Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Sub's Plea as Teachers Start the New School Year

1) If you know you are going to be gone, let your class know.  This is especially important for the younger ones.  Sometimes, they get the mistaken idea that the substitute has come to take over, pushing out the regular teacher.  Let them know you will be back and that their good behavior reflects well on you, their regular teacher.  They are showing the sub that the regular teacher cares about how they act, even when s/he isn't there. 

2) Leave extra class lists.  Every time you get a student or lose a student, update your class list.  Leave a supply of class lists in an easy to find location - perhaps a sub folder.  Check after each absence to make sure there are still extra up to date lists in the folder.

3) Leave an up to date list of all of the kids who go to special classes, the times of those classes, and whether or not the child needs supervision getting to and from the class.  Does the teacher or a group of students come to pick him/her up?  Update this list regularly.

4) Leave a list of all of the health alerts for students in all of the classes that come into the room, or for which the sub is responsible.  If you switch for some subjects, include health alerts for those students as well.  Update this list regularly.

5) Leave a list of important phone numbers either in the sub folder or next to the phone.  If there are buttons that need to be pushed before dialing or answering, leave explicit directions for using the phone.  No, not all phones are alike and searching for directions on how to use the phone takes valuable time.

6) If you can find a map of your school, leave it in the sub folder.  Highlight the locations of your room, the office, the lunch room, adult bathrooms, the teachers' lounge, the copier, and any special classes.  Highlight any teachers that might be able to help, in case they are needed.

7) If there is a code for the copier, it would be great to let the sub know, in case extra copies of something are needed, or in case there is an unexpected need to fill in extra time. 

8) It would be wonderful if you could get a guest login for your computer.  This is especially important if the computer is to be used for showing movies or web sites.  Someone may log off the computer before the sub needs to use it and it is very disruptive to have to send for help to use the computer. 

9) If there are school or classroom rules or discipline procedures that the sub needs to follow or be aware of, write them up in detail and leave a copy of the writeup in the sub folder.   It also helps to have a list of things that are not allowed, e.g., drink bottles that might leak if tipped over, snacks at any time other than the explicit snack time. 

10) Leave a phone number if you are willing/able to take phone calls.  Personally, I hate to use this, as I am a phone phobic, but I know other subs appreciate it. 

Oh, and did I mention?:  LEAVE EXTRA (up to date) CLASS LISTS.

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