If you want to be the best substitute teacher you can, there are two realizations that have to be made: First, remind yourself that you are a teacher. Being a substitute doesn’t mean you’re less than a normal teacher–although some would have you think so–; it means that you’re a suitable stand-in for the students’ normal teacher, with all the rights and privileges therein. Second, remember that as a teaching professional, what you do in the classroom is impactful. The actions you take, the words you say, and the way you teach should show kids they’re valuable and cared for, which in turn will show their teachers that you’re the right candidate for any absent day. Once these two vital realizations have been made, check out the two educational resources below because they will help you start making professional decisions that not only get you one job, but keep the phone ringing.
Substitute teaching starts off simply, as the Education World Online Substitute Survival Kit would tell you. Yes, follow the plan. Yes, be prepared and keep your composure. And when the heart you have shines is when you let the kids see who you are. “Sing! Play! Read! Write! Homework! Manage!” are some of the tips Education World provides, and what they’re really getting at is that it’s okay to be yourself. You don’t have to be mean or harsh; you can be a courteous, exciting, and playful teacher (because that’s what you are). You chose to be a substitute for only a handful out of so many reasons, but you love kids! You might even possibly want to make a career out of being with them. The plan the absent teacher leaves is only a frame that you fill out, and you have the professional skills and tricks to make it through the day (and the others, if you have more).
Also visit Teacher Created Resources’ Tips for Being a Successful Substitute Teacher page to understand more about the ins and outs of excelling in any classroom. Then remind yourself that you’re a teaching professional who has all the capabilities of instruction and will impact every curious set of eyes in attendance that day. Becoming the most desirable substitute teacher takes time and practice, but if you have a heart to really get students to learn material, and so much more beyond it, follow these simple yet professional tips so that you’ll already be on your way to success.
For more posts on professional development as a substitute teacher all year round, contact us over at Sub Sidekick to learn more.