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neasg18 neasg18 is offline
 
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neasg18
 
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I start subbing in 2 weeks. SO MANY QUESTIONS
Old 07-22-2013, 11:06 PM
 
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-what happens if i have to use the bathroom?
-is it ever ok to leave the kids unattended (the answer seems like an obvious "No", but i see so many posts about going to your neighbor with questions)?
-does it reflect badly on my if i send a student to the principal?
-what if there is no lesson plan?
-what if there is i dont know how to teach the lesson?
-what if the kids are out of control?
-is it ever ok to wear jeans (im a male)?

ahhhhh i dont know why im freaking out. ive actually worked with kids for 2 years at an after-school program. i've been in charge of 25 kids all on my own and had to do home-work help and lead activities. but on that job i had tons of support. i could contact my boss on a walkie talkie and he could come help if i needed it. as a sub i feel like im more on my own and there is so much more responsibility in terms of actually teaching the kids things.


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Old 07-22-2013, 11:43 PM
 
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Quote:
-what happens if i have to use the bathroom?
You wait until a break (lunch, specials, etc.). Period. I'd advise going whenever you get the chance, even if you don't really feel like you need to.

Quote:
-is it ever ok to leave the kids unattended (the answer seems like an obvious "No", but i see so many posts about going to your neighbor with questions)?
No! Questions for neighbors are asked before kids arrive or while they're out of the room. Or, in a pinch, via a note sent over with a student.

Quote:
-does it reflect badly on my if i send a student to the principal?
That's a trickier one. It kind of depends on the principal. I'd advise against it if at all possible.

Quote:
-what if there is no lesson plan?
That's pretty rare; it's only happened to me a handful of times, and I've been subbing quite awhile. If it happens, I:
--look around the room for clues about the routine. Many elementary teachers have daily schedules posted on the wall, the board, somewhere. Also, teacher's editions are often left open or bookmarked to the page of the lesson they just did or the one that's next.
--go talk to another grade-level teacher (before kids get there! This is why it's a good idea to arrive early as much as is possible). They're usually very helpful.
--talk to the office. Often the teacher has emailed plans to the secretary. Other times the sec. is willing to call the teacher at home to find out what's going on.
--If it's close to arrival time, find some filler work for the kids to do while I get my act together. Even if it's just silent reading!
--improvise! I don't carry around a big stack of worksheets like I think some subs do, but I do have a mental stash of games that are appropriate for a wide variety of grade levels and topics. Build up your own--there are posts here that can help you with that. Have some ideas for writing prompts. Get really good at read-alouds. Be prepared to give kids an intro into something you love or are good at. And if all else fails, extra recess never hurt anyone.

Quote:
-what if there is i dont know how to teach the lesson?
Talk to the teacher next door. Or blow off the lesson in favor of anything above.

Quote:
-what if the kids are out of control?
Well, yelling at them won't work. Bribery is quite likely to. A lot of schools have little coupons that they give kids who are behaving well; they can trade them for prizes or enter them in a drawing or something. I've even drawn smiley faces on sticky notes and put them on certain kids' desks; I kind of couldn't believe how well that worked. This is a huge topic; read the boards for management tips.
Quote:
-is it ever ok to wear jeans (im a male)?
I wouldn't, until you've been to a particular building enough times that you're recognized and well-known there. At that point,
1) You'll have had a chance to observe how the regular teachers dress; if they wear jeans often, you can probably get away with it, too.
2) People there will know you and have something other than appearance to judge you on.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:48 AM
 
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I couldn't have answered those questions better myself. In my district, sometimes the teachers wear jeans on Fridays, but I still don't. I only wore jeans ONE time and many teachers made comments (not in a mean way) that they were surprised I dressed down. However, I did wear long shorts on the last days of school last year since it was in the 90's with no AC. Otherwise I would always wear a nice dress shirt or polo with khaki style pants. I don't wear ties because I find them uncomfortable. I also wear all black sneakers instead of shoes because I'm on my feet most of the day and it's most comfortable.
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Dress up!
Old 07-23-2013, 04:00 AM
 
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I think men who wear shirts, ties and dress pants make such a good impression! You will get more respect from staff and students and may even show up some of the regular teachers. Who agrees with me? Students really notice what you wear and will look up to you!

