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What do you like teachers to leave?
Old 06-19-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Just wandering what substitute teachers like for teachers to leave for them. What is most helpful? What things have you seen that were really helpful for you? I want to put together a sub kit for when I have to miss. I plan on working on this during the summer and would like input from a sub's point of view. TIA


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a few tips
Old 06-19-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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An explanation of the daily centers. Too many times I receive plans that simply say "centers." That's just too open-ended for a guest teacher that may be in that classroom for the first time. Please give specifics - which centers to do, where they are located, who gets to do it or what the rotation plan is, goals of the centers or end projects (if any), management tips, etc.

Don't write down, "The students will know what to do" because either the guest teacher gets a roomful of "know-it-alls" and everyone wants to tell him/her what to do or you get a group that has no clue what to do!! As the teacher in the room, I like to be in charge and maintain control (primarily for safety reasons but also for efficiency.) In order to do that, I need to know the full game plan.

It's helpful to have a map of the school - where do the children go for specials, where do teachers eat lunch, where's the adult restrooms, etc.

I really like to see a clear dismissal procedure - where everyone goes at the end of the day. I feel this is a huge safety issue and I've been in many classrooms where the end of the day procedures were very unclear and I felt uneasy about that.
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A "key" to math problems,
Old 06-20-2009, 05:00 AM
 
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science questions, social studies worksheets, that sort of thing. It is so frustrating when a student comes to me and asks if something is the right answer, and I have no clue because I'm not familiar with the subject. This is especially true in the higher grades. I've spent countless hours during first period or prep making up my own "key" so that I'm better prepared for my classes.
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:42 AM
 
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I agree that one thing I hate to see in sub plans is the phrase "the students know what to do!" I find this leads to the kids doing whatever they want then saying "but that's what we're supposed to do!" They know that we don't know what they are really supposed to be doing. Also, I really like when the teacher leaves real work. The kids know that the crossword puzzles and word searches are only fluff work to keep them busy so it just leads to talking, etc. One of the most important things to me....whatever plans/info you leave.....please leave them in a very obvious spot!!! I recently was in a class where I had to "hunt" for the plans! It was a fourth grade class and I was beginning to panic thinking that I was going to have to fill a whole day but I finally found the plans on a little out of the way side table.
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A Teacher's Edition
Old 06-20-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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It's nice to have an answer key, and it's also nice to have access to a Teacher's Edition, which can give me a quick synopsis of the lesson if it's something I'm not completely familiar with, or a better understanding of where the class has been in a subject such as history.


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Old 06-20-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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This thread was on a similar topic and had some really good input: http://www.proteacher.net/discussion...d.php?t=163728
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Please leave
Old 06-21-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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Answer keys -- I don't care how low the grade level. It saves the sub A LOT of time. And, with answers keys readily available you are likely to come back to papers already graded.

TIMES -- I've come in to lists like this: Reading, Art, Bathroom, Math, Recess, Spelling, Lunch, etc I hate that! Leave a daily schedule with TIMES and UPDATE it throughout the year if anything changes!

Your Classrm Managment plan and Key words/phrases you use that the kids know. A first grade teacher I sub for often shared with me that she had started saying MYOB (mind your own business) to deal with EXCESSIVE tattling. When I said MYOB you would have thought I was GOD -- it was like "she knows!"

CLEAR DIRECTIONS ON FIRE, ETC DRILLS. Can't tell you how many times I've had to wing that one! Including what you are to do if the kids are NOT with you (at PE or Art or something)

Directions for how the sub is supposed to "get lunch" if she didn't bring it. Order through the office? Pay who? etc

And the little things matter -- is there someplace she can get coffee or a soda? Where is the adult restroom? etc

You can never leave too much info!
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Here is another thread about that topic that could help:

http://www.proteacher.net/discussions/showthread.php?t=129344&referre rid=44278[/url]
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Leave Enough Work, Etc.
Old 06-21-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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I subbed for 3 years - 2 years in college and 1 year after college. I am now going to be a full-time classroom teacher in 5th grade this upcoming school year. I used my subbing experience to know what I would leave for a substitute teacher when I became a teacher.

1.) Seating Chart - even if names are written on the desk.

2.) PLEASE leave enough work...leave additional work even for the extra work...or leave a list of "filler" activities...ideas for journal entries, etc. I found too often that there was not enough work left for the students. I decided that I was going to make a "sub bin" in my classroom and just leave extra worksheets and filler activities in case my absence was unexpected.

3.) Table of Contents in sub folder/binder.

4.) Leave the specials schedule - what specials the kids go to for what days.

5.) Please leave clear instructions on discipline plan, what to do if students misbehave, what to do if students do not finish work on time (study hall, etc.)

6.) I always found it helpful when the teacher left a sheet asking the subs questions on how the day went. I.E. "Who were the good students," "How did each subject go - Math - Language Arts, etc.", "Was anyone absent?" I just found that a structured list of questions was easy for me to fill out regarding how the day went, and helped remind me not to leave anything out.

