Day 80/180: Things a Daily Sub Should Do
I got to sub for a science teacher today. Got to see a few of my old kids too. Getting hugs when I go to work is totally addictive!
I’ve already written my advice on Things A Long-Term Sub Should Do, so here’s a contrast with what a daily sub should do.
You know you have to take attendance and maintain some amount of order. But please also familiarize yourself with the classroom. Know where the following are located: extra pens/pencils, the sharpener, hall passes, tissues, and paper towels (especially if you’re in a science room). Also know where emergency plans and medical information is, as well as what you do in the event. Also, get to class early enough so that you can figure out where supplies are for today’s assignments and/or how to log onto a computer or work the video player (leave enough time before class to ask neighboring teachers for help, if necessary).
Do write your name on the board. It’s cliche, but helpful.
Go through the sub notes, and have a notion of what students should be doing. Even if you’re not knowledgable in the subject area, know whether they should be taking notes, cutting out paper slips, or searching the web. This also give you something to ask kids about: “Hey, how’s that diagram going?” And it keeps them on-track too. Especially know when this thing is due.
Give students the goals for the period at the beginning. “Your teacher says you should be able to finish most of this today.” “Check the online assignments for more info.” “You’re to finish through problem 18 today, in class or for homework.”
Don’t help kids too much. Just as if this were your normal classroom, you shouldn’t be doing the work for the students.
Consider giving yourself some cred, if you do know something about the subject. “I don’t usually teach math, but I do teach science, so if you need some help, let me know.” They may take you up on the offer.
Leave comments for the classroom teacher on a class-by-class basis. Note anywhere kids had difficulty, or were confused. Also note anything you did that might be out of the ordinary or not on the lesson plan.
Remember good behavior as well as misbehavior. Strange inside jokes are funny too. I still remember when I was in a high school, and we’d all finished the assignment early. The sub just listened while we talked about how hungry we were and where to go for some really good Mexican food. The next day, our teacher asked us what the sub meant by “very well-informed class”.
Thank the classroom teacher for letting you sub. Remember that many systems can allow teachers to request you, as well as request not-you! Leave a business card, especially if your name is spelled strangely.