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Three Things a Great Substitute Does NOT Do

While people often focus on what a great substitute teacher does, it is just as important to focus on things that a great substitute teacher does not do. To help you become the best substitute teacher possible, be sure to avoid these three things.

Arriving Late

It is important to be early. Often the school will want you there at least fifteen to twenty minutes before the students arrive. This allows you to go over the teacher’s lesson plans, find any materials you will need for the day, and prepare for the children to arrive. If you anticipate heavy traffic or weather delays, be sure to leave early.

On rare occasions, even the best substitute teachers are not able to arrive on-time. Maybe a traffic accident caused an unanticipated delay. Perhaps you only got the call five minutes before school starts. If this is the case, call the school as soon as soon as possible, and quickly explain the situation. When possible, give them an idea of how long it will take you to get there. It is a good idea to have each school’s phone number programmed into your phone.

Dressing Unprofessionally

Dressing professionally is essential for any substitute teacher. Even if the teachers at the school do not always dress professionally, continue to dress professionally. There might be times when you can dress a little more casual, such as if the school has jeans Fridays, or if you are substituting for a gym teacher. While gym teachers in some schools wear tennis shoes, shorts, and t-shirts, at other schools, more professional clothing is expected. When in doubt, dress like you would normally, and bring along a pair of tennis shoes and other more casual clothing. You can always change quickly in the restroom.

Disregarding Lesson Plans

Teachers have created lesson plans for a reason. Follow them as closely as possible. If the teacher has made it clear what is essential and what is optional, use that as a guide. At times, you may encounter problems following the teacher’s lesson plans. Maybe the plans are unclear, or the teacher’s computer refuses to work properly. When that is the case, do your best, and leave the teacher a note explaining why you were not able to get everything done.

Contact us for more information on being a good substitute teacher or for help getting substitute teaching positions.

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How to Survive in Early Childhood

It might sound simple to sub in preschool or kindergarten, but little kids can run over an inexperienced substitute just as easily a bunch of middle schoolers! Here are some substitute teacher tricks to get you through with really young kids.

1. Explain that you are not their teacher. In preschool and kindergarten, be  explicit. In the beginning of the day, point out you are not their teacher. You don’t look or sound like their teacher. Your words will be different from the words their teacher uses. Get them on board with this idea by asking if it is okay for you to be different. (If they say no, just correct them!) Tell them to give you a thumbs up if it is okay for you to be different. Explain that you will try your best, but you need them to listen very carefully and try their best because your words will be different from their teacher’s words.

2. Model everything! No matter what task you are assigning, you will need to model. Verbal directions and written directions are almost useless. If they have to complete a worksheet or a craft, show them every single step. Draw pictures to help them remember the procedure. You might want to print some visual cue cards like these from Victories ‘N Autism (many teachers will have something like these in the classroom, use them!)

3. Help them control their bodies. If you are reading or giving instructions, you will want them to sit “criss-cross applesauce.” Remind them to listen with their whole body. Here’s a video of Elmo listening for reference. Prevent wild running through the classroom by suggesting they creep like a little mouse or waddle like a penguin back to their table. Keep in mind, at this age they will not sit still for very long. If you start to lose their attention, get their bodies moving. Play Simon Says (but don’t make anyone sit out, smile and say, “I tricked a few people that time!”) Do the Hokey Pokey or Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.

4. Go slowly. When switching from one activity to the next, look for a row or a table that is “ready” to move to the next activity. Never send the whole class to line up or go to centers at the same time; it will be complete chaos.

5. Simplify and repeat, then repeat again. If you are accustomed to older students, you probably expect them to follow a set of directions after you say it once or twice. That will not happen with 5 year olds! Keep your directions as clear and concise as possible. The first time you explain something, you will need to go into some detail (verbally and visually), then explain it again in more simplified language. Have the kids repeat the direction back to you once or twice. Try to put it to a beat to help them remember. If they need to push in their chair, place a paper in their cubby, and sit on the carpet, go through the entire procedure. Do it yourself as you talk about it, then review: chair, cubby, carpet/chair, cubby, carpet. Have them say it with you. Dismiss them slowly to do the task, someone will inevitably leave their paper on the table and go straight to the carpet, so prompt them to remember all 3 steps.

