How to Be a Successful Substitute Teacher

Substitute teaching may not be a glamorous job, but it will help to give you some extra cash. It will also allow you get your foot in the door of many school districts. So, don’t take your subbing job lightly. Stand-out by following these simple tips.

Learn the district policies

Learn the district’s policies. Don’t walk into the classroom blind. Find out beforehand what is acceptable and what is not. Are you allowed to give the students grades? What is the discipline procedure? Learning these policies can make a difference between having and not having your job.

Familiarize yourself with the building

Familiarize yourself with the building before your first day substituting. Find out where the office, bathroom, and the cafeteria are. This will ensure that your day runs a lot smoother.

Follow the Lesson Plan

Always follow the lesson and instructions that the teacher left. For me, there is nothing more frustrating that to come back to work after I have been out and discover that my substitute did not follow my instructions. This means that I have lost a day of valuable classroom instruction just because my sub decided to do something different. Following the teacher’s instructions makes a good impression on the teacher, and it makes the school more likely to call you for another substituting job.

Always Call Roll

Even if you know all of the students personally, do roll call. It is so easy to overlook an absent student. You may even think you saw this child when you didn’t. And, older students sometimes like to skip class or play tricks on substitute teachers. So, make a point of always checking the roll.

Respect the Teacher

Don’t talk bad about the teacher that you are substituting for. Don’t comment on how dusty or dirty his or her room is. Don’t comment on how you would do things differently. Don’t use up the teacher’s tape, markers, or stickers. Try not to lend out the teacher’s staple machine, copy paper, or other items. If another teacher comes and asks to borrow the absent teacher’s supplies, make sure that you get them back before the end of the work day. Don’t allow the students behind the desk.

Double Check Check-Out

Never let students leave with someone without checking with the office first. Even if the person is the child’s parent, call the office before releasing that student. To protect yourself and the students always double check with the office.

Leave a Detailed Note

Let the teacher know what transpired during the day. Leave a detailed note about events that took place in the classroom. And, remember, what you don’t tell one of the students will.

Leave the Room Clean

Yes, the school has janitors; however, they only do so much. Don’t leave the teacher’s room in a mess. Clean up behind yourself and the students. Always leave the teacher’s desk neat and clean.

Be nice to the secretary

Why should you be nice to the secretary? The secretary is the backbone of the school. She knows the district policies, the parents, and your students. She knows where the supplies are. And, she knows more about principal. The secretary is usually the one who decides which substitutes get called and which ones don’t.

Think On Your Feet

Be able to think on your feet. If you walk into the classroom and the teacher didn’t leave any work, it is up to you to come up with activities for the class to do.

Substitute teaching can be just a rewarding as actually teaching. It can also open doors for you. Make a good impression.

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