During Class

The classroom is where you can blossom as an educator, and showcase your personality and abilities to the students. The methods and sometimes lesson plans are up to you today Here are some suggestions from experiences substitute teachers towards creating a structured environment in hopes of being called back for return teaching periods.

Be awar of your surroundings: Always be aware of what is going on in the background, foreground and activities not directly under your control. Devote more time to watching the kids who are constantly moving or asked to be excused for a variety of reasons (i.e. bathroom, water break, locker, office visit).

You will have good and bad days: You can have a well mannered class one day and the next be immature and obnoxious the day through. Always exhibit the same behavior of stability, as the students need a teacher who is stable.

Talk to individual students before addressing class: There is always one student who comes way before class starts. Speak with this student about the events of the classroom, such as rivalries between students and those who are the trouble makers. Or they may tell of tricks students play on the substitute teacher. Sometimes it may even be small details such as mid day assembly or a medical problem a student has.

Never let the students see you nervous: This can include stuttering, looking off into the distance, staring, twitching, frantically searching for an item, or responding a question with "i don't know." This shows you have no control of the situation. Students will see this and use it to their advantage. Also, smiling can be mistaken as being nervous as well. So don't smile until class is in complete order.

Create a noise level: Now that the class is established, the students will test the amount of noise that can be made during class. Make sure to make your noise level known: Raising your eyes to the roll sheet and the student making noise and telling them to be "quiet", or stopping the class and not allowing it to proceed until everything is quiet are two effective methods. Be sure to use this procedure as often as necessary.

If you don't know answer ask students what they think: Not only does this help you get away with not knowing the material, but encourages the student towards finding the answer on their own. Students will test the teacher to see if they know the material. If they persist instruct them to "look in the book" or "go to the next question."

Be Professional: Dress, talk, and act professional. The students expect professionalism from the substitute teacher. This means no blue jeans, ripper t-shirts or cursing.

Follow school rules: Different schools have different sets of guidelines. Know the rules of each school. Know if eating in class is OK, if students are allowed to smoke on campus, and where the class goes for a fire drill.

Be flexible: Always be flexible, as there job demands flexibility. You can be scheduled to teach english, but a P. E. teacher may be needed; Or a stand in security person is needed for recess.If you are not flexible, it may be hard for the school to fully utilize your talents.

Don't wake a sleeping student: Don't take a sleeping student personally, as many times there are other personal reasons they are doing such. Waking the student will stop the flow of the class, and the student may cause havoc to the class. Let the student sleep.

Make them your students: Don't create a wall between you and the students, be one with them meaning you're on the "same side". If you can level with them and laugh at similar jokes, know their language they will feel more eager to learn if they become "your students".

They are students, not kids: Refer to them always as students. If you refer to them as kids, they will act like kids. If you call them students, they will act more mature.

Treat students with respect: "Respect breeds Respect." This includes hearing every question, giving praise to good work and allowing students to participate in discussions.

Have them do something: A lesson plan is essential. By not having a plan you are giving the students reign of the class. For each class an assignment should be written on the chalkboard for the students to do. Tell them to work silently, and complete the work in a given time limit. The assignment can be anything. Having them do this will help for you to get organized, take roll and whatever else needs to be done.

Walk around class: Be aware of the actions of the class. Walking around class reminds the students of your superiority. It also allows you to talk to the students for control and social purposes.

Stay in same direction: Always stay pointed towards the same goal. No matter the distractions caused or mistakes on your behalf always remind and stay focused with the task at hand.

Compliment and advise: By complimenting and encouraging hard work amongst students, sometimes towards those struggling you are building confidence levels and structured work ethic that can help them go far in life.

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