Photo © DallasISD2008Bond

Tips That Will Make A Good Substitute Great

Anyone who has ever started a new job can attest that no matter how prepared you may be, there is always a learning curve. Because substitute teachers often spend each day in a new classroom with new students,that learning curve never quite goes away. Undoubtedly, as a substitute, you will make mistakes. However, learning from the mistakes of others will make you a better substitute teacher. Here are three simple tips that will make a good substitute great. For more tips, visit our website or feel free to contact us!

Communicate expectations
As a substitute, you only have a limited amount of time to establish yourself in the classroom and then accomplish the day’s goals. To do so, you must communicate your expectations to students in a manner that is grade appropriate and clear. Your role in the classroom is the same as the primary teacher, even though some students may not feel that is the case. One good tip for establishing expectations with a class is to write a step-by-step set of tasks on the board. This will provide the class with a visible reminder of their responsibilities and will help you maintain focus for yourself and your students.

Keep good records
Classroom teachers appreciate a substitute who can be relied upon to make their transition back into the classroom as unobtrusive to student learning as possible. It is important that you keep good records of all of the happenings during the day so that the primary teacher can return confident in what must be accomplished. It’s a good idea to keep a notepad handy with a running log of any student discipline problems, absences or tardies, or challenges the students may have had with the material that was left for you to cover. This simple act will demonstrate that you were invested in the class as well as the responsibilities charged to you by the teacher.

Go above and beyond 
It is likely that there will be down time in your schedule because most teachers have responsibilities such as department meetings or personal planning time tht are planned into their daily routine. Rather than sit idle in an empty classroom, use this time to volunteer your services to other teachers in the building. Something as simple as offering to make photocopies will demonstrate your dedication to the school and will keep your name fresh in the minds of other teachers who may soon require a substitute. It’s a good tip to check in when possible with the secretary or support staff in the building who is in charge of coordinating substitute services.

If you’re interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d love to hear from you!

Photo © DallasISD2008Bond

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