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collteach collteach is offline
 
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collteach
 
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Regular teacher to sub
Old 11-28-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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I made the decision to resign from my full-time teaching position due to numerous factors, mainly the lack of time I had for my own family. I have decided to work as a substitute in order to bring in some extra money, and still do what I enjoy doing (without the hours of paperwork and planning each day). Anyway, I am worried about how I will handle the transition. Has anyone else gone from a "regular" teaching position to subbing? Our system is in desperate need of certified subs, and even though I was not officially available, I have already started to receive calls, so I know I will get work, and can probably be picky about where I go. I subbed briefly when I first graduated, but at that point, I was a "newbie". I worry that it will be difficult to go into others' classrooms and adapt to different styles, since I have had my own group for so long.

Any words of advice? I am in the process of creating a little "bag of tricks" so that I can be prepared if the teacher doesn't leave plans, we run out of things to do, or the kids need some motivation to work hard. Oh, and I plan to sub mainly at the elementary level.


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I sorta did.
Old 11-28-2009, 02:09 PM
 
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Okay, well it was my plan. I have 6 kids, and I had not a lot of time for them. I thought I was just going to be working the hours they were in school. So, I got a job as a third grade teacher again once my youngest was 3. However, I came to realize I was always working at home ~ grading papers, filling out forms, making lesson plans, etc.

So this year my plan was to be a sub. I could still bring in a little money, without having all the hassle of what I was doing at home. I registered for a sub for the beginning of the school year. I subbed for two weeks straight. Then, I got an offer as an assistant teacher in special education. I decided to take the job because it would give me more money but I still wouldn't have that hassle. Well, then in mid-November I got the offer for a long term sub. So, once again, I changed jobs. The long term is in Kindergarten and I love it!! My teacher already has what she wanted me to teach, so I do not have to figure that out. However, I'm still grading papers and filling out paperwork at home all the time!

But, in the two weeks I subbed I figured out a "bag of tricks". Since I mainly was subbing in grades 2-4 I put together a few booklets. One is something off of Mrs. Van Dyke's Website and is "Emergency Sub Plans". Many teachers leave this out, but I bring my own just in case. If you'd like one go to www.mrsvandyke.com/miscfiles and go to substitute information. I also purchased a few substitute teacher handbooks while I was teaching. Visit http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b/...Go.x=14&Go.y=9 for some of these. The website http://www.education-world.com/a_curr/curr359.shtml is also very informative. I bring the following form http://www.behrmanhouse.com/fortheed...dback-form.pdf with me to every substitute teaching job.

Hope I helped!
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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I was a reg classroom teacher & now I am a substitute and I enjoy it. I really miss having my own classroom but with a few little ones at home, I just couldn't keep teaching and worry about daycare & all that. The things I enjoy about subbing are seeing new ideas and displays and how different teachers organize their classrooms. Yes, I'm there to teach the kids but I find I learn a lot myself. I'm always looking for new organizational ideas
I mainly sub in the K-3 age group (I used to teach kindergarten for many years) so I prepare a bag of tricks mainly for that age group. I bring my own picture books (classics & seasonal), a fun worksheet book I could copy if needed, songs and transition ideas on index cards, my own fav Dr. Jean CD, my fav greetings listed on an index card (to get to know the kids), game ideas, fun ideas to review the word wall, and math/literacy games I printed off of Shari Sloane's website (kidscount1234.com.) Most of the math games just require dice so I bring my own dice (just in case.) I don't always use what I bring but I like to be prepared for anything.
What I like the most is this book of questions from Katie & Co.
katieandcompany.net/misctreasures.html
It's called "Who Wants to Be a Smarter Kid?" It's played like the game show but I just do a simplified version of teacher vs. students. I like to use this while I'm subbing to fill in extra time or at the end of the day when we're waiting for dismissal.