Can't think of anymore at the moment...but will post more as ideas come to me.
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Teacher feedback
Old 06-21-2009, 11:12 PM
 
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I've only come across this once or twice but have you ever had a teacher leave you a form to fill out about the day? It asks you to rate the lesson plans left from 1 to 10, the behaviour of the kids from 1 to 10, and the teacher's preparedness from 1 to 10.

I feel really awkward rating a teacher with a number! I'd rather give feedback, not a number.

So, long story short-- If you leave a form please don't ask me to rate you on a 1 to 10--maybe give feedback about what worked well and what didn't or something instead.


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Old 06-23-2009, 12:55 PM
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Old 06-29-2009, 09:20 AM
 
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I agree with the comment on leaving plans in an obvious spot. I've been in classes where the teacher has piles of stuff on the desk, on a front table and on a back table.
Dismissal instructions are important, too. Rather than write, "2:45-dismissal", I'd rather see instructions stating that I walk with the students to the front (or back) OR students can walk out by themselves. Often students tell me that they are just allowed to go, but then I see other teachers walking with their students.
Also, leave instructions about use of bathroom- is there a log or do students use tickets or a pass?
Do you want students sharpening pencils as needed, or do you want me to sharpen pencils before school starts? Personally, if it were my class, I would not let students sharpen pencils during the day. When there is a sub, it seems like almost everyone needs to sharpen their pencils several times a day!
And yes, please leave the answer keys to all assignments! While I can answer Language Arts questions easily, many of the math questions often take me some time to figure out!
Thank you for posting!!
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Not from a teacher but...
Old 06-29-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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"...ever had a teacher leave you a form to fill out about the day. It asks you to rate the lesson plans left from 1 to 10, the behavior of the kids from 1 to 10, and the teacher's preparedness from 1 to 10."

I've been asked to fill out review forms about the teacher's prep for a sub by the school office. Almost all include the final question:

"Would you be willing to sub for our school (or this teacher again)?" Y/N

Last edited by MikeRocode; 06-30-2009 at 09:01 AM..
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forms
Old 06-29-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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How do you feel about that Mike? I dunno...
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Tell it like it is...
Old 06-30-2009, 08:58 AM
 
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"...How do you feel about that Mike?"

Reports on the teacher:

If the teacher is unorganized, I'm pretty sure it's not personally directed at me. The school probably already knows and so I feel no need to sugarcoat it on a school requested admin review form.

Example: Lesson plan written on three 3x3 post-it notes doesn't impress me as adequate planning. Neither does dictating the lesson planning in a "stream of consciousness" voice mail (yes both actually happened although I did turn down the voice mail job and went back to sleep)

On the other hand, teachers who are super prepared with complete lesson plans, materials and books organized in the order I need them, test answer keys are to be commended and noted for a positive review.

Even if the school doesn't have a review "form" to fill out, I'll mention how super organized a teacher was to the school secretary when I turn in the keys at the end of day. School secretaries are THE clearinghouse for praise and complaints that DO get back to the teacher and the boss man.

Reports on the class:

Same with class behavior. The teachers and admin already know how a particular class/student is. Always reporting "Everything was great today" only makes MY judgment highly suspect, unreliable and dismissible.

If the school admin or a teacher doesn't leave a report form to fill out, I leave my own for the teacher. I rate class behavior on a 1-5 scale (5 being excellent) and notes about any problems I encountered.

I find that *most* teachers appreciate the feedback and SOME even use it to document things THEY have issues with to the school admin.

I once rated one class as an "off the scale zero" and the next time I met the teacher, she said she was embarrassed for her class but had to agree with the rating.

I feel that the worst that can happen to me is that I might be blacklisted from working for some unprepared teachers and/or difficult classes.

Doesn't sound like such a bad thing to me...

...Mike
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Sub notes
Old 07-22-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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Most of the teachers I sub for leave great lesson plans and notes. Only once have I had to create my own lesson plans for the day, but another teacher helped me fill in the PE time, lunch etc. It was actually a fun day, but I love a good challenge to keep me on my toes!

I like it when the teacher has the day's schedule on the whiteboard (blackboard) so I don't have to read them off a paper. If she hasn't done it, I quickly write them myself. Of course, more detailed lesson plans are needed, but a visible schedule makes the day easier for both students and me.

Usually when she says centers, I add some of my own because the students are sometimes bored with the centers she has especially towards the end of the school year, so when she gives me leeway to be creative, I add a few fillers from my sub bag.

If she says, "The students will let you know what to do", I try not to let them tell me too much what the teacher usually does because it makes them the boss, and they start to control the room. A trick is to glean from the first few students in the room about how different activites go, roll is taken or how she disciplines. It's nice when she suggest a student that's a good helper.
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This is what I bump into
Old 08-25-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Explain Duty: I have found myself doing duty for the teacher with no clue what i need to do. It would be nice if it was explained in detail what duty they have and what needs to be done.

Seating Chart: better if it's one that has the group names.

Work: Lesson plans with the teacher's guide.

Answers: Specially handouts.

Extra Work: Anything would be good specially if it is related to the subject.

Fire/earthquake drills, parents showing up unannounced, assembly, network is down so no computer lab, etc... These are some unusual events that are not expected and will throw the day and the lessons off. In these and other situations the work might not get finished.
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