You could make your own raffle tickets and give them out to students following the rules. Have a small prize at the end of the day - it could be cute pencils, notepads, folders,

Take your own lesson plan or your hobby to share with students if you need to fill in where lesson plans are weak.

The minute you meet the students have a take charge attitude and go over your rules. When they say oh we don't do that - tell them it's a "different" day. You are the teacher and they are going to enjoy a change of personality!

Good luck!
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:54 AM
 
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I don't suggest giving "prizes" out to the students, unless you include EVERY one of them. I did try that once for students who were were especially well behaved throughout the day (4th grade class). Well, it caused nothing but problems because one girl who did NOT earn a prize told her Mom that she was one of the few students in the class who was not given a prize by the sub. So, the Mom of the spoiled brat approached me at dismissal time demanding to know why her daughter did not get a prize. I explained that she was just a little more talkative than the other students and did not follow directions every time when the class was asked to do something and decided to socialize instead. Well, the parent didn't want to hear it and demanded that her daughter was a "great kid" and almost seemed threatening. I did not need the principal to be involved with something so petty, therefore to make MY life easier I just gave the girl a prize too and told her that this is for "trying hard and hopefully for being better behaved next time." So, long story short.........I would avoid giving out prizes. Just leave a list of names of students exceptionally well behaved for the teacher......and let the teacher deal with it how they see fit. Lesson learned the hard way last year for me. Also, do NOT tell the students if they are on the "good" list......tell them they will find out tomorrow with their regular teacher. Avoids A LOT of issues!!


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Good Luck!
Old 07-23-2013, 06:41 AM
 
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Leaving the students to ask a neighbouring teacher a question depends on their age I would say. I've left my classroom of middle school students to go fetch the cart of laptops before and have not come to a classroom of chaos. I wouldn't leave them for more than a couple of minutes and stay nearby so that you can hear if things get rowdy. Also, often times classrooms have EA's now. So either the EA can go and get what you need or watch the kids for the few minutes if you need to leave the classroom (even for an emergency bathroom break).

I used to think it reflected poorly on me if I sent students to the principal but to be honest, if a kid is disrespectful and not going to listen the class is likely going to see that they can take advantage of you. Usually I'll start with a warning, hallway, and then office. Often times if you have to send a student to the office the teacher and administration is going to be aware of the student and understand why they are there.

Rarely have I been to a class without a lesson plan. I used to bring stuff to do with the students in this case but perhaps I've gotten lazy and I've stopped bringing those crosswords and madlibs and what not. Ask the students what they have been up to in each class and go from there. If that doesn't help they can usually spend a class reading or do an art activity. I ALWAYS bring a book with me when I go subbing. For grades 5+ I bring The Book of Awesome - you could read them a few stories and have them come up with their own awesome stories, for younger grades I bring a picture book (a lesser known one - think clearance rack at Chapters so that it isn't one they have heard a billion times).

If the kids are out of control do not be afraid to ask for help. I think it would look way worse of you to let the class take advantage of you like that than to ask for help. If teaching positions are as impossible to get where you are as they are here then I'm assuming subbing may be a little rough too. You likely want to be invited back (if not to that specific class to another one in the school).

I usually do not wear jeans myself but there are some schools that I will even if they do not know me very well. Where I am from there is a bunch of schools in the inner city that can be a little rougher. It is common practice to not go in looking fancy and in your best subbing clothes because you will look out of place. You don't want to look (or blend in) with the students (I look fairly young for my age and can apparently pass for a middle school student so it isn't hard for me to blend in some of the time) but if the school isn't in a well off area I don't see a problem with jeans and a nice shirt.

