5 Ways to Improve your Resume When Looking for Full Time or Long Term Sub Jobs

Your resume is one of the most crucial components of your application for jobs. Sometimes it is looked at even before your cover letter. Why? Because your resume is a concise list of your experiences and can help prospective employers decide if you are a candidate worth pursuing.

Here are 5 Ways to Improve your Resume when looking for a long term sub job:

1. Most Recent Teaching Experiences – Be sure to include your most recent teaching experiences. Even if you are subbing for multiple school districts, be sure to list each one. All teaching experience looks good on resumes.

2. Non-Pertinent Work Experience – In many cases it is best to go with a ‘targeted’ resume, or a job specific resume. In other words, if you are applying for a teaching job then there should mostly be teaching related jobs on your resume. Keep in mind that you can use some creativity with this. For example, being a camp counselor may not be the same as a teacher, but can show a track record of working with school aged children and coordinating activities.  Make sure the work experiences on your resume are relevant, applicable, and recent.

3. Objective or goal – It is nice to put a job goal or objective at the top of your resume, something that correlates with your ultimate career goal. Where do you want to be? Do you want to be a high school English teacher?

4. Specific Details – Nearly every applicant will have subbing experience. You need to provide specific details that make your experience more suited to the job opening than others. Example: List what grade range you have subbed for. Did you learn how to use Smart Boards or other technologies available in the classroom? Did you ever get to proctor state assessments? Some other things that could be included could be subbing on field trips, grading tests, supervising student teachers, etc. This is where you can demonstrate your vast and unique experiences to prove your skills.

5. Key words – If your application and resume was submitted online, chances are there may be a computer program that will search the resume for specific keywords and action words. Or whoever is sorting through the resumes may be asked to look for certain words. (You may hear them referred to as buzzwords.) Research what the current trends are in education, look at the job listing to see if there are any words that stand out. Another tip is to investigate the school district’s website. Take a peek at their mission statement because that often describes the focus of their schools.

Here are just some tips to help spruce up that resume in preparation for looking for long term subbing jobs. Please contact us for more tips and tricks.

Photo © COEComm

Subs! Try These Three Elementary Filler Games

When there’s time left at the end of the day or lesson, that time can be used to have a little fun with the students in your class! Try some elementary filler games to keep students occupied before the bell rings.

1. Show and Tell.

This is a great way to learn more about the students, and they can learn from each other. Call on some students to go up in front of the class to either tell a story or to show off something — it could be something they’re wearing or even their favorite pencil. You can encourage the rest of the class to ask the student questions and get everyone involved.

2. Scavenger Hunt.

If the weather’s nice, you can take your students outdoors, but this game will work in a classroom too. Create clues such as “Find an item left by someone on the playground” or “Find a blue crayon.”

3. The Neverending Story.

The class can create a story together, one word at a time. Choose a student to start with one word and write it on the board. Each of the following students can add to the story by supplying one word each. Then you all can read the silly story out loud.

These games are easy to play and will be a hit with your students. And best of all, they require little to no advance planning. Next time you find some added classroom time in your day, try these games and have some fun in class!

For more information, please contact us.

Photo © kim

Subs: 5 Ways to Improve your Resume When Looking for Full Time or Long Term Sub Jobs

Your resume is one of the most crucial components of your application for jobs. Sometimes it is looked at even before your cover letter. Why? Because your resume is a concise list of your experiences and can help prospective employers decide if you are a candidate worth pursuing.

Here are 5 Ways to Improve your Resume when looking for a long term sub job:

1. Most Recent Teaching Experiences – Be sure to include your most recent teaching experiences. Even if you are subbing for multiple school districts, be sure to list each one. All teaching experience looks good on resumes.

2. Non-Pertinent Work Experience – In many cases it is best to go with a ‘targeted’ resume, or a job specific resume. In other words, if you are applying for a teaching job then there should mostly be teaching related jobs on your resume. Keep in mind that you can use some creativity with this. For example, being a camp counselor may not be the same as a teacher, but can show a track record of working with school aged children and coordinating activities.  Make sure the work experiences on your resume are relevant, applicable, and recent.

3. Objective or goal – It is nice to put a job goal or objective at the top of your resume, something that correlates with your ultimate career goal. Where do you want to be? Do you want to be a high school English teacher?