Hopefully these substitute teacher tips for early childhood have left you feeling brave and prepared. You will often have an assistant teacher in the classroom for these jobs, and they are pretty fun once you get a little experience.

Are you signed up for the sub sidekick service that will send jobs right to your phone? If not, contact us to get signed up today.

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Getting CPR Certified

If you are not already CPR certified, you should really consider adding it to your professional tools as a substitute teacher. Not only is it a great resume-booster, but it’s an invaluable skill to have when working in schools if the need ever arises. Fortunately, there are several ways to get your certification, each cost-efficient and with understandable content.

Red cross: (Average cost: $70 USD, $90 CAD) The Red Cross in both America and Canada have search engines that can find a CPR class that’s perfect for you and your needs. A CPR/AED focused course could be taken, or perhaps you want the full bundle with everything from CPR and AED training to the first aid that could allow you to address even the minor incidents in the classroom. There are no CPR only classes, as the automated external defibrillator is critical to saving lives when it is available. Classes are offered online (at your own pace during free time), mixed with both online and offline portions, or simply in a classroom setting (these take anywhere from two days to a couple of hours, and are often on weekends). The diverse selection offered makes it easy to find the class that can be worked into your schedule and provide lifesaving skills.

Local police or fire departments: Sometimes, getting certified can be as simple as stopping by your local fire or police station and asking if they have CPR classes available, and when the next one is. These are going to be a more one on one course if that’s what you prefer to have when learning, since local departments do not have national registration. It’s also possibly cheaper, and faster than going through the Red Cross.

Local YMCA or other smaller organizations: As a last resort, you can look into smaller organizations nearby that also require their employees to have a current CPR certification. They may allow you to join one of their classes (hopefully at the employee rate, or even free). Outside of that, organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Guides of Canada may have CPR courses for their participants that you can request to participate in.

After the certification: Once you have finished the course, you will be awarded or emailed your certificates. One copy should be kept on hand in a wallet or other personal item (in case of emergencies outside the classroom), while a full copy can be sent to the principal of the school you’re substituting at. Keep in mind that CPR certifications expire every two years. If you sign up for a class before your certification expires, the course will only need to be a refresher class. Letting your certification expires means that you have to take a full course again.

If you have any further questions beyond getting your CPR certification, feel free to contact us.

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What Teachers REALLY Wish Their Substitute Teachers Knew

As a career educator, I’ve had to rely upon substitute teachers on many occasions: when I’m sick, on vacation, and even when my license is about to expire… which, yes, is the absolute worst way to spend a personal day! On such occasions, simply knowing that a substitute teacher is willing to step into my role feels like the greatest gift anyone could ever receive. Teachers everywhere know what I’m talking about, and for this, we are eternally grateful to substitutes.

However, the morning after a day off is often extra stressful. The reality is that full-time teachers usually don’t know what to expect when we return to school. We may arrive at school earlier than usual, just in case our once-tidy classroom has become a disaster zone or every single pencil has mysteriously disappeared. Now, I’m not saying either of these scenarios should be blamed on a substitute teacher; we both know who the real culprits are. But there are a few key moves that a sub can make throughout the school day which will ensure consistency, stability, and productivity in the classroom.

Don’t Be Afraid to Hold Students to (Very) High Expectations

Listen to your gut. Sweat the small stuff early in the day, so bigger issues don’t even come up.  If you see a child doing something that you wouldn’t allow in your house (or apartment, or office), then you can pretty much guarantee it’s something he or she shouldn’t be doing — and wouldn’t dare do in front of the usual teacher. If you’re in the middle of a read-aloud on the carpet, and Travis gets up to start sharpening all fifty-two of his pencils, he’s testing you.

It’s time to remind him of the expectation using concrete and positive directions. If you face resistance, it’s absolutely okay to bring up the absent teacher to make your point. “Travis, Ms. B let me know how we act in this classroom, whether or not she’s here, and that’s the kind of behavior I am looking for from you today.”

