Substitute Teacher Safety Guide

You want to be a subtitute teacher right? So, do you feel lucky? Well, here are some practical steps so that you will feel very well prepared and know how to handle things nicely and smoothly.

1. Arrive early

This kind of goes without saying. But if you are going to a brand new place or even a school you have been to before, you need to show up as early as possible to make sure you can get set up in a timely manner. Kids will only show so much patience before they start rocking the boat. And being prepared so you know the rules is half the battle. This way you can look over plans, talk to other teachers and even practice rehearsing what you are going to say.

2. Greet With A Smile

Always greet students in doorway with a big smile. This way students know you will be their teacher for the day and will feel comfortable approaching you for any questions. A stranger is hard enough, but an unsmiling stranger is worse.

3. Be Bold And Confident  

This will pay off big when the students enter and try to convince you of something else. This is also the reason why you come to class early so you know classroom procedures. Students will always want to take advantage of any vulnerable teacher. So showing how well you know classroom procedures will that notion to rest the minute they walk into the room.

4. Remind them things will be slightly different.

Though students might say that whatever you say is ok, does not mean they all will accept it. This makes them resent you more. I always try to do what the teacher usually does and the students always help. Sometimes though, they need a reminder you may do something totally different and that it is ok.

5. Try to heap the positive praise to those who give you great difficulty

There are students who want attention. These are students who can benefit from helping in the room because they have a lot of energy and need a way to release it. Praise works a lot here as they feel important and enjoy recognition. Helps a lot in classroom management.

6. Always have a backup plan.

Hey, let us face it. There will always be a time when things just will not work out no matter how diligent you are. That is when you need a backup plan. it can be in the form of worksheets, or my personal favorite showing science videos that are related to what they are working on. I have shown domino toppling, realistic art work. I stick to what is innocent enough that they can learn and share and is not inappropriate. They love this stuff.

7. Never Lose Your Cool!

I cannot emphasize enough. Keeping your cool during tough spots shows how much control you have. Students will respect you for it. And because there will be no doubt those who will try to get under your skin and be a nuisance. Get to them with your kindness and you will win. 

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