Also, you didn't ask but sometimes I've been called in for what I thought was a regular classroom job only to show up and discover I was teaching phys-ed. Since you are a male I'll assume this won't be as much of an issue for you because I highly doubt you'll be showing up in a dress, skirt, or heels. But I usually keep a pair of runners in my car for this kind of occasion (or sometimes they have an outdoor day - like the Terry Fox run). You could also keep a nice pair of sweats or something in there too if you want.
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neasg18 neasg18 is offline
 
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thanks for all the help!
Old 07-23-2013, 11:07 AM
 
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so much good advice guys, i really appreciate it.

i guess i have some shopping to do for more appropriate clothing. definitely going to need some new comfortable shoes.

and i think i'll do the whole "printing out word puzzles and activity sheets" thing just in case i find myself in a situation where i would need it. luckily i do know plenty of good games that could be time fillers.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:10 PM
 
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Here are some of my thoughts/advice...

1. It's ok to use the washroom during your breaks. If you really have to go during class-time, do your best to hold it in. If it was an "emergency", I'd ask a teacher from across the hall if they are ok watching your kids for 3 minutes or so... then run lol. This hasn't yet happened to me in my 3 years of subbing thus far.

2. Don't leave kids unattended. Doing so may get you into major trouble and as much as I love my kids, unsupervised the dumbest and most ridiculous things could happen. If a fight breaks out or a kid has an allergic reaction or meltdown and you aren't there, someone could get hurt. The only possible time I would ever do this was if you needed to take someone to the office or get help from the office (kid with a medical emergency) and the intercom was not working. Even then I would try to get help from someone else in the hallway first.

3. Some principals who are jerks or plain lazy will look down on you for sending a kid to the office. Most won't. If you do it time and time again, this may get you a bad reputation. I always use the office as a last resort. I will give a kid warnings and/or a chat in the hallway, followed up with the threat of a detention or write-up. For over 95% of "bad kids", it will be enough. If a kid doesn't stop chattering, I may have him/her work by themselves in the hallway or an isolated corner of the classroom, or send them to the resource room. The office is a last resort... except for times when it should be used.

Every school I work in has a discipline policy and there are behaviours that merit a sending to the office, in fact if you don't send a kid to the office for these things, it would look worse for you than if you did. If a kid punches another kid in the face in class for example, you have no choice but to call the office. Other examples are open insubordination, drug use, alcohol, etc. The really bad stuff.

4. In 99% of cases, you will have a lesson plan. If there isn't one, have kids read, catch up on past work, etc. You can have them write an essay on their summer vacation, have a math contest, do Geography trivia. These are all things I have done with my middle school kids in the past.

I only once had a day when I had no real lesson plan- I had 8 classes of kids in an Aboriginal language class (I don't speak any Aboriginal languages), K-8, 30 minutes each. It happened to be one of the toughest schools in my city, located in one of the poorest and most violent parts. The teacher I was in for thoughtfully left the following "plan"

Kindegartens, grade ones- read a story
Grade twos, threes- have them draw
Grade fours, fives- have them work on art
Grade six- they know what to do
Grade seven, eight- take them to computer lab

I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. No mention of the story to be read, or how six/seven year olds are to sit still for that long and listen to a teacher read to them. No mention of what the 2,3s were supposed to draw, for how long, or even where the crayons or markers or paper was. "Art" was also unspecified, and the grade 6s did not know what to do. There was no assignment specified for the grades 7,8s either. Toughest school in the city. No EAs. Thirty minutes with each class. And no plan.

I had to improvise, and improvise fast. I read the k,1s a story about a bear, and we talked about bears and the kids shared their thoughts about bears, then we played a game. The grades 2,3s I read a story called "Grandma" and we talked about our grandmas and they drew a picture of their grandparent. The grades 4,5s luckily had something they were working on in art, and did so. The grade 6s had no idea whatsoever what they were supposed to be doing, and it didn't help that they were swearing at each other, throwing things, and one of the girls threatened to kill me after school. It was 30 minutes of chaos, I tried having them read- worked for 5 minutes. Tried a game- they were too crazy as well. Somehow we all survived. The grades 7s and 8s were relatively fine but also had no idea what they were supposed to be working on in the lab. By that point I was beyong POd (not at them) and just told them they could play games as long as they involved no shooting/sex/drugs.

