Substitute Teachers: How to Treat A Classroom


flipped_classroomYesterday, I left some suggestions for classroom teachers in what substitutes need. I’m sure there is more to the list, as each classroom and school differs from another.

As I mentioned, Substitutes also have a responsibility, and I’ve heard from teachers and students alike on things that need to be done:

Substitute Teachers

  1. Be on time.
    1. This means, to me, being at least fifteen minutes early to where you are supposed to report (usually the main office).
    2. Dress appropriately.
    3. Ask for a security badge if not given one automatically.
    4. Ask for the Substitute Folder if it is kept in the main office.
      1. Make sure you have CURRENT attendance sheets.
  2. Come prepared with at least one pen: don’t assume any will be left for you.
  3. Get to the room you need to report to and read the lesson plans from start to finish.
    1. Hopefully, the teacher will have left you all material you need with the lesson plan.
    2. If not, round it up/locate it before the students come in.
  4. If the teacher assigns a Study Hall or Individual Reading for that time period:
    1. Do not:
      1. Read the newspaper; text; be on the computer; discuss your personal life; comment on other classes/schools; listen to your own music with ear plugs; etc.
    2. Do:
      1. State you are in charge
        1. They have work to do: do it
      2. Take names if they are disrespectful to you
      3. Keep your calm
  5. Leave the classroom, especially the teacher’s desk/work area, as you found it.
  6. Leave the teacher notes on how the day was: good and not so good behavior.
    1. Don’t leave a novel: just highlights/bullets
    2. Some schools use some sort of feedback system, whether online or paper: follow through on it.
  7. If you are working with any classroom aides or paras: thank them for their help at the end of the class/day.
  8. When students say “..the teacher always lets us…” well, that is up to you and the feel of the kids, but more times than not the teacher does not  let them do whatever they’ve just told you.
    1. Apologize, tell them you have no notes to that effect, and they’ll have to do it your way for today.  Tell them you’ll leave a note for the teacher that you said no. They’ll usually stop at that.
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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ellenparsons
    Feb 21, 2013 @ 23:55:48

    Thanks. I have always followed these rules. This reasured me that I have been doing the right thing.

    Reply

  2. Anonymous
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 10:14:39

    When the students tell me “the teacher always lets us…” I have two responses. One is, as yours above, I have no notes about that, so we will do it my way this time; or, if it seems appropriate, I will tell the class: We can do that, and I will record in my note to the teacher that this is how it was done. Sometimes the second statement is satisfying for all concerned; and sometimes, it means the students back off of their initial “the teacher always lets us…”

    Reply

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