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jben jben is offline
 
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New sub, HELP!!!
Old 09-23-2017, 05:53 PM
 
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I'm a grad student and started subbing this year to build my experience and my resume. I've subbed a handful of times this year between classes and other life events, and I find myself feeling lost in the middle school. Granted it was once with this age group, however, I felt everything I've learned go out the window and found myself just freezing up. Please tell me this comes with time...and experience?

I know subbing isn't the easiest position and the children have no commitment to you, and try to take advantage every chance they get from what I've heard from others as well...but how do I begin too feel more confident, and get a handle on it QUICKLY?


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Simple
Old 09-23-2017, 09:08 PM
 
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Remember you are the adult in the room !
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tips on the go
Old 09-24-2017, 05:33 AM
 
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1) Keep cool.
2) For younger grades, talk to them about your expectations especially on safety before beginning anything. For middle grades, it's about giving respect to get respect. For more mature learners, it's about trust and honest. Try to remember some names.
3) Stand at the door to make your presence known and greet them as they make their way in.

For more tips, read this forum and threads once you get some downtime. You got this.

Last edited by Mikhail; 09-24-2017 at 06:00 AM..
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Subinnc Subinnc is offline
 
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Not for everyone
Old 09-24-2017, 07:38 AM
 
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How is it going in grades other than middle school?

Middle school is my favorite and what I'm best at, but it's definitely not for everyone. It's such a weird and awkward age for kids which makes them difficult to manage.

They need to have a clear understanding of your rules and boundaries and the consequences for stepping out of line. Be fair and consistent. Any problems I have get handled in the hall. I won't ever "call someone out" in front of the class. Partially because no one responds well to being humiliated and partially because you're more likely to get your point across one on one than you are when the kid is showing off for his peers. Don't lose your cool, don't get upset and take misbehavior personally, don't yell. If they are not doing their work, talking, throwing things, or whatever else middle schoolers do to be annoying, follow through with consequences matter-of-factly and move on.

Most of all, be happy and positive and glad to be there. Kids know when you like them and when you care...and when you don't. Middle schoolers (deep down) still want to please and respond well when they know you care about them.
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New Sub
Old 09-24-2017, 02:38 PM
 
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Subbing is hard, but it does get better. It's hard because you are dealing with new different personalities all the time. And Subinnc is right: Middle School students are trying very hard to find their independence.

As a sub you strive to build rapport with students. Look to the experts, the experienced teachers with blogs/videos, like Michael Linsin on the Smart Classroom Management website... he has archived articles for various issues in the classroom. And watch all the Rick Morris videos...about 12... on YouTube... I just found him. And ask the students' teacher/associate teacher/lead teacher for management techniques. Also review the PT Classroom Management Board.

It's really helpful to know what cues the teachers and students are used to using to communicate with each other. Building your confidence comes when you know what to expect and how to proceed.

I love elementary school students.

You got this!


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Re: Not for everyone
Old 09-24-2017, 06:09 PM
 
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Let me start by saying I only did a half day in the middle school and so far elementary has been fine. Both of my kids are middle schoolers so I thought I'd have it easier. The regular teacher introduced me, explained what a great class they were, her expectations, etc... About half of the class really wanted to work and the other half did nothing but cause chaos and talk over everyone else. It only started when the teachers plans weren't working and I didn't think of a quick enough alternative. Part of it is definitely inexperience and learning to work on the fly in uncharted territory. I honestly felt so discouraged...to add to it, it was a Friday.

My goal is to build a great re pour, and I'm constantly looking for help and guidance to get me there. It's hard to build respect in less than a half days time, and perhaps I should have started by setting my own rules when the teacher left, even though she had just stated hers. Maybe I also need to ask the teachers more questions as to their consequences, etc. but I know that information won't always be available.

The other thing I learned is that I NEED to have plan B. Any suggestions for always having a plan B when the teachers plans don't work? Any suggestions to anything is welcomed. Thanks for your response.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:57 AM
 
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I have found that it is usually best to stick to the teacher's plans, but sometimes there is a need to make small changes to make the lesson work. Sometimes that might mean adding a discussion, letting partner or table groups work together, making a group activity independent, or adding a written piece to a lesson.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Get the commitment...
Old 09-26-2017, 01:36 AM
 
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Quote:
I know subbing isn't the easiest position and the children have no commitment to you, and try to take advantage every chance they get from what I've heard from others as well...but how do I begin to feel more confident, and get a handle on it QUICKLY?
I think you answered your own question--get a commitment from them! In addition, I would suggest you reconsider the belief (based on what you've heard) they are going to take advantage every chance they get.

I sometimes announce at the beginning of a middle/high school class, "I know you guys think you're going to get away with a lot because I'm a sub... but here's the deal. I will cut you some slack, but we are going to..."

If you learned how to share management of the classroom with the students, let them know you're doing so. The only behavior you can truly control is your own and that's true regardless of age. Middle schoolers will eat you alive if you don't win them over and you can't do it by overpowering them.
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