It was not the easiest day. Somehow I made it through, and so did the kids. So will you.

5. Try coming in at least 40 minutes early to each classroom if you can, and go over the material. If you are having a hard time figuring it out, ask other teachers for help. If you still don't understand it, have the kids do their best on it. Try to help them the best you can, but if you don't at all get it, there is no shame in telling them you aren't quite sure and tell them to do what they can. I have been in this situation a rare few times, it can be awkward, but it's life and sometimes this happens.

6. I find the best way to stop chaos in the classroom is to not allow the environment for it to form in the first place.

I use humour when I teach. It works for me, it may or may not work for others. When the kids come in, I introduce myself and tell them I need them to listen. I put my last name on the board. I have a foreign last name that is difficult for most English speakers to pronounce properly, and give them a few tries to say it. Without exception, everyone gets it wrong. I make fun of the mispronunciations (not the kids!!!) and finally when everyone has tried, I tell them how to say it. I tell a funny story about how they can abbreviate it and what they can't do with it (it begins with the letter G, so I tell them they can call me Mr. G but not "wassup G" or "G unit") and there are some more laughs. I then take roll and get their names. I give the "disclaimer" that I will try to get their names right but if I mess it up after how they've mangled mine... well, it's just "getting even". Of course I'll do my best to pronounce them properly. I go over my 3 rules (listen when others are speaking and raise your hand, be respectful, work hard) and tell the kids that if they do a good we will play a game the last 5 minutes of class. If on the other hand they want to goof off, I will have to write them up or keep them in after school and I'm not a fun person to "chill" with after the bell rings.
I teach the lesson, and do my best to make it fun for the kids and get a lot of interaction from the class. I then get them to work, and circulate around the class. I do this to help the kids who need it, but also stay on top of those who are tempted to goof around. I redirect them to refocus, and that usually works. Sometimes if a kid just won't close their mouths, I'll take them to the hallway for a bit of a chat, if that doesn't work it's a write-up or detention, if they still don't get it it's either resource or office.

If the class is being really loud, sometimes I will turn off the lights, have them put their heads down, dismiss them a bit after the bell so they have to rush to next class and miss most of their locker break. I will speak loudly sometimes, I yell maybe once or twice a year. I try to avoid that whenever I can.

I try to get to know my kids- see who they work well with and who they don't work well with, learn what excites them, learn what their life is like outside of school. I don't pry usually, but just make myself accessible to them and let them know I care about them and they can talk to me about anything they want. It pays off, not only the kids get to know you and like you and are subsequently (usually) better behaved than they would be if we didn't have this rapport, but in some cases when something serious is going on they let me know and I am able to contact the office/guidance counselor/resource.

7. I personally always wear dress pants, a nice shirt and a tie- even in the inner city- except when I teach Phys Ed or go on a field trip with the students. That's just my style, though. Other equally successful subs wear casual clothes. As long as your jeans don't have holes in them and your shirt doesn't have beer or food stains (lol I speak from personal experience), you should be ok. I find most admin really don't care.


You will be fine, my friend! Have fun and enjoy the kids. You will have some great days, some average days, and probably a few terrible ones.

Some more random advice: Leave business cards in each classroom with your name and phone number. If your school system uses Aesop, check out SubAssistant or Check4Change. They will make your life a whole lot easier. Get to know the sub clerk, and if possible, get on good and friendly terms with her. Get to know as much as possible your neighbour teachers and when you have some free time, offer to cover their classes. Not only will this be a favour for them, but they will take notice of you and start calling you in more and more. Lots of other stuff I could say but this post has turned into an essay already.

All the best! Please feel free to share your experiences!
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:09 AM
 
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i work in a high school exclusively and jeans are allowed on fridays, and sometimes thursdays when friday is off.

i would never wear jeans or sneakers even on any other day. I often depending on the building (we have two east and west) will look nicer than most of the staff but i don't mind. I wear skirts most the of the time with a nice blouse or knit shirt and cardigan. i never wear heels cause there's a LOT of walking at my school, but i would never wear flip flops and i see a lot of that. I always believe you should look as nice as you can, and neat in appearance.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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There was one time I had to use the BR as an emergency, so I called the office to see if another sub or teacher can cover my class for 5 min or so. It was no problem. So you can do that too if need be.


