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Thursday, April 19, 2012

10 Things Guest Teachers Need

I survived my first day of substitute teaching.

I was so nervous that I did not sleep the night before. I kept thinking of all the things my fellow blogging teachers would want me to remember about walking into their classrooms. I had this idea of what I should do and how I should do it. 

It didn't happen that way. 

Nothing was as I thought it would be. 

I arrived an hour before the students, 40 minutes before my scheduled start time. I wanted plenty of time to get settled in for the day. I needed every second and probably another hour would have been wonderful! But alas, there were kids who needed me... 

Let the chaos commence!

 I decided to share with all of you the things that I wish I had. 

1) Please post a schedule in your classroom and/or have one in the sub folder. I have no clue what order to do things in without one. I eventually founded posted at the end of the hall. This is great as the parents know where to locate all the information on the parent board but a sub may not know about the parent board until late in the day. 

2) "What is a de..duc..i..blic (deductible), Mrs. Pooooland?"

Please keep all of your personal items in a safe place out of reach of children. Little ones may be searching for reading materials and your tax returns just might make for good reading. I stacked this along with overdue bills and a diary in a nice pile on the desk with the stapler on top.

3) Please place all materials for the day in an easy to locate spot. A sub tub is great. I so wanted a sub tub. With the help of another teacher, we found some things. I found the lesson plans under a diary, the math worksheets were at the bottom of the "to be graded pile", I found some transparencies in the reading center but not the right ones, I never did find where  her centers were. I am sure they had to be in there somewhere but we skipped those. I looked, I couldn't find them. 

4) Please leave a detailed list of what you want. Thankfully I have been trained to read these lesson plans and am familiar with the curriculum. So I was able to read those lesson plans and knew the IE218.9 is a math assignment. If it was another sub... umm... good luck!

5) "Mrs. Peelond, I can't have that or I will die."
"Mrs. Poohand, I can't have a band-aid I just bleed forever." 
"Uh-huh its true. You will have to call 911 and everything. We should do that!"
"Mrs. umm... what's your name? Do you change my diaper or do I go to the nurse?"

Please explain your policies for going to the nurse, issues to expect and with whom, and where to locate the special nurse passes. I need to know if a particular child is not potty trained, allergic to the strawberries we are serving with breakfast, or has a bleeding disorder and needs to be sent to the nurse immediately if she pokes herself with a pencil. 

6) I need to know what areas are off limits to students. 

7) Seating charts are necessary. Pronunciation of names would be even better!

8) Every child should have a pencil and/or there should be a box or something of them somewhere. I know now to look for pencils first!

9) Please do not write on your lesson plan "science/social studies (find a resource)" - yes I skipped that too. Besides we had an assembly to go too. 

10) . "Mrs. Poolaid, do we HAAAAVE to do another worksheet?"

Please leave something fun for the kids to do I know there is a lot to accomplish especially this time of year with testing but if all you want them to do is worksheets, there are bound to be behavior management issues. 

Okay... so I know not all classrooms will be like this but I thought I would make you a cute little checklist (also available at TpT) just in case Mrs. Pewland ever visits your class.

I am working on creating my own "sub tub" for my some day classroom. I will eventually be adding all the "lessons learned" to one kit full o' fun!

I also created a Guest Teacher Pinterest Board with a lot of great ideas and resources!

The first grade team was amazingly helpful in ensuring that I had everything I needed throughout the day. I couldn't have done it without there quick thinking and help. The nurse made me a copy of health risks for the room. 

Despite everything, I loved every minute of it. 

Who cares if the kids were all "off" and that the PE teacher was so tired of their antics that she brought them back early. For the day, they were my kiddos and I even mastered all their names by the end of the day.

We laughed, we learned, and no one went to the hospital! 

A few kiddos even hugged me on the way out the door. Somehow, the simple hug and a "I can't wait for you to come back Mrs. Peeplawn!" is all that it took to win me over. I will miss those little guys!

Now all that's left is to figure out my last name again!

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At April 18, 2012 at 9:22 PM , Blogger YearntoLearn said...

Subbing is HARD work. I subbed for 6 months before getting my first position, but it was invaluable experience.
It was totally different than the guided learning I got while student teaching.

Yearn to Learn Blog

At April 18, 2012 at 9:42 PM , Blogger Kim said...

Oh Misty,
It seems like you should get an "I survived!" medal..
I must admit, I read your list and refected on what I do/don't provide.

I can do better. Your post gave me plenty to think about.

Congrats, Girl! You're one day closer to your name on the door!

Finding JOY in 6th Grade

At April 18, 2012 at 10:50 PM , Blogger Michelle Tsivgadellis said...

Omg! You are great!! While teaching....I never left personal anything'/ out in the open...yikes. I can't believe someone would leave their tax returns and diary.....holy cow!!

Your tips are wonderful for teachers to read I am sure. I was always so thorough in my sub plans, but I also only had to get a sub one time during a four year period and I had walking pneumonia. I had been sick for two weeks and thought I would get better, but I never did and one morning I couldn't get up for work. My principal called me throughout the day because she thought I had something very serious for me to have to see a doctor or miss work...hehehe. I might have been a little too thorough in my sub plans. I actually saved them because I thought they were hilarious!!! I literally wrote...word for word what to do for everyday for the week I was out. I must have been delirious when writing my plans...hehehe

Thanks for sharing,

The 3AM Teacher

At April 19, 2012 at 4:33 AM , Blogger FirstGradeBlueSkies (Jennifer) said...

Very true!
First Grade Blue SKies

At April 19, 2012 at 5:45 AM , Blogger Miss T said...

You survived, yay! Ok, it does sound like your teacher was unorganized...complete opposite of what I posted on my blog lol.

Kiddos will totally see how much they can get away with by testing you with bathroom and office visits.

I can't believe there wasn't a thing of pencils either!

Journey of a Substitute Teacher

At April 19, 2012 at 5:57 AM , Blogger ThinkWonder Teach said...

I came armed with stickers. For some reason the promise of a sticker if no one else goes to the nurse works wonders!!

We had a bathroom in the classroom so that was not an issue this time but thanks for the tips.

At April 19, 2012 at 2:20 PM , Blogger luckeyfrog said...

Sounds like you rocked a tough assignment! Congrats on surviving :)

My mom used to always keep a bag of candy, some stickers, an extra read-aloud, a word search, and some extra pencils (in a special color so she could be sure to get them back). Her sub bag was awesome, especially for those times when she needed a little something extra to fill the time.

I think you've motivated me to write a post about how I plan for a sub :) Thanks for your tips!

Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

At April 19, 2012 at 2:36 PM , Blogger ThinkWonder Teach said...

I love the idea of extra pencils... that is not in my bag. I will have to stop at the dollar store and pick some up. Candy is not allowed. =(

Thanks for the tip! Now I am curious what else is in that bag?

At April 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Melissa said...

GREAT list! I have a sub folder where I include a lot of what you mentioned, but next year I plan on getting even MORE organized by making a sub binder! :)

At April 19, 2012 at 4:54 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing! I am your newest follower!


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