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    Tips for first time substitutes
    By J

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    It depends upon age grade level and many other things.

    1. Get to school early. You may have to chase down a janitor for a key!
    2. Dress comfortable and yet professional.
    3. Relax. Do the best you can do. You cannot expect the same respect that their teacher will get but try to get almost as much respect.
    3. Leave good notes. Don't be too negative. Leave comments about major problems.
    4. Get their attention during a transition activity by turning off the lights, counting or clapping. Don't scream.
    5. When a student asks you a question, pause and think about it.
    6. Be careful allowing older students to interupt class.
    7. Some say walk around the room. I say stay seated in a position where you can see everything in the room. Too much nervous pacing around the room makes the kids nervous.
    8. Ignore tattling unless someone is hurt. Make a student apologize if a student calls another student a bad name.
    9. Write the word "confidential" on top of your sub notes.
    10. Chances are if you have problems with discipline, the regular teacher has some problems also. Don't expect to come in and not have problems.
    11. Don't give more than one worksheet at a time. This is to prevent down time at the end.
    12. Orient yourself with the room and the plans when you first arrive.
    13. Don't complain to other teachers about lesson plans, how messy the room is, and other stuff. You aren't there to critique the room.
    14. CONFIDENTIALITY is the law! Don't call a students name to another student outside of the room!!
    15. Have students turn in papers where they normally turn them in. Otherwise, collect all papers and label them by class periods. I put a paper clip around each stack and put a sticky note (or take a white sheet of paper and cut it into several pieces with the name of assignment/class period on each piece) on each stack.
    16. Let students work together in math class unless you are a good math student.
    17. Don't allow talking if they seem like a talkative group! Allos them to work together if they seem like a quiet group. (How they act the first 10 minutes will give you clues about their behavior).
    18, Be flexible. Don't think you can bluff them because it might backfire!
    19. The teacher only cares about the room left clean and orderly plus the work carried out in the plans! They have no way of knowing if limited talking occured.
    20. Tell them they can talk and do their work (high school or a good middle school class) as long as they don't shout!
    21. KEEP the DOOR SHUT. This cuts down on noise traveling down the hall. Principals are more likely to snoop on 1st time subs. Keeping the door shut keeps students from standing out into the hall several minutes before class is over.
    22. Limit trips out of the room but occasionally allow students to leave. You have to be flexible.
    23. Don't send students too early or too late to special classes or lunch. Lunchroom ladies can be really mean to new subs!
    24. Never leave the room unsupervised.
    25. Don't laugh or embarass a student.
    26. Avoid breakroom unless emergency. Too much teacher gossip.
    27. If principal asks you about your day, say "it is fine."
    28. Tour the school during any planning periods.
    29. Don't dismiss students early (if there is no bell schedule).
    30. Don't assign extra work unless nothing has been left. Teachers don't like to see subs coming in and changing plans.
    31. Clean up a mess. A neat room impresses the teachers.
    32. Stare at a student if he or she is too loud.
    33. If a group gets quiet, whisper or talk in a soft voice.
    34. During quiet times like a test, explain all directions before activity begins. Don't inject comments that interrupt the silence.
    35. Learn to joke and lighten up.
    36. If no work in the room, ask a teacher who teaches the same grade level or subject.
    37. You cannot touch a student.
    38. If students roam the room, nicely ask them if they are looking for something or needing something. This will help them get the hint to stop roaming and find a seat.
    39. Teachers don't like students behind their desk getting into records or other stuff.
    40. DOn't let students waste resources like glue, tape or even staples.



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