Some substitute teachers are reluctant to bring up the regular classroom teacher, but doing so in a positive yet pointed manner is actually an extremely effective strategy.

It’s Absolutely Okay (and Effective) to Get Creative

Substitute teachers, more often than not, are walking into situations completely blind. When and if they are provided, sub-binders and lesson plans can help to a certain degree, but once you’ve got a classroom full of students in front of you, waiting for directions and instructions and routines, there isn’t much time to flip through a binder looking for the section on how to throw away breakfast trash. It’s much more important for you to be commanding and calm in these situations, rather than unsure and frazzled.

Common areas of conflict are changes in schedule or procedure. “Why are we doing this? Ms. B doesn’t do it like this.” Instead of spending twenty minutes explaining that things may be slightly different today  — just breathe and state calmly “We’re doing it like this because that’s what Ms. B asked me to do.”

By concisely and clearly asserting yourself, you’re reminding students that you are here for a reason, their teacher trusts you to be here, and the changes to their day aren’t arbitrary or unreasonable. This kind of response leaves students feeling secure and stable.

But Also, Stick To The Schedule

Teachers need to know if they must be away from the classroom, that their class isn’t going to get behind schedule. If there is curriculum that must be taught that day – teach it. If there is homework to be assigned that day – assign it. If there are papers to be graded on their desk – grade it (if possible). Anything you can do to make their return to the classroom as seamless as possible will be greatly appreciated.

Find Out Where the Coffee-Maker Is

Seriously. Make friends. Talk to neighboring classroom teachers. Ask for help with a difficult student. Find out how you can make copies of extra worksheets — just in case!

When it comes to reaching out to other teachers, the great equalizer is that everyone has had a first day. In fact, career educators know better than anyone how challenging it can be to work as a substitute teacher (when some weeks feel like an endless stream of first days) but we also recognize how vital and necessary your role is, and our gratitude is endless. So even if it’s the nineteenth time you’ve sent a student down the hall with a note that says something like, “Where are the extra tissues?” I promise you that you’ll get an answer. At the very least the student will return with a box of tissues.

This tip extends to reaching out to the teacher who you’re subbing for. Please, please, leave a note. Let us know what material was covered and mention general student behavior. And make sure to include your contact information. Just as substitutes seek to be consistent with our classroom policies, we like to follow-up and support your hard work.

If you follow these tips, it’s highly likely that a teacher will recommend you as a preferred sub. In the meantime, contact us so you can get access to the best substitute teaching gigs. I promise there’s an overworked teacher out there somewhere just waiting to thank you!

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5 Fun & Educational Summer Activities to Suggest to Your Students

The days are getting warmer and the students are getting antsy–summer break is nearly here! Your students just can’t wait to get outside in that bright sunshine and enjoy the carefree days of summer. We all know that most children have little interest in learning during their summer break, but there are ways in which you can help ensure that they continue to exercise their brains. We have an awesome list of activities that disguises learning as fun–share it with your students so they can enjoy some educational fun with their families this summer.

1. Catch fireflies. Kids who love science and all things creepy-crawly will have a blast with this nostalgic activity. There’s nothing quite like catching a firefly in a glass jar and observing their incredible gift. For the safety of the fireflies, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

  • Use your hands. Fireflies are fairly easy to catch, so encourage children to use their hands rather than a net. Nets can damage the bug’s wings or hurt them.
  • Use appropriate jar coverings. The safest way to cover your jar is by using thin, breathable cloth or mesh secured with a rubber band. Fireflies need oxygen, but holes poked in a hard metal or plastic lid may lead to the bugs getting stuck if they try to escape.
  • Don’t keep them overnight. Keep the fireflies in a jar for just a short period of time. Reinforce that you are just catching them to observe them for a little while–release them back where you found them the same evening.

The best time to catch fireflies is in the evening hours before it gets completely dark. Slow, quiet movements are best, and always remember to respect the fireflies as other living beings. After they are done observing, kids can research these amazing insects online and answer the questions on Education World’s firefly worksheet.

