About Being a Substitute Teacher
To answer a question....
When I mentioned substitute teaching as a possibility for a job in a previous post, I got the comment that not everyone can sub.
Not everyone has the desire or ability to deal with a room full of chatty kids who will say, "Our teacher lets us do that!" when it isn't true.
Subbing could bring out the dragon sub, breathing fire, and everyone would suffer. Even the dragon.
Absolutely. Perhaps I should share how I choose which children I prefer to spend a day with. Or, for pregnancy leave that extends to 6-12 weeks with the same bunch of kiddos.
Each Grade is Different
Every campus is different. If you love littles, you could sub for Kindergarten or first grade. Slightly older, 2nd or 3rd. 4th and 5th require a sterner approach. They're on the cusp of middle school, where all reason will be abandoned, and demonstrating the lack of any sort of intelligence about how to get along with the sub has vanished.
Middle grade teachers are BORN. I wasn't born to teach middle schoolers. One at a time, they're lovely people. In a group....Lord of the Flies.
Interestingly enough, for me, High School is easiest and requires the least amount of engagement. An assignment will be in the lesson plans, or maybe a video.
Or, maybe, "Work on homework." For any class. They really appreciate that.
When students arrive, I point to my name, written on the board, tell them their assignment (also written on the board), then tell them it's an individual assignment. No working together.
They get busy, and I can write longhand or read!
When Someone “Misbehaves”
If anyone decides to disrupt, I pull out a sheet of paper and have that student sign the bottom of the page. It's my RAT LIST.
I inform the class that I WILL rat out anyone who causes me to frown.
To get your name off the list, make me smile--then you can tear your name off the list when class is dismissed.
I rarely had to pull out my list. Only once. That young man sat down, crossed his arms over his chest, and smiled the rest of the class. So did I.
When he left, I heard him tell someone, "Forget it. This one won't buy it."
He was right! No difficulties the rest of the day, or any day thereafter.
The key to successful subbing is to let the kids know, after they've decided that BLURTING is acceptable, that BLURTING or lying about what's okay only gets a sub upset. That's the last thing they want to do.
Once they "get it," the rest of the day will move along smoothly.
I've taught every grade, K-7.
If you're teaching or subbing and need some suggestions, I'll be happy to tell you what worked for me.
Be warned. NOTHING worked for me in 6th or 7th.
I enjoyed being a substitute teacher, but I prefer the opportunity to build a relationship and stay with a class as well.