that if you get involved in a side conversation with one student, excuse yourself and start the class. Have the activity sheets already on the desks or tables, so that routines of passing out papers, or taking roll, or detailed introductions are not in the way of getting off to a running start! Your full attention needs to be on the whole class and on what they are doing with your first activity. Plan the starting student activity to allow you time to be sure the roll is taken, any routines or rules are right in front of you, and you are all set.
- Do NOT ask the students “What are supposed to?” or, “Where are we in the book?” If you don’t know, and the lesson plans don’t tell you, and there is no class host or hostess, just say, “We’ll get in to the regular lesson a little later.”
- Look at the members of the class – eye contact is basic to show respect.
- Stand in the middle and move about the class, slowly up and down the rows.
- Call the roll, asking them to raise their hands when their name is called. Concentrate on remembering names and noticing behavior tendencies. You are doing this while the class is INVOLVED with a questionnaire, puzzle, reading, or any activity that requires them to focus on completing a written task.
- Describe your “rules for conduct” that you have written on the board, or at the bottom of the student’s beginning “worksheet”.
- If the teacher has assigned pages to read or problems to do, have these ready and begin the class by starting them all working on this assignment.