How to Become a Preferred Substitute Teacher

During my time as a substitute teacher, I have learned a few lessons about becoming a preferred sub. It is hard work, but filling my schedule with jobs that I want make it all worth it. Below are a few tips to land that preferred substitute teaching position:

  1. Leave detailed notes for the teacher. If their lesson plan is broken down into sections, either time blocks or lesson blocks, leave a description of each block. Include exactly what you did, who did well, who struggled, and any modifications from their plan that had to be made.
  2. Follow their notes as closely as possible. Nothing will keep a teacher from requesting you more than not following the plan. If they leave a plan do everything you can to follow it. If you have to make any changes, leave detailed notes on why and what you did.
  3.  Be prepared. Bring everything you will need and mentally prepare yourself for what type of teaching you will be doing. If you are working in kindergarten be ready to be on your toes and on the go the entire time. If you are working in a high school distance learning class, be prepared to sit for long periods of time doing nothing but making sure the students are doing what they are supposed to (i.e. watching their videos or doing online lessons, not watching youtube videos or surfing Facebook.)
  4. Introduce yourself to the rest of the team. In most educational settings teachers work in teams of some sort. For example, all of the first grade teachers may make up a team, or all fine arts teachers in the middle school may make up a team. Most likely you will have planning time and lunch at the same time as the rest of the team. Use this time to introduce yourself and ask questions about the procedures or tips about a particular class.
  5.  Be all in. When you step into a classroom, you are the teacher. Do your very best work as if your entire career was depending on it. Teachers prefer substitutes that put their heart into the job they are doing. Students respond much better to a substitute that is truly dedicated to doing their best.

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