I didn't find the transition too hard. When I sub, I first locate the teacher's rules (that should be posted somewhere) and review those with the kids and I tell them I'll be following those same rules. Then, depending on our schedule, I like to do a brief get to know you game such as going around the circle and saying name & favorite animal so I can put everyone's face with a name. I follow the lesson plans and try really hard to get everything done and the days fly by. I keep a notebook throughout the day and journal about every subject - what we finished/who didn't finish, who was on/off task, who might need more help, etc. It's much easier than trying to remember everything at the end of the day.

You'll do great! Subbing can be a new adventure everyday.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:13 PM
 
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I taught for 10 yrs and now run my own business with my husband. (I now have even less time to myself than I did when I was teaching!). I started subbing in our local school a few yrs ago. It gives us some extra $ and feeds my teacher side just a bit.

I don't really have to deal with the "getting to know" you things as others suggested. Since I only sub in one place and have done so a few years the kids all know me and I know them.

One thing I catch myself doing that I'm trying to BREAK myself from doing is saying, "when I was teaching...." I'm sure it is annoying to those that are teaching. NO ONE has ever said anything. I just find myself saying that probably way too often!

Going in as a sub with experience is really pretty easy. I can't imagine being a sub w/o experience. I really believe that with experience comes some sort of "aura" about you -- like the "eyes in the back of the head." You've been there; done that .. kids don't come up with new tricks ... just variations of old ones! Experience helps classroom mgmt!
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:40 PM
 
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Thank you so much to all for the feedback! I am hoping that no great long-term positions are offered to me anytime soon, as I really need the time "off" from full-time teaching. However, I am the type that has a hard time saying "no". I had never planned to return to teaching full-time this school year, as my husband has been deployed for a year, but a position was open at a school where a friend worked, and I applied thinking that surely they would choose someone else, but they offered me the job. I was excited about the idea of teaching again, after a year off, but I don't think I stopped to think of the impact. It also did not help that my young son has been very sick all year, and that took a lot out of me.

So, I am back to my original plan of subbing and spending time with my family, and working on grad school. I am excited, but nervous to have to step into someone else's shoes each day


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You can say no!!
Old 11-29-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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You have a lot on your plate and you are entitled to be able to control your life. If offered something long term, you can say just what you said here; that you have family obligations that would prevent you from being there everyday.

I'll be the schools will be disappointed, but glad that they don't have to track down subs for the sub.

I love subbing after teaching for 34 years. No lesson planning! Seldom taking home papers to correct!! Lots of contact with kids in all different grades, learning new things.

I hope you have a good time. I thank your husband, you, and your family for your service to the country.
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One advantage you have
Old 11-30-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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as a former classroom teacher is confidence. And you probably have a good idea of how to put together a bag of tricks, and no doubt will have fun looking at all the resources suggested by previous writers.

For me, one challenging part of being a sub after being a full time teacher is not having the opportunity to build deepening connections with students over time. If I've been in a class two days, I pretty much have fallen in like with all the students, and then I'm gone and may not sub there again. But I find myself thinking about them and what they need. So that is a little sad. And another challenge is simply the longing to have a class of my own.

That said, I love not taking the job home with me 7 days a week. No meetings. No parents. Free to take a day or a week off as it suits me.

And the bottom line is, once you're in a class, you will be completely absorbed in the needs of the students and the execution of the lesson plans and you won't have much time to reflect about these things!

My one suggestion: take a little camera. Such a wealth of great ideas you will exposed to and taking a picture of them is the easiest way to remember.
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Old 12-01-2009, 11:02 AM
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:46 PM
 
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My one suggestion: take a little camera. Such a wealth of great ideas you will exposed to and taking a picture of them is the easiest way to remember.

**
I would check into privacy laws first as some districts require parental permission before videotaping or photo taking occurs.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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I don't take photos of the children. Just great ideas in organization, posters, how to's, books, displays, art projects, etc. I can't imagine that would be illegal.
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