4. Specific Details – Nearly every applicant will have subbing experience. You need to provide specific details that make your experience more suited to the job opening than others. Example: List what grade range you have subbed for. Did you learn how to use Smart Boards or other technologies available in the classroom? Did you ever get to proctor state assessments? Some other things that could be included could be subbing on field trips, grading tests, supervising student teachers, etc. This is where you can demonstrate your vast and unique experiences to prove your skills.

5. Key words – If your application and resume was submitted online, chances are there may be a computer program that will search the resume for specific keywords and action words. Or whoever is sorting through the resumes may be asked to look for certain words. (You may hear them referred to as buzzwords.) Research what the current trends are in education, look at the job listing to see if there are any words that stand out. Another tip is to investigate the school district’s website. Take a peek at their mission statement because that often describes the focus of their schools.

Here are just some tips to help spruce up that resume in preparation for looking for long term subbing jobs. Please contact us for more tips and tricks.

How to Remember Student’s Names in the Classroom

One of the biggest challenges teachers face is how to remember student’s names. This challenge is magnified even more for substitute teachers, who have less time to get to know their students. Here are some things you can do to help you remember the names of your students, even if you only have contact with them for a little while.

Before getting to your classroom, try to obtain a roster so that you can read it over several times. This will help you because you won’t have to learn names, only the faces they are associated with.

You might want to have the children in your class introduce each other to you so that you can get to know everyone from the beginning. Have the first person in the room stand up and make an introduction. The second person would then introduce the first person and then himself or herself. This would continue around the room until everyone had been introduced.

When you hear a student’s name for the first time, repeat it back right away, as this will help you associate the name with that person. If you are able to come up with some other form of association that can help you, that will be even better.

Consider using a seating chart if you have an unusually large class. Find out if there is one already in place so that you can make one up ahead of time if need be. Keep in mind that older students may balk at this, so consider your audience when deciding whether or not to do so.

Avoid making up nicknames for your students, as some may find them offensive. Even so, if a student asks to be called by his or her nickname, feel free to use it to help you remember that person.

By practicing these easy tips, you just might find that it becomes easier to learn names whenever you enter a new classroom. For even more tips you can put to good use when substitute teaching, contact us.

4 Helpful Tips Teaching in The Kindergarten Classroom

Teaching kindergarten can be a real pleasure. The kids are funny and full of energy. Most of the time they show up excited to learn. Every day is an adventure, for them and for you. Enjoying a kindergarten classroom is rarely difficult.

Keeping kindergartners involved with the lessons, on the other hand, is tricky business. They are different from students at every other level. Naturally, the challenges facing their teachers are unique as well. How do you keep them engaged? What stimulates them? Here are a few helpful tips for working with kindergartners.

  • Get animated! Young children respond well to large displays. Speak loudly, then whisper. Throw your arms in the air. Walk around the classroom. By avoiding monotony in your speech and behavior, you’ll keep the interest of your students.
  • Let them “show off.”  At this point in their development, 5 year olds enjoy singing, dancing and playing pretend. They will be entering a stage where interaction with their friends becomes very important to them too. Group songs or silly dances allow them to socialize and keeps lessons fun.
  • Lengthen lessons intermittently. Kindergarten is when kids first begin engaging in extended focus. Your students will gradually learn how to hold on to a topic or project for more than just a few minutes. Encourage this change by carrying on some lessons longer than others. Don’t expect them to start absorbing hour-long lectures, but you should see progress in their ability to concentrate.
  • Motivate them clearly. Kids will respond to motivating techniques. If the prize is too far into the future, however, it stops seeming real. Days can feel like weeks and weeks can feel like years. Rather than throwing the class a pizza party at the end of the month, try rewarding good behavior with a treat at the end of the day.

As a teacher of these youngsters, it’s important to meet them where they’re at. Kindergarten is the first step in a long line of education. It’s okay to be relaxed. It’s okay to have fun!

To share your tips for working with kindergartners, please Contact Us.

Emergency Lesson Plan for the Spanish Classroom

If you’re called in at the last minute to substitute for a Spanish class, and the regular teacher left you no lesson plan, you’ll have to, as they say in Spanish, “improvisar sobre la marcha” — wing it.

But the best substitute teacher always enters “la marcha” prepared with Emergency Lesson Plans. For the Spanish teacher, it really doesn’t have to be much of an emergency. Here’s a lesson plan that is both a vocabulary builder and exploits the Hispanic traditional dedication to family.

