Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tips for Teachers

Dear Teacher,

It's always a pleasure to substitute for you. I wanted to share a few things that, as a sub, I found would be helpful in the future.

1. The Helpful Kids
Let me know who the good kids are by name and description*. I like to know who I can rely on to tell me whether they really did that assignment already or if they're trying to get out of it.

*Descriptions work best because I am not going to know the kids' names right away, let alone every child's name (even by the end of the day).

2. The Not So Helpful Kids
Same as above. It's good to have a head's up on who to watch out for, crack down on, and just immediately send to the office.

3. Keep It Short
While I love the detail on how your class runs, multiple single-spaced pages are confusing. I don't know what's important information and what is not. I only have a half-hour to review everything for the whole day (something you've planned for months). Really, I'd like to be able to spend part of my morning time getting familiar with your classroom.

4. Be Specific
I know I just said your schedule is sometimes too detailed, but I'd like to point out a few things you could add to make my job easier.

  • Is it Collected?
  • Is it Graded?
  • Bathroom Passes and Policies - where are they, how many at a time & when, and who cannot go to the bathroom together even if it's an emergency?
  • Extra Work or Reading - what do I do if they finish early?
If you want to give the kids free time that day or for a solid amount of time, please leave a movie for me to play so that they don't just run amok. 

5. Fire Drills
Give me a head's up that it will happen and let me know where the emergency binder or folder is.

6. Materials
Please leave all the materials in one place or be very specific about where each worksheet or book is. I'm not as familiar with your classroom and a lot of the time I only find one pile of materials in the beginning.

Your Faithful Substitute,


  1. Seems good, except for the Good Kids/Bad Kids thing. Maybe "The Helpful" kids and the "Tendency to Cause Disturbances" kids?