Tips On Becoming A Successful Substitute Teacher

Thinking about becoming a substitute teacher, but not sure how to begin? Already subbing some, but not getting as many jobs as you would like? Below are some tips on how to start AND how to become the most requested and best substitute teacher in the school system!

  • In many school districts, you must sign up first with the district, take a few training classes, go through fingerprinting, and create an account with that district’s substitute service. A representative through your district will be able to direct you through all of this.
  • Once you are registered, get the word out that you are available to sub. Let local schools know and pass out business cards wherever you can.
  • Register with a substitute alert service, such as Sub Sidekick, which can send you texts, emails, and audio alerts the moment any new jobs are available in your area.
  • Be prepared for assignments. Dress professionally. When you are contacted, be prepared to leave immediately when you accept an assignment.
  • Be at the school on time, and walk in with a smile on your face. If you are allowed to arrive early, do so.
  • Introduce yourself to the secretary and the principal.
  • When you are taken to your classroom, be ready to face the students. Have a discipline plan in mind if the teacher didn’t leave you instructions, and let the students know. For instance, tell them if you raise your hand while standing in front of the classroom, that means they are too loud, and need to go to their desks and sit quietly. Be sure and tell them that you want their teacher to be proud of them, so you want to be able to report good behavior.
  • Follow the lesson plans as closely as you can. Sometimes there are no lesson plans. It is a good idea to be prepared with some plans of your own.
  • It is also a good idea to have some “filler” plans for those moments in the classroom when you have a little time between lessons. As an example, if you know the students are learning how to use correct spelling and punctuation, write a story on the board, but spell the words incorrectly, and occasionally use the wrong punctuation. Let them take turns coming up and correcting one mistake. Or do a math problem on the board incorrectly while saying, “I’m not sure I’m doing this right. Am I?” The students will definitely let you know where the mistakes are!
  • Get to know the school staff. A good way to do this is to eat lunch in the teacher’s lounge so they can get to know you and possibly request you as their substitute.
  • At the end of the day, leave a detailed note for the teacher telling of successes and problems, as well as any changes you had to make to the lesson plans.
  • Be sure and straighten the room and teacher’s desk before you leave.
  • If possible, say good-bye to the secretary and principal. If you had a good experience, be sure and tell them.

So, you now have ideas that will help you be that substitute teacher that everyone wants, and you will be able to receive the jobs you want. Please contact us for more information on how to sign up for success!

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