The Two Types of “Best Substitute Teachers”

Ask any classroom teacher or student, and they will tell you that there are two types of best substitute teachers: a sub that the teacher loves, and a sub that the students love. If you’ve worked in a school environment long enough you will start to learn that there are some substitute teacher names that make either the teacher or the students groan in agony, and some that make them shout with glee.

In a school where you can be a teacher’s favorite sub, or the students’, why not be both?

What a classroom teacher likes in a sub:

  • Organization: Preparing for and being away from the classroom for a day is difficult enough. No teacher wants to come back to a messy desk and textbooks all over the place. Keep the room and paperwork organized.
  • Following the plan: Teachers spend a lot of time preparing a lesson plan. Most schools have a very strict curriculum schedule that teachers must follow in order to stay on track for testing. Do what the teacher has asked you to do.
  • Leave documentation: Any number of things can happen while a teacher is away for a day! Provide a detailed description for the teacher of student behavior, work covered, and any other important events that happened during the day in the form of a note for the teacher. This way, he/she can pick up right where you left off.

What students like in a sub:

  • Engagement: Anyone who has been a student can remember that initial excitement when you walk into the room and see that you have a substitute for the day. You definitely want to stick to the teacher’s plan so that the work gets done, but you also want the students to stay engaged. Walk around the room, rely on the students to be leaders when you don’t know the answers, and learn the content with them.
  • Fairness: Be familiar with the school’s code of conduct, as well as the teacher’s classroom rules. Don’t prohibit students from doing things they are normally allowed to do, unless their teacher specifically says so. You want the classroom to run as smoothly as it would on a normal day.
  • A personal touch: Students like meeting new people; a new face is a refreshing change for them. Stick with the lesson plan, but let your personality shine through as well. Use your sense of humor, answer appropriate personal questions that the students might be curious about, and meet and greet students at the door when they come in. They will like seeing you as a person as opposed to just another teacher telling them what to do.

Find out more ways to make both teachers and students happy in the classroom by contacting us.

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