Teaching resources questions and answers from Betsy Weigle

Classroom Management Techniques
for Substitute Teaching Discipline Issues

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Specific classroom management techniques can help a substitute teacher deal with a discipline issue on her own...rather than leaving it for the classroom teacher.

Your Question

Teaching resources question

Should I deal with discipline myself or leave it for the classroom teacher?

I'm working as a sub and I come across a discipline problem nearly every day. I'm just never sure what I should do, or what I'm "authorized" to do. So all too often I just kind of ignore some things that I really should do something about.

~ Halle

Betsy's Answer

Teaching resources answer

This is a big question...and a good one.

Let's start with a brief review of your position in a school building.

  • You're a certified teacher who has a lot of experience in the classroom. Maybe a lot of different classrooms, but plenty of experience nonetheless.
  • The regular teacher knows that you are a certificated teacher who has a lot of experience, if only from student teaching.
  • The principal knows you have already managed a classroom...etc....etc.

See a pattern here?

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Give the students an uninterrupted instructional experience. Use every classroom management technique that you have available to handle a classroom discipline issue before the regular teacher returns.

Now...that's easy to say but sometimes hard to do because you simply don't know the kids. So do everything you can before the day starts to find out what you are walking into.

Here are some basic, preventive classroom management techniques:

  • Stop by the office to touch base (come a little early to avoid the rush)
  • Check in with the other teachers in the grade level

When you do these things, you are not only developing a clear picture of the classroom you are walking into...you are also establishing relationships with the people you'll need to call on if you need discipline backup.

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Read and listen as I walk you through it step-by-step.

Betsy's Video Insights: Handling Discipline as a Sub

"Sub behavior" will happen

Expect it and be ready to handle it.

Believe me...the regular classroom teacher won't mind a bit if you take care of these issues for her!

As I cover on this page, please don't leave a "naughty kid" list for the classroom teacher. It is hard enough being away from the classroom and catching up when you get back. Be understanding and leave the classroom a little better than you found it.

Betsy Weigle

Female Asian teaching candidate with resume

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