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Old 07-24-2013, 07:58 AM
 
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I would not recommend dress pants & a tie. I've taught for 25 years & just don't see our male teachers wearing ties.

Docker-type pants & polo shirts are fine, in my humble opinion. No reason to show up other teachers .
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:28 AM
 
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Catsub makes a good point. In most of the schools where I sub, teachers don't wear dress pants and a tie either. In fact, in some schools not even the principals or vice principals wear them.

I wear dress pants and a tie because I found it works for me. The kids are more likely to take me seriously in what I would call the most crucial time- the first 2 or so minutes of class. That's when I ask them for their attention and get them to listen up. I've had kids ask me if I'm the principal... and there are a lot of amusing ways you can answer that question lol. Once I have their attention I get into my presentation, rules, etc. I don't rely on my clothes to get me through the day, but I find the 'prof' look is helpful as a starter.

Some of the kids ask me why I wear a tie when no one else does, and some will make fun of the way I dress... I don't mind humour in the classroom so when they make some comment I will usually laugh along, as long as it was meant in good fun and not disrespectful. I have a very good rapport with the other male teachers in other schools I sub, so I don't think me wearing a tie makes any significant difference. I certainly don't act like I'm better or more qualified than they are, or for that matter any other adult in the building regardless of their job description.

I know some great subs who wear ties, and some great subs who don't. I don't think it makes a difference either way.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:59 PM
 
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I agree with all of the above posts. There are some great advice in them.

While you may not have to be dressed in suit/tie type clothing (unless your district requires it, as some districts still do), you still need to dress professionally. That means dress pants and a polo-type shirt. I would avoid jeans unless the secretaries or administration tell you otherwise. Sometimes, it is in a sub handbook they give you.

Since you are responsible for the students, you cannot leave your class unattended, ever, for any reason at all. There are those times where you might have an emergency yourself--if you have to, ask a neighboring teacher to monitor your class. Just don't make that a habit.

If there are no lesson plans, I would suggest asking a grade-level teacher first. Then, visit the office for emergency lesson plans. Having copies of stuff on hand yourself is a good idea. Never make it obvious to the students. If you are unsure on how to teach a lesson. If you have time, it never hurts to look in the manual/textbook for examples.

Always follow the class discipline (might be called PBIS) plan. Stick to what you say. Never tell a student that they might receive a consequence if you do not intend to follow it. If there is a situation you cannot handle, then it might be wise to alert the office. Rewards are the tricky part. If a teacher tells you about his/her class reward system and to use it, do so. Many classes/schools have an economy system (class/school wide "money" to be used at school for rewards). If that is not available, be sure to leave the names of students who did an exceptional job at behaving. Many teachers will reward when they return. Also, be firm but fair and understanding.

A couple of side notes that wasn't mentioned here (never hurts to add):
-If available and time permits, check through the sub folder/binder/handbook for schedules, etc.
-Before students arrive, check the emergency evacuation map (if posted). You do not want to be trying to figure out where to go for a fire drill when the fire alarm rings as most schools do not announce when a fire drill will be held. Also, always bring a class roster for any emergency.
-Review all emergency procedures for that matter.
-Check duty information, lunch, recess, etc.
-Be ready. Remember, someone will be in charge of the classroom. Make it you!
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:05 PM
 
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I always wondered about the bathroom thing, too. In three years, there was only one time when I couldn't wait until a break. I was in a high school and asked the teacher across the hall to keep an eye/ear on my kids. One thing that helps is that I never have breakfast, or even anything to drink before school. I know that this isn't an option for everyone, but it has worked for me.

