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bella10 bella10 is offline
 
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bella10
 
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New Substitute Needs Advice!!
Old 04-15-2014, 01:46 PM
 
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Hi guys,

I recently ended my employment as a third grade teacher and have been working as a district substitute now. Each day brings new grades, new faces and new experiences, I absolutely love it. But with something new everyday, comes lots of its challenges as well!

It has been difficult in terms of classroom management. It is incredibly hard to maintain discipline and control over a classroom when you are in such a vulnerable position as the substitute... You don't know their names, you don't know their routine, you don't know where to find things... It can be hectic! And the more the students know that YOU don't know... the more they take advantage.

My biggest issue is getting the class to be quiet when I am talking. Again, since I don't know their names, it's hard for me to get a grip on their behavior. I can use seating charts, but by the time I find their name on it, two minutes have already gone by and in classroom time, that's way too long!! I use the clapping method, or other attention getters, but I still struggle to have students take me seriously. I feel like I'm constantly hanging disciplinary action over there head... guess I need to get tougher?!

Any one have insight to share? Thank you


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This may work
Old 04-15-2014, 03:31 PM
 
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I give them a talk like the first day of school how I want to run things...if the teacher has no routine spelled out or if she does then we review before I get on with the day. I make up a quiet/attention signal for me to use and we practice it. I usually clap three times and they clap back and are quiet. This helps with that part. If they have a discipline plan we review it so I am clear. If they don't have a discipline plan in place then make something up ....checks on a class list if they misbehave or earn free time for good behavior etc. Something quick and easy for you...write down names for good behavior. I tell the class the teacher will see their work and can tell what kind of a day they have by the quality of their work. (I could when I taught and I had a sub)

Once you lay down your expectations then you should be good to go with the lessons that are given. The older grades are more flexible than K or first graders. Those little ones are glued to their routine so the more you can stick to the teacher's way the better off you are.

This board is a great help.
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MzMar MzMar is offline
 
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Learning names
Old 04-16-2014, 04:28 AM
 
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We have talked some about this on this discussion board. I make every effort to get there and learn names. I use the strips on the desk, or the notebooks inside to make my own charts. If they change classes, I have my own chart ready to fill out and I tell them their teacher will see it and know where they are if they give the wrong name or sit with friends. In gym, I bring my own name tags. Knowing the name is a very powerful thing.
I also set up my own reward system, and I let them know that today will be different.
I hope this helps. After a while you will start to see the same kids and remember them. Good luck!
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Subbing is
Old 04-16-2014, 04:05 PM
 
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having the first day of school almost every day. Do take the first few minutes to establish that you are the boss--even if you don't like being bossy.

I start by making the students line up quietly outside, only get (the free school supplied) breakfast when I allow them by tables. I tell them how to respond to roll call--only that person can answer, no one else--if that student is absent, silence will let me know, if I mispronounce the name only that child can correct me, etc. I start training them to follow my directions.

Frankly, most teachers want their kids kept safe and on some task. Any assigned work that gets done is gravy. I do my best to follow the lesson plan, but getting them in order is top priority--for everyone's sanity and safety. If some things get skipped, I make a note of it for the teacher along with info on the class's behavior.

One thing that sometimes works is writing RECESS on the board and erasing a letter for every time you have to call the class as a whole to order. If even the R is left, they get recess--by E or C if I walk close to the board they usually shush each other and I can give a meaningful look and walk from the board without erasing. I tell them if they lose R after last recess, I leave a note for the teacher for the next day. I've managed to avoid that every happening.

Subbing is different than regular teaching because you often can't/don't develop a relationship over time with a class. There will be many unknowns in the students. We can only do what we can do.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:09 PM
 
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That's why I jump at the chance to sub for the same teacher multiple times. Even better when there are several teachers team-teaching so I can sub for the same kids. Then they know MY rules and I don't have to teach them the rules again. I also make sure to tell them that even though I follow their teacher's lessons, some things might be different than how their teacher does it. And that we are not going to argue about how the teacher does it, we are going to do it how I do it. I also tell them I don't like it when kids crowd around me wanting things, that they are to raise their hand from their seat and I will call on them if they want to say something. Some classes don't need these sorts of rules, others you have to lay down the law and stick to it or the class will be chaotic and won't learn things.


