Five easy tips to help you become a super substitute teacher! When I cannot be at school, I feel much better knowing I have a good substitute. I really don’t expect the students to do a lot of work but I do expect them to stay in the classroom, remain in a seat, and refrain from fighting!
Over the past 10 plus years, I’ve learned to look for certain characteristics in the substitutes that enter our school. Here are some of the qualities I look for in a substitute.
5 easy tips to help you become a Super Substitute!
1. Professional Dress Students respond to how you dress when you enter a school building. If you come in looking sloppy or are dressed like “you’re going to plow a field”, you are going to have a hard day. The students are not going to respect you. They are going to run-a-muck and destroy the classroom just to see how far they can push you.
2. Greet Students Stand at the door and greet the students. Some of the students will want to stand around to talk to you – this is exactly what you want to happen. These students will be your allies in the classroom! But, you do not want to get too friendly with the students. Don’t joke with them – be professional.
3. Be in Control This is YOUR classroom for the day. Have a plan. You will have questions about school procedures but you will be the final say on classroom behavior. You must stay on top of what the students are allowed to do from the very first minute of the day.
4. Believe in the Students You might not ever teach this class again but it is very important that the students think you believe they can succeed. You need to respect the students and give them praise. Students know if you really like kids so make sure you come into the school with a positive attitude.
5. Keep the Students Busy This is the most important characteristic of a super substitute! So many times I see substitutes enter the classroom and sit behind the teacher’s desk and NEVER come out from behind it until it’s time to go home! You need to walk around the classroom. You need to help the students. You will also need to bring “Your bag of Tricks!”. You don’t know how much work a sick teacher has provided. In a real emergency, the teacher may not have left any work! Here are some things that you can take to ANY classroom to keep the students busy.
- Read out loud to the class from their textbook
- Pick up a Lateral Thinking Puzzle book to take on all your substitute jobs
- Play a brain teaser game
- Use a writing prompt
- Have the students take a Weather Quiz
- Have the students take a Kid’s Quiz
- Have the students take a Tasty Food Quiz
- Have the students take an Astronomy Quiz
- Use a Math Problem Generator
- Play a pre-made game on Super Teacher Tools
- Teach the students some Geography
- Play a pre-made Kahoot game
Being a SUPER SUBSTITUTE is hard work but you will be in high demand from the teachers and the students!