I also always make sure I get to school AT LEAST a half-hour before the kids arrive so I can look things over and talk to another teacher if I need to.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:
-what happens if i have to use the bathroom?
-is it ever ok to leave the kids unattended (the answer seems like an obvious "No", but i see so many posts about going to your neighbor with questions)?
-does it reflect badly on my if i send a student to the principal?
-what if there is no lesson plan?
-what if there is i dont know how to teach the lesson?
-what if the kids are out of control?
-is it ever ok to wear jeans (im a male)?
1. I would wait as much as possible to use the bathroom. Do it on your lunch break or during specialist times. There was once or twice where I asked another teacher to step in for me because I could not wait. It becomes difficult when you are working on a different schedule everyday, but most of the time you manage. I would go guzzling down water until after you find out when your breaks are!

2. No, don't leave the kids alone. Also, be careful leaving them alone with just para's, a lot of the times they aren't licensed to be alone with kids and if something happens while you are out, you are the one in trouble. As a classroom teacher myself (I've subbed before I got a permanent job), I know my kids and still won't leave them alone for more than just peeking my head in next door. But you won't know these kids, so I wouldn't trust them. Use the phone if you have to!

3. I have only ever sent 2 kids to the principal. Both times I thought the student was a threat to me or the other kids. Save office referrals for VERY serious behaviors! I think sending 1 student every once in a while does not look poorly, but sending them often would.

4. Almost always there are VERY good lesson plans. I liked to accept jobs ahead of time as much as possible, the notes are often better. It's those days when you are called in last minute that there sometimes aren't plans. There are always ways to get plans - other teachers, sometimes the teacher will leave you her phone number (I've had lesson plans dictated orally over the phone on more than one occasion). Also, many teachers will leave back up plans - I know my school requires it.

5. There has been times where I didn't know how to teach a lesson - and as a teacher I had a sub tell me they didn't know how to teach it as well. Just do what you can. A teacher often expects that you aren't going to get everything done or aren't going to teach it exactly like they do. HOWEVER: if you don't get everything done, or you feel like the students didn't understand, leave a note!!! Otherwise the teacher will assume you did everything.

6. There are sooooo many ways to calm a class down! I've only ever had maybe 2-3 classes where I was really at my whits end. Here is my strategy: I look at the schedule and I try to find at least 10-15 minutes at the end of the day to keep open. If this isn't possible, I keep candy as a backup reward, but I only give out candy as a LAST resort. Then, when I sit the kids down at the beginning of the day, I write the word "Game Time" or "Candy" or "Free Choice" or something like that on the board. The word should have approximately 5-10 letters in it. I tell them that the first time I have to redirect them or they break the rules (as a class) then I erase a letter. I keep erasing letters everytime I have to remind them. When the word is all gone, then they don't earn their reward. For behaviors that are individual, I take "minutes" away from their reward - I'll write their name on the board and then use tally marks. So if Jonny misbehaves 3 times, Jonny will sit out of Free time for 3 minutes. It works very well!!

7. No, never. I am going to say don't wear jeans EVEN IF other teachers do. Here is why: If you are looking to eventually get hired as a full time teacher, you need to make a lasting impression on the administration and teaching staff. Even if you don't plan on teaching at that school, teachers move around, and one bad impression can ruin your chances at a job. At my school, teachers are on interview teams along with administration! In general, dress slightly better than the other teachers at the school. As a male, do brown/black slacks or NICE khaki, with a button down collared shirt. I wouldn't wear a tie, but bring one with you, if you notice the teachers dress nicely, you are going to want to put the tie on as well. Never wear sandals or tennis shoes either, not as a sub. Obviously, field trips and teaching PE would be an exception to this rule. Also, if you are teaching Kindergarten, I would dress a little more casual, you are most likely going to be on the floor with them!

Here is my advice from a year of subbing that I did:
1. ALWAYS arrive at least 20-25 minutes before your start time. You never know if you will get lost, if the plans will be confusing, and one time my start time was the same time the students arrived - I ended up 5 minutes late and there was no one in my room with the kids for 5 minutes!