2. Make ice cream (in a bag!). Every kid’s favorite summer treat is ice cream. That magical jingle-jangle of an approaching ice cream truck can turn even the most well-behaved kid into a begging, pleading, frantic mess who would do just about anything to secure one of those coveted icy treats. This activity is a surefire hit for a hot summer day. It makes good use of a child’s math skills and their ability to follow directions–best of all, it ends in a delicious treat! Check out the recipe and simple directions from Food.com. Encourage students to add their own special touches–strawberries, chocolate chips, crushed cookies–to make their favorite flavor!

3. Read stories around the campfire. You don’t necessarily have to go camping to build a campfire, and you don’t even have to use real fire! Families can choose whatever works best for them–a real campfire during a camping trip, a small bonfire in the backyard, or an indoor artificial campfire. The point of this activity is to enjoy the company of family and friends and embrace the fun of reading. Your students’ families are sure to enjoy the book The Best Campfire Storiesan excellent collection of the most popular campfire stories ever told.

4. Collect rocks. Kids love to collect rocks and you can turn this hobby into a valuable science lesson. The National Audubon Society’s Pocket Guide to Familiar Rocks and Minerals is small, inexpensive, and easy-to-use. Families can also use the U.S. Geological Survey’s website to help them make the most of this interesting activity. Encourage students to collect rocks from a variety of different places they visit during the summer.

5. Experiment with flowers. Amaze your students with a very simple experiment using white flowers, food coloring, and water. By simply cutting the flower stems and adding food coloring to the water, kids can change a white flower to any color of the rainbow. Kids can have fun experimenting with different color combinations throughout the summer.

These family-friendly, educational activities make learning fun. They are a great way to ensure that kids continue to learn during the lazy days of summer, and the students’ families will thank you for the boredom-busting ideas! Please feel free to contact us for even more exciting summer activity ideas.

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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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Summer Reading Gems–The Best of the 2018 Nutmeg Award Nominees

Each summer, students are encouraged to enrich their minds with a good book (or two!). Many middle and high school students are required to complete a summer book report. The Nutmeg Award nominees are always a fantastic choice for summer reading–these books are simply the best of the best. Check out our list of the most interesting 2018 nominees, grouped by reading level:

Elementary 

1. My Pet Human (Yasmine Surovec). The first in a series, this adorable chapter book tells a funny story about Oliver, a stray cat who loves his independent, carefree lifestyle. He spends his time roaming around town, using his adorable face to score free food from a local restaurant, visiting his few close friends (a dog, a cat, and a hamster), and hiding from the animal control truck. This loner kitty gets a big surprise when a little girl moves into his abandoned house and changes his views about the love of a family.

2. Finding Winnie (Lindsay Mattick). Fans of Winnie the Pooh, that charming little bear filled with stuff and fluff, will simply adore this true story behind the beloved bear. A veterinarian on his way to fight in WWI discovered a baby black bear in need of rescue and before leaving for combat, he left her in the care of the London Zoo. Two very special visitors–A.A. Milne and his son, Christopher Robin–were intrigued by this adorable baby bear (she had been named Winnie by the young soldier). They developed a strong bond and eventually became the famous subjects of Milne’s incredible stories.

3. Wet Cement (Bob Raczka). Poetry takes a new form when words are treated as artwork. This fantastic book dazzles young readers with whimsical poems arranged in creative shapes that reinforce the meaning of the poem. Challenging formats such as lines written from bottom to top (Hopscotch) or completely backward (Homer) will keep readers on their toes.

Intermediate

1. Book Scavenger (Jennifer Chambliss Bertman). This intriguing, fast-paced story focuses on Emily, a 12-year-old fan of the online game, “Book Scavenger”, where players find clues that lead to hidden books all over the world. Emily embarks on her own adventure when the creator of this game is mysteriously attacked. She must find the clues and unravel the mystery of his new game before his attackers strike again.