You know the answer to the question in Spanish, “Quién es la hija de tu madre? Of course, the answer is “La hija de me madre es mi hermana.” The question is easy, but makes the student think about family vocabulary in a somewhat more indirect way. It will also engage the shyer students, because the questions and responses are relatively easy to compose.

Class activity: Invite individual class members to step up to the board and write the Spanish word for a family relation, including in-laws — suegros, cuñados. Don’t forget “step-“ relationships — padrastros, hermanastros, etc. If the students run out of words, prompt them with the English family terms that they may have overlooked, or just do not know.

Then have each student compose a question where the answer is one of those relations. Have them read the question aloud and task a different class member to answer each. You either assign the terms randomly or number the terms on the board and have students draw cards with numbers you prepared in advance.

Example question: ¿Quién es el hijo de mi tío?

Answer: El hijo de mi tío es me primo.

There are over 20 Spanish words for family members (counting masculine and feminine forms and step relationships) and you can encourage students to come up with some rather complicated relationship questions, like this one:

Quién es la nieta de mi abuela y la sobrina de me madre?

That would be your prima, of course, but the student has to wade through three relationships to get to the answer, which is great practice for the steps involved in translation.

For learning assessment, save ten minutes at the end of the lesson for a short single answer quiz. Depending on how well the class did during the activity, you can leave the family vocabulary words on the board or erase them. Gather up and correct the answer sheets and give them to the regular teacher for future vocabulary building.

The Five “P”s of Substitute Teacher Tips

There are many Substitute Teacher Tips out there. There are ways to prepare in terms of emergency lesson plans, tips for making a good impression, tips for getting more jobs, and so on. All of these are great assets for any substitute teacher. However, here are some that pertain more to how we carry ourselves and how we handle our days as a sub. These are tips and skills that we should try to hone. They can certainly come in handy!

1. Punctuality – It may seem like a no-brainer, but actually punctuality is one of the few things as a substitute teacher you have a great deal of control over. Sure, you cannot always predict traffic patterns or the weather, but you can choose to wake up a little earlier than usual. Getting to the school bright and early gives you time to gather yourself. You can read through your directions, test any technology, make sure you are aware of school policies, etc. This can help you start the day off on the right foot.

2. Perseverance – No one ever says that being a substitute teacher is easy. In fact, quite often you hear plenty of horror stories. Do not let this bother you. Going into a school with determination and a good attitude can make all the difference. Try to be flexible. Remember that as a new adult in the classroom, things will be tricky. Sometimes it can be best to expect a few kinks in the day. Stay strong and focused.

3. Personality – Teaching is a passion and a calling, as well as a career. Chances are if you have made it to the stage of subbing, then you have the ‘personality’ of a teacher. It is understandable that you will be nervous and anxious walking into an unfamiliar classroom. Endeavor to reach out to students, learn their names, and make a personal connection. It will make the day more enjoyable for everyone.

4. Presence – Students always seem to test a substitute teacher’s limits. This can be amplified when student’s sense your nerves. One of the biggest components of classroom management can be your presence. Having an enigmatic, energetic, and most of calming presence. Everyone gets nervous, but having the polite, but firm presence can have a huge impact on student’s behavior. If you feel and believe yourself to be in control, then they often feel the same.

Get Your Foot in the Door as a New Substitute Teacher!

New teachers interested in substituting to get the ball rolling or as a flexible career often find difficulty knowing where to begin.  Getting your foot in the door of the substitute teaching market can be a challenge, but these tips will help the process run smoothly and give you every possible advantage in a potentially competitive market.

1. Make sure that you have the proper certification for your state.  Most states have similar yet varying requirements for people to enter the classroom in a teaching (or substituting) capacity, and before beginning the application process, it’s helpful to go over your qualifications compared to the requirements in your particular state.  You can Look up requirements by state here.

2. Make sure that you are available for potential opportunities, and stay flexible.  One of the positive aspects of substitute teaching is that you have the ability to turn down a job offer if it’s not feasible, but turning down offers too often can work against you and hurt your chances for future opportunities.  Make sure that you’re ready and available for work if the call comes in, and say no to offers selectively.  When you’re first getting started, you’ll want to make sure that you accept any offer that comes your way to build up your repertoire and demonstrate willingness, reliability and flexibility.  This will make getting further assignments easier for you overall.

