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sagethesub sagethesub is offline
 
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sagethesub
 
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18 Year Old Substitute
Old 03-27-2019, 10:02 PM
 
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I recently got hired as a substitute for a school district that is right near my university. Itís a small district that doesnít require actual qualifications for there subs, only a online course. Hence how I got hired. Iím a18 year old male elementary education major thatís graduating in two years and Iím excited to finally get the chance to run my own classroom. In the two months that Iíve been working for them, they have thrown me all over the place from pre-k to special education (I only sub for the elementary school). Iím the only male teacher on campus so the children learned my name real quick and call me the nice teacher because I donít yell or get angry often , but something that I need to work on is classroom management abilities. I talked to the principal today asking her on ways that I can improve (as a future teacher) and sheís said from what she has seen Iíve done a great job and if sheís still principle when I graduate, that she will definitely hire me as a teacher with no second thoughts, which is the best compliment that I can ask for really. The kindergarteners to 3nd graders are mostly perfect when it comes to listening but itís the 4th graders that I have TROUBLE with. Any advice to deal with the older grade levels, I donít have much experience with 4th, and 5th graders so when I sub for them, by the end of the day either Iím about to blow a gasket or Iíve had to ask a neighboring teacher for some help in controlling them, which doesnít look good on my part. Any advice for a future teacher, and a new substitute is greatly appreciated!


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Lakeside Lakeside is offline
 
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Welcome to the board -
Old 03-28-2019, 01:17 AM
 
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And congratulations on landing our first sub job!

3rd is my favorite grade, but I find that 4th can go either way and 5th, like you said, is difficult. In my experience, the respect of 5th-graders is very relation-ship driven. - They listen because they've got a history with you and know you're fair. Also, they're in transition from "little kids" to "middle-schoolers" and on any given day, you don't know which way they're going to be feeling! Those two things make it hard to come in as a one-day sub.

The good news is that it will get better the longer you're at the school, because next years 4th graders will be familiar with you from 3rd (when they still adore their teachers) and so on...

For now, the best I can say is to try to be consistent (one of my own struggles) and let them know that you understand how they feel, but still expect them to work hard - that you really want to be able to leave a good note for their usual teacher.

My other secret is to use their names; it really makes a difference! - If you aren't given a seating chart, make one when you get there by copying off name tags on the desks (or papers left out, or whatever) to help you when you call on them.
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MaineSub MaineSub is offline
 
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Old 03-28-2019, 02:38 AM
 
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Can you elaborate... be more specific on what sorts of trouble you are having?

As kids get older they test their independence more, a normal part of growing up. If you push, they will push back. Having clear expectations is certainly important, but sharing responsibility for what happens in the classroom becomes more important. I often tell the kids they will decide what kind of day we have based on how they act.

I also focus on teaching and learning and make "classroom management" secondary. They can't run wild if they are engaged in learning. That can be tough for a sub because you are somewhat at the mercy of the lesson plan and materials.

Don't expect perfection. At the same time, be prepared to "enforce" your expectations. If you try to talk over kids that are talking and not listening, you're communicating that your expectations don't matter. As you move up in grades what you do in the classroom becomes more important.
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Old 03-28-2019, 08:06 AM
 
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Yes, if you could be more specific about the management issues you’re having, we could share our hints and helps.

Lakeside has it exactly right, use their names. The first thing I do when I go into a new classroom is to sketch a quick seating chart. If the kids’ names aren’t on the desks, then I can usually find something inside the desk that tells me who sits there. It’s a huge management help when you can call Susie by her name, instead of saying, “the girl wearing the orange shirt”. The added bonus is that the kids love it that you know their names. I also use the chart to quickly take attendance, mark off who has homework ready, etc.


Don’t get into a power struggle with a student. If I see that developing, I say, “I’m going to give you one minute to make a good decision”, then I WALK AWAY. In seven years, I’ve never had it fail me, though I’ve had a handful of kids take it right down to the wire. Walking away gives the student a chance to save face, and act as though the behavior change was his/her idea. Additonally, I don’t comment further on the behavior. I just go on, making sure the kids get the message that it’s a non-issue for me, and just business as usual.
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Kudos to you!
Old 04-12-2019, 09:14 AM
 
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Wow, Sage, you are doing such a good thing for yourself by subbing during college. You will graduate with so much real world experience. I'm sure it will help you tremendously when you have your own classroom.

As for answering your question, I'm sorry, but I have no good advice. Even though I'm a retired first grade teacher who subs in grades PreK - 3rd, I am a mess with 5th graders. (Did it only once when begged by a principal.) They acted too cool for school, and didn't want to listen to me.

Could you consider limiting your subbing to the primary grades?

Best of luck with your subbing, and future career!


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