2. The Tapper Twins Go To War (with Each Other) (Jeff Rodkey). The first book in the hilarious Tapper Twins series is fantastic entertainment (even for reluctant readers!). Students will instantly connect with the characters as they make their way through the technologically-laden middle school universe–photos, texts, and screenshots bring the twins’ prank war to life.

3. Took: A Ghost Story (Mary Downing Hahn). Students looking for a good scare over the summer will enjoy this chilling tale. Daniel is the new kid in a small town and disregards the creepy stories the local kids are telling. He thinks they are simply trying to get a rise out of him, but when his little sister disappears one day, he wonders if the stories of the old witch and her pet monster might really be true.

Teen

1. I Kill the Mockingbird (Paul Acampora). This book follows the exploits of three friends determined to share their love of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. They create a series of controversial “pranks” to draw attention to the novel, hoping the newfound notoriety will make others want to read it. Their plans spiral out of control and they end up in the middle of a revolution.

2. The Seventh Most Important Thing (Shelley Pearsall). Arthur recently lost his father, and when he sees a man picking through the trash, wearing his father’s favorite hat, he loses it. He throws a brick at the man, which nearly lands him in juvie. Sentenced instead to 120 hours of community service working for the man in question, Arthur learns that one man’s trash is indeed another man’s treasure.

3. Thirteen Chairs (Dave Shelton). Perfect for sharing around the campfire, this collection of terrifying short stories will chill your students to the bone. The story is set in an empty house with 12 ghosts gathered around a large table–a boy enters the room and is beckoned to sit in the thirteenth chair. Each ghost tells their own story, and the boy discovers a horrifying secret.

These Nutmeg nominees (and many others) offer students a fantastic way to engage their imaginations and explore other worlds. Please feel free to contact us to learn about more exciting summer reading opportunities.

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Traits That Define A Great Substitute Teacher

It is truly difficult to be a substitute teacher, not to mention to be a good one. Not everybody can manage it successfully, which is why it’s worth knowing the traits that best define a substitute teacher. This will help you gauge whether or not if it is the right job for you.

Flexibility

When you get a call at five in the morning asking you to substitute teach, you have to be flexible. This may not be exactly what you want to hear that early in the morning, but you have to be willing to just go and do what needs to be done.

You also need to be flexible enough to handle a wide variety of teaching situations and class types nearly every day. There’s a good chance you might not see the same class more than once, so be ready to meet new people every day.

Friendliness

Substitute teachers need to be friendly enough to adapt to a wide range of situations and to be fun and sociable with their students. Failure to have a friendly attitude could make it difficult to enjoy being a substitute teacher.

Patience

This is the big one: a substitute teacher has to have patience with the children around them. They are going to get teased and will be subject to children either flat out making up stories or trying to manipulate them.

This isn’t to say that all children are going to be “bad” or even that those misbehaving are bad. They are simply testing their boundaries and you need the strength of character and patience to handle it.

If you’re interested in becoming a substitute teacher or need help understanding AesopOnline, SmartFindExpress, or other substitute teaching programs, please contact us today to learn more.

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“What’s Fair Is Not Always Equal” Activity for the Classroom

Every teacher has had an instance where they’ve heard the phrase “that’s not fair!” This is especially hard as a sub because the truth is, you don’t always know how things are usually done. Regardless, students have to understand that not every day will be the same and not every student will receive the same things. Having this lesson plan that addresses ‘fairness’ is a great filler activity to keep in your back pocket for times such as these.

This lesson adapts to any age group, change it freely as needed!

  • Curriculum Content Areas: Relates most directly to a social studies classroom, but is universal enough to be used to fill time anywhere.

Goal/objective for this lesson: Stimulate a group discussion on the concept of equality vs. sameness.

Supplies needed:

  • Box of bandaids
  • Set of notecards perviously prepared with various injury descriptions, one per child. i.e. broken leg due to fall from treehouse, splinter from your old baseball bat, paper cut acquired while collecting homework for your teacher, shark bite from your epic surfing adventure.
    • Note – the exercise is more fun, and less gruesome, if these are kept light; think shark bite rather than gun shot, and again adjust for age group.

Instructional Plan:

1)The teacher begins by asking students what it means for something to be “fair.” (depending on the flow of the classroom this can be a “Do Now,” or a question posed by the teacher after the class has started.

  • The students briefly discuss with neighbors
  • brief full-class discussion

2)The teacher has a students hand out the injury notecards

  • teacher asks a few students to write their injury on board (again adapt for age, the teacher can be the recorded if the students are young).

3)Teacher explains – Never fear, medical attention is on the way!

  • hands each student a bandaid.

4)Teacher asks students to raise their hands if the bandaid will sufficiently address their injury.

  • tally on the board – this can be done in a participatory manner if preferred.

5)CLASS DISCUSSION

  • Possible guiding questions:
    • Was my medical treatment “fair”
    • If everyone get the same thing, does that mean justice? or fairness? or equality?
    • Why is fairness good?
    • Why might it be seen as bad?
    • What makes a situation feel fair?

Good Luck! Check out our website for more ideas to aid your substitute teaching.

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How To Inspire Your Students As A Substitute Teacher

As a substitute, you are exposed to an expansive variety of different schools, teachers, and classrooms. Along the way, you’ve met some truly inspiring teachers–teachers who have an unbreakable bond with their students, teachers whose classrooms come alive each and every day, and teachers whose students are excited to learn. These gifted teachers have a priceless impact on their students’ education. You might think that you don’t have the opportunity to have this kind of impact on your students because you are a substitute, but that is simply not true. Whether you are in it for the long haul or you are only in the classroom for a day, you can be an inspiration to your students as well. Check out these tips to help you be an inspirational sub that the students will always remember:

1. Start the day off right. Starting off on the right foot is incredibly important–begin each day by greeting your students as they enter the classroom. A friendly hello, a high-five, or a handshake (and smiles for miles!) will go a long way toward helping your students feel welcome and excited to begin the day.

2. Have a sense of humor. Yes, education is very important, but it isn’t life or death. You are far more likely to engage your students if you have a little fun while you teach. In addition to being downright boring, an incredibly serious approach to the lessons can increase feelings of anxiety in nervous students. Brighten their day and lighten the burden of all that learning with a few laughs.

3. Develop a rapport. Of course, this step is easier for long-term subs who are in the classroom for more than one or two days, but it is possible even in one day. Get to know the students whenever an opportunity presents itself. If a student mentions a sister in their writing, share a story about your own sister. If you know a student plays a sport, ask them how their last game was while you are checking their homework. Every bit of information you and your student share–even if it is seemingly insignificant–makes them feel important, valued, and unique. They’ll appreciate the fact that they aren’t just a sea of endless faces to you.

4. Be honest and have high expectations. While it’s important to build a friendly rapport with students, you don’t want to muddy the waters between teacher and friend. You have a responsibility to help those students achieve their educational goals, and even though they complain about doing hard work, they’ll respect you in the end. Let them know exactly what each lesson entails and what you expect from them. If they think they can’t do it, be sure to offer endless encouragement. When they finally reach their goal, they’ll be proud and determined to continue to work hard.

5. Empathize. We all come from different walks of life, and a lot of kids have struggles outside of school that can have a negative effect on their education. As a substitute, you probably won’t know everyone’s story, but you’ll notice when a student is struggling through their day. Remember what it feels like to be a kid, and imagine how much more difficult school would be if there were problems at home or with peers. Putting yourself in a child’s shoes is one of the most effective ways to make a connection.

6. Lead by example. You won’t be able to inspire anyone if you don’t practice what you preach. Teachers should adhere to the same expectations they have of their students. For example, you talk about how important and helpful it is to be organized and keep your desk and workspace clean. If your desk looks like an F5 tornado just blew through, they probably aren’t buying what you’re selling… Kids are a lot more observant than we realize and they’ll pick right up on any hypocritical behavior.

Inspirational teachers have a huge influence on their students. They can make even the most reluctant students embrace learning, which can be life-changing. Remember, even if you are only in a classroom for one day, you can spend that day being inspiring. Please feel free to contact us to learn about more ways to be an incredible substitute teacher.