Well, when it comes to substitute teaching and what to do with the kids...pretty much all or nothing or something in between. (Real helpful, huh?)
When they know sub teaching is in the cards, some classroom teachers will prepare detailed plans and leave a schedule for the day so you know when to take the kids to music or lunch. Others will leave nothing at all, possibly because they had to call in their absence at the last minute and didn't have time to prepare (and, incidentally, may not have any written lesson plans ready for the day anyway).
Be ready to handle anything
Keep your bag of tricks organized...there's
no time to dig with 30 kids staring at you!
Before you even accept your first substitute teaching job, prepare a "bag o' tricks" for the grade levels for which you have signed up. These items should be academic but fun...no coloring pages for any grade higher than first! Do a little research - these ideas will get you started:
But really, math is easier for substitute teachers to hit the mark on appropriate grade-level work than spelling, or writing or even reading selections. You just don't know all the levels at which the kids are performing and it is hard to bring enough to cover them all.
Math comes in bite-sized chunks (problems) that can be adapted to any time slot. And you can bring a small range of problems and be ready for any ability level...and kids always need math review.
TIP: Just search for "2nd grade math worksheets" (for example) and you'll find a wealth of resources.
The three items above are a good start and can be life savers. Add to your "bag" as you get more experience or see classroom material that would work for other grades or jobs. (Don't take teacher-created material without permission!)
You'll be gathering resources of this type constantly as you pursue any number of different teaching careers, so it's good to get started now.
The point is that your first priority is to teach what the kids would have been getting if their regular teacher was present: Grade-level content that moves them toward approved learning objectives. And if the teacher has left a lesson plan of any sort, you MUST follow it or you will not be called back.
But if it all falls apart, you must teach them something of value. This should not be a "day off" for the kids. And remember: engaged children = easier classroom management.
As I outline on the starting your sub day page:
There may be kids who treasure the stability and routine of the classroom because it is not what they experience at home; when that routine is disturbed, the disturber (you) bears the brunt of their uncharacteristic behavior.
All kids have a tendency to become unsettled with change, but this especially applies to your students on the Autism spectrum. Find out in advance if you have children with these special needs so you can be prepared to watch for signs of increasing agitation.
It is also a good idea to ask about known triggers and proven techniques for handling any behaviors that arise.
These kids take extra teacher love; be ready in advance to give them what they need, rather than being surprised by unexpected reactions to your presence.
They called! Now what?!
"Teacher Interviews 101"
The resume gets their attention, but the interview gets the job.
Read and listen as I walk you through it step-by-step.
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