2. Always speak to as many teachers around you as possible. Even if you don't have questions, just stop by and introduce yourself. You will make a good impression that way! Do the same with the principal before you leave, especially if you want to get hired in the school!

3. If the kids say, "Mrs/Mr. So and So always lets us do this!" but you are not sure, say "Well, my name is Mr. ____ and I do things a little differently. When your teacher comes back, you can do that with her. Here is how I do things..." Chances are, their teacher doesn't let them do it either!!!

4. Use the lights to help with noise level instead of raising your voice!

5. Keep extra worksheets or activities in your teacher bag. I keep a squishy ball for silent ball, mad libs for older grades, coloring pages for younger grades, etc.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Set some objectives...
Old 08-15-2013, 01:05 PM
 
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So much good advice here it would be easy to feel intimidated when trying to add anything. I had the advantage of being fairly familiar with the school, policies, teachers, etc. when I started. That allowed me to focus on what my expectations were and what I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to teach, not babysit. I also wanted to "partner" with the regular teacher--that meant not complaining to him/her about the kids' behavior. When I'm in that room they are MY kids.

As part of that, I set an objective for myself that I would make it through the entire year without sending a kid to the office. (There are obvious exceptions.) I made it, although one sixth grader almost got me the last day I subbed. (I told him I was prepared to sacrifice my record for him if he continued to make the wrong choices. He could choose to do nothing because suffered the consequence, disrupting MY class was not an option because others suffer. )

I think a lot of this is about feeling in control--one way to do that is to set some expectations for yourself much as you do for the students. No fear!
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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There are many situations in which it is necessary to send students to the office. These situations include bullying, physical fighting/bodily harm, indecent behavior/harassment, or of you catch a student with drugs/weapons on their possesion. Yes, hopefully these situations are rare where you work, but you still have to enter the classroom expecting anything and not making any promises to yourself that cannot be kept due to students' behavior. Last year, I had to send 4 students to the office in total. One was for biting another student, another was because a student hit another in the head with a hard textbook, one for constant harassment and disrespect towards me, and one for pulling out a chair from underneath another student causing bodily harm. These things need to be addressed right away by administration and shouldn't wait for the next day otherwise you can get in bigger trouble for failure to report.
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"Obvious Exceptions"
Old 08-30-2013, 08:09 AM
 
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As noted in my post, there are obvious exceptions to my objective of attempting not to use the office as the problem solver when it comes to behavioral issues. I am not saying it is "wrong" to send a kid to the office and I certainly am not going to withhold doing it when policy or circumstance requires it. What I more commonly see is the trip to the office becomes a "I don't want to deal with it anymore."

My point was only that a trip to the office is only one of many classroom management techniques, many of which will be far more effective. I had one situation this past year (long story, I'm omitting lots of details) where the regular teacher was next door... within minutes of starting the day, she heard one of the kids have a screaming meltdown and called the office to warn them they'd probably get a call from me. She also later apologized (unnecessarily) to me for not warning me about the student... but by then I had dealt with it without involving the office. Since the Principal had been alerted she casually "checked in" later that morning and we were able to reinforce the student's good behavior choices in spite of a bad start. The kid actually now looks forward to me being her teacher.

The bullying exception is an interesting one because some kids have figured out they can use the accusation of bullying to effectively become a bully. (Physical threats are a very different story.) I would certainly encourage newer subs to use a very conservative approach--it's safer to use the office than not.
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Old 08-30-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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Here in NJ it is the law that all teachers and subs must report all bullying incidents that are witnessed to administration/guidance. We can try and temporarily resolve it, but it still needs to be reported or else our license can be scrapped. We have very strict bullying laws here as i'm sure other NJ subs on here will tell you. We even had to complete an online workshop on it when the law was established.
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Thank you all for your excellent advice...
Old 09-01-2013, 11:27 AM
 
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Hi, everyone! I'm new to subbing and am very pleased to find this wonderful, supportive discussion group. I'm spending some time each day going through all of the threads in this section. I just wanted to take a minute and thank you all for this very helpful resource!

P.S. I'm in Maine since last January having moved here from Boston.
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