By trial and error, here's what I've learned.
1. Establish your rules, guidelines, or expectations in your introduction. For example, I always lay out what we're doing and (for the younger kids) how I expect them to respect me and their fellow students.
For the high schoolers, I lay down the agreement of letting them listen to music with headphones in as long its appropriate, they act appropriately, and they get their work done.
Hello/Good Morning/Good Afternoon, my name is Miss Hannah and I am your substitute. This is what we're doing today. ____________. I know you guys are young so here's the deal. You can listen to music as long as you have headphones in and I don't hear it. If another teacher comes in, put it away. You also have to get your work done but I don't mind if you all work together as long as you aren't out of your seat or disruptive.A lot of high school students, take this well.
2. Give the students some information about you. Where did you graduate? How long ago? Why do you substitute?
Students are interested in you and what you are doing here. When I told a group of high schoolers that I get paid $90 a day just put on movies and make sure they don't kill each other, they were hyped. The same when I told them I got nearly $14,000/year in scholarships for being smart. They thought it was cool and wanted to know how they do those things. (Remember, you are helping them to be motivated to get an education.)
3. If you look as young as me, don't shirk the topic of age. It looks like you're scared. You don't have to tell them your age, but joke along or let them know that you know you look young. Giving them someone relatable is always a change and, as long as you hold yourself professional, they're more likely to respect you and follow what you say. Otherwise, high schoolers are going to give you a hard time.
4. Try to learn names of students by listening to them talk to each other or reading name tags on desks if they are in elementary. It always catches them off guard and gives them a heads up that you know your stuff.
Tips For Subs 2