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Tough battle...
Old 04-17-2014, 08:08 PM
 
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I find the toughest battle is with myself. I accept responsibility for what happens on my watch and constantly try to improve my skills. That said, I do think a sub must be realistic. Things are going to be different just because they are different. I can't expect to achieve the same things a regular teacher does. (The regular teachers often remind me of that!) I think you choose your battles. It will probably be noisier than usual, but is that such a bad thing, really?

Remember also the kids have had other subs and have formed opinions of how the day is going to go. I do think a lot depends on how we set the tone at the start of the day. I always talk about what I expect and make sure it includes that we are going to have fun learning.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:30 AM
 
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Every class is different, and eventually you'll reach a point where you can "read" them very quickly and know what to use. Some things that have worked for me in the past are:

A row of smilies on the board (double smile, single smile, straight face, frown, double frown) - Explain that you'll let them know how your note to their regular teacher is looking by moving a magnet along this line to signal how they're doing. I like it because I don't have to actually talk to ask them to stop talking.

Counting down from five to get attention - This can backfire if you have a room of iCarly fans, as they'll try to count out loud with you. But with some classes, it's gold - after a couple of times, you won't even have to count out loud, just put fingers up and put them down one at a time.

Mystery Walker - this is for the hallway. Tell them you will randomly select a student before each trip as a class line. If that student does a great job, you tell who it was and he or she get a sticker, the class gets a point toward ____, etc. If the mystery student does not do a great job, you just say they didn't, without telling who it was.

Table Competition - draw a map on the board and randomly put stars in the boxes of those tables where everyone is working well. Erase stars from tables full of misbehaving. Every time you line up or do anything fun, whatever table is in the lead gets called first.

Something for early finishers - I've often put a puzzle of some sort in the corner of the board for early finishers to work on to keep them busy.
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Old 04-20-2014, 03:03 PM
 
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I like what lakeside wrote. I would start everyone with some stars so you have some to erase. The post about Recess needs to be on you not the next day. The teachers at my own kids' school want the sub to handle all discipline. This wouldn't fly there saving it for the next day. You could have them put their heads down before a few minutes before recess so they feel like they are missing it or keep them in for a few minutes or have them go last to lunch.
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what I do
Old 04-22-2014, 04:09 PM
 
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In all levels this works. I do not speak over them. I stand at the front and wait. The longer it goes on the meaner look I have on my face. usually the students will notice and quiet the louder ones. If they start up again then I stop talking and wait. This is very effective. I do this for anything I need to address the class about. I usually only have to do this once or twice before they get it. I find they respect me more for not yelling.

I have been working in my small dist for 7 yrs. I know quite a few names by in no way do I know all 1,500 kids at the h.s. I usually work at. Don't need to. I take roll off the papers they hand in or off a seating chart w/ photos (if they give me one) or find an honest looking gal to do it for me. I rarely call roll aloud. BTW< I find telling the kids that I will take roll off their papers they hand in is a great way to motivate them to do work. I prefer to jump right into the assignments.

When I do the littles I do introduce myself and go over the rules for the day. We have a district wide basic plan I can fall back on if no posted rules are in the room. In all levels I also try to identify the kids who seem like they are going to be distruptive and I give them a special task they will enjoy and this seems to get them on my side and once you have that you've got em! (things like running attendance to the office, handing out papers, writing the assignment onto the board, etc) This works reallyw ell at the h.s. level and you only have to do it once or twice!
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bella10 bella10 is offline
 
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My mistake!
Old 09-05-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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*disciplinary action over THEIR head


(I am a grammar stickler, can't believe I just made that error!! Perhaps it shows my sincere frustration? Ha).


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bella10 bella10 is offline
 
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Thank you!
Old 09-05-2014, 10:21 AM
 
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Great ideas, thank you! You are absolutely right. Setting clear expectations from the get go is NECESSARY! I needed that very simple reminder.
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