3. Get your name out there and take advantage of networking opportunities.  When you’re on a job, take advantage of your opportunity to introduce yourself to the staff.  Making a personal connection with steady members of the staff can improve your chances of getting called back for further opportunities.

4. Don’t limit your applications to a single district.  When you’re trying to get the ball rolling, apply to several districts in your area.  This will open you up to more opportunities than a single district can.  The more lists that your name appears on, the better your chances of getting called for a job.

5. Be consistent and friendly.  If you always show up to an assignment with a smile on your face and a willingness to accept any challenge thrown your way, your attitude can make a huge positive impact on the school leaders and staff.  They’ll associate you with a sub who is willing to work hard and do the best possible job regardless of the assignment, and your chances of being called back when another need arises is increased.

Substitute teaching is a rewarding and fulfilling career, but starting the process can be a little overwhelming for a newcomer.  Thankfully, you don’t have to face the challenge alone.  Feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions you may have to see if we can help you get started and be as successful in the process as you’d like to be.

5 Benefits of Being Notified of Jobs on Your Cell Phone

As a substitute teacher there are many benefits of being notified of jobs on your cell phone, particularly through text messaging and emails.

Here are 5 top benefits:

  1. Convenience – Thanks to the systems being used by most school districts, we can now receive calls on our cell phones, through text messages, and even by emails. We do not need to stay home, sitting next to the phone, or arrange our lives around the calling times.
  2. Less Disruptive – Receiving text messages or emails to get substitute teaching jobs can be much less disruptive than the ringing of a phone. You can still receive your assignments without interrupting sports matches, family dinners, and other important events.
  3. Reliability – While definitely not foolproof, there is a certain level of reliability with cell phones and emails. Traditional landlines may be at the mercy of the weather. However, you can access your email at any computer or smartphone with internet service. With the exception of needing to be charged, cell phones are not at the mercy of your home having electricity.
  4. ‘Written Record’ –  Receiving emails or text messages for your job assignments gives you a written record to look back on. You can double check the information, make sure you are not double booked (if working for more than one district) and keep an accurate record of where you have subbed or will be subbing.
  5. Updated Daily Planner – Many emails and phones offer the ability to transfer dates and times into a calendar or planner. Often times secretaries ask you if you can come in the next day if there is a last minute absence. By having this information accurate and up to date, you can easily let them know if you are available. The organization and reliability will help your reputation.

As our schools become more technologically savvy, expect to see more new trends in subbing. Please contact us for more tips and tricks related to substitute teaching.

Emergency Tic-Tac-Toe Lesson Plan

You have just accepted a call to sub in the local school district.  You show up to sign in at the office and hear the dreaded phrase “No lesson plans have been left in the classroom teachers mailbox.”  You are on your own! Don’t panic, here is an easy and fun emergency lesson plan that will keep the class working and can be tailored for any subject and any topic the class is currently covering.

  1. Draw a large Tic-Tac-Toe game board on the chalk board or on the projector.  Number each box 1 through 9 and have the students number a piece of paper 1 through 9.  Split the classroom down the middle into two groups (be sure to stick with the assigned seating cart).
  2. Ask what chapters they have been covering and, using the class textbook, find some questions on the current topics.  Try and make most of them open ended questions to really make them think.  Textbooks almost always have good questions at the end of each chapter.  An example from a middle school US History class would be: Describe the differences between the northern and southern colonies.  An example from a Pre-Algebra class would be: Two consecutive integers have a sum of 89. What are the numbers?
  3. Select who goes first with either a coin flip or any similar chance based method.  Have the first group select the number of the box they wish to mark with their X or O.  Read them a question from the book and have the whole class write that question on their papers next to the corresponding number.  Use your judgment to determine the maximum amount of time they have to answer – depending on age group 2-4 minutes should be good.  If they give a satisfactory answer place an X or O (depending on which team) in the corresponding box.  If not the other team may choice to answer the question for that box or select a new box.  The first team to get Tic-Tac-Toe wins.

Be sure the students understand that you will be collecting each individuals paper and will expect them to have each question asked written down with the corresponding CORRECT answer. Depending on scheduling you should have time for 2 or 3 games each period.  You may grade as you wish with a pass/fail participation grade or a letter grade and leave for the classroom teacher.

For more information on substitute teaching and teaching resources visit our website and contact ustoday.