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Charity Preston's picture
Charity Preston, M.A., is a national presenter, consultant and author. She has completed studies in gifted training, cooperative learning and differentiation, as well as a master's degree in...
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Substitute Teaching Tips

Today~ I thought I would give some of my substituting friends some fun ideas!

We have all heard the quote: "Substitute teaching is highly regarded among substitute teachers." Don't get me wrong~ I started as a substitute teacher~ and occasionally I still need someone to cover for my classroom - to which I am grateful for both of those opportunities. But~ since it is typically such a temporary situation~ most teachers won't still be thinking about "the day when my sub was here and I wasn't." Unless~ you are really amazing or really terrible.

Here are some tips worth remembering so you become the former:

1. Always arrive 15-minutes earlier than assigned. This gives you time to read directions and find materials before other teachers arrive. They will be impressed you appear to be prepared~ and you won't take up much of their time asking questions about the lesson plans or materials if you have taken that extra time to figure it out on your own.

2. Bring a cup and blank popsicle sticks with you for every job. Enter the student names (from a roster or seating chart) onto the popsicle sticks with a pen or marker. This will help tremendously when having to obtain answers from students. Pick one~ and you have an instant volunteer. You may even learn their names by the end of the day.

3. Always have short learning games to throw out in case you have extra pockets of time. I like to make a tic-tac-toe board with various consonants and a couple vowels. I time the students while they "race" to make words from the letters. I give a prize (piece of candy or a sticker) for the most accurate words~ as well as one for the longest word made without repeating any of the letters.

If you have a few ways to keep the students and staff believing that you are prepared and eager~ you will come across as the best person to call when others need you by far.

Charity Preston - The Organized Classroom