What are Teachers Looking for in a Substitute Teacher?

Lets play pretend…its September and  you have your first sub job in an art classroom at the local public school.  And running through your head is “What are Teachers Looking for in a Substitute Teacher?”

“Control of classroom and follow lesson plans—don’t sit at desk–stay out in classroom with students and observe what is going on.” This statement has mentioned several times in my conversation with teachers over this weekend.  Classroom control and follow the lesson plans.

Dream Class by Michael Linsin would be an excellent first resource for a first year substitute teacher.   Michael states on his blog that his book addresses:dream-spine-ds-crop21

  • Simple strategies that make classroom management a lot easier.
  • Exactly (step-by-step) how to handle difficult students

Other teachers stated that they look for someone who maintains control of the classroom and keeps the students moving on whatever we are working on.  And not allowing the students to finish work and just sit and goof off.  One commented, …”follow the lesson plan and not try to do their own thing.”

Another said, “My students know that treating a substitute with respect is the way to go. The sub needs to interact with the kids and make sure the kids are active and following instructions left by me. They need to roam the room and cover duties assigned. I appreciate a reflection of the day and any issues, if any….”

“report students that misbehave to the teacher” and have good communication with the teacher.  the home room teacher wants to know who was misbehaving in the classroom.  Based on past history  the teacher may  already know who caused the trouble. 

” I feel that not holding students accountable for their actions undermines both the teacher’s authority and gives the sub the reputation that they can be taken advantage of.”  Wise words from an experienced teacher.

I would have a discussion of the classroom guidelines for behavior.  Maybe they are posted on the wall, or in a sub packet given by the teacher.  If you have a classroom management plan from the teacher, you need to review this plan and allow students to explain each of the classroom rules.  All the advice has stated that it is mandatory for you to set the rules for the day.