Sunday, December 23, 2012

What to Leave the Substitute


We know you get paid next to nothing and, all you want to do, is take a day off. So why do you have to prepare so much?

Imagine how the substitute feels, coming into a new classroom everyday with new students and having to be oriented and pick up where you left off with even less pay.

For Elementary Students:
  1. Assign 1 or 2 students to be helpers so there is no mad dash when I don't know something. Let them know and me know, who that student is.
  2. Give me a note on the discipline/warning system. Is there a bell? Flick the lights? Claps? 123 Eyes on Me? (Each school has different ones)
  3. Establish a system of rewards with positive reinforcement. Promise them something if they are good and follow through. More recess? Movie day?
  4. Or leave me something they can work to beside just going up to Blue Star. Leave stickers, candy, no homework, read to them (if they really like that), treasure box, etc.
For All Grades:
  1. No more than 2-3 worksheets per class or section (math/language arts). Kids stop paying attention the more papers they get. They know the work won't be collected or properly graded or even need to be finished that day.
  2. Movies - Check the guideline and ability to play. Leave me a password or log-in instructions. The worst is when I can't get into the computer or figure out where the file is to play the video. Then, I have to call another teacher or student to help.
Evaluate your class. 

Can they work by themselves? Or do they need step-by-step guidance? Are they noisy when in groups? Are there any problems in the past? Who cannot be paired with whom and how will the sub know? Are they easily distracted and unfocused?

This will guide you into picking out activities: Group vs. IndependentCollected vs. Take Home, Test or No Test.

Note: If it's a good class, don't give a test. If the class is particularly challenging, don't give a test. I won't be able to keep them quiet. If the class is right in the middle, leave me a test to give them. It will keep them quiet and focused.

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