How to Start the Year As a Preferred Sub

You have your certification and approval to substitute teach in your district, and you are ready for the school year to begin. How do you make sure you are a preferred substitute from the start? 

Teachers and Staff: if the teachers and staff enjoy working with you, they will call you back as often as they can.  

  • Leave detailed notes for the teacher you are substituting for. Teachers greatly appreciate knowing how the day went. 
  • If a child is disruptive, include that in your notes, but make sure to also focus on the students who did well. Teachers love to hear that their class was well-behaved, or that their students did a great job showing you how to work the projector, for example. 
  • If you have a free period, ask if other teachers need help with anything. In a school setting, team players are highly valued. 
  • Keep your classroom clean. If there is a bit of a mess at the end of the day, try to clean up as best you can, so that the teacher returns and finds a tidy classroom. 

Students: building a strong relationship with your students can make your job as a substitute much easier. Students are very vocal about their experiences and often pass on their opinions to teachers and staff, so being a preferred sub with the students can translate to being a preferred sub with the staff as well.  

  • Tell the students a little about yourself so that they can relate to you. A great game to play with a new classroom is “Two Truths and a Lie.” 
  • Learn the names of your students. This goes a long way towards building a relationship with them. 
  • Praise students with personal, specific language, such as, “Stephanie, thank you for working quietly on your poster and putting the scraps in the recycling bin.” 

Most importantly, being able to respond quickly when there are unexpected teacher absences is a must for being a preferred substitute. Please contact us to stay updated about substitute teaching jobs! 

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