Substitute Teacher Tricks: Participate in Collaborative Professional Development Even as a Sub!

Often the best professional development opportunities are the unplanned ones. Observing a lesson taught by another teacher, working on curriculum development, reviewing lessons or merely having impromptu conversations in between subjects can often yield worlds of useful information. Even if only for a day, both sub and regular classroom teacher desire the same results.

As a sub, you may not always have access to collaborative professional development opportunities. But that doesn’t mean that subs won’t still get chances to learn. Here are a few ways to maximize collaboration to improve your teaching and subbing chances:

1. It Never Hurts to Ask

Teacher meetings happen on a daily basis in schools. Different grade levels, different subjects, techniques and more. It might be strange to do so the first time you sub at a school or meet a teacher, but after a few times your willingness to participate will likely be welcomed and encouraged.

Ask a teacher or an administrator if you could sit in on a PLC after school one day or watch another teacher present a lesson during the school day. Bare in mind though that after school activities such as these would be on your own time, so they would not be paid. But considering the potential learning opportunities and schmoozing (for a lack of a better term) you can do, you are likely to gain additional requests for subbing.

2. Hold Them Yourself

As we know, being a sub requires some different skills. To those who have never subbed, stepping into an unknown classroom can be daunting and overwhelming. Getting advice from a seasoned teacher might not quite cut it. But getting advice from a seasoned sub might do the trick. Advertise a collaborative learning meeting for subs. Ask the school if you can post the ad in the teachers’ lounge or through a district website.

3. District Professional Development 

Multiple times throughout the year school districts offer training for their staff. You can participate in day-long or longer PD that might involve new techniques, technology, etc. Being a staff member even in the capacity of subbing often enables you to participate in these offerings. Some cost money, others are free. (Usually if you desire to add the credits to your license, you need to pay).

Hone Your Subbing Super Powers!

You probably don’t need to go very far to collaborate with other teachers. Whether it is for one day or four months, subs need and want chances to improve their skills.

Ready to increase your subbing know-how? Acquire that crucial teaching insider info through PLCs or other collaborative learning opportunities by subbing even more! Contact us to streamline your sub job alerts, so you can streamline your actual teaching.

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