Substitutes | Edutopia
Facebook
Edutopia on Facebook
Twitter
Edutopia on Twitter
Google+
Edutopia on Google+
Pinterest
Edutopia on Pinterest Follow Me on Pinterest
WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Substitutes

38 1354 Views
Since I'm now home sick nursing a nasty cold, I thought it would be timely to discuss the issues around subs and classroom management. How do you help subs that come into your classroom? What have you done that has "hurt" subs working with your class?

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

Comments (38)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Natalie Steel's picture

I am subbing right now. I used to teach 4th grade but recently moved to another state and haven't had a chance to find another teaching position. Any way, I always find it helpful when the teachers leave a brief description of what behavior management they use in the classroom. I try to mimick their management to give the students some kind of consistency. I love to have certain phrases or cues that the teacher uses for transitions...when I use my own, they are not already practiced with the students. It doesn't always work.

david pinto's picture
david pinto
maths teacher

my advice is
go meta-cognitive

whatever the task given to the kids by the teacher
the chances are
it will go down pretty badly
so this is an opportunity for the students to reflect on how they are learning
to reflect on their own learning style
the styles of others
the teacher
and so on

as a temporary second voice
the sub has an opportunity to point something out that regular teachers can not
because of the blindness of familiarity

david pinto's picture
david pinto
maths teacher

my advice is
go meta-cognitive

whatever the task given to the kids by the teacher
the chances are
it will go down pretty badly
so this is an opportunity for the students to reflect on how they are learning
to reflect on their own learning style
the styles of others
the teacher
and so on

as a temporary second voice
the sub has an opportunity to point something out that regular teachers can not
because of the blindness of familiarity

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Director of Programming and Innovation
Staff

This is a great idea. The ability to provide that insight without making kids feel self-conscious is quite a gift!

Dudley's picture

I sub in middle school and high school.Either can be ok. language arts, computers, math, biology, earth science,physics, shop, etc. Most of the kids know me one way or another, since I've been diong this in the same schools for three years. I also rn a Scout troop. My background is chemical engineering and english, and subbing a=is a second or third or fouth careerish thing. Anyway. I frequently have neither a seating chart nor a class list. With a class list, I can take attendance with an attendance question, like, "On a first date, would you rather go to a movie or on a picnic?" or "Which clolor bear is most likely to consider you lunch: Brown, Black or White?" It gets their attention, and sets me apart. There's also usually a micro-observation about the answers. The question also can tell me a lot about which kids are on what page in this school thing, since youo can often read their response attitude, speed and what not. In Special ed classes, it;s a quick way to get an early indication of which are slow processors that need to be managed differently. for example, I had a very loose instruction from a social studies teacher about review for a test, so i used a free period to create a Jeopardy game from the review materials. Before the game, I asked the students to stand up when they could answer this question "In your neighborhood, is the oldest person a man or a woman?" There;s a ton of proceeing that must happen in that question, so it helped me find the faster kids to make sure the jeopardy teams weren't one-sided. The point is niot what I did specifically, its that I think a committed and practiced sub can do a lot ifthey have a chance to. The problem is that most teachers don;t always now which sub they will get... someone looking to " baby sit" for weekly golf money, or someone with more of an interest in doing something interesting and perhals educational with the kids. The first two rules of subbing where I am are usually: Do what the teacher says, and No Blood on the floor at the end of the day. So far, no one has complained enough about the liberties I take to get me fired.

And the kids are having fun. If they have something to do that's unusual, their mischieviousness may be abke to be channelled into more positive stuff.

On the first day of the cycle in art, I made tham wait in the hall and then line up alphabetically without talking. when tthey entered the room we talked about the challenges of art being a non-verbal medium, and then went on with the lessons left by the teacher. But I got their attention, first.

Anyway, enough about me.

Dudley's picture

...I suck at mavis beacon, particularly when i'm running late.

Rebecca Alber's picture
Rebecca Alber
Edutopia Consulting Online Editor
Blogger

I subbed before becoming a teaching, and wow, each day was it's own journey. One days would be fabulous, the next, miserable. And most the time it had nothing to do with the students or school. It had to do with how well the teacher had prepared for being out that day.

Musts:
1)Leave too much work for the students to do. The worse thing to hear as a sub? "I'm done!"
2)Seating Chart
3)Phone numbers directly to the front office, the dean of discipline, the school nurse.
4)A bell schedule.
5)Do not leave a lesson that contains new content for the sub to teach and the students to learn.
6)Necessary supplies that are easy to find.

I think that's it. Might anyone have something to add...?

Ms. Hackworth's picture

I create a "learning center" where students can select from a variety of tasks and projects to complete if I am not in the classroom with them. I teach my students my expectations and review a few of the learning center activities they can select from. I also assign at least three student leaders to collect and account for the student work. My sub should only have to monitor student behavior and take attendance. I keep the responsibility for engaged learning on my students while I am away. The students like being responsible and I never have trouble finding a sub for my courses.

Discussion Students Earning Puzzle Pieces for Prizes

Last comment 15 hours 33 min ago in Classroom Management

Discussion Teacher Talk Examples

Last comment 1 week 6 days ago in Classroom Management

Discussion What's Your Special Moment?

Last comment 1 week 4 days ago in Classroom Management

Discussion Consequences are Necessary

Last comment 1 week 2 days ago in Classroom Management

blog Teachers Are in Control: Myth-Busting DI, Part 4

Last comment 1 week 5 days ago in Differentiated Instruction

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.