One of the most challenging teaching positions out there is that of the substitute teacher. Sometimes discounted, these valuable teaching professionals face unique situations everyday that make their jobs both rewarding and different from a full-time teachers’. If you are a substitute teacher, or want to explore this option for extra-income, check out the tips below to help you get through your day.
Tips for Substitute Teaching
Plenty of Rest
Most substitute teachers find out they are teaching for the day around 5am. To be at your absolute best throughout the day, go to bed early the night before and get plenty of rest. Even if you do not get called, at least you will be well rested for following day.
When you finally get that morning wake-up call, you will be thankful that you took the time beforehand to have your substitute bag ready to go. Keep a bag packed with some quick and easy games, activities, and ice breakers. You might even want to create a ring of activities, separated by grade level, that you can flip through during those down moments in the day. As you head out the door, grab your Substitute Bag and be ready for whatever the students throw your way.
Dress for Success
Keep a comfortable, yet professional, substitute teaching outfit ready to go in your closet. Not having to figure out what to wear can start your day off right and keep you from stressing about your assignment. Pants, a short sleeve shirt, a light cardigan, and comfortable flats are a great option for teaching any grade.
First impressions mean a lot and if you walk into the school with a scowl on your face, chances are that people will remember you as the grouchy substitute. Plaster a smile on your face the moment you pull into the parking lot and keep it there throughout the day. Imagine that it is part of your wardrobe and cannot be removed until you get back in your car after the last bell rings.
It may be easier said than done, but remember that the class your substituting in needs you to be strong, confident, and consistent. They will test the limits and may try to lead you astray with the rules, but your confidence will keep them on their toes. If you are unsure and seem confused, be prepared for them to take full advantage of you.
Follow the Plan
Great teachers leave detailed plans for their substitutes, so look around for them when you arrive in the classroom. Follow the plans and directions as closely as possible to minimize the chances of getting off track. Be sure to jot down what you did and when, as well as how it went so that the classroom teacher can follow-up when she returns.
What are some of your best substitute teaching tips? How long have you substituted? Share with us below!