You get the call. You’re subbing today! No matter what building you’re reporting to, what content area you’re teaching in, or what grade level you’re teaching, you’ll want to be prepared for anything that comes your way. These 6 tips will help you know how to be a prepared substitute teacher.
Use a planner
This is essential to being a prepared substitute teacher. Many substitutes work for multiple school districts or buildings. Keeping all the procedures for accepting jobs, start and dismissal times, and policies straight can be confusing. Color-code a planner differentiating each district (or building) with a specific color. You’ll know when you accepted a two day job for District A or a long-term gig for District B. Keep things organized, and you’ll never miss a job or be late!
Come armed with activities
Although most teachers try to prep you with the best plans possible, sometimes emergencies arise, and the plans may be lacking or confusing. Bring some educational and engaging activities for the students that will have them paying attention and staying on task. It’s no extra work for you with my substitute teacher resource binder as well as the freebies in my free resource library easily accessible! This makes it much easier to be a prepared substitute teacher. Make sure to bring enough material for a full day of plans.
Bring a behavior incentive
Sometimes even the sweetest kids think they can misbehave for a substitute teacher. Give them a chance to show their great behavior by providing a behavior incentive like punch cards to use throughout the day. Tell them their teacher will be informed of all behaviors, especially the good ones!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Teachers are inherently helpers. Ask other grade-level teachers if you need help with a difficult student, navigating a new building, or finding supplies. Be polite and honest, and teachers will remember your kindness and want you to sub in their building again and again!
Keep an end-of-the-day form
Teachers love when you leave detailed notes about the day. Note the good and the bad things, so the teacher can address them with their class when they return. Show in your notes that you followed the teacher’s plans (if they left them), and you’ll be at the top of their list to ask back the next time. Teachers want subs they can count on, and leaving feedback is one way they know you’re doing an excellent job!
Leave an info form for future jobs
If you follow these tips, the teacher will be able to tell that you are a prepared substitute teacher and would LOVE to have you again! Leave an info form with your name, phone number, sub ID, or whatever info is needed so the teacher can request YOU the next time they need a sub. This is a win-win for both you and the teacher! The teacher will get a sub they can rely on, and you can get jobs in a classroom where you can actually get to know the students. These were my favorite days as a sub!
The Substitute Teacher Resource Binder
All of the printables (and more!) pictured above are a part of my Substitute Teacher Resource Binder. This binder includes a substitute planner, a full day of sub plans each for Kindergarten-6th grade, additional bonus activities, punch card behavior incentives, substitute forms, and more! It is heavily discounted versus buying each day of plans individually- plus includes tons of bonuses just for subs!
Check out what Melissa had to say about it! “This resource is perfect for me! As a substitute, I have been in classrooms where the teacher did not leave any plans. This is perfect with lots of resources so I don’t have to think of ways to keep the kids busy.”
The best part is the resource is heavily discounted compared to buying each of the grades of sub plans individually- plus you get the bonus pages that are just for subs. What are you waiting for? Grab the Substitute Teacher Resource Binder Now! Click here or click on the image below to check it out!
If you’d like to try before you buy, you can also grab freebies by clicking on the button below and signing up for my FREE resource library. Many of the freebies are sub lessons that are perfect for subs!
Your job as a substitute teacher is not easy. You’re coming in, often at a moment’s notice, to fill-in for a classroom teacher. Knowing how to be a prepared substitute teacher will help you not only navigate the halls and the walls of elementary school life, but you’ll also be a hit with the kids and their teacher!
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