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Classroom Management: What About Discipline?

Once in a while, a substitute teacher will come across a student who “acts out” during the school day.  While it is understandable that some students will display unwanted behaviors out of stress or frustration when their full-time teacher is away, the maintenance of a peaceful and orderly classroom requires substitute teachers to minimize unwanted behaviors.  We have listed here a few Classroom Management tips for substitute teachers:

Check School Guidelines

If a substitute teacher is unsure about whether to discipline a student, he or she should first check the school disciplinary guidelines to see which forms of discipline are appropriate.  Some schools prefer to only let administration handle discipline, while other schools have a clear disciplinary guideline for teachers.

Keep Kids Engaged

Substitute teachers should make sure to keep students busy and engaged as a way of preventing unwanted behaviors.  Students who are focused on a task are less likely to take the time to act out.

Provide Positive Reinforcement

It can be helpful when a substitute teacher does his or her best to provide a few minutes of individual attention to each child.  Paying positive attention to students, such as giving sincere compliments and praise, lets students know that the substitute teacher is acknowledging their good behavior.  In addition, kids will not need to “act out” for attention, since they are already receiving positive attention.

Reach Out to Administration

When in doubt, ask other teachers and school administration for help.  Fellow teachers have often had years of experience dealing with unwanted behaviors, and may be able to offer advice.  Furthermore, school administration can intervene in situations that a substitute teacher does not feel prepared to handle.  In cases of serious misbehavior, it is usually better for substitute teachers to ask for help from administration than to take matters into their own hands.

Please visit our website to see more information about substitute teaching, or to find out how you can obtain substitute teaching positions in your area.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!

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