Saturday, March 14, 2009

A comment on a previous post asked for classroom management ideas for subs. Off the top of my head, here are a few:

Get to school early if at all possible. Too often, I see subs, who knew they were subbing that day, walking into the building with students. I realize subbing is not a high pay position, but getting there a few minutes early to look over lesson plans for the day helps you get off to an easier start.

Remember that students probably miss their real teacher - especially for elementary and middle school kids, they do not adjust well to change, so just having you there sets them off. Talk to them, and assure them you plan to have a great day with them. No threats, no ultimatums about behavior, just talk as if you are looking forward to spending the day with them.

Follow the lesson plan left! If you run into a problem with content, do the best you can, encourage students to help out, and move on. Leave a note for the teacher about the problems you encountered. But NEVER, ever, allow students' "We don't get this" to thwart your efforts. They do that to US as well. Encourage them to look at examples, and get help from each other. Do NOT allow them to convince you to not do to assignment!

Carry some tricks and fun stuff with you. A couple of sets of Brain Quest cards can go a long way. They do not have to be for the exact age group for which you are subbing. My 7th graders love the 4th grade questions. These can be used for end of hour fillers, or in an emergency situation with no lesson plans, make for a great competitive game that can easily fill an hour.

Take the trouble makers aside and talk to them instead of blowing up and kicking them out. Talk quietly, privately and calmly and ask them what you can do to help them be successful while you are there today. Try to engage them in the lesson personally if necessary. Some kids just freak out when a sub comes, and get goofy and overreact without meaning to.

Do not waste the entire hour in small talk. The kids really don't like it, and the teacher will have lost a day of instruction upon coming back.

Have the kids clean up at the end of hour. Make sure supplies are taken care of, garbage is picked up, chairs are pushed in... Don't leave a mess for the teacher to come back to. 99% of the time, the kids would have had to pick up with that teacher there, they are just waiting for you to push them to do it as well. Don't let them be slackers with you.

Encourage by motivating with students who are working. Point out behaviors that align with the protocol for the day. Be supportive.

Surfing the internet is not what you are here for today. When your nose is to the screen, kids sense an opportunity to be sneaky. Before you realize it, things are out of control. Too often, I see subs who are online all day, sitting at the teacher desk, and they wonder why they run into behavior issues.

Don't get into a shouting match with a student. Be the adult! Be calm!

Don't make sweeping accusations - "you guys are stupid" "how can you not know how to do this" "what, are you kindergarteners?" Students will bristle when you threaten or demean them.

Those are a few of the ideas I thought of initially. Hopefully, it helps! Good luck. Good teachers need great subs to take care of their classes when they must be away! We appreciate your hard work and efforts.

1 